Tag Archives: Substance Abuse

University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Public Policy Center study: Drug testing high school students might not be effective

14 Jan

Moi wrote in Missouri high school to drug test students:
Fox News reported in the story, Missouri high school reportedly to use hair samples for random drug tests:
Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, students at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City will be mandated to undergo random drug testing by submitting roughly 60 strands of hair to a staff member at the 1,000-student school, KSHB.com reports….
If a student tests positive for any substance, according to the new policy, a guidance counselor will be notified. The counselor will then notify the student’s parents to determine how to best help the child.
The student would then be given 90 days to be drug-free, with no notification sent to administrative personnel. The incident would only be noted in the student’s guidance file, which would later be destroyed upon graduation and will not be sent to colleges or universities. The document would only become public if subpoenaed, the website reports. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/31/missouri-high-school-reportedly-to-use-hair-samples-for-random-drug-tests/#ixzz2KXRqmSpX
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (Institute) has some great information about drug testing.
In Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Testing in Schools, the Institute discusses drug testing.
Why test teenagers at all?
Teens are especially vulnerable to drug abuse, when the brain and body are still developing. Most teens do not use drugs, but for those who do, it can lead to a wide range of adverse effects on the brain, the body, behavior and health.
Short term: Even a single use of an intoxicating drug can affect a person’s judgment and decisonmaking—resulting in accidents, poor performance in a school or sports activity, unplanned risky behavior, and the risk of overdosing.
Long term: Repeated drug abuse can lead to serious problems, such as poor academic outcomes, mood changes (depending on the drug: depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis), and social or family problems caused or worsened by drugs.
Repeated drug use can also lead to the disease of addiction. Studies show that the earlier a teen begins using drugs, the more likely he or she will develop a substance abuse problem or addiction. Conversely, if teens stay away from drugs while in high school, they are less likely to develop a substance abuse problem later in life….
Is random drug testing of students legal?
In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court broadened the authority of public schools to test students for illegal drugs. Voting 5 to 4 in Pottawatomie County v. Earls, the court ruled to allow random drug tests for all middle and high school students participating in competitive extracurricular activities. The ruling greatly expanded the scope of school drug testing, which previously had been allowed only for student athletes.
Just because the U.S. Supreme Court said student drug testing for adolescents in competitive extracurricular activities is constitutional, does that mean it is legal in my city or state?
A school or school district that is interested in adopting a student drug testing program should seek legal expertise so that it complies with all federal, state, and local laws. Individual state constitutions may dictate different legal thresholds for allowing student drug testing. Communities interested in starting student drug testing programs should become familiar with the law in their respective states to ensure proper compliance. http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/drug-testing/faq-drug-testing-in-schools
The primary issue is whether students have privacy rights.
Your Debate.com summarizes the pros and cons of School Drug Testing:
PRO 1
The main purpose of random school drug testing is not to catch kids using drugs, it to keep them from ever using them. Once their using drugs its harder for them to break their addiction. With many employers drug testing its very important for a kid’s future not to use drugs. Drug use is responsible for many crimes. Its worth the inconvenience for all our future.
CON 2
One of the fundamental features of our legal system is that we are presumed innocent of any wrongdoing unless and until the government proves otherwise. Random drug testing of student athletes turns this presumption on its head, telling students that we assume they are using drugs until they prove to the contrary with a urine sample.
CON 3
“If school officials have reason to believe that a particular student is using drugs, they already have the power to require that student to submit to a drug test,” said ACLU-NJ Staff Attorney David Rocah.
CON 4
The constitutional prohibition against “unreasonable” searches also embodies the principle that merely belonging to a certain group is not a sufficient reason for a search, even if many members of that group are suspected of illegal activity. Thus, for example, even if it were true that most men with long hair were drug users, the police would not be free to stop all long haired men and search them for drugs.
PRO 5
Peer pressure is the greatest cause of kids trying drugs. If by testing the athletes or other school leaders, we can get them to say no to drugs, it will be easier for other kids to say no.
CON 6
Some also argue that students who aren’t doing anything wrong have nothing to fear. This ignores the fact that what they fear is not getting caught, but the loss of dignity and trust that the drug test represents. And we should all be afraid of government officials who believe that a righteous cause warrants setting aside bedrock constitutional protections. The lesson that our schools should be teaching is respect for the Constitution and for students’ dignity and privacy, not a willingness to treat cherished constitutional principles as mere platitudes. http://www.youdebate.com/DEBATES/school_drug_testing.HTM
See, What Are the Benefits of Drug Testing? http://www.livestrong.com/article/179407-what-are-the-benefits-of-drug-testing/ https://drwilda.com/2013/02/11/missouri-high-school-to-drug-test-students/
Maanvi Singh of NPR reported in the study, Drug Tests Don’t Deter Drug Use, But School Environment Might:
Schools that do random drug testing say it helps students say no to illegal drugs, while critics say it’s an invasion of privacy. But feeling good about school may affect students’ drug use more than the threat of testing.
A survey of high school students found that the possibility that they might face drug testing didn’t really discourage students from alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. But students who thought their school had a positive environment were less apt to try cigarettes and pot.
Those students were about 20 percent less likely to try smoke pot and 15 percent less likely to light up a cigarette than students who didn’t feel that their school was a positive place, the survey found. And the trend held true, more or less, regardless of demographic or geographic factors.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center looked at 361 high school students across the country. The students were initially interviewed in 2008 as part of the more general National Annenberg Survey of Youth. A year later, researchers followed up and asked participants whether they had tried alcohol, or smoked cigarettes or marijuana.
The research was published Monday in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Dan Romer, an author of the study who directs Annenberg’s Adolescent Communication Institute, says he wasn’t surprised by the results. “In a school with a good climate, the kids will respect what the teachers say more,” he tells Shots.
The key, Romer says, is that students need to understand why a school has certain disciplinary policies. “It basically boils down to how much respect everybody feels toward each other,” he says.
Proponents of random drug testing say it can act as a deterrent, or as a way to identify students in need of help. The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the practice twice, in 1995 and 2002. But the court limited its use to students participating in competitive extracurricular activities.
A school that has a positive climate might also practice drug testing, Romer said – the two aren’t mutually exclusive. But this study suggests that administrators concerned about substance abuse might want to try programs that encourage a more respectful school climate before turning to drug testing.
This study is by no means conclusive. It doesn’t distinguish between schools that implement randomized drug testing and those that only test students suspected of drug use. And it doesn’t look at whether other drug education programs might have influenced the results.
These findings reinforce previous research that casts doubt on the effectiveness of drug testing as a deterrent. A 2010 study from the University of Michigan found that in schools with drug testing, students were more likely to turn from marijuana to other illicit drugs.
One thing that neither a drug policy nor a positive environment seemed to affect was underage drinking. “It suggests to us that alcohol may be so accepted now in high school culture,” Romer says, “that kids think if you’re at a party you should be able to drink.” http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/14/262466903/drug-tests-dont-deter-drug-use-but-school-environment-might?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=
See, School drug tests don’t work, but ‘positive climate’ might http://www.health.am/psy/more/school-drug-tests-dont-work/#ixzz2qQ58LUDr
Here is the press release from University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center:
School drug tests ineffective but a ‘positive climate’ might work
Monday, January 13th, 2014
A national study of teenagers suggests that school drug testing did not deter them from starting to smoke tobacco or marijuana or drink alcohol. But in high schools that had a “positive school climate,” teens were less likely to start smoke cigarettes or marijuana.
Research published in the January issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs compared the effectiveness over one year of school policies of student drug testing, which are in place in an estimated 20 percent of U.S. high schools, with a positive school climate.
“The bad news is that a policy of drug testing has no effect on students starting to use alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana,” said study co-author Dan Romer, associate director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) at the University of Pennsylvania. “There’s also no effect on escalating the use of those substances.”
The study found, however, that students in schools with a positive school climate reported a lower rate of starting to use cigarettes and marijuana, and a slower escalation of smoking at the one-year follow-up interview. Students in schools with positive climates were 15 percent less likely to start smoking cigarettes and 20 percent less likely to start using marijuana than students at schools without positive climates, the study shows.
Student drug testing “is a relatively ineffective drug-prevention policy,” wrote the researchers, Dan Romer and Sharon R. Sznitman, an APPC Distinguished Research Fellow and a lecturer at the School of Public Health, University of Haifa, Israel. “On the other hand, interventions that improve school climate may have greater efficacy.” The study added that “whole school” health efforts that engage students, faculty and parents, and promote a sense of security and well-being have been found to reduce substance abuse.
Neither drug testing nor school climate affected the start of drinking alcohol.
For the complete news release click here. http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/Student-drug-tests-01-13-14.pdf
To read the study click here. http://www.jsad.com/jsad/article/Student_Drug_Testing_and_Positive_School_Climates_Testing_the_Relation_Bet/4893.html
And for APPC’s issue brief on student drug testing, click here. http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/issue-brief-drug-prevention-in-schools/
Citation:
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Volume 75, 2014 > Issue 1: January 2014
Download PDF Document

Click to access 5232.pdf


Student Drug Testing and Positive School Climates: Testing the Relation Between Two School Characteristics and Drug Use Behavior in a Longitudinal Study [OPEN ACCESS]
Sharon R. Sznitman, Daniel Romer
Objective: Fostering positive school climates and student drug testing have been separately proposed as strategies to reduce student drug use in high schools. To assess the promise of these strategies, the present research examined whether positive school climates and/or student drug testing successfully predicted changes in youth substance use over a 1-year follow-up. Method: Two waves of panel data from a sample of 361 high school students, assessed 1 year apart, were analyzed. Changes in reported initiation and escalation in frequency of alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use as a function of perceived student drug testing and positive school climates were analyzed, while we held constant prior substance use. Results: Perceived student drug testing was not associated with changes in substance use, whereas perceived positive school climates were associated with a reduction in cigarette and marijuana initiation and a reduction in escalation of frequency of cigarette use at 1-year follow-up. However, perceived positive school climates were not associated with a reduction in alcohol use. Conclusions: Student drug testing appears to be less associated with substance use than positive school climates. Nevertheless, even favorable school climates may not be able to influence the use of alcohol, which appears to be quite normative in this age group. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 75, 65–73, 2014)
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If your child has a substance abuse problem, both you and your child will need help. “One day at a time” is a famous recovery affirmation which you and your child will live the meaning. The road to recovery may be long or short, it will have twists and turns with one step forward and two steps back. In order to reach the goal of recovery, both parent and child must persevere.
Related:
University of Washington study: Heroin use among young suburban and rural non-traditional users on the increase https://drwilda.com/2013/10/13/university-of-washington-study-heroin-use-among-young-suburban-and-rural-non-traditional-users-on-the-increase/
Northwestern University study: Young adolescent use of marijuana results in changes to the brain structure https://drwilda.com/2013/12/23/northwestern-university-study-young-adolescent-use-of-marijuana-results-in-changes-to-the-brain-structure/
Resources
Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base http://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/teenage-substance-abuse/adolescent-substance-abuse/signs-drug-use/
Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/drugsofabuse/a/driug_abuse20.htm?r=et
Is Your Teen Using? http://www.drugfree.org/intervene
Al-Anon and Alateen
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/
WEBMD: Parenting and Teen Substance Abuse http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/teen-substance-abuse-choosing-a-treatment-program-topic-overview
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a very good booklet for families What is Substance Abuse Treatment? http://store.samhsa.gov/home
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a web site for teens and parents that teaches about drug abuse NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse http://teens.drugabuse.gov/
Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©
Blogs by Dr. Wilda:
COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Northwestern University study: Young adolescent use of marijuana results in changes to the brain structure

