This animated infographic on teen drug and alcohol abuse was produced by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as part of Monitoring the Future, an annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders conducted by researchers at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Transcript: Survey on Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse

00:00 Music plays

00:03 On screen: Drug related words appear on screen with three human silhouettes on the left and three on the right. In the middle, a black diamond shape appears that reads “Teen Drug Use.” A blue banner appears across the bottom that reads “Monitoring the Future 2017.”

00:05 On screen: Background transitions to blue.

On screen text: Monitoring the Future is an annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders conducted by researchers at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health.

00:17 On screen: Background transitions to green.

On screen text: Since 1975, the survey has measured how teens report their drug and alcohol use and related attitudes in 12th graders nationwide; 8th and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991.

00:28 On screen: Teal box drops down from the top

On screen text: 43,703 students from 360 public and private schools participated in the 2017 survey.

00:32 – 00:40 On screen: Blue banner appears across the top of the screen that reads “Daily Marijuana Use Mostly Steady.” An orange chart appears with a horizontal scale from 2007 to 2017 and a vertical scale of 1 percent to 7 percent. Three boxes appear left of center indicating 8th graders as green, 10th graders as light blue and 12th graders as dark teal. A green line graph crosses the chart, peaking at 1.5 percent in 2011 followed by a light blue line graph on top, peaking at 4.5 percent in 2013 and then a dark teal line graph on top of both peaking at 6.8 percent in 2011.

00:41 On screen: Teal box drops down from the top

On screen text: 71.0 percent of high school seniors do not view regular marijuana smoking as being very harmful, but 64.7 percent say they disapprove of regular marijuana smoking.

00:49 On screen: A tan background is revealed and a blue banner appears across the top of the screen that reads “Binge Drinking Rates Steady After Decades of Decline.” A line graph with a horizontal scale appears with dates from 1992 to 2017. A vertical scale appears with percentages from 5 percent up to 35 percent. A green line indicating 8th graders draws across the graph and a beer bottle appears with a tag that reads “1996, 13.3 percent” and ends with a tag at 2017 that reads “8th graders, 3.7 percent.” A light blue line indicating 10th graders draws across the graph and a beer bottle appears with a tag that reads “2000, 24.1 percent” and ends with a tag at 2017 that reads “10th graders, 9.8 percent.” Finally, a dark teal line indicating 12th graders draws across the graph and a beer bottle appears with a tag that reads “1998, 31.5” percent and ends with a tag at 2017 that reads “12th graders 16.6 percent.” A disclaimer at the bottom reads “*Binge drinking is defined as having 5 or more drinks in a row in the last 2 weeks.”

01:01 On screen: Teal box drops down from the top.

On screen text: Binge drinking appears to have leveled off this year, but is still significantly lower than peak years.

01:08 On screen: A light green background is revealed and a blue banner appears across the top of the screen that reads “Past-year e-vaporizer use and what teens are inhaling.” A black vertical line draws down the screen. Left of the line three boxes appear, on the top, a green box that reads “8th graders, 13.3 percent.” Right of the line, a green e-vaporizer extends horizontally to the right to show the amount. Below the green box, left of the line, a light blue box appears that reads “10th graders, 23.9 percent.” Right of the line, a light blue e-vaporizer extends horizontally to the right to show the amount. Below the light blue box, left of the line, a dark teal box appears that reads “12th graders, 27.8 percent.” Right of the line, a dark blue e-vaporizer extends horizontally to the right to show the amount. The dark blue, 12th graders e-vaporizer is the longest, indicating 12th graders use e-vaporizers the most.

01:16 On screen: The e-vaporizer graph disappears and the words, “When asked what they thought was in the e-vaporizer mist students inhaled the last time they smoked, these were their responses:” appears

01:23 On screen: The on-screen text shrinks and moves to the top of the screen. An orange chart appears with three boxes left of the chart – a green 8th graders box, light blue 10th graders box, and dark teal 12th graders box. The vertical scale spans from 10 percent to 80 percent and the horizontal scale includes the categories, “Nicotine,” “Marijuana or Hash Oil,” “Just Flavoring,” “Other,” and “Don’t Know.” Green, light blue and dark teal bars rise vertically above each category. The bars indicate that 50 percent – 75 percent of all three age groups think the e-vaporizer mist is “Just Flavoring” and 10 percent – 31 percent think the e-vaporizer mist is “Nicotine.”

