Teens Struggling with Substance Abuse

With summer about here and teens with more free time, parents need to be aware of what today’s latest statistics are with drug use.

Yes, teen substance abuse, according to the latest study, is up 33%. TeenSubstanceAbuse

What does this say to parents of teenagers?

Are the parents too trusting of the teens or are the teens too smart for the parents?

Are you still digesting that?

Let’s understand this.

One in four teens (24 percent) reports having misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime (up from 18 percent in 2008 to 24 percent in 2012), which translates to about 5 million teens. That is a 33 percent increase over a five-year period.  -According to Drugfree.org

That is a lot teens using illegal prescription drugs to get high or alter their moods.

Where are they getting these drugs from? 

Parents, grandparents, a friend’s home or simply buying them off the street.   This isn’t  blame game it is time to get a grasp on it and communicate to your kids about the risks of prescription medicine when it is not taken for the reasons it is prescribed for by a doctor.  Sometimes it takes a near death of a friend to make your child wake-up, let’s just hope it is not the end of someone’s life.  The attitude that it can’t happen to me is common, and it is followed by a parent’s denial that their child would use drugs.

Communication and education.

This is a nationwide problem.  Go to www.drugfree.org/medicineabuseproject and educate yourself and your family. Take the Pledge with your family to end medicine abuse, before it’s too late.  Then go to www.stopmedicineabuse.org and educate yourself and your kids about the dangers of over-the-counter medicine (OTC) abuse.  OTC are potentially deadly can be extremely harmful to your teens also.

Have a conversation with your teen, don’t wait for a confrontation.  As the report also stated, parents seems to lack concern about prescription drug use in comparison to getting caught or using such drugs as crack or cocaine or other illegal drugs, as follows:

Almost one in four teens (23 percent) say their parents don’t care as much if they are caught using Rx drugs without a doctor’s prescription, compared to getting caught with illegal drugs. – According to Drugfree.org

 

Drug use (substance abuse) is a serious cry for help, and making your teen feel ashamed or embarrassed can make the problem worse. Some common behavior changes you may notice if your teenager is abusing drugs and alcohol are:

  • Violent outbursts, rage, disrespectful behavior
  • Poor or dropping grades
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Skin abrasions, track marks
  • Missing curfew, running away, truancy
  • Bloodshot eyes, distinct “skunky” odor on clothing and skin
  • Missing jewelry, money
  • New friends
  • Depression, apathy, withdrawal, disengaged from the family
  • Reckless behavior

Tips to help prevent substance abuse:

  1. Communication is the key to prevention.  Whenever an opportunity arises about the risks of drinking and driving or the dangers of using drugs,  take it to start a conversation.  Remember parents, it is important to be a parent first – friendship will come in time.
  2. Have a conversation not a confrontation.  If you suspect your teen is using drugs, talk to them.  Don’t judge them, talk to them about the facts of the dangers of substance abuse.  If your teen isn’t opening up to you, be sure you find an adolescent therapist that can help.
  3. Addict in the family?  Do you have an addict in your family?  Sadly many families have been effected by someone that has allowed drugs to take over their lives.  With this, it is a reminder to your teen that you want them to have bright future filled with happiness.  The last thing you want for them is to end up like ____.
  4. Don’t be a parent in denial.  There is no teenager that is immune to drug abuse.  No matter how smart your teen is, or athletic they are, they are at risk if they start using.  I firmly believe that keeping  your teen constructively busy, whether it is with sports, music or other hobbies they have, you will be less at risk for them to want to experiment.  However don’t be in the dark thinking that your teen is pulling a 4.0 GPA and on the varsity football that they couldn’t be dragged down by peer pressure.  Go back to number one – talk, talk, talk – remind your teen how proud you are of them, and let them know that you are always available if they feel they are being pressured to do or try something they don’t want to.
  5. Do you know what your teen is saying?  Listen or watch on texts or emails for code words for certain drug lingo. Skittling, Tussing, Skittles, Robo-tripping, Red Devils, Velvet, Triple C, C-C-C-, Robotard are some of the names kids use for cough and cold medication abuse.  Weed, Pot, Ganja, Mary Jane, Grass, Chronic, Buds, Blunt, Hootch, Jive stick, Ace, Spliff, Skunk, Smoke, Dubie, Flower, Zig Zag are all slang for marijuana.
  6. 6.     Leftovers.  Are there empty medicine wrappers or bottles, burn marks on their clothes or rug, ashes, stench, etc in their room or if they own a car, in their car? Teens (and tweens) either take several pills or smash them so all of it is released at once.  Be sure to check all pockets, garbage cans, cars, closets, under beds, etc. for empty wrappers and other evidence of drug use.  Where are your prescription drugs?  Have you counted them lately?
  7. Body language. Tune into changes in your teen’s behavior. Changing peer groups, altering their physical appearance and/or lack of hygiene, eating or sleeping patterns changing, hostile and uncooperative attitude (defiance), missing money or other valuables from the home, sneaking out of the house, etc.
  8. 8.     Access to alcohol.  Look around your home, is there liquor that is easily accessible?  Teens admit getting alcohol is easy-and the easiest place to get it is in their home.  Know what you have in the house and if you suspect your teen is drinking, lock it up!  Talk to them about the risks of drinking, especially if they are driving. 
  9. Seal the deal.  Have your teen sign a contract to never drink and drive. Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) www.saddonline.com provides a free online contract to download. It may help them pause just the second they need to not get behind that wheel.
  10. Set the example, be the example.  What many parents don’t realize is that you are the leading role model for your teen.  If your teen sees you smoking or drinking frequently, what is the message you are sending?  Many parents will have a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage, however the teen needs to understand you are the adult, and there is a reason that the legal drinking age is 21.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Teen Depression and What Parents Need to Know