23 Dec

Often children who evidence signs of a substance abuse problem come from homes where there is a substance abuse problem. That problem may be generational. eMedicineHealth lists some of the causes of substance abuse:

Substance Abuse Causes
Use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs may begin in childhood or the teen years. Certain risk factors may increase someone’s likelihood to abuse substances.
Factors within a family that influence a child’s early development have been shown to be related to increased risk of drug abuse.
o Chaotic home environment
o Ineffective parenting
o Lack of nurturing and parental attachment
Factors related to a child’s socialization outside the family may also increase risk of drug abuse.
o Inappropriately aggressive or shy behavior in the classroom
o Poor social coping skills
o Poor school performance
o Association with a deviant peer group
o Perception of approval of drug use behavior
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/substance_abuse/article_em.htm

Substance abuse is often a manifestation of other problems that child has either at home or poor social relations including low self-esteem. Dr. Alan Leshner summarizes the reasons children use drugs in why do Sally and Johnny use drugs? http://archives.drugabuse.gov/Published_Articles/Sally.html

Anahad O’Connor reported in the New York Times article, Increasing Marijuana Use in High School Is Reported:

A new federal report shows that the percentage of American high school students who smoke marijuana is slowly rising, while the use of alcohol and almost every other drug is falling.
The report raises concerns that the relaxation of restrictions on marijuana, which can now be sold legally in 20 states and the District of Columbia, has been influencing use of the drug among teenagers. Health officials are concerned by the steady increase and point to what they say is a growing body of evidence that adolescent brains, which are still developing, are susceptible to subtle changes caused by marijuana.
“The acceptance of medical marijuana in multiple states leads to the sense that if it’s used for medicinal purposes, then it can’t be harmful,” said Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which issued the report. “This survey has shown very consistently that the greater the number of kids that perceive marijuana as risky, the less that smoke it.” Starting early next year, recreational marijuana use will also be legal in Colorado and Washington.
Experts debate the extent to which heavy marijuana use may cause lasting detriment to the brain. But Dr. Volkow said that one way marijuana might affect cognitive function in adolescents was by disrupting the normal development of white matter through which cells in the brain communicate.
According to the latest federal figures, which were part of an annual survey, Monitoring the Future, more than 12 percent of eighth graders and 36 percent of seniors at public and private schools around the country said they had smoked marijuana in the past year. About 60 percent of high school seniors said they did not view regular marijuana use as harmful, up from about 55 percent last year.
The report looked at a wide variety of drugs and substances. It found, for example, that drinking was steadily declining, with roughly 40 percent of high school seniors reporting having used alcohol in the past month, down from a peak of 53 percent in 1997. Abuse of the prescription painkiller Vicodin is half what it was a decade ago among seniors; cocaine and heroin use are at historic lows in almost every grade.
Cigarette smoking has also fallen precipitously in recent years. For the first time since the survey began, the percentage of students who smoked a cigarette in the past month dropped below 10 percent. Roughly 8.5 percent of seniors smoke cigarettes on a daily basis, compared with 6.5 percent who smoke marijuana daily, a slight increase from 2010.
Studies show that the concentration of THC in marijuana, its psychoactive ingredient, has tripled since the early 1990s, and Dr. Volkow said there was concern that the rising use and increased potency could affect the likelihood of car accidents and could lower school performance.
“What is most worrisome is that we’re seeing high levels of everyday use of marijuana among teenagers,” Dr. Volkow said. “That is the type that’s most likely to have negative effects on brain function and performance.”
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/growing-marijuana-use-among-teenagers-spurs-concerns/?_r=1
Northwestern University researchers studied the effect of early marijuana use on adolescent brains.

Citation:

Cannabis-Related Working Memory Deficits and Associated Subcortical Morphological Differences in Healthy Individuals and Schizophrenia Subjects
Matthew J. Smith*,1,
Derin J. Cobia1,
Lei Wang1,2,
Kathryn I. Alpert1,
Will J. Cronenwett1,
Morris B. Goldman1,
Daniel Mamah3,
Deanna M. Barch3–5,7,
Hans C. Breiter1,6,7 and
John G. Csernansky1,7
+
Author Affiliations
1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL;
2 Department of Radiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL;
3 Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, St Louis, MO;
4 Department of Psychology, Washington University, St Louis, MO;
5 Department of Radiology, Washington University, St Louis, MO;
6 Warren Wright Adolescent Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
7Denotes shared senior authorship on this article.
↵*To whom correspondence should be addressed; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 710 N. Lake Shore Drive, 13th Floor, Abbott Hall, Chicago, IL 60611, US; tel: 1-312-503-2542, fax: 1-312-503-0527, e-mail: matthewsmith@northwestern.edu
Abstract
Cannabis use is associated with working memory (WM) impairments; however, the relationship between cannabis use and WM neural circuitry is unclear. We examined whether a cannabis use disorder (CUD) was associated with differences in brain morphology between control subjects with and without a CUD and between schizophrenia subjects with and without a CUD, and whether these differences related to WM and CUD history. Subjects group-matched on demographics included 44 healthy controls, 10 subjects with a CUD history, 28 schizophrenia subjects with no history of substance use disorders, and 15 schizophrenia subjects with a CUD history. Large-deformation high-dimensional brain mapping with magnetic resonance imaging was used to obtain surface-based representations of the striatum, globus pallidus, and thalamus, compared across groups, and correlated with WM and CUD history. Surface maps were generated to visualize morphological differences. There were significant cannabis-related parametric decreases in WM across groups. Similar cannabis-related shape differences were observed in the striatum, globus pallidus, and thalamus in controls and schizophrenia subjects. Cannabis-related striatal and thalamic shape differences correlated with poorer WM and younger age of CUD onset in both groups. Schizophrenia subjects demonstrated cannabis-related neuroanatomical differences that were consistent and exaggerated compared with cannabis-related differences found in controls. The cross-sectional results suggest that both CUD groups were characterized by WM deficits and subcortical neuroanatomical differences. Future longitudinal studies could help determine whether cannabis use contributes to these observed shape differences or whether they are biomarkers of a vulnerability to the effects of cannabis that predate its misuse.
http://schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/12/10/schbul.sbt176.abstract

Here is the press release from Northwestern University:

Marijuana Users Have Abnormal Brain Structure and Poor Memory
Drug abuse appears to foster brain changes that resemble schizophrenia
December 16, 2013 | by Marla Paul
• The younger drug abuse starts, the more abnormal the brain
CHICAGO — Teens who were heavy marijuana users — smoking it daily for about three years — had abnormal changes in their brain structures related to working memory and performed poorly on memory tasks, reports a new Northwestern Medicine® study.
A poor working memory predicts poor academic performance and everyday functioning.
The brain abnormalities and memory problems were observed during the individuals’ early twenties, two years after they stopped smoking marijuana, which could indicate the long-term effects of chronic use. Memory-related structures in their brains appeared to shrink and collapse inward, possibly reflecting a decrease in neurons.
The study also shows the marijuana-related brain abnormalities are correlated with a poor working memory performance and look similar to schizophrenia-related brain abnormalities. Over the past decade, Northwestern scientists, along with scientists at other institutions, have shown that changes in brain structure may lead to changes in the way the brain functions.
This is the first study to target key brain regions in the deep subcortical gray matter of chronic marijuana users with structural MRI and to correlate abnormalities in these regions with an impaired working memory. Working memory is the ability to remember and process information in the moment and — if needed — transfer it to long-term memory. Previous studies have evaluated the effects of marijuana on the cortex, and few have directly compared chronic marijuana use in otherwise healthy individuals and individuals with schizophrenia.
The younger the individuals were when they started chronically using marijuana, the more abnormally their brain regions were shaped, the study reports. The findings suggest that these regions related to memory may be more susceptible to the effects of the drug if abuse starts at an earlier age.
“The study links the chronic use of marijuana to these concerning brain abnormalities that appear to last for at least a few years after people stop using it,” said lead study author Matthew Smith, an assistant research professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “With the movement to decriminalize marijuana, we need more research to understand its effect on the brain.”
The paper was published Dec. 16 in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.
In the U.S., marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug and young adults have the highest — and growing — prevalence of use. Decriminalization of the drug may lead to greater use.
Because the study results examined one point in time, a longitudinal study is needed to definitively show if marijuana is responsible for the brain changes and memory impairment. It is possible that the abnormal brain structures reveal a pre-existing vulnerability to marijuana abuse. But evidence that the younger a subject started using the drug the greater his brain abnormality indicates marijuana may be the cause, Smith said.
The groups in the study started using marijuana daily between 16 to 17 years of age for about three years. At the time of the study, they had been marijuana free for about two years. A total of 97 subjects participated, including matched groups of healthy controls, subjects with a marijuana use disorder, schizophrenia subjects with no history of substance use disorders, and schizophrenia subjects with a marijuana use disorder. The subjects who used marijuana did not abuse any other drugs.
Few studies have examined marijuana’s effect on the deep regions in the brain — the ‘subcortical gray matter’ below the noodle-shaped cortex. The study also is unique in that it looked at the shapes of the striatum, globus pallidus and thalamus, structures in the subcortex that are critical for motivation and working memory.
The Marijuana and Schizophrenia Connection
Chronic use of marijuana may contribute to changes in brain structure that are associated with having schizophrenia, the Northwestern research shows. Of the 15 marijuana smokers who had schizophrenia in the study, 90 percent started heavily using the drug before they developed the mental disorder. Marijuana abuse has been linked to developing schizophrenia in prior research.
“The abuse of popular street drugs, such as marijuana, may have dangerous implications for young people who are developing or have developed mental disorders,” said co-senior study author John Csernansky, M.D., chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “This paper is among the first to reveal that the use of marijuana may contribute to the changes in brain structure that have been associated with having schizophrenia.”
Chronic marijuana use could augment the underlying disease process associated with schizophrenia, Smith noted. “If someone has a family history of schizophrenia, they are increasing their risk of developing schizophrenia if they abuse marijuana,” he said.
While chronic marijuana smokers and chronic marijuana smokers with schizophrenia both had brain changes related to the drug, subjects with the mental disorder had greater deterioration in the thalamus. That structure is the communication hub of the brain and is critical for learning, memory and communications between brain regions. The brain regions examined in this study also affect motivation, which is already notably impaired in people with schizophrenia.
“A tremendous amount of addiction research has focused on brain regions traditionally connected with reward/aversion function, and thus motivation,” noted co-senior study author Hans Breiter, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Warren Wright Adolescent Center at Feinberg and Northwestern Memorial. “This study very nicely extends the set of regions of concern to include those involved with working memory and higher level cognitive functions necessary for how well you organize your life and can work in society.”
“If you have schizophrenia and you frequently smoke marijuana, you may be at an increased risk for poor working memory, which predicts your everyday functioning,” Smith said.
The research was supported by grants R01 MH056584 and P50 MH071616 from the National Institute of Mental Health and grants P20 DA026002 and RO1 DA027804 from National Institute of Drug Abuse, all of the National Institutes of Health.
– See more at: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2013/12/marijuana-users-have-abnormal-brain-structure–poor-memory.html#sthash.coRZr6cm.dpuf