01:37 On screen: Teal box drops down from the top.

On screen text: Nearly 1 in 3 students in 12th grade report past-year use of e-vaporizers, raising concerns about the impact on their long-term health.

01:45 On screen: A light teal background is revealed and a blue banner appears across the top of the screen that reads “Teens more likely to use marijuana than cigarettes.” Underneath the banner reads “Daily use among 12th graders.” A graph appears with a horizontal scale of dates ranging from 1992 to 2017 and a vertical scale from 0 percent to 25 percent. A marijuana leaf with a green tag that reads “1992, 1.9 percent” appears at the base of the vertical axis of the graph and a green line draws across the chart ending at the far right above 2017 with a green tag that reads “Marijuana, 5.9 percent.” The graph shows the increase in the likelihood that 12th graders will use Marijuana. At the same time, a white line draws across the graph starting at 17.2 percent in 1992, when it reaches its peak a pack of cigarettes appears with a white tag that reads “1997, 24.6 percent” and then dives down across the remainder of the chart where a second white tag appears and reads “Cigarettes, 4.2 percent” in 2017. This graph shows that in 2017, 12th graders are more likely to use marijuana than cigarettes.

01:57 On screen: A light gray background appears and a blue banner unveils across the top of the screen that reads “Past-year misuse of prescription/over-the-counter vs. illicit drugs.” Below that, an orange prescription pill bottle appears on the right.

On screen text: Past-year misuse of Vicodinâ among 12th graders has dropped dramatically in the past 15 years.

02:08 On screen: The pill bottle shrinks and moves to the top of the screen below the blue banner. A chart appears right of center with the title ” Vicodinâ ” at the top. The chart’s vertical scale ranges from 1 percent to 11 percent and the horizontal scale has dates from left to right – 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017. Small white pills fall from the bottle, landing on specific data points. One pill lands on 2002 and a teal tag appears that reads “9.6 percent,” the next lands on 2007 at 9.6 percent, the next lands on 2012 at 7.5 percent and the last pill lands on 2017 and a teal tag appears that reads “2.0 percent.” The graph shows a dramatic decrease in the misuse of Vicodinâ over the 15-year span.

02:13 On screen: A teal box drops down from the top.

On screen text: Misuse of all prescription opioids among 12th graders has also dropped dramatically, despite high opioid overdose rates among adults.

02:20 On screen: Teal box pulls down to reveal the blue banner that still reads “Past-year misuse of prescription/over-the-counter vs. illicit drugs.” Underneath the blue banner the title, “Prescription/OTC” appears. An orange box appears below the title. Percentages appear down the left side of the chart while blue bars extend horizontally from left to right in the orange box to visually represent the amounts of prescription, over-the-counter and illicit drugs that were misused in the past year. From top to bottom the chart reads, “5.5 percent, Adderallâ,” “4.7 percent, Tranquilizers,” “4.2 percent, Opioids other than Heroin,” “3.2 percent, Cough/Cold Medicine,” “2.9 percent, Sedatives,” and “1.3 percent, Ritalinâ.”

02:32 On screen: The chart changes. The title reads “Illicit Drugs, past-year use among 12th graders.” The chart animates similar to the previous chart, percentages are listed down the left of the chart, while blue bars extend from left to right. From top to bottom the chart reads, “37.1 percent, Marijuana/Hashish,” “3.7 percent, Synthetic Cannabinoids*,” “3.3 percent, LSD,” “2.7 percent, Cocaine,” “2.6 percent, MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly),” “1.5 percent, Inhalants,” and “0.4 percent, Heroin.” An asterisk below the chart notes that Synthetic Cannabinoids are called “synthetic marijuana in survey.”

