Facing Facts About Blood
The DHMC Blood Donor Program faced a mismatch. The population of people rolling up their sleeves and regularly donating blood was growing older and older. But program officials suspected there was a willingness among young people, including Dartmouth students, to give back to the community. The problem was that their standard recruitment methods didn't resonate with this audience. Michelle Loveys Dozier, the program's marketing specialist, figured social marketing might be just the ticket. The founders of a new nation- al nonprofit called Takes All Types (TAT) had exactly the same idea; they aimed to use Facebook's demographic linking capability to recruit blood donors. Dozier stumbled across TAT on Facebook, "learned that their mission and what we were hop- ing to accomplish were perfectly in line," and signed DHMC up as one of TAT's first two pilot sites in the country. "We have not seen a bump [in younger donors] as of yet," she says, "but expect to after the students return to [school] in the fall."
A Painful Conclusion
Geography of drug use
Listen to undergraduate Laura Hester talk about her opioid study.
See detailed results from Laura Hester's statewide study.
Doctor-shopping and diverting drugs from their intended recipients— those may be ways two groups of New Hampshire residents are feeding their addiction to prescription opioids. So surmises a student who led the first-ever comprehensive analysis of New Hampshire deaths related to prescription opioids. The study was conducted by Laura Hester, a geography major in the Dartmouth Class of '09. When she looked at age-specific death rates, she found that the greatest increase for men was among 18- to 24-year-olds and for women among 45- to 65-year-olds. "The 18-to-24 [group] is worrisome," says Hester, because young people experience less chronic pain and thus are less likely to be prescribed opioids, such as Vicodin or OxyContin. So opioids prescribed to older adults are probably getting diverted to this younger group. In contrast, middle-aged women addicted to opioids are "most likely doctor-shopping," Hester says-going from doctor to doctor to get higher doses or more drugs. "So you have a law-enforcement problem in younger people and a prescribing-practices problem in older people," she concludes.
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