What Steps Should a Parent Take?

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a series of questions parents should ask http://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com/content/default.aspx?pud=a8bcb6ee-523a-4909-9d76-928d956f3f91
If you suspect that your child has a substance abuse problem, you will have to seek help of some type. You will need a plan of action. The Partnership for a Drug Free America lists 7 Steps to Take and each step is explained at the site. http://www.drugfree.org/intervene
If your child has a substance abuse problem, both you and your child will need help. “One day at a time” is a famous recovery affirmation which you and your child will live the meaning. The road to recovery may be long or short, it will have twists and turns with one step forward and two steps back. In order to reach the goal of recovery, both parent and child must persevere.

Questions to Ask a Treatment Facility

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (Center), lists the questions that should be asked of a treatment center. http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/faq.htm Assuming you are not one of those ill-advised parents who supply their child with alcohol or drugs like marijuana in an attempt to be hip or cool, suspicions that your child may have a substance abuse problem are a concern. Confirmation that your child has a substance abuse problem can be heartbreaking. Even children whose parents have seemingly done everything right can become involved with drugs. The best defense is knowledge about your child, your child’s friends, and your child’s activities

Related:

University of Washington study: Heroin use among young suburban and rural non-traditional users on the increase https://drwilda.com/2013/10/13/university-of-washington-study-heroin-use-among-young-suburban-and-rural-non-traditional-users-on-the-increase/

Resources

Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base
http://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/teenage-substance-abuse/adolescent-substance-abuse/signs-drug-use/

Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/drugsofabuse/a/driug_abuse20.htm?r=et

Is Your Teen Using?
http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

Al-Anon and Alateen
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

WEBMD: Parenting and Teen Substance Abuse http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/teen-substance-abuse-choosing-a-treatment-program-topic-overview

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a very good booklet for families What is Substance Abuse Treatment? http://store.samhsa.gov/home

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a web site for teens and parents that teaches about drug abuse NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse http://teens.drugabuse.gov/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Hookah a growing menace for teen health

17 Nov

Peeps, the kids are thinking up new things to get into faster than moi can post. Newest fad hitting many high schools and colleges is hookah. Douglas Quenqua reported in the New York Times article, Putting A Crimp In the Hookah about hookah.

Kevin Shapiro, a 20-year-old math and physics major at the University of Pennsylvania, first tried a hookah at a campus party. He liked the exotic water pipe so much that he chipped in to buy one for his fraternity house, where he says it makes a useful social lubricant at parties.
Like many other students who are embracing hookahs on campuses nationwide, Mr. Shapiro believes that hookah smoke is less dangerous than cigarette smoke because it “is filtered through water, so you get fewer solid particles.”
“Considering I don’t do it that often, once a month if that, I’m not really concerned with the health effects,” he added.
But in fact, hookahs are far from safe. And now, legislators, college administrators and health advocates are taking action against what many of them call the newest front in the ever-shifting war on tobacco. In California, Connecticut and Oregon, state lawmakers have introduced bills that would ban or limit hookah bars, and similar steps have been taken in cities in California and New York. Boston and Maine have already ended exemptions in their indoor-smoking laws that had allowed hookah bars to thrive….
Many young adults are misled by the sweet, aromatic and fruity quality of hookah smoke, which causes them to believe it is less harmful than hot, acrid cigarette smoke. In fact, because a typical hookah session can last up to an hour, with smokers typically taking long, deep breaths, the smoke inhaled can equal 100 cigarettes or more, according to a 2005 study by the World Health Organization.
That study also found that the water in hookahs filters out less than 5 percent of the nicotine. Moreover, hookah smoke contains tar, heavy metals and other cancer-causing chemicals. An additional hazard: the tobacco in hookahs is heated with charcoal, leading to dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide, even for people who spend time in hookah bars without actually smoking, according to a recent University of Florida study. No surprise, then, that several studies have linked hookah use to many of the same diseases associated with cigarette smoking, like lung, oral and bladder cancer, as well as clogged arteries, heart disease and adverse effects during pregnancy. And because hookahs are meant to be smoked communally — hoses attached to the pipe are passed from one smoker to the next — they have been linked with the spread of tuberculosis, herpes and other infections.
“Teens and young adults are initiating tobacco use through these hookahs with the mistaken perception that the products are somehow safer or less harmful than cigarettes,” said Paul G. Billings, a vice president of the American Lung Association. “Clearly that’s not the case.”
Mr. Billings calls the emerging anti-hookah legislation a “top priority” for the lung association. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/health/31hookah.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

Kids mistakenly think hookah is safe.

Richard D. Hurt, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic has posted the article Hookah Smoking: Is it Safer Than Cigarettes? at the Mayo Clinic site:

Specially made tobacco is heated, and the smoke passes through water and is then drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece. The tobacco is no less toxic in a hookah pipe, and the water in the hookah does not filter out the toxic ingredients in the tobacco smoke. Hookah smokers may actually inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers do because of the large volume of smoke they inhale in one smoking session, which can last as long as 60 minutes.
While research about hookah smoking is still emerging, evidence shows that it poses many dangers:
• Hookah smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds, including tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens). In fact, hookah smokers are exposed to more carbon monoxide and smoke than are cigarette smokers.
• As with cigarette smoking, hookah smoking is linked to lung and oral cancers, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
• Hookah smoking delivers about the same amount of nicotine as cigarette smoking does, possibly leading to tobacco dependence.
• Hookah smoke poses dangers associated with secondhand smoke.
• Hookah smoking by pregnant women can result in low birth weight babies.
• Hookah pipes used in hookah bars and cafes may not be cleaned properly, risking the spread of infectious diseases. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hookah/AN01265

Karen Kaplan reported in in the L.A. Times about Hookah growing allure among teens

In Cigars, e-cigarettes and hookahs increasingly popular among youth, Kaplan reported:

Electronic cigarettes, hookahs and dissolvable tobacco were all more popular in 2012 than in 2011, according to data CDC researchers published this week in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Cigar smoking has also become more prevalent among high school students.
Overall, 6.7% of middle schoolers and 23.3% of high schoolers were using tobacco in 2012. In 2011, the corresponding figures were 7.5% and 24.3%.
Those figures are based on surveys of roughly 25,000 students in grades 6 through 12 who participated in the National Youth Tobacco Survey. Students were considered current tobacco users if they had smoked a cigarette, cigar, pipe, hookah, electronic cigarette, bidis (thin, hand-rolled cigarettes) or kreteks (clove cigarettes) or used smokeless tobacco, dissolvable tobacco, or snus (a powdered tobacco) at least once in the last 30 days.
Here’s what the researchers found:
Cigarettes were the most popular form of tobacco or nicotine among middle school students, with 3.5% of kids in grades 6 through 8 saying they had smoked a cigarette in the previous 30 days. That was followed by cigars (2.8% used them), pipes (1.8%), smokeless tobacco (1.7%), hookahs (1.3%), electronic cigarettes (1.1%), snus (0.8%), bidis (0.6%), kreteks (0.5%) and dissolvable tobacco (0.5%).
Cigarettes were also the most popular item among high schoolers, with 14% of students in grades 9 through 12 reporting they had smoked one within the last 30 days. Cigars came in a close second, with 12.6% of students saying they smoked them recently. In addition, 6.4% of high schoolers used smokeless tobacco, 5.4% used hookahs, 4.5% used pipes, 2.8% used electronic cigarettes, 2.5% used snus, 1% used kreteks, 0.9% used bidis and 0.8% used dissolvable tobacco.
Though overall tobacco use was down, the authors of the report flagged the rising popularity of products other than cigarettes that are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. In the case of cigars, they noted that some of the items in that category were “similar to cigarettes in terms of appearance, but depending on their weight, can be taxed at lower rates and legally sold with certain flavors that are banned from cigarettes.” The lower prices and option of flavors probably make them especially appealing to teens, they wrote….
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-smoking-tobacco-teens-cdc-20131115,0,6663897.story#axzz2ksth5AXn

Here is the press release from the Centers for Disease Control:

Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011 and 2012
Weekly
November 15, 2013 / 62(45);893-897
Nearly 90% of adult smokers in the United States began smoking by age 18 years (1). To assess current tobacco product use among youths, CDC analyzed data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). This report describes the results of that analysis, which found that, in 2012, the prevalence of current tobacco product use among middle and high school students was 6.7% and 23.3%, respectively. After cigarettes, cigars were the second most commonly used tobacco product, with prevalence of use at 2.8% and 12.6%, respectively. From 2011 to 2012, electronic cigarette use increased significantly among middle school (0.6% to 1.1%) and high school (1.5% to 2.8%) students, and hookah use increased among high school students (4.1% to 5.4%). During the same period, significant decreases occurred in bidi* and kretek† use among middle and high school students, and in dissolvable tobacco use among high school students. A substantial proportion of youth tobacco use occurs with products other than cigarettes, so monitoring and prevention of youth tobacco use needs to incorporate other products, including new and emerging products. Implementing evidence-based interventions can prevent and reduce tobacco use among youths as part of comprehensive tobacco control programs. In addition, implementation of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which granted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products (1–3), also is critical to addressing this health risk behavior.
NYTS is a school-based, self-administered, pencil-and-paper questionnaire administered to U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students to collect information on key tobacco control outcome indicators used to monitor the impact of comprehensive tobacco control policies and programs (4) and FDA’s newly granted regulatory authority. NYTS was conducted in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2012. The 2012 NYTS used a three-stage cluster sampling procedure to generate a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample of students in grades 6–12. This report includes 2011 and 2012 NYTS data to provide an updated definition of current tobacco use, which now also includes hookahs, snus, dissolvable tobacco, and electronic cigarettes, to take into account nonconventional products that are new to the market or are increasing in popularity; data for these four products were first collected in 2011. The previous definition for current tobacco use did not include all of these products, thus yielding slightly lower estimates of current tobacco use. For example, in 2011, the previous definition for overall current tobacco use resulted in estimates of 7.1% for middle school and 23.2% for high school students (5), whereas the new definition resulted in 2011 estimates of 7.5% for middle school and 24.3% for high school students (Table).
Of the 284 schools selected for the 2012 NYTS, 228 (80.3%) participated, resulting in a sample of 24,658 (91.7%) among 26,873 eligible students; the overall response rate was 73.6%. The 2011 NYTS had a comparable overall response rate of 72.7% (5). Respondents were asked about their current use of cigarettes, cigars§ (defined as cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars), smokeless tobacco, pipes, bidis, kreteks, hookahs, snus, dissolvable tobacco, and electronic cigarettes. For each product, current use was defined as using on ≥1 day of the past 30 days.
Data were adjusted for nonresponse and weighted to provide national prevalence estimates with 95% confidence intervals for current tobacco use overall and by product, school level, sex, and race/ethnicity. Point estimate differences between 2011 and 2012 were assessed using a two-tailed t-test for significance (p<0.05).
In 2012, 6.7% of middle students reported current use of any tobacco product (Table). The most commonly used forms of tobacco were cigarettes (3.5%), cigars (2.8%), pipes (1.8%), smokeless tobacco (1.7%), hookahs (1.3%), electronic cigarettes (1.1%), snus (0.8%), bidis (0.6%), kreteks (0.5%), and dissolvable tobacco (0.5%). Among high school students, 23.3% reported current use of any tobacco product. The most commonly used forms of tobacco were cigarettes (14.0%), cigars (12.6%), smokeless tobacco (6.4%), hookahs (5.4%), pipes (4.5%), electronic cigarettes (2.8%), snus (2.5%), kreteks (1.0%), bidis (0.9%), and dissolvable tobacco (0.8%).
During 2011–2012, among middle school students, for current electronic cigarette use, significant increases were observed overall (0.6% to 1.1%) and among females (0.4% to 0.8%), males (0.7% to 1.5%), and Hispanics (0.6% to 2.0%) (Table). For hookahs, a significant increase was observed among Hispanics (1.7% to 3.0%).
During 2011–2012, among high school students, for electronic cigarette use, significant increases were observed overall (1.5% to 2.8%) and among females (0.7% to 1.9%), males (2.3% to 3.7%), non-Hispanic whites (1.8% to 3.4%), and Hispanics (1.3% to 2.7%). For hookahs, significant increases were observed overall (4.1% to 5.4%) and among non-Hispanic whites (4.3% to 6.1%). For cigars, a significant increase in use was observed among non-Hispanic blacks (11.7% to 16.7%).
Reported by
René A. Arrazola, MPH, Shanta R. Dube, PhD, Brian A. King, PhD, Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC. Corresponding contributor: René A. Arrazola, rarrazola@cdc.gov, 770-488-2414.
Editorial Note
The findings in this report indicate that during 2011–2012 significant increases occurred in current use of nonconventional tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes and hookahs, among middle and high school students; in addition, an increase in cigar use occurred among non-Hispanic black high school students. During this same period, overall current use of some tobacco products, such as bidis and kreteks, significantly decreased. These findings indicate that more efforts are needed to monitor and prevent the use of both conventional and nonconventional tobacco products among youths.
During 2011–2012, cigar use increased significantly among non-Hispanic black high school students to 16.7%, more than doubling the 2009 estimate (6). Further, cigar use among high school males (16.7%) was approximately double that of high school females (8.4%) and similar to cigarette use among high school males (16.3%). Cigars include traditional premium cigars as well as cigarillos and "little cigars," which are similar to cigarettes in terms of appearance, but depending on their weight, can be taxed at lower rates and legally sold with certain flavors that are banned from cigarettes (7). Youths are known to have higher rates of cigar use than adults, which might be related to the lower price of some cigars (e.g., cigarillos and "little cigars") relative to cigarettes, or the marketing of flavored cigars that might appeal to youths (8). Significant increases also were observed in overall use of current electronic cigarettes (9) and hookahs. Current use of electronic cigarettes doubled among middle and high school females, middle school males, and Hispanic high school students. Among non-Hispanic white high school students, this increase was slightly less than double (1.8% to 3.4%), and among high school males, this increase was slightly more than 60% (2.3 to 3.7). For current hookah use, an increase of more than 75% (1.7% to 3.0%) was observed for Hispanic middle school students; among high school students, an overall increase of more than 30% (4.1% to 5.4%) was observed, but for non-Hispanic whites, this increase was more than 40% (4.3% to 6.1%). The increase in use of electronic cigarettes and hookah tobacco could be attributed to low price, an increase in marketing, availability, and visibility of these products, and the perception that these tobacco products might be "safer" alternatives to cigarettes. Cigars, electronic cigarettes, hookah tobacco, and certain other new types of tobacco products are not currently subject to FDA regulation. FDA has stated it intends to issue a proposed rule that would deem products meeting the statutory definition of a "tobacco product" to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.¶
The findings in this report are subject to at least six limitations. First, data were only collected from youths who attended either public or private schools and might not be generalizable to all middle and high school-aged youths. Second, data were self-reported; thus, the findings are subject to recall and response bias. Third, current tobacco use was defined by including students who responded to questions about at least one of the 10 tobacco products but might have had missing responses to any of the other tobacco products that were assessed; missing responses were considered as nonuse, which might have resulted in conservative estimates. Fourth, in 2012, the question wording for bidis and kreteks was modified, and cigar brand examples were added to the heading and ever cigar use question of the survey; therefore, any observed changes in prevalence estimates across years might be attributed in part to these wording modifications. Fifth, the NYTS overall response rate of 73.6% in 2012 and 72.7% in 2011 might have resulted in nonresponse bias, even after adjustment for nonresponse. Finally, estimates might differ from those derived from other youth surveillance systems, in part because of differences in survey methodology, survey type and topic, and age and setting of the target population. However, overall relative trends are similar across the various youth surveys (1).
Effective, population-based interventions for preventing tobacco use among youths are outlined in the Surgeon General's report (1) and the World Health Organization's MPOWER package (10). Interventions include increasing the price of all tobacco products, implementing 100% comprehensive smoke-free laws and policies in workplaces and public places, warning about the dangers of all tobacco use with tobacco use prevention media campaigns, increasing access to help quitting, and enforcing restrictions on all tobacco product advertising, promotion, and sponsorship. Interventions are best implemented as part of comprehensive tobacco control programs, which are effective in decreasing tobacco use in the United States (2). Full implementation of comprehensive tobacco control programs at CDC-recommended funding levels, in coordination with FDA regulations of tobacco products, would be expected to result in further reductions in tobacco use and changes in social norms regarding the acceptability of tobacco use among U.S. youths (1,2,10).
References
1. US Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing tobacco use among youth and young adults. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2012. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2012/index.htm.
2. CDC. Best practices for comprehensive tobacco control programs—2007. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2007. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/best_practices/index.htm.
3. CDC. CDC Grand Rounds: current opportunities in tobacco control. MMWR 2010;59:487–92.
4. CDC. Key outcome indicators for evaluating comprehensive tobacco control programs. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2005. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/tobacco_control_programs/surveillance_evaluation/key_outcome/pdfs/frontmaterial.pdf .
5. CDC. Current tobacco use among middle and high school students—United States, 2011. MMWR 2012;61:581–5.
6. CDC. Tobacco use among middle and high school students—United States, 2000–2009. MMWR 2010;59:1063–8.
7. United States Government Accountability Office. Tobacco taxes: large disparities in rates for smoking products trigger significant market shifts to avoid higher taxes (GAO-12-475). Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; 2012. Available athttp://www.gao.gov/products/gao-12-475 .
8. King B, Tynan M, Dube S, Arrazola R. Flavored-little-cigar and flavored-cigarette use among U.S. middle and high school students. J Adolesc Health 2013 [Epub ahead of print].
9. CDC. Notes from the field: electronic cigarette use among middle and high school students—United States, 2011–2012. MMWR 2013;62:729–30.
10. World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2008—the MPOWER package. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2008. Available at http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/mpower_report_full_2008.pdf .
* The question to assess past 30 day use of bidis changed between 2011 and 2012. In 2011, the bidis question was "In the past 30 days, on how many days did you smoke bidis?" Students selected among "0 days," "1 or 2 days," "3 to 9 days," "10 to 19 days," "20 to 29 days," or "all 30 days." In 2012, the bidis question was "In the past 30 days, which of the following products have you used on at least one day?" Students could select different products, of which "bidis (small brown cigarettes wrapped in a leaf)" was a possible selection. This change might have affected the results for bidis.
† The question to assess past 30 day use of kreteks changed between 2011 and 2012. In 2011, the kreteks question was "In the past 30 days, on how many days did you smoke kreteks?" Students selected among "0 days," "1 or 2 days," "3 to 9 days," "10 to 19 days," "20 to 29 days," or "all 30 days." In 2012, the bidis question was "In the past 30 days, which of the following products have you used on at least one day?" Students could select different products, of which "clove cigarettes (kreteks)" was a possible selection. This change might have affected the results for kreteks.
§ The heading for the cigar section of the questionnaire changed between 2011 and 2012. In 2011, the heading was "Cigars." In 2012, the heading was "Cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars, such as Black and Milds, Swisher Sweets, Dutch Masters, White Owl, or Phillies Blunts," and the question on ever use of cigars also included brand names. This change might have affected the results for cigars.
¶ FDA has expressed its intent to assert jurisdiction over all tobacco products. Additional information available at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201304&RIN=0910-AG38 .
What is already known on this topic?
Nearly 90% of adult smokers began smoking by age 18 years.
What is added by this report?
Although decreases in the use of certain tobacco products (bidis and kreteks) have been observed, current cigar use has increased among non-Hispanic black high school students (11.7% to 16.7%), and the use of nonconventional products, such as electronic cigarettes, have increased among middle school (0.6% to 1.1%) and high school (1.5% to 2.8%) students.
What are the implications for public health practice?
Current use of cigars and nonconventional tobacco products need to be monitored at local, state, and national levels. This is especially true for nonconventional tobacco products and specific population subgroups. To reduce tobacco use among youths, national and state tobacco control programs can continue to implement evidence-based strategies, including those that will work in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6245a2.htm?s_cid=mm6245a2_w

How to Prevent Your Teen from Smoking

Science Daily reported about a Swedish Study which showed that parents are influential in their child’s decision whether to smoke.