02:44 On screen: A teal box drops down from the top.

On screen text: Students report lowest rates for some drugs since start of the survey.

02:48 On screen: A green screen drops down from the top.

On screen text: Across all grades, past-year use of heroin, methamphetamine, cigarettes, and synthetic cannabinoids* are at their lowest by many measures. An asterisk at the bottom of the screen notes that Synthetic Cannabinoids are called “synthetic marijuana in survey.”

02:55 On screen: Green screen changes to dark gray screen with Department of Health and Human Services and NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse logos.

On screen text: For more information, please visit Drugabuse.gov

03:07 Music ends

7 Legal Drugs Teens are Abusing

A recent study by cnn.com names seven legal drugs abused by teens today. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 7 out of the top 10 drugs abused in America by teens are legal. The list is composed to herbal remedies, over the counter drugs, and prescription drugs – all of which can be purchased at one’s local pharmacy—not on the street. The study further indicated that alarmingly, about 3% of kids ages 12 to 17 admit to abusing a prescription drug in the past month, and 12% of teens admit to abusing OTC cough and cold medicines in that time frame. If you are wondering how to keep those you love from abusing legal drugs while in their teens, read through the following list and be aware of what you have in your home. It just takes a minute to find a safe place to lock these dangerous legal substances up to prevent abuse.

  • Prescription Stimulants: if a prescription is used in any way other than the doctor prescribed it, it is consider drug abuse. The most commonly abused legal prescription drug is a stimulant called Adderall. The research shows that almost 8% of 12th graders have tried Adderall, known on the street as speed.
  • Prescription Pain Medicines: these opioids can cause addiction can lead to overdose just like heroin. Many teens think that because a physician gives prescription pain pills that they are harmless. Most commonly abused by teens are the drugs Oxycontin and Viocodin. More than 7% of 12th graders admit to using Vicodin in the past year.
  • Over the Counter Cough Medicine: Teens may abuse cough syrup because it can cause hallucinations and a feeling of being away from reality. However, it can cause dangerous side effects and panic attacks. Almost 6% of 12th graders say they’ve been high from cough medicine.
  • Prescription Depressants: Teens may take these sedatives for their drowsy and calming effects. Nembutal, Valium, Xanax, Ambien, and Lunesta are among the most commonly abused. Use of these depressants can slow down one’s heart and breathing to dangerous levels. If alcohol is present, prescription depressants can be especially deadly. The study showed that around 2% of 12th graders report using a sedative or tranquilizer in the past month.
  • Salvia – this drug is an herb that teens smoke or chew. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Agency in the U.S. has not made salvia illegal. However, use of it can cause a distorted sense of reality and can cause long-term learning and memory problems. Although less common in its abuse by teens, in 2009, almost 6% of high school seniors reported trying salvia.
  • Anabolic Steroids – Not surprisingly, steroids are often abused by teens. Teens may want to appear larger or stronger and they don’t recognize the damage of steroid use on their bodies’ long term including shrunken testicles for men, facial hair growth for women, and kidney and liver damage. Almost 2% of high school seniors have tried anabolic steroids.
  • Tobacco and Alcohol – Both alcohol and tobacco are legal and many teens parents use both drugs Although teens may be made aware of the dangers of alcohol and tobacco use, they may not believe the warnings if their loved ones or acquaintances are using them. Alcohol abuse kills brain cells and damages important organs in the body and smoking destroys the lungs. About 40% of 12th graders admit to drinking alcohol in the past month.

Teen Drug Use on DeclineTeen Drug Use on Decline

A recent study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse called the Monitoring the Future study shows that drug use among teens is decreasing. The study, which tracked drug and alcohol use among 45,000 students nation wide in 8th, 10th and 12th grades, indicated that tobacco and alcohol use is definitely on the decrease.

Further, the use of opioids like Vicodin and OxyContin has declined as well as synthetic drug use, like Spice, K-2 and Black Mamba. However, although tobacco use has lessened, the study showed that teens are substituting regular cigarettes with e-cigarettes. In fact, around 20 percent of the student participants reported using e-cigarettes. Other research shows that teens are drawn to e-cigarette devices because of the flavored vapors. It is important to note that the vapors are not regulated so they could have even more hazardous materials in them then regular cigarettes and the increase in use among teens should be addressed.