Feeling good has a lot to do with the choices your teen makes regarding their health.

The life of a teen is filled with choices, and most teens do not base decisions on their health, future, or long-term risks. Keeping up teens’ health ultimately falls on the parents’ shoulders, even though most teens are already making many of their own choices.

If you struggle finding a balance when it comes to your teen’s health or want to be sure that you’re doing as much as you can with the time you do have, here are a few simple ways to make a big impact on the health of your teen:

1. Require consistent exercise. There is no need to be a drill sergeant or make exercise feel like a chore, but there is something to be said for requiring exercise from your children. Whether they take up a sport, enroll in a dance program, or just join the gym with you, teens need to start now with a consistent exercise program for optimum health in the future.
2. Buy daily vitamins in gummy form. Daily vitamins are no fun. And, it’s difficult as a parent to, a) remember to dole them out, and, b) make sure your kids actually take them. But, vitamins should no longer be a dreaded routine. The vitamin gummies offered today are delicious and taste like candy. Teens will want to take more than their daily share.
3. Fill plates with more greens and fruits and less grains and protein. The FDA has recently re-vamped the old standard of food charts and opted for something simpler: a plate divided into four sections. Half the plate is filled with vegetables and fruits. The remainder contains a fourth grains and a fourth protein. This is a simple and easy way to see that your teens are getting the proper servings of the food they need.
4. Restrict TV to certain hours. Monitoring TV hours is a challenge, especially when teens have become accustomed to turning them on whenever they want. But, in order to maintain optimum health, the TV has to go once in a while. Teens need time and space to go outside, call friends, read, create, and do other things that help maintain a balanced life. This can be as simple as turning them off during regular chunks of time when you know you’ll be around.
5. Make doctors’ appointments a part of the norm. Many of us restrict doctor’s appointments to emergency visits when we come down with the flu and need a quick prescription. But, it’s very important to get your teen started with regular physicals and preventative doctor’s visits. This will get them in the habit of seeking out the advice of a physician and setting dates for those much-needed physicals.
6. Talk about sensitive health topics early-on. Instead of waiting until the last minute, it’s important to discuss any health topics that your teen needs to know as early as possible. This applies to the menstrual cycle, the birds and the bees, and your preference on the best forms of contraceptives or abstinence. Waiting until your teen finds out about these hugely important issues from friends, television shows, or the school counselor means that you have missed the chance to help form extremely important choices your teens will make and prepare them for life events that will come up soon.
7. Drink more water, and get rid of soda. This is simple, but definitely worth it. The health benefits of drinking enough water cannot be overstated, and the harmful effects of soda have been well-documented. Most soda contains such a huge amount of sugar that the body has difficulty digesting it properly. Once and a while, it’s fine, but make sure your teens are reaching for something else on a daily basis.

Contributor: Leslie Johnson is a freelance writer for www.mastersinhealthcare.com.

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Parenting At Risk Teens: From Home to Homeroom

Parenting teens is a challenge today.

Schools and parents today need to work together to help prevent teen drug use.

Fast Facts: Preventing Teen OTC Cough Medicine Abuse – From Home to Homeroom

A Wake Up Call for Parents

  • Thirty-three percent of American high school teens know someone who has abused cough medicine, a wake up call for those parents who think that their teen is not affected or being exposed to the issue.
  • Six percent of high school teens admit to abusing cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, or DXM, to get high in the past year.

Cough Medicine Abuse Does Not Happen By Accident

  • While safe and effective when taken as directed, teens looking to get high from cough medicine take excessive amounts, sometimes 25 to 50 times the recommended dosage. This translates to multiple bottles or packages of medicine at one time.
  • Teens often abuse cough medicines with other prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol.
  • Even the best kid in the world doesn’t have the same ability as adults to assess risk because the part of their brain that processes risk, the frontal cortex, doesn’t finish developing until their mid 20s.

