Teen Driving: What Parents Need to Know

  1. TeenDriver533 percent of deaths among 13 to 19-year-olds in 2010 occurred in motor vehicle crashes.
  2. 16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age.
  3. 56 percent of teens said they talk on the phone while driving.
  4. Statistics show that 16 and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger.
  5. Only 44 percent of teens said they would definitely speak up if someone were driving in a way that scared them.
  6. Teen drivers with involved parents are twice as likely to wear seat belts.
  7. More than 40 percent of teen auto deaths occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  8. Talking on a cell phone can double the likelihood of an accident as well as slow a young driver’s reaction time down to that of a 70-year-old.
  9. In their first year of driving 1 in 5 16-year-old drivers has an accident.
  10. 56 percent of teenagers  rely on their parents to learn how to drive.
  11. Crash risk for teens increase incrementally with each mile per hour over the speed limit.

Source:  DoSomething.org

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 Alcoholism: What is the Mentality Behind It?

Teendrinking6It the the time of the year when our teens are off to prom and graduation parties.  They may be faced with the decision to have a drink.

The Pre-Game
Teens often indulge in a “pre-game” drinking binge before parties or sports events. Large quantities are consumed quickly in order to sustain a sense of inebriation over many hours. The point of a pre-game binge is to achieve inebriation before an event where access to alcohol and drugs will be restricted.

Pre-gaming is especially dangerous in that it often occurs in a vehicle. Although drinking can occur during the drive to the event, teens may also drink in the parking lot of the event venue. Alcohol can also be smuggled into venues, disguised in water bottles or hidden inside large purses or jackets.

The Parent Game Plan: Before parties and big events, be involved as your teen prepares. When possible, drive your teen and his friends to the venue. As always, be honest with your teen about the dangers of drinking and your stance on the issue.

Working for the Weekend
Some kids work hard all week on academics and sports, but see the weekend as a time to partake in illicit activities and party behavior. This mindset is especially prevalent at competitive high schools. This attitude toward drugs and alcohol equates recreation as something that is rebellious against responsibility and is seen as a reward for good behavior. After working hard, they feel as though they deserve to play hard. This type of attitude can lead to a dependence on drugs or alcohol as a means to relax.

The Parent Game Plan: Explain to your teen that responsible behavior throughout the week does not warrant complete independence. It is also important to teach your teen positive ways to relax. Positive recreational activities and hobbies not only occupy a teen’s time, but they also offer a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that alcohol and drugs can never provide.

Social Lubricant
Let’s face it. Being a teenager is difficult, and social interaction can be awkward. Many teens drink to feel less inhibited and more secure in social settings. Unfortunately, some teens will drink in response to anxiety about a crush, which heightens the risk of poor sexual decisions. Forming these habits during formative years can have a drastic effect on a teen, potentially making it difficult for her to socialize without alcohol or other substances.

The Parent Game Plan: Teens needs to learn how to face the fears and risks of social interaction in a substance-free environment. Host co-ed movie nights or game nights for your teen’s friends and serve as a chaperone. Sometimes teenagers turn to illicit activities because the peer group doesn’t accept wholesome activities as fun. It is your job to provide your teenager with a healthy example of “adult” fun.

Another option is to introduce your teen to an older mentor. Encouraging your teen to spend time with mentors with similar interests can help him adapt to a more mature standard of behavior. This will also give your teen the opportunity to talk about embarrassing or difficult situations he may not be able to come to you about.

For the Win
During unsupervised parties, many kids participate in drinking games popularized by college students. While these games can seem as harmless as table tennis to teenagers, the truth is those who participate in drinking games are at a higher risk for developing alcoholism. Once teens accept the rules of these games, the height of tolerance levels is tantamount to strength. These teens think they are winning at a game, but they are actually exposing their brains to toxic levels of alcohol.
Essentially drinking games are a way for teenagers to bond while participating in binge drinking behavior. Unlike pre-gaming, there is no time limit in drinking games. This means that many teens will drink until their physical limits are reached. Alcohol poisoning and black-outs are two immediate effects of binge drinking.