Other key discoveries from this study by Monitoring the Future include first, that teens no longer see marijuana as dangerous and second, that teens are getting their opioids from a relative or a friend’s prescription. The legalization of marijuana has contributed to these attitudes and behaviors and these outcomes indicate that action must be taken to better educate teens about marijuana drug use and its dangers.

backtoschooldrugpreventionBack to School and Drug Prevention

As kids across the country are getting back into their routines with the start of the new school year, many parents are using the preparation time to have a good preventative talk about drugs and alcohol. Drug use is surging in schools due to the increased availability of prescription drugs (up to 250 million written prescriptions in 2010 compared to up to 90 million prescriptions written in 1990), a rise in stimulant drug use and over-diagnosing for kids with ADHD, and a false idea that prescription medications are somehow safer and less addictive than illegal drugs.

Most understand that the reasons for drug abuse are not usually due to drugs themselves but to underlying issues that drive an individual to self-medicate. Helping kids be happy, fulfilled, balanced, and mentally and socially active and engaged can help them fight off falling into the snare of drug abuse.

Below are five strategies published on foxnews.com to help prevent drug use — usually due to peer pressure– among school-aged kids:

  1. Have the “drug and alcohol” talk with your child. Equip them with the facts about drug-using consequences, without demonizing recreational drugging or drinking.
  1. Pay attention to red flags of underlying mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. A very large percentage of young people self-medicate in order to experience relief from untreated psychiatric issues.
  1. Know who your kids are hanging out with. The one most significant indicator of drug use is peer group; if your child is hanging out with drug users, odds are your child will also use drugs.
  1. Support their efforts to participate in sports, drama, clubs or other healthy social activities. Kids who are active in these pursuits are less likely to recreationally use drugs.
  1. Have dinner together with your children at least once a week to maintain a healthy, meaningful dialogue.

Helping kids feel good about themselves will equip them with needed confidence to stay away from drugs. Being involved in your child’s life and aware of their needs will strengthen and empower them. So, as a new school year begins, use these strategies and any other helpful ideas to protect your kids from drug abuse this year.

 

Source: foxnews.com

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently published results of a study that examined Utah High School Students and substance abuse. The findings were very positive for the most part. In fact, High School Students indicated much less substance abuse in Utah than in the rest of the U.S.   However, when asked about inhalants and prescription drug abuse, Utah High School Students matched the U.S. statistic, indicating that High School Students in Utah are abusing inhalants and prescriptions in the same amount as teens across the U.S.

 

Taken from hhs.gov, the statistics among high school students (grades 9-12) in Utah and the U.S. were as follows:

 

Percent of high school students who never tried cigarette smoking (even one or two puffs) Utah United States
Total 77% 55%
Male 74% 54%
Female  81% 57%
Percent of high school students who smoked cigarettes on at least one day (during the 30 days before the survey) Utah United States
Total 6% 18%
Male 7% 20%
Female  5% 16%
Percent of high school students who tried to quit smoking cigarettes (among students who currently smoked cigarettes, during the 12 months before the survey) Utah United States
Total N/A 50%
Male N/A 47%
Female  N/A 54%
Percent of high school students who usually obtained their own cigarettes by buying them in a store or gas station (during the 30 days before the survey) Utah United States
Total N/A 14%
Male N/A 17%
Female  N/A 10%
Percent of high school students who used chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip on at least one day (during the 30 days before the survey) Utah United States
Total 4% 8%
Male 6% 13%
Female 1% 2%

 

 