Teenagers are more positive today towards their parents’ attempts to discourage them from smoking, regardless of whether or not they smoked, than in the past. The most effective actions parents could take include dissuading their children from smoking, not smoking themselves and not allowing their children to smoke at home. Younger children were more positive about these approaches than older children. Levels of smoking amongst participants were stable at 8% in 1987 and 1994, but halved in 2003. The decrease in the proportion of teenagers smoking is thought to result from a number of factors, including changes in legislation and the decreasing social acceptability of smoking.
Use of snus, a type of moist snuff, remained relatively constant. Fewer teenagers thought their parents would be concerned about snus use, probably reflecting a general perception that snus is less of a health hazard than smoking. Unsurprisingly, older children were more likely to smoke or use snus than younger children.
The authors of the study concluded that the prevalence of smoking in adolescents in Sweden has fallen and an increasing number of teenagers have never smoked. “The fact that adolescents respond positively to parental attitudes to smoking is encouraging,” says Nilsson. “Parents should be encouraged to intervene with respect to their children’s tobacco use.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303193956.htm

Another study reported by Reuters came to a similar conclusion that parents influence the decision whether to smoke

Friends and parents have a strong influence over whether teenagers move from experimenting with cigarettes to becoming full-fledged smokers — but so do parents, a new study finds.
The study, which followed 270 teenagers who had become occasional smokers before high school, found that 58 percent made it a daily habit by 12th grade.
But the likelihood of that happening depended partly on friends and parents, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.
“We found that parents play an important role in preventing teens’ smoking escalation from experimental to daily smoking,” Dr. Min Jung Kim, of the University of Washington in Seattle, said.
When friends or parents smoked, teens were more likely to become daily smokers. On the other hand, they were less likely to become habitual smokers when their parents had a “positive family management” style — monitoring their comings and goings, doling out reasonable punishments for rule-breaking and rewarding good behavior.
Teens whose parents kept tabs on them and were non-smokers themselves had a 31 percent chance of becoming daily smokers. The odds were 71 percent among teenagers with parents who smoked and were more lax in managing their kids’ behavior. http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/08/26/us-smoking-teens-idUSTRE57P43R20090826

The Mayo Clinic has some excellent tips on preventing your teen from smoking These 10 tips can help.

1. Understand the attraction.
Sometimes teen smoking is a form of rebellion or a way to fit in with a particular group of friends. Some teens light up in an attempt to lose weight or to feel better about themselves. Others smoke to feel cool or independent. ..
2. Say no to teen smoking.
You may feel as if your teen doesn’t hear a word you say, but say it anyway. Tell your teen that smoking isn’t allowed. Your disapproval may have more impact than you think. Teens whose parents set the firmest smoking restrictions tend to smoke less than do teens whose parents don’t set smoking limits. The same goes for teens who feel close to their parents.
3. Set a good example.
Teen smoking is more common among teens whose parents smoke. If you don’t smoke, keep it up. If you do smoke, quit — now. ..
4. Appeal to your teen’s vanity.
Smoking isn’t glamorous. Remind your teen that smoking is a dirty, smelly habit. ..
5. Do the math.
Smoking is expensive. Help your teen calculate the weekly, monthly or yearly cost of a pack-a-day smoking habit. You might compare the cost of smoking with that of electronic gadgets, clothes or other teen essentials.
6. Expect peer pressure.
Friends who smoke can be convincing, but you can give your teen the tools he or she needs to refuse cigarettes. Rehearse how to handle tough social situations. It might be as simple as, “No thanks, I don’t smoke.” The more your teen practices this basic refusal, the more likely he or she will say no at the moment of truth.
7. Take addiction seriously.
Most teens believe they can quit smoking anytime they want. But teens become just as addicted to nicotine as do adults, often quickly and at relatively low doses of nicotine. And once you’re hooked, it’s tough to quit.
8. Predict the future.
Teens tend to assume that bad things only happen to other people. But the long-term consequences of smoking — such as cancer, heart attack and stroke — may be all too real when your teen becomes an adult. Use loved ones, friends or neighbors who’ve been ill as real-life examples.
9. Think beyond cigarettes.
Smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes (kreteks) and candy-flavored cigarettes (bidis) are sometimes mistaken as less harmful or addictive than are traditional cigarettes. Hookah smoking — smoking tobacco through a water pipe — is another alternative sometimes touted as safe. Don’t let your teen be fooled. Like traditional cigarettes, these products are addictive and can cause cancer and other health problems. Many deliver higher concentrations of nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar than do traditional cigarettes.
10. Get involved.
Take an active stance against teen smoking. Participate in local and school-sponsored anti-smoking campaigns. Support bans on smoking in public places.
If your teen has already started smoking, avoid threats and ultimatums. Instead, be supportive. Find out why your teen is smoking — and then discuss ways to help your teen stop smoking, such as hanging out with friends who don’t smoke or getting involved in new activities. Stopping teen smoking in its tracks is the best thing your teen can do for a lifetime of good health. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/teen-smoking/HQ00139

As with a many issues adolescents face, it is important for parents and guardians to know what is going on in their children’s lives. You should know who your children’s friends are and how these friends feel about smoking, drugs, and issues like sex. You should also know how the parents of your children’s friends feel about these issues. Do they smoke, for example, or are they permissive in allowing their children to use alcohol and/or other drugs. Are these values in accord with your values?

Resources

1. A History of Tobacco http://archive.tobacco.org/History/Tobacco_History.html

2. American Lung Association’s Smoking and Teens Fact Sheet Women and Tobacco Use
African Americans and Tobacco Use
American Indians/Alaska Natives and Tobacco Use
Hispanics and Tobacco Use
Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and Tobacco Use
Military and Tobacco Use
Children/Teens and Tobacco Use

Older Adults and Tobacco Use
http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/specific-populations.html

3. Center for Young Women’s Health A Guide for Teens http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/smokeinfo.html

4. Kroger Resources Teens and Smoking http://kroger.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Wellness/Smoking/Teens/

5. Teens Health’s Smoking http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/tobacco/smoking.html

6. Quit Smoking Support.com
http://www.quitsmokingsupport.com/teens.htm

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University of Washington study: Heroin use among young suburban and rural non-traditional users on the increase

13 Oct

Tina Patel of Q13 Fox News reported in the story, The New Face of Heroin Part 1: Much younger suburban, rural teens:

The trouble, according to the research, begins in high school when most kids start experimenting with prescription drugs from somebody’s family medicine cabinet.
Joelle Puccio, the women’s director at the needle exchange, saw that herself.
“So many kids I knew growing up as a teenager were doing OxyContin and Percocet,” she said. “And they were like, ‘It’s safe, they’re prescription, it’s fine.’ ”
The problem arises when those kids become addicted. Then, you need more and more to get the same experience, and now that drugs like OxyContin and Percocet are harder to get, many young people are turning to heroin.
“It’s very logical — if you look at a molecule of OxyCodone and a molecule of heroin, they’re virtually identical,” Banta-Green said. “The brain sees them as identical.”
Heroin is cheaper, which also makes it attractive to young people. Some said they can get high for as little as $5. But it’s a lot more dangerous, and Banta-Green said you can never be sure of what you’re buying and the risk of overdose is extreme.
“You have no idea what’s in it, you have no idea the purity is. It could be 5 percent, it could be 30 percent. It’s very hard to say this much is going to get me high, this much is going to kill me.”
“A lot of the kids coming up are wildly uninformed about what the drugs are, how they work, what to do in an overdose, safe injection practices,” Puccio said. “Because these are kids that didn’t necessarily grow up in the drug-using culture, they were sort of shoved there from the middle class, and you don’t really learn about that kind of thing in the normal middle-class upbringing.”
The best-case scenario is to keep kids away from the drugs in the first place.
“We have a young group who needs to not get exposed to opiates, that’s really important,” Banta-Green said.
His advice is to not leave old pain medication around the house, and to make sure children understand the dangers involved with taking prescription drugs.
As for the people who are already involved with narcotics, treatment programs can work… http://q13fox.com/2013/10/10/needle-exchange-sees-change-in-heroin-users/#ixzz2hY5gm8SC

See, Close Up September 2013: Caleb Banta-Green http://sph.washington.edu/news/closeup/profile.asp?content_ID=2140

What is Substance Abuse?

HELPGUIDE.ORG defines substance abuse and also describes some of the traits of a substance abuser.

Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, involves the repeated and excessive use of chemical substances to achieve a certain effect. These substances may be “street” or “illicit” drugs, illegal due to their high potential for addiction and abuse. They also may be drugs obtained with a prescription, used for pleasure rather than for medical reasons.
Different drugs have different effects. Some, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, may produce an intense “rush” and initial feelings of boundless energy. Others, such as heroin, benzodiazepines or the prescription oxycontin, may produce excessive feelings of relaxation and calm. What most drugs have in common, though, is overstimulation of the pleasure center of the brain. With time, the brain’s chemistry is actually altered to the point where not having the drug becomes extremely uncomfortable and even painful. This compelling urge to use, addiction, becomes more and more powerful, disrupting work, relationships, and health. http://helpguide.org/mental/drug_substance_abuse_addiction_signs_effects_treatment.htm

Although, the focus of this article is children and teens who abuse various substances, there is a widespread problem with their parents and caretakers. A recent report found that many children live with parents who are substance abusers.