The Parent Game Plan: Teenagers who binge drink will be unable to hide the effects from their parents, which means they will most likely “crash” where the party was thrown or they will stay with a friend who has lenient or oblivious parents. Parents can discourage binge drinking by confirming plans with other parents and enforcing curfews. Let your teenager know that you expect him not only to behave responsibly, but to look out for his friends who may be affected by this social behavior.

How to Stop Teen Alcohol Abuse

Be involved.

Parents who are involved in their teenagers lives – offering support, encouraging questions and providing wholesome outlets for socializing – are following the #1 rule to keeping their children safe from alcohol abuse.

Contributor: Lauren Bailey can be reached for comments at Lauren at blauren 99 @gmail.com.

Summer Party Time: Teen Drinking Risking College Rejection

School will shortly be out for the summer which means the “party season” will shortly commence.

While it’s natural for teens to want to have a good time during their summer break, those that are college- bound should really be careful about what kind of “fun” they engage in—any sort of illegal activity that results in a misdemeanor or worse, a felony, can jeopardize their chances of getting into the university of his-or-her-choice.

Getting a mark on their record even after college acceptance can still come with great consequence. For example, it will most definitely affect their eligibility for Federal Financial Aid and can hinder job prospects, making it hard to pay for school. While there is an array of crimes that a teen can commit, one of the most common offenses is underage drinking.

To help remind your teen of the several drinking-related crimes that can affect their future, read the list below.

1. Minor in Possession. Like the name suggests, anyone who is a “minor” (under the legal drinking age of 21) can get in trouble if he or she is in possession of an alcoholic beverage. This can include actually being caught red-handed drinking, “appearing” to be intoxicated, or simply holding an empty bottle in a public place. Even blood alcohol content of .01 percent is enough to book and issue a $500 fine to minors in some states. In addition to a possible maximum six months in jail sentence, most first-time MPI offenders are required to enroll in an alcohol awareness program and/or be placed on probation.

2. Driving Under the Influence. Arguably one of the most frequent (and not to mention most lethal crimes) is driving while intoxicated. Punishment varies substantially.  It heavily depends on whether your teen’s blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher and whether he or she harms anyone.But if you don’t, still expect to have to challenge the most maximum punishment, which includes up to 30 days in jail, up to 1 year of a driver’s license suspension, up to $1,000 fee, an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle, and community service. Repeated offenders punishments will greatly increase. If your teen is 17-years-old or younger, his or her license suspension will be extended.

3. Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. Lastly, some parents think that it’s “safer” for their teen to drink inside their home rather than on the streets. But allowing your teen (or his or her friends) to host parties and drink in your home can not only get them charged with an MPI, but you can get charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Those who are of the legal drinking age and voluntarily serve minors an alcoholic beverage or gives them “easy access” to alcohol is committing a crime. This includes 21-year-old college students giving their underage classmates beer. It happens quite often but if caught, there could be great consequence, such as up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail if someone is injured.

Special contributor:

This guest contribution was submitted by Samantha Gray, who specializes in writing about bachelor degree online. Questions and comments can be sent to:  samanthagray024@gmail.com.

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Teen Help Schools and Programs: The Internet Search and Confusion

Are you looking for residential therapy for your at-risk teenager?

Are they a good teen making bad choices?  You don’t want to place them in a school or program that has a hard-cord element, a type of teen that will actually create more negative issues.

After all, your teen is highly intelligent, was once a rising athlete, interested in sports, music or other clubs at school or even in your community.  Now they are hanging out with less than desirable peers and have become someone you don’t even recognize.

You hop on the Internet, as most 2012 parents do and start typing in all sort of key words – and before you know it – you are bombarded with all sorts of programs and schools and “sales reps” that seem to have answers – or so you think.

This is when you need to step back and understand that YES, you do need help, you do need an intervention and you do need to remove your teen from their environment enable to get them the help they need.  Let’s face it, therapy isn’t working anymore – if you can even get them to attend.

