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In case you missed this one: The Senate Commerce Committee Chairman is concerned with the potential risks associated with kids drinking energy drinks.

The press release from Rockefeller’s office:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Jay Rockefeller said pediatricians have been raising red flags about the serious health problems energy drinks could pose for children, and questioned the wisdom of manufacturers’ marketing their potentially harmful products to young people.

Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, on July 31, held a hearing titled, “Energy Drinks:  Exploring Concerns about Marketing to Youth.” The hearing comes on the heels of a Congressional report issued in April that found several leading energy drink manufacturers are targeting young people with their marketing practices.

“I’m concerned that energy drink companies are aggressively marketing their products to teens on television, and through social media and event sponsorships even as public health experts are raising some serious, disturbing questions about these drinks,” Rockefeller said. “With doctors saying that energy drinks pose risks of heart arrhythmia, increased blood pressure and dehydration—particularly among young people—I want to explore whether companies are being responsible in the way they market energy drinks.”

Witnesses for the hearing included Dr. Marcie Schneider, a pediatrician representing the American Academy of Pediatrics; Dr. Jennifer Harris, a marketing expert from Yale University’s Rudd Center on Food Policy and Obesity; Dr. William Spencer, a Suffolk, County, New York, legislator and physician who spearheaded both a County ban on energy drink marketing to youth and the AMA resolution endorsing such a ban; and representatives of energy drink companies Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar.

According to a 2011 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there was a more than tenfold increase between 2005 and 2009 in emergency room visits involving energy drinks.  Of these visits, 11% were made by youths aged 12 to 17 and 45% were made by young adults aged 18 to 25. As a result, the American Medical Association at their annual policy meeting in June adopted a resolution calling for a ban on marketing energy drinks to anyone under the age of 18.

Rockefeller last month wrote letters to the heads of four leading energy drink companies asking for information on their marketing practices ahead of the hearing.

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On Monday, a release was sent out noting that U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin announced funding awarded to Prestera Center to help with substance abuse and mental health.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (all D-W.Va.), Monday announced Federal funding has been awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to Prestera Center to expand and increase patient access to mental health treatment and substance abuse recovery support services.

“The hard work of addressing the problems of prescription drugs in our region is underway, and funding like this can go a long way in addressing the treatment needs and demand in our communities,” said Rahall, who is a co-chairman of the Congressional Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus. “I will keep right on working side-by-side with our communities to fight for federal resources that will save lives and ensure needed access to care in our State.”

“Giving our community organizations that specialize in substance abuse support for their work is vital to combating our statewide prescription drug abuse problem. This is a much deserved and needed boost for Prestera Center in Huntington, and for the dedicated staff that’s working so hard to help people in their community who are battling addiction,” said Rockefeller. “This is a heartbreaking epidemic for our state, and I won’t stop looking for ways to help those suffering until we end this problem.

“Drug addiction hurts more than just the person abusing drugs; it hurts loved ones, hinders job creation and destroys communities,” said Manchin. “To combat our drug abuse epidemic around West Virginia and across America, we must continue funding critical programs like these that will improve mental health services to those who are seriously struggling with addiction. The bottom line is that the toll drug addiction is taking on jobs, families and communities must stop.

Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, headquartered in Huntington, will receive a $280,000 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service Grant to expand its Technology Assisted Care (TAC) telemedicine capabilities to reach clients throughout its eight-county catchment area, providing improved access to services and coordinated recovery support to improve health outcomes for 2,000 clients over the course of the three year program. Prestera expects a minimum of 900 individuals will utilize its expanded telemedicine capabilities to manage their medications, access their care provider or receive specialty services which are otherwise unavailable to them.  Through the Center’s existing certified electronic behavioral healthcare system clients can obtain treatment and specialty care without barriers such as transportation, lack of qualified provider, or stigma which may be inhibiting their access to care.