Almost 12 percent of children in the United States live with a parent who has a substance abuse problem, says a federal government study released this week.
Living in this type of home environment can cause long-lasting mental and physical health problems, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which did the study.
The analysis of national data from 2002 to 2007 also showed that:
• Almost 7.3 million youths lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol
• About 2.1 million children lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused illicit drugs
• About 5.4 million children lived with a father who met the criteria for past-year substance dependence or abuse
• About 3.4 million children lived with a mother who met these criteria http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=news&id=118688&cn=28

Often children who evidence signs of a substance abuse problem come from homes where there is a substance abuse problem. That problem may be generational.

eMedicineHealth lists some of the causes of substance abuse:

Substance Abuse Causes
Use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs may begin in childhood or the teen years. Certain risk factors may increase someone’s likelihood to abuse substances.
Factors within a family that influence a child’s early development have been shown to be related to increased risk of drug abuse.
• Chaotic home environment
• Ineffective parenting
• Lack of nurturing and parental attachment
Factors related to a child’s socialization outside the family may also increase risk of drug abuse.
• Inappropriately aggressive or shy behavior in the classroom
• Poor social coping skills
• Poor school performance
• Association with a deviant peer group
• Perception of approval of drug use behavior http://www.emedicinehealth.com/substance_abuse/article_em.htm

Substance abuse is often a manifestation of other problems that child has either at home or poor social relations including low self esteem. Dr. Alan Leshner summarizes the reasons children use drugs in why do Sally and Johnny use drugs?

How Can You Recognize the Signs of Substance Abuse?

The Mayo Clinic provides general signs of substance abuse and also gives specific signs of alcohol abuse, and several different drugs, narcotics, and inhalants. The general warning signs are:

Recognizing drug abuse in teenagers
It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish normal teenage moodiness or angst from signs of drug use. Possible indications that your teenager is using drugs include:
• Problems at school. Frequently missing classes or missing school, a sudden disinterest in school or school activities, or a drop in grades may be indicators of drug use.
• Physical health issues. Lack of energy and motivation may indicate your child is using certain drugs.
• Neglected appearance. Teenagers are generally concerned about how they look. A lack of interest in clothing, grooming or looks may be a warning sign of drug use.
• Changes in behavior. Teenagers enjoy privacy, but exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering their rooms or knowing where they go with their friends might indicate drug use. Also, drastic changes in behavior and in relationships with family and friends may be linked to drug use.
• Spending money. Sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation for its use may be a sign of drug use. You may also discover money stolen from previously safe places at home. Items may disappear from your home because they’re being sold to support a drug habit.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-addiction/DS00183/DSECTION=symptoms

Remember, these are very general signs, specific drugs, narcotics, and other substances may have different signs, it is important to read the specific signs.

What Steps Should a Parent Take?

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a series of questions parents should ask:

Should I monitor my child?
Monitoring is an effective way you can help your teen or tween stay drug-free, and an important thing to do — even if you don’t suspect your teen is using drugs. The idea of “monitoring” your tween or teen may sound sinister, but it’s actually a very simple idea that leads to great things: You know where your child is at all times (especially after school), you know his friends, and you know his plans and activities. ….Because monitoring conflicts with your child’s desire to be independent, he is likely to resist your attempts to find out the details of his daily whereabouts. Don’t let this deter you from your goal. He may accept the idea more easily if you present it as a means of ensuring safety or interest in who he is and what he likes to do, rather than as a means of control. You need to be prepared for your child’s resistance — because the rewards of monitoring are proven. …The most important time of day to monitor is after school from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Kids are at the greatest risk for abusing drugs during these hours….
If I know my child is using drugs, should I alert the principal or the guidance counselor — or try to keep the information from the people at school?
Before discussing the situation with anyone at the school, it can help to seek assistance from a professional who has experience with adolescent substance use, such as a mental health professional, family therapist, pediatrician or family physician, substance use counselor, or employee assistance professional. Ask for an in-person evaluation with your child, or a meeting to discuss your concerns and get advice about how to proceed. Perhaps counseling, a support group, or a treatment program is warranted. If your child refuses help and continues to use substances, contacting the school is an option, but should be used with great caution. School officials want to keep alcohol and other drugs off school premises, and ensure that students are not coming to school high or using during school. They are required to punish students who violate these rules by suspending or expelling them. Notifying the school about your teen’s behavior will likely put them on a ‘to be watched’ list. Other times the school is the immediate source of feedback on problems – drugs or alcohol found in lockers or used during the school day, etc. and you’ll need to speak with someone at the school right away. The school may have resources available to help, such as a staff substance abuse counselor who can work with your child. For some teens, this strategy can be very positive — school authorities’ monitoring can give you concrete help in keeping a child with a problem on track in changing his behavior. Some children, however, need to suffer serious consequences before they will seek or accept help.
Should I try to make my teen give up friends?
It is very difficult to get teens to give up their friends. However, you can express your concerns. Tell your child what it is about the friend that worries you. Support developing a variety of friends and not relying too much on any one. Remember that teen drug use is basically a social behavior. If you know certain friends of theirs are using substances, minimize your child’s social contact with those friends by not giving them car rides, allowing visits or sleepovers with them or attendance at parties where they will be involved. This will send a strong message to your own child about how seriously you take health risks of substances.
On the other hand, go out of your way to encourage and facilitate your child’s contact with any friends who you believe are not using substances. These ties can be all incredibly important support for a child trying to change his behavior.
What limits should I set?
Work at setting limits only on behaviors you can control. For example, a rule that a teen cannot smoke pot is nearly impossible to enforce, but a rule that says a teen who gets caught smoking pot will be grounded or cannot use the family car for a month is one that you can enforce.
What should the penalties be for violation of those limits?
Choose consequences that can be applied without expressing a lot of critical or angry feelings. Parents frequently be¬tray their sense of helplessness by resorting to angry outbursts that are much more punitive than a consequence administered without anger or rage. A relatively short-term punishment carried out to the letter is much more effective than a long-term punishment that parents eventually ignore because they feel guilty. Make sure the penalties can be enforced by you on a practical basis – if they involve supervision or monitoring, change them for times you can be there.
If your child continues to violate limits, impose more severe consequences. http://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com/content/default.aspx?pud=a8bcb6ee-523a-4909-9d76-928d956f3f91

If you suspect that your child has a substance abuse problem, you will have to seek help of some type. You will need a plan of action. The Partnership for a Drug Free America lists 7 Steps to Take and each step is explained at the site.

Parents, grandparents and other family members often feel tempted to wait things out and see if they get better. Sometimes they confront the child only to be accused of being distrustful or they hear angry denial, leaving them more confused than before.
It is important to remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Following are crucial steps that will ease getting help for you and your child.
1. Involve a professional to help determine what to do next….
2. Document as much evidence as you can.
§ Use checklists to record all the behaviors that concern you. Carefully record every behavior that concerns you during this period. Documenting your observations is important because your child will work hard to convince you that things didn’t happen the way you remember.
§ Some parents search their child’s room looking for evidence of drugs or paraphernalia. You should expect that your child will be offended at your invasion of privacy. If you do find contraband, oftentimes your child will claim that it belongs to someone else…..
3. Prepare what you want to say to your child….
4. Plan to talk with your child at a time in a setting where you can have uninterrupted discussion. Strengthen your interaction by using the following talking points:
§ Describe specific behaviors you and others have observed and when they occurred. The more specific you are, especially if you have written your observations down, the harder it will be for your child to deny, disagree, or argue.
§ Express your love and concern and your desire to help your child.
§ Emphasize your firm, non-negotiable position that you will not tolerate drug use and that you intend to determine if these behaviors are indications of drug use.
§ It is not useful simply to ask if your child if he or she is using drugs. Almost always, children will deny using. But it’s not a bad idea to voice your suspicions at some point.
§ If you haven’t observed very many warning signs and believe that your child has just begun using, emphasize that any use of alcohol or other drugs at all is unacceptable. Describe the consequences for further behaviors that concern you. Use strong leverage; consequences might include no driver’s license, no use of the family car, an earlier curfew. ….
5. Make an appointment for a drug assessment for your child.
§ A drug assessment is the surest way to determine the extent of your child’s problem with alcohol and other drugs. When you make the appointment, make sure that the agency understands that the evaluation is for an adolescent; also that the evaluation includes a drug test. Don’t alert your child that a drug test will be part of the assessment…..
6. Keep the appointment no matter what.
7. Don’t give up if things don’t go the way you want — go the distance.
§ If ignored, alcohol-other-drug use will progress. Your efforts to this point have been an effective intervention. Hopefully, it will work early on. Often, parents have to continue to discuss the situation with the child, document evidence and work with other significant adults in the child’s life to turn things around. This difficult intervention may take more time than you want. Persevere.
§ Get help for yourself. Parent support groups such as Families Anonymous, Tough Love, and Alanon can provide effective help as you strive to provide effective help to your child. http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

If your child has a substance abuse problem, both you and your child will need help. “One day at a time” is a famous recovery affirmation which you and your child will live the meaning. The road to recovery may be long or short, it will have twists and turns with one step forward and two steps back. In order to reach the goal of recovery, both parent and child must persevere.

Questions to Ask a Treatment Facility

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (Center), lists the following questions that should be asked of a treatment center.

Here are 12 questions to consider when selecting a treatment program:
Does the program accept your insurance? If not, will they work with you on a payment plan or find other means of support for you?
Is the program run by state-accredited, licensed and/or trained professionals?
Is the facility clean, organized and well-run?
Does the program encompass the full range of needs of the individual (medical: including infectious diseases; psychological: including co-occurring mental illness; social; vocational; legal; etc.)?
Does the treatment program also address sexual orientation and physical disabilities as well as provide age, gender and culturally appropriate treatment services?
Is long-term aftercare support and/or guidance encouraged, provided and maintained?
Is there ongoing assessment of an individual’s treatment plan to ensure it meets changing needs?
Does the program employ strategies to engage and keep individuals in longer-term treatment, increasing the likelihood of success?
Does the program offer counseling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies to enhance the individual’s ability to function in the family/community?
Does the program offer medication as part of the treatment regimen, if appropriate?
Is there ongoing monitoring of possible relapse to help guide patients back to abstinence?
Are services or referrals offered to family members to ensure they understand addiction and the recovery process to help them support the recovering individual?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) provides a toll-free, 24-hour treatment referral service to help you locate treatment options near you.
For a referral to a treatment center or support group in your area, http://www.samhsa.gov/healthprivacy/docs/ehr-faqs.pdf

The Center also has a facility locator http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/faq.htm and links to answer the following questions:

Questions about Treatment
• Where can a person with no money and no insurance get treatment?
• What can be done for a family member who needs treatment but refuses to get it or leaves treatment before it is completed?
• What facilities accept court-ordered clients?
• How can I find a facility that specializes in treating abuse of a particular drug (e.g., cocaine, inhalants, etc.)?
• Can you recommend a particular treatment program in my area?