My mantra has been – learn from my mistakes when I wen through this.  Read – www.aparentstruestory.com – and you will see you need to take your time.  It is not to scare you – it is to educate you.


Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Look for programs that are not attached to “sales reps”.  You want to speak directly to an owner or director.  Someone that has a vested interest in your teen.  Someone that their reputation will be reflected on your child’s success (or lack of).  Someone who you can hold accountable through the duration of your teen’s stay.
  • Look for the ACE factor.  A=Academics – Always ask for a copy of their accreditation for education – be sure it is transferable back to where you live.  C=Clinical – Be sure the clinical staff is credentialed. E=Enrichment programs – These are critical to be sure your teen is stimulated in a positive direction to want to make better choices.  This isn’t about breaking your child down, it is about building them up.
  • Ask for parent references of parents with the same gender and age of your own teenager.  Also take it a step further.  Ask for families that are in your same geographical area.  This way maybe you will be able to meet with them and possibly even the graduate of the program you are considering.
  • Keep in mind – Short term programs – short term results.  Don’t get sucked into them.

I have many more tips and offer free parent consultation at www.HelpYourTeens.com.

Don’t reach your wit’s end and make a rash decision – made an education choice…. Be an educated parent – this a major emotional and financial decision.

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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Latest Trend to Hook Young Drinkers: Alcoholic Whipped Cream

Whether it is drug addiction or alcohol dependency – substance abuse is dangerous and deadly!  With the recent tragic death of Amy Winehouse, parents can open up lines of communication with their kids (especially teens).  Parents can be the WALL between their kids and drugs and/or alcohol.  Just being there and being an ear when necessary.

Now we have another trend to deal with.

A new whipped cream product infused with alcohol is being sold in stores across the country.

After the federal ban of popular caffeine-and-alcohol drink Four-Loko, a new product called whipohol, or alcoholic whipped cream, has emerged as a hotly debated topic among college students and health officials across the country, ABC News reported. Whipohol, which is essentially whipped cream infused with 15 percent alcohol, has been criticized by health officials as the new Four Loko because of the dangers of its consumption. The alcoholic whipped cream, sporting brand names like Whipped Lightening and CREAM, may be especially prone to abuse because it blends sugar and cream with alcohol, thereby concealing its taste.

According to the Boston Herald, Michael Siegel, a professor at the School of Public Health at Boston University, said that these new products are undoubtedly targeted toward young drinkers. As alcoholic beverage gimmicks are becoming more prevalent, Siegel added that it is critical to remain vigilant. “There are so many different alcohol trends out there,” he said. “What we need is a good surveillance system to be able to monitor these things.”

Legally licensed to sell whipohol to individuals ages 21 and over only, businesses are reporting that alcoholic whipped cream is becoming increasingly popular at liquor stores. “I’m amazed at the amount sold,” said Max Pendolari, general manager at the Wine Emporium, a store that sells CREAM for $12.99. “I thought these would be one of those kitschy things we pulled off the shelf in six months, but within the first week we had already sold out the initial order.”

Health officials are dismayed by the addition of the new potentially harmful product to liquor store shelves, adding that it may also provide alternative opportunities for abuse. Experts say underage drinkers might practice “huffing,” which involves sucking out the nitrous oxide from the whipped cream bottle to induce a high, ABC News reported. “Combining that behavior with alcohol is not a good situation,” said Robert Doyle, a physician and psychologist with Harvard University Health Services.

Furthermore, Doyle explained that even if people intend to drink responsibly, the addition of a liquored up dessert might lead to impaired driving. “Together with drinking, a few servings of whipohol could theoretically push you over the legal limit,” he said. Despite the uproar whipohol has caused at college campuses and in public health circles, some students maintain that it will fall short of the widespread popularity–and criticism–of Four Loko.

Source: CityTownInfo News

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

Need more help?  Visit www.HelpYourTeens.com today!