Percent of high school students who drank alcohol for the first time before age 13 years (other than a few sips) Utah United States
Total 11% 20%
Male 13% 23%
Female  8% 17%
Percent of high school students who had at least one drink of alcohol on at least one day (during the 30 days before the survey) Utah United States
Total 15% 39%
Male 16% 39%
Female  13% 38%
Percent of high school students who had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row within a couple of hours on at least one day (during the 30 days before the survey) Utah United States
Total 9% 22%
Male 11% 24%
Female  7% 20%
Percent of high school students who usually obtained the alcohol they drank by someone giving it to them (among students who currently drank alcohol, during the 30 days before the survey) Utah United States
Total 39% 40%
Male 33% 35%
Female  47% 46%
Percent of high school students who drove when drinking alcohol one or more times (in a car or other vehicle during the 30 days before the survey) Utah United States
Total 4% 8%
Male 5% 9%
Female  2% 7%
Percent of high school students who rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol one or more times (in a car or other vehicle during the 30 days before the survey) Utah United States
Total 13% 24%
Male 14% 23%
Female 12% 25%

 

 

Percent of high school students who ever used marijuana one or more times (during their life) Utah United States
Total 20% 40%
Male 22% 42%
Female 17% 37%

 

 

Percent of high school students who ever sniffed glue, breathed the contents of aerosol spray cans, or inhaled any paints or sprays to get high one or more times (during their life) Utah United States
Total 11% 11%
Male 11% 10%
Female 10% 12%

 

 

Percent of high school students who used any form of cocaine one or more times (for example, powder, crack, or freebase, during the 30 days before the survey) Utah United States
Total 3% 3%
Male 4% 4%
Female 2% 2%

 

 

Percent of High School Students ages 12-17 who used pain relievers for nonmedical reasons (during the 12 months before the survey) Utah United States
Total 7% 6%

 

 

Sources:

Study results, charts, data, are from: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Office of Adolescent Health. Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/substance-abuse/states/ut.html

 

High school data are from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). 1991-2011 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey data. Retrieved October 19, 2012, from http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline

 

Pain reliever and receipt of treatment data are from: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2012). State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2009-2010 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, NSDUH Series H-43, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4703. Table C.8, C.21, C.22. Rockville, MD. Retrieved October 19, 2012, from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2k10State/NSDUHsae2010/NSDUHsaeAppC2010.htm

 

warningSigns02Warning signs

If you’ve noticed any of the signals related to drug abuse listed below, you may want to press your teen further and ask some important questions like: “Have you been offered drugs?” If yes, “What did you do?” or “Have you been drinking or using drugs?” Even though no parent wants to hear a “yes” response to any of these questions, be ready for it. Don’t be afraid to err on the side of caution. Ask the difficult questions and decide, in advance, how you’ll respond to a “yes” answer. Not all teens are going to fess up to drug or alcohol use, and sometimes the signals are masked as other behaviors. The following list can help to identify signs and symptoms to watch out for. If you find yourself responding “yes” to many of these signs and symptoms, teaming up with a professional can help to stop and redirect the course of your teen’s life.

  • Missing money from your purse or wallet
  • The use of incense, fragrance sprays, or excessive perfumes/cologne to mask the smell of smoke
  • Frequently breaking curfew
  • Reckless driving, car accidents, or unexplained dents in the car
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Excessive mints, mouthwash to cover the smell of alcohol
  • Eye drops to make eyes that are bloodshot or dilated appear unimpaired
  • Nosebleeds or runny nose, not caused by allergies or a cold
  • Frequently sick: queasy, nauseous, vomiting
  • Wetting lips or excessive thirst (known as “cotton mouth”)
  • Sudden or dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Missing medications (over the counter and prescription)
  • Over the counter materials that can be used for getting high such as computer cleanser, nail polish/nail polish remover, white out, hairsprays or other inhalants are found in personal belongings
  • Increased sleeping due to depressants or decreased sleep due to stimulants
  • Drug paraphernalia such as pipes, bags of seeds, rolling papers, empty bottles, baggies of pills etc.
  • Secrecy regarding activities, interactions, phone calls and/or conversations that have coded language
  • Bedroom is always locked and/or strictly off limits
  • Messy, shows lack of caring for appearance, poor hygiene
  • Red, flushed cheeks or face
  • Clenching teeth
  • Track marks on arms or legs (or long sleeves in warm weather to hide marks)
  • Burns or soot on fingers or lips (from “joints” or “roaches” burning down)
  • Loud, obnoxious behavior or laughing at nothing
  • Personality changes due to mood altering drugs
  • Unusually clumsy, stumbling, lack of coordination, poor balance
  • Withdrawal and decreased interactions with proper friends
  • New friends/people that are not allowed to meet you or be brought home
  • Truancy or loss of interest in schoolwork, sudden bad grades
  • Loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, or sports