Parents Have the Power to Keep Teens Drug-free

  • Research shows that kids who learn a lot from their parents about the risk of drug abuse are up to half as likely to use.
  • Parents are not alone in their fight to prevent medicine abuse; reaching out to the school nurse can help parents learn more about the issue and access local resources.
  • Parents can learn more about the Home to Homeroom campaign by logging onto www.StopMedicineAbuse.org

Parents can interact and help raise awareness by joining online communities including:

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Teens that self harm themselves – cutting and self mutilation

Unfortunately we are hearing more of this and sadly teens are feeling this is their only escape from what they believe is an experience they can’t seem to reconcile.

Self abuse (or self mutilation) can come in many forms; most commonly it is associated with cutting, hair pulling or bone breaking, but it can also manifest itself as eating disorders like bulimia, and/or anorexia. My site will focus mainly on cutting, which is the most common form of self abuse, with 72% of all self injurers choosing to do so by cutting themselves, and hair pulling.

Cutting is exactly as it sounds; when your teen cuts him or herself as a physical expression to feel emotional pain. There are many reasons why teens injure themselves, but many people assume it’s just ‘for attention’.

Often this can be an element of why your teen may be abusing him or her self, but just as often it can be something your teen does privately to express the emotional pain they feel inside. And while self injury is a taboo subject, it is estimated that 3 to 6 million Americans self injure themselves in some way, and that number is on the increase- in fact, its already doubled in the past three years.

For more help, please contact us at www.helpyourteens.com.  Don’t ignore this – don’t be a parent in denial.

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Tobacco Free Florida Week: Fresh Air For All 2012

The Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) fourth annual Tobacco Free Florida Week (March 26-April 1) will raise awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS). Themed “Fresh Air for All,” Tobacco Free Florida Week takes a close look at how SHS impacts everyone, especially the state’s most vulnerable. It is an opportunity to educate your audience about tobacco-related issues in your community and to encourage tobacco users to quit.

Did you know that 9 out of 10 smokers started in their teens?  Most of them believing they would never become addicted.

In Florida, Big Tobacco spends more than $700 million in marketing.  Why so much? They see it as an investment to help replace the people  that die from smoking… 1,200 people a day.

STUDENTS WORKING AGAINST TOBACCO (SWAT)

SWAT is Florida’s statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. They are a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future. There’s a group of people on one side selling a product (cigarettes, cigars, hookah, chewing tobacco and more) that some teens are using. Those products are highly addictive and many teens that begin using them are never able to quit. On the other side, groups like SWAT and Tobacco Free Florida, are working to make sure as many teens as possible never start using tobacco. Join the movement!

Learn more about Tobacco Free Florida Week 2012 coming soon. Visit http://www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/ and join them on Facebook.

Generational Curse and Addictions: What is it?

Addicts.  Addiction.  Intervention. Rehab.  Teen help.  Therapy.  Wit’s end.

We live in a world that has become more difficult than generations prior. The stress levels, the economy, job loss, losing homes, and even losing loved ones to suicide – bullying – or addiction; when does it end?

Guest writer, Christine Kane, gives us some great insights to consider about the generational curse:

What is a generational curse? Well, what is a curse? First of all, we’re not talking about some voodoo, spirituality thing. Curses are real. They are bad habits and wrong thinking. No one curses you; you curse yourself. Or, in the case of generational curses, your family curses you. But curses are not indestructible. They are not eternal or unavoidable. There are ways to break a generational curse.

Let’s talk examples. What are some generational curses that are common? Alcoholism, child abuse, drug addition, spouse abuse, inappropriate sexual urges, laziness, selfishness, divorce. There are many, many more. If your family has no history of this, if you are the only one with these problems, then you are not under a generational curse. However, if your family has a background in these, you are under a generational curse. What do I mean by that?

A generational curse is part nature and part nurture. Your DNA comes from your parents. They decide your color, your race, your hair, your height, and your health. They also affect your disposition and behaviors. How you are raised marks you just as much as whom you were born from. Not only are you born with certain tendencies, you are raised to accept or reject them.

But you’re an adult now. How you were raised doesn’t affect who you are now, right? Wrong. If you don’t comprehend that who you are now is linked to who your family is, you will never be able to break free of the curse. A generational curse is powerful because it is pervasive. If your parents did it, if your aunts and uncles and cousins did it, then it is no longer abnormal or appalling when you do it. It is just a normal part of life. That is how curses work. They trick you into believing they are ordinary, typical, or inevitable. But they are not.

So, how can you break a generational curse? First admit your own participation. Claim your own rebellion, repent of your own contribution. But you don’t want to do that. You want to claim that you’re just like your mother, so it’s not really your fault. Well, okay then, your kids are going to end up just like her, too. You are an adult now. Claim your own involvement in the curse so that you can overcome it. You can’t overcome what you won’t face.