Assuming you are not one of those ill-advised parents who supply their child with alcohol or drugs like marijuana in an attempt to be hip or cool, suspicions that your child may have a substance abuse problem are a concern. Confirmation that your child has a substance abuse problem can be heartbreaking. Even children whose parents have seemingly done everything right can become involved with drugs. The best defense is knowledge about your child, your child’s friends, and your child’s activities. You need to be aware of what is influencing your child. Back in the day, my mother would have put a CIA intelligence officer to shame. I thought she and my dad were two crazy old coots. I thank them for being my parents and not wanting to be my friends.

Resources

1. Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base
http://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/teenage-substance-abuse/adolescent-substance-abuse/signs-drug-use/

2. Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse
http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/drugsofabuse/a/driug_abuse20.htm?r=et

3. Al-Anon and Alateen
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

4. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a web site for teens and parents that teaches about drug abuse NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
http://teens.drugabuse.gov/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Missouri high school to drug test students

11 Feb

Fox News reports in the story, Missouri high school reportedly to use hair samples for random drug tests:

Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, students at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City will be mandated to undergo random drug testing by submitting roughly 60 strands of hair to a staff member at the 1,000-student school, KSHB.com reports.

Using a company called Psychemedics, officials at the Jesuit school said students will be tested for a variety of substances over the previous 90 days, including cocaine, PCP, opiates, methamphetamine, marijuana and binge alcohol.

Our point is, if we do encounter a student who has made some bad decisions with drugs or alcohol, we will be able to intervene, get the parents involved, get him help if necessary, and then help him get back on a path of better decision making, healthier choices for his life,” Rockhurst Principal Greg Harkness told the website.

If a student tests positive for any substance, according to the new policy, a guidance counselor will be notified. The counselor will then notify the student’s parents to determine how to best help the child.

The student would then be given 90 days to be drug-free, with no notification sent to administrative personnel. The incident would only be noted in the student’s guidance file, which would later be destroyed upon graduation and will not be sent to colleges or universities. The document would only become public if subpoenaed, the website reports.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/31/missouri-high-school-reportedly-to-use-hair-samples-for-random-drug-tests/#ixzz2KXRqmSpX

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (Institute) has some great information about drug testing.

In Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Testing in Schools, the Institute discusses drug testing.

Why test teenagers at all?

Teens are especially vulnerable to drug abuse, when the brain and body are still developing. Most teens do not use drugs, but for those who do, it can lead to a wide range of adverse effects on the brain, the body, behavior and health.

Short term: Even a single use of an intoxicating drug can affect a person’s judgment and decisonmaking—resulting in accidents, poor performance in a school or sports activity, unplanned risky behavior, and the risk of overdosing.

Long term: Repeated drug abuse can lead to serious problems, such as poor academic outcomes, mood changes (depending on the drug: depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis), and social or family problems caused or worsened by drugs.

Repeated drug use can also lead to the disease of addiction. Studies show that the earlier a teen begins using drugs, the more likely he or she will develop a substance abuse problem or addiction. Conversely, if teens stay away from drugs while in high school, they are less likely to develop a substance abuse problem later in life….

Is random drug testing of students legal?

In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court broadened the authority of public schools to test students for illegal drugs. Voting 5 to 4 in Pottawatomie County v. Earls, the court ruled to allow random drug tests for all middle and high school students participating in competitive extracurricular activities. The ruling greatly expanded the scope of school drug testing, which previously had been allowed only for student athletes.

Just because the U.S. Supreme Court said student drug testing for adolescents in competitive extracurricular activities is constitutional, does that mean it is legal in my city or state?

A school or school district that is interested in adopting a student drug testing program should seek legal expertise so that it complies with all federal, state, and local laws. Individual state constitutions may dictate different legal thresholds for allowing student drug testing. Communities interested in starting student drug testing programs should become familiar with the law in their respective states to ensure proper compliance. http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/drug-testing/faq-drug-testing-in-schools

The primary issue is whether students have privacy rights.

Your Debate.com summarizes the pros and cons of School Drug Testing:

PRO 1

The main purpose of random school drug testing is not to catch kids using drugs, it to keep them from ever using them. Once their using drugs its harder for them to break their addiction. With many employers drug testing its very important for a kid’s future not to use drugs. Drug use is responsible for many crimes. Its worth the inconvenience for all our future.

CON 2

One of the fundamental features of our legal system is that we are presumed innocent of any wrongdoing unless and until the government proves otherwise. Random drug testing of student athletes turns this presumption on its head, telling students that we assume they are using drugs until they prove to the contrary with a urine sample.

CON 3

“If school officials have reason to believe that a particular student is using drugs, they already have the power to require that student to submit to a drug test,” said ACLU-NJ Staff Attorney David Rocah.

CON 4

The constitutional prohibition against “unreasonable” searches also embodies the principle that merely belonging to a certain group is not a sufficient reason for a search, even if many members of that group are suspected of illegal activity. Thus, for example, even if it were true that most men with long hair were drug users, the police would not be free to stop all long haired men and search them for drugs.

PRO 5

Peer pressure is the greatest cause of kids trying drugs. If by testing the athletes or other school leaders, we can get them  to say no to drugs, it will be easier for other kids to say no.

CON 6

Some also argue that students who aren’t doing anything wrong have nothing to fear. This ignores the fact that what they fear is not getting caught, but the loss of dignity and trust that the drug test represents. And we should all be afraid of government officials who believe that a righteous cause warrants setting aside bedrock constitutional protections. The lesson that our schools should be teaching is respect for the Constitution and for students’ dignity and privacy, not a willingness to treat cherished constitutional principles as mere platitudes. http://www.youdebate.com/DEBATES/school_drug_testing.HTM

See, What Are the Benefits of Drug Testing?http://www.livestrong.com/article/179407-what-are-the-benefits-of-drug-testing/

Substance abuse is often a manifestation of other problems that child has either at home or poor social relations including low self-esteem. Dr. Alan Leshner summarizes the reasons children use drugs in why do Sally and Johnny use drugs?

Resources:

Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base

Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse

Is Your Teen Using?

Al-Anon and Alateen

Center for Substance Abuse Publications

National Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information

WEBMD: Parenting and Teen Substance Abuse

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a very good booklet for families What is Substance Abuse Treatment?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a web site for teens and parents that teaches about drug abuse NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Johns Hopkins University study: Advertising affects alcohol use by children

11 Aug

Moi discussed alcohol use among teens in Seattle Children’s Institute study: Supportive middle school teachers affect a kid’s alcohol use:

Substance abuse is a serious problem for many young people. The Centers for Disease Control provide statistics about underage drinking in the Fact Sheet: Underage Drinking:

Underage Drinking

Alcohol use by persons under age 21 years is a major public health problem.1 Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs. Although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States.2 More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.2 On average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.3 In 2008, there were approximately 190,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.4

Drinking Levels among Youth

The 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey5 found that among high school students, during the past 30 days

  • 42% drank some amount of alcohol.

  • 24% binge drank.

  • 10% drove after drinking alcohol.

  • 28% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

Other national surveys indicate

  • In 2008 the National Survey on Drug Use and HealthExternal Web Site Icon reported that 28% of youth aged 12 to 20 years drink alcohol and 19% reported binge drinking.6

  • In 2009, the Monitoring the Future SurveyExternal Web Site Icon reported that 37% of 8th graders and 72% of 12th graders had tried alcohol, and 15% of 8th graders and 44% of 12th graders drank during the past month.7

Consequences of Underage Drinking

Youth who drink alcohol1, 3, 8 are more likely to experience

  • School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.

  • Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.

  • Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.

  • Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses.

  • Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.

  • Disruption of normal growth and sexual development.

  • Physical and sexual assault.

  • Higher risk for suicide and homicide.

  • Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.

  • Memory problems.

  • Abuse of other drugs.

  • Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.

  • Death from alcohol poisoning.

In general, the risk of youth experiencing these problems is greater for those who binge drink than for those who do not binge drink.8

Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years.9, 10 http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm

See, Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young  Adults http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-1/79-86.htm

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/seattle-childrens-institute-study-supportive-middle-school-teachers-affect-a-kids-alcohol-use/

A 2006 policy statement in Pediatrics discusses the issues involved in advertising to children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics outlines its policy in Children, Adolescents, and Advertising. Here is an excerpt from the policy:

Abstract

Advertising is a pervasive influence on children and adolescents. Young people view more than 40 000 ads per year on television alone and increasingly are being exposed to advertising on the Internet, in magazines, and in schools. This exposure may contribute significantly to childhood and adolescent obesity, poor nutrition, and cigarette and alcohol use. Media education has been shown to be effective in mitigating some of the negative effects of advertising on children and adolescents. INTRODUCTION
Several European countries forbid or severely curtail advertising to children; in the United States, on the other hand, selling to children is simply “business as usual.”1 The average young person views more than 3000 ads per day on television (TV), on the Internet, on billboards, and in magazines.2 Increasingly, advertisers are targeting younger and younger children in an effort to establish “brand-name preference” at as early an age as possible.3 This targeting occurs because advertising is a $250 billion/year industry with 900 000 brands to sell,2 and children and adolescents are attractive consumers: teenagers spend $155 billion/year, children younger than 12 years spend another $25 billion, and both groups influence perhaps another $200 billion of their parents’ spending per year.4,5 Increasingly, advertisers are seeking to find new and creative ways of targeting young consumers via the Internet, in schools, and even in bathroom stalls.1THE EFFECTS OF ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Research has shown that young children—younger than 8 years—are cognitively and psychologically defenseless against advertising.69 They do not understand the notion of intent to sell and frequently accept advertising claims at face value.10 In fact, in the late 1970s, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held hearings, reviewed the existing research, and came to the conclusion that it was unfair and deceptive to advertise to children younger than 6 years.11 What kept the FTC from banning such ads was that it was thought to be impractical to implement such a ban.11 However, some Western countries have done exactly that: Sweden and Norway forbid all advertising directed at children younger than 12 years, Greece bans toy advertising until after 10 pm, and Denmark and Belgium severely restrict advertising aimed at children.12                                     http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/118/6/2563.full

Citation:

Pediatrics Vol. 118 No. 6 December 1, 2006
pp. 2563 -2569
(doi: 10.1542/peds.2006-2698)

  1. AbstractFree

  2. » Full TextFree

  3. Full Text (PDF)Free

Jeanette Mulvey, Business News Daily Managing Editor at LiveScience.com is reporting in the article, How Alcohol Ads Target Kids:

Parents might do their best to shield their kids from advertising related to alcohol, but alcohol marketers are doing their best to reach them anyway. That’s the finding of new research that discovered that the content of alcohol ads placed in magazines is more likely to violate industry guidelines if the ad appears in a magazine with sizable youth readership.