There’s no easy way to figure out if your teen is using drugs or alcohol. As you’ll see, many of the warning signs and symptoms of teen substance abuse listed below are also, at times, typical adolescent behavior. Many are also symptoms of mental health issues, including depression or anxiety disorders. But if your teen exhibits more than 6-9 of the behaviors listed above, it’s probably time to start asking the “hard” questions and getting some solid answers.

 

 

 

 

etizolamTeen drug trend: Etizolam

Recently, some states are reporting cases of drug abuse of a dangerous new sedative by teens: etizolam. Legal in most states, the drug is rising in popularity among teens. It’s not detected in drug tests but can be dangerous and deadly.

Etizolam is a lot like Valium or Xanax. It is in a group of drugs called research chemicals, which are legal to take. Federal authorities say this drug is trending on the street, and they are seeing it being shipped into this country more frequently.

A quick Google search of etizolam will turn up a plethora of pills for sale.

The danger of etizolam is linked to respiratory failure, heart failure, and seizures.  Etizolam also is being used as a date-rape drug because it lowers inhibitions and creates an amnesia-like affect.

Chicago.cbslocal.com published an article about the dangers of etizolam and reported a story about a teenager who had a seizure from taking etizolam. They said, “A Chicago area mom, who does not want her name used, wants to expose this drug she says she found her son using and hiding inside of a book cut in the middle to conceal the drugs.

‘I’m worried because it’s so easy to get,’ the mother says. ‘He ordered 10 boxes online.’ The danger is real says the mom, whose son is now in rehab.

‘He had a seizure,’ she said. ‘It was almost 10 minutes long.’”

Georgia has also seen the rise in popularity of etizolam among teens there. Wsbtv.com reports that, “GBI confirms it’s seen several cases of a dangerous new sedative drug here in Georgia. The drug is rising in popularity among teenagers, and is still legal in Georgia.

‘This is a drug that one could easily overdose on, and it is getting sold freely over the Internet,’ said Dr. Ford Vox, who works at the Shepherd Center. ‘In particular with alcohol, it can sedate someone to the extent that they can pass out unconscious. Slow respirations, even vomit, and not awaken from the vomit,’ Vox said.”

As always, it’s important for parents to be vigilant in knowing what their teens are up to. Being aware of new trend in teen drug abuse can help prevent dangerous situations. Hopefully, more states will be proactive about banning etizolam and making it illegal to use.

 

Sources:

Chicago.cbslocal.com

Wsbtv.com

 

girl putting joint in ashtray at crazy partyConsequences of Teenage Drinking

Most teens encounter alcohol at some point before adulthood. Many think that drinking is “no big deal” and that parents make too big of an issue about it. Some experiment with drinking and don’t ever face serious challenges. Many, however, find that teenage drinking has many consequences.

According to info published by the Mayo clinic, consequences occur with teenage drinking regardless of the reasons teen drink. That is to say, whether teens justify drinking as just a fun occasional thing, an escape from pressure, or an addiction, or for any other reason, the outcomes and problems that can arise from teenage drinking are often the same. For example, the mayoclinic.com indicates that these consequences can lead to:

  • Sexual activity: Teens who drink tend to become sexually active earlier and have sex more often than do teens that don’t drink. Teenagers who drink are also more likely to have unprotected sex than are teens that don’t drink.
  • School problems: Teenagers who drink tend to have more academic and school related conduct problems than do teens that don’t drink.
  • Alcohol-related fatalities: Alcohol-related accidents are a leading cause of teen deaths. Teen drowning, suicides and murders also have been linked with alcohol use.
  • Alcoholism: People who begin drinking as teenagers are more likely to develop alcohol dependence and deal with alcoholism than are people who wait until they’re adults to drink.
  • Violent crime: Teenagers who drink are more likely to be hurt in a violent crime, such as rape, assault or robbery.
  • Mental Health: Research shows that alcohol use might permanently distort a teen’s mental development.