Second, confess your family’s involvement. You will get nowhere by covering up the past. You must dig up the who and why and how and bring it to light. Even if the contributors are long dead and gone, the curse must be brought to the light so that it can be wiped away. It might be from your grandfather or great-grandfather, but it must be exposed and confessed. Only once the source is exposed will the curse be broken. The issue is not whether they are alive, but is their curse alive?

Generational curses can be huge. They can affect entire groups and races of people. They have affects in slavery and prejudice and family structure and it goes so, so deep. Entire countries can be based on generational curses and the problems that accompany them. So never think you are alone in this. This is not easy. You are breaking a chain; a chain that can have many, many links.

Author Bio

This Guest post is by Christine Kane from internet service providers, she is a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects for different blogs.  She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00@ gmail.com.

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Teens and SMART DRUGS? Are they safe??

Smart drugs, or nootropics, aren’t as dangerous as they first sound. In fact, they’re virtually nontoxic supplements that are designed to enhance cognition and memory through the use of hormones and by increasing oxygen flow to the brain.

But with any kind of hoped-for “wonder drug,” smart drugs carry risks, particularly when given to impressionable teenagers or college students frentically searching for a quick fix during finals.

Here are the facts and debates that every parent should know about smart drugs.

What the Hype’s All About

  • They really might just make you smarter: There could be long-term side effects (see below), but in many cases, scientists have noticed that smart drugs really do improve memory, mental energy, learning ability and alertness, and actually decrease signs of depression.
  • It’s a common drug for treating sleep disorders: At least one type of smart drug called Modafinil is used to treat sleep disorders, and was designed to “offer targeted, more powerful mental sharpening,” according to a 2007 Times article. Other smart drugs are legitimately tested drugs used for other conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and ADD, so many students believe they’re proven to be safe.
  • Common behavioral drugs deliver a similar fix: Common drugs like Ridalin and Adderall that are normally used to help attention deficit disorders are becoming more popular with students who do not have behavioral issues but who want increased clarity, focus and energy. Adderall even has a new name on college campuses, “Addy,” and helps with marathon study sessions.
  • It offers the benefits of caffeine, without the jittery side effects: Like caffeine, the more sophisticated smart drugs give the mind an instant boost, and subjects moved from task to task very naturally, never losing their focus. But unlike caffeine and similar stimulants, the subjects did not experience negative side effects like feeling jittery or anxious, or even high or like their hearts were racing.
  • They’re readily available: Many smart drugs can be purchased online, from foreign pharmacies, or in health and wellness stores. Illegally acquired or sold prescriptions are also popular methods of getting smart drugs, especially among students.
  • The stigma for smart drugs isn’t really there: Our society has attached a stigma to certain supplements and drugs — even behavioral drugs and medication to relieve depression — but the effects of smart drugs basically turn us into smarter, more confident and more successful versions of ourselves. The positive effects make society more accepting of smart drugs and smart drug users.
  • It may help you lose weight: This Huffington Post writer found that one side effect of smart drugs was losing weight, so the appeal strengthens: “you become cleverer and thinner.”
The Other Side

  • It may be illegal: Students often use and sell these drugs widely, circulating them around college campuses or even high schools, but doing so without a prescription is a felony.
  • Smart drugs are most effective for people with brain injuries or disease: While smart drugs may improve your memory, they’re most effective when given to people with conditions like Parkinson’s or Alzheimers, not otherwise healthy-minded individuals.
  • They’re being taken as long-term drugs, without long-term side effects being known: While research has found minimal immediate side effects resulting from taking smart drugs, scientists aren’t sure of the long-term effects of these supplements. And since they’re the type of drug that will most likely be used as a long-term cognitive enhancer, there is substantial debate about the safety of the drugs.
  • They’re already very popular in the U.S.: The 2007 Times article points to a University of Michigan study that discovered 8% of undergraduates admitted to illegally taking prescription drugs for cognitive and learning enhancement, and the number was expected to increase over the next few years at least.
  • There’s a big ethics debate: Although there’s no serious stigma attached to smart drugs, some do wonder about its ethics. Like athletes taking steroids, are students who take smart drugs at a better, unfair advantage than those who don’t?
  • The pharmaceutical industry is ready to mass market these drugs: As more people use and talk about smart drugs, the pharmaceutical industry is positioning itself to corner the market and create smart drugs used only for the purpose of increasing cognition and memory for healthy-minded individuals, instead of relying on “multitasking” Parkinson’s or sleep disorder drugs to do the trick. This move would mean a more open discussion and perhaps more accepted — and widespread — usage of smart drugs, perhaps leading to smart drug abuse.

Source:  Best Colleges Online

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