Teenage drinking is not only illegal; it is, as shown above, a serious problem with potential major effects. Talking to your teenager about drinking is an effective tool to educate them about these consequences.

 

Source: mayoclinic.com

 

 

summerstructureHaving structure in summer can lower drug abuse in teens

Kids love to hear the last bell ring on the last day of school.  Summer break is something they look forward to the entire year; it’s an exciting time.  But, sometimes having too much free time or boredom can lead to curiosity about or experimenting with alcohol or drugs. In fact, many studies have shown that most teens begin experimenting with drugs or alcohol during the summer months. Interestingly, most teens that have reported experimentation or abuse of drugs during the summer report that it began with boredom.  Having structure in your teen’s summer down time can help to avoid these situations.

Many teens benefit from being enrolled in sports camps or other activities that keep their bodies and minds activated.  Structured family chores or a paying job can also provide meaning and purpose during summer free time.  All kids will complain about boredom at some point in their summer, but when it is excessive or there is too much idle time, it has been shown to lead to drug experimentation or abuse.

It is important to recognize the difference between drug experimentation and abuse. Drug experimentation can be defined as, “the use of a mood altering substance (drugs or alcohol) due to curiosity, and in many cases, peer pressure.” (duffycounseling.com) However, substance abuse is when an individual uses drugs and their behavior has a negative effect upon their performance in social, academic/occupational, family, or settings. Whether kids are abusing or experimenting with drugs in the summer, their behavior in both is risky and worrisome.

It’s been shown that the most commonly used drugs by kids in the summer are marijuana and beer. However, as duffycounseling.com reports, “experimentation can also involve harder drugs such as cocaine, prescription medications, and liquor. Many teens admit that marijuana is “easier to get” than alcohol and that the use of marijuana is rampant amongst their peers.”

Structuring your kid’s summer can lead to less down/bored time for them which can, in turn, place them at a lower risk for drug experimentation/abuse.  Being aware of the consequences of boredom in the summer can help you feel closer to your child and help you provide activities for them to meet peers and friends with interests similar to their own.

 

studyingStudy drugs use higher during finals week

Many students are rounding that final corner of the school year and heading into final exams within the next few weeks.  Interestingly, the stress and pressure of cramming for finals can drive some students to abuse study drugs.  Research shows that the use of study drugs spikes during finals week.  Further, the pressure of cramming for exams and writing term papers has been shown to drive young adults to turn to prescription drugs such as those used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

However, the use of non-prescribed study drugs medications like Adderall and Ritalin can be dangerous. Many students believe that the medications will help them stay focused and give them energy to study for longer periods of time, but eventually, students become dependent upon study drugs.

Recently, a study was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where 6.4 percent of college students said that they had used study drugs for non-medical purposes. Further, other research has shown that abuse levels are closer to 30 percent. Although not a direct indicator of illegal activity, a study performed at Brigham Young University found that mentions of study drugs spike during “crunch periods” like finals week. (interventionservices.org)

CNN reports that the study drug phenomenon is a scene that is playing out at college campuses across the United States.  They indicate that, “Dr. Raymond Kotwicki, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University’s school of medicine in Atlanta, says he worries about students who might take these drugs. ‘They might produce euphoria, they might temporarily make it easier… but in the long run there are significant problems both in terms of thinking, mood problems, maybe even functionality.’”  CNN also cites Kotwicki describing the effects of study drugs and indicates that he says, “(These study) drugs like Adderall can produce jitters, headaches, stomach problems or even eventually lead to psychosis, a mental disorder that includes the loss of contact with reality.”

© 2019 Turning Point Centers | All Rights Reserved
Font Resize