The research, which was done by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that ads in magazines with a substantial youth readership (15 percent or more) frequently showed alcohol being consumed in an irresponsible manner. Examples include showing alcohol consumption near or on bodies of water, encouraging overconsumption, and providing messages supportive of alcohol addiction. In addition, nearly one in five ad occurrences contained sexual connotations or sexual objectification.

“The bottom line here is that youth are getting hit repeatedly by ads for spirits and beer in magazines geared towards their age demographic,” said CAMY director and study co-author David Jernigan. “As at least 14 studies have found that the more young people are exposed to alcohol advertising and marketing, the more likely they are to drink, or if already drinking, to drink more, this report should serve as a wake-up call to parents and everyone else concerned about the health of young people.”http://news.yahoo.com/alcohol-ads-target-kids-125635247.html?_esi=1

Here is the press release from the Bloomberg School of Health:

For Immediate Release:                                                                                Contact: Tim Parsons
August 8, 2012                                                                                                410-955-6878 or tmparson@jhsph.edu

                  Alcohol Advertising Standards Violations Most Common in Magazines with Youthful Audiences

                              First study to examine the relationship of risky content in alcohol ads to youth exposure

The content of alcohol ads placed in magazines is more likely to be in violation of industry guidelines if the ad appears in a magazine with sizeable youth readership, according to a new study from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study is the first to measure the relationship of problematic content to youth exposure, and the first to examine risky behaviors depicted in alcohol advertising in the past decade.

     The researchers examined 1,261 ads for alcopops, beer, spirits or wine that appeared over 2,500 times in 11 different magazines that have or are likely to have disproportionately youthful readerships – that is, youth readerships equaling or exceeding 15 percent. Ads were analyzed for different risk codes: injury content, overconsumption content, addiction content, sex-related content and violation of industry guidelines. This latter category refers to the voluntary codes of good marketing practice administered by alcohol industry trade associations. Examples of code violations include ads appearing to target a primarily underage audience, highlighting the high alcohol content of a product, or portraying alcohol consumption in conjunction with activities requiring a high degree of alertness or coordination such as swimming.

     “The finding that violations of the alcohol industry’s advertising standards were most common in magazines with the most youthful audiences tells us self-regulated voluntary codes are failing,” said CAMY Director and study co-author David Jernigan, PhD. “It’s time to seriously consider stronger limits on youth exposure to alcohol advertising.”

     Specific examples the researchers identified in the sample included advertising showing alcohol consumption near or on bodies of water, encouraging overconsumption, and providing messages supportive of alcohol addiction. In addition, nearly one in five ad occurrences contained sexual connotations or sexual objectification. Results also show ads were concentrated across type of alcohol, brand and outlet, with spirits representing about two-thirds of the sample, followed by ads for beer, which comprised almost another 30 percent. The ten most advertised brands, a list comprised solely of spirits and beer brands, accounted for 30 percent of the sample, and seven brands were responsible for more than half of the violations of industry marketing guidelines.

     “The bottom line here is that youth are getting hit repeatedly by ads for spirits and beer in magazines geared towards their age demographic,” said Jernigan. “As at least 14 studies have found the more young people are exposed to alcohol advertising and marketing, the more likely they are to drink, or if already drinking, to drink more, this report should serve as a wake-up call to parents and everyone else concerned about the health of young people.”

     Alcohol is responsible for 4,700 deaths per year among young people under the age of 21, and is associated with the three leading causes of death among youth: motor vehicle crashes, homicide and suicide.

     The research was funded by grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

    The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth monitors the marketing practices of the alcohol industry to focus attention and action on industry practices that jeopardize the health and safety of America’s youth. The Center was founded in 2002 at Georgetown University with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Center moved to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2008 and is currently funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information, visit http://www.camy.org.

###

Additional media contact: Alicia Samuels, MPH, Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY), 914-720-4635 or alsamuel@jhsph.edu.

Assuming you are not one of those ill-advised parents who supply their child with alcohol or drugs like marijuana in an attempt to be hip or cool, suspicions that your child may have a substance abuse problem are a concern. Confirmation that your child has a substance abuse problem can be heartbreaking. Even children whose parents have seemingly done everything right can become involved with drugs. The best defense is knowledge about your child, your child’s friends, and your child’s activities. You need to be aware of what is influencing your child.

Our goal should be:

A Healthy Child In A Healthy Family Who Attends A Healthy School In A Healthy Neighborhood. ©

Related:

More school districts facing a financial crunch are considering school ads https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/more-school-districts-facing-a-financial-crunch-are-considering-school-ads/

Should there be advertising in schools? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/should-there-be-advertising-in-schools/

Talking to your teen about risky behaviors https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Television cannot substitute for quality childcare https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/television-cannot-substitute-for-quality-childcare/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Seattle Children’s Institute study: Supportive middle school teachers affect a kid’s alcohol use

26 Mar

Substance abuse is a serious problem for many young people. The Centers for Disease Control provide statistics about underage drinking in the Fact Sheet: Underage Drinking:

Underage Drinking

Alcohol use by persons under age 21 years is a major public health problem.1 Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs. Although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States.2 More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.2 On average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.3 In 2008, there were approximately 190,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.4

Drinking Levels among Youth

The 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey5 found that among high school students, during the past 30 days

  • 42% drank some amount of alcohol.
  • 24% binge drank.
  • 10% drove after drinking alcohol.
  • 28% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

Other national surveys indicate

  • In 2008 the National Survey on Drug Use and HealthExternal Web Site Icon reported that 28% of youth aged 12 to 20 years drink alcohol and 19% reported binge drinking.6
  • In 2009, the Monitoring the Future SurveyExternal Web Site Icon reported that 37% of 8th graders and 72% of 12th graders had tried alcohol, and 15% of 8th graders and 44% of 12th graders drank during the past month.7

Consequences of Underage Drinking

Youth who drink alcohol1, 3, 8 are more likely to experience

  • School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.
  • Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
  • Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.
  • Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses.
  • Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.
  • Disruption of normal growth and sexual development.
  • Physical and sexual assault.
  • Higher risk for suicide and homicide.
  • Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.
  • Memory problems.
  • Abuse of other drugs.
  • Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.
  • Death from alcohol poisoning.

In general, the risk of youth experiencing these problems is greater for those who binge drink than for those who do not binge drink.8

Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years.9, 10 http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm

See, Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young Adults http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-1/79-86.htm

Seattle Children’s Institute has just published the the study, “Emotional Health Predictors of Substance Use Initiation During Middle School,” was published in advance online in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Here is the press release from Seattle Children’s Institute:

Middle School Teacher Support Lowers Risk for Early Alcohol Use

March 21, 2012

Youth with parental separation anxiety also at decreased risk

Anxiety, depression, stress and social support can predict early alcohol and illicit drug use in youth, according to a study from Carolyn McCarty, PhD, of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle University.  Middle school students from the sixth to the eighth grade who felt more emotional support from teachers reported a delay in alcohol and other illicit substance initiation. Those who reported higher levels of separation anxiety from their parents were also at decreased risk for early alcohol use. The study, “Emotional Health Predictors of Substance Use Initiation During Middle School,” was published in advance online in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Relatively few studies have examined support for youth from nonfamily members of the adolescent’s social support network, including teachers. “Our results were surprising,” said Dr. McCarty, who is also a University of Washington research associate professor.  “We have known that middle school teachers are important in the lives of young people, but this is the first data-driven study which shows that teacher support is associated with lower levels of early alcohol use.”  Middle school students defined teacher support as feeling close to a teacher or being able to talk with a teacher about problems they are experiencing.

Youth that are close to or even cling to parents can have separation anxiety and may be less susceptible to negative influences from peers, including experimentation with risky behaviors like alcohol use.  “Teens in general seek new sensations or experiences and they take more risks when they are with peers,” said Dr. McCarty.  “Youth with separation anxiety symptoms may be protected by virtue of their intense connection to their parents, making them less likely to be in settings where substance use initiation is possible,” she said.

The study also found that youth who initiated alcohol and other illicit drug use prior to sixth grade had significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms.  This suggests that depression may be a consequence of very early use or a risk factor for initiation of use prior to the middle school years.  Depression was defined by asking youth about their mood and feelings, and asking them if statements such as “I felt awful or unhappy” and “I felt grumpy or upset with my parents” were true, false or sometimes true during a two-week timeframe. 

Based on the study and our findings, substance use prevention needs to be addressed on a multidimensional level,” said Dr. McCarty.  “We need to be aware of and monitor early adolescent stress levels, and parents, teachers and adults need to tune into kids’ mental health.  We know that youth who initiate substance abuse before age 14 are at a high risk of long-term substance abuse problems and myriad health complications.” 

Dr. McCarty Offers Tips for Parents to Help Reduce Early Alcohol Use 

  • Know where your child is, and check in with your child on a regular basis 
  • Get to know your child’s friends, and who your child spends time with 
  • Teach stress management skills 
  • Help your child feel connected with adults at school  

Dr. McCarty and the research team analyzed data from the Developmental Pathways Project, a longitudinal study of 521 youth sampled from the Seattle Public Schools.  Researchers analyzed the effects of depression, anxiety, stress and support on initiation of substance use, which was measured at five different time points between sixth and eighth grade.

Seattle Children’s Research Institute, in collaboration with the University of Washington and Seattle University, will continue to study this topic, next looking at the timing between youth substance use and depression, as well as how intervention programs for depression impact substance use.

Dr. McCarty’s co-authors were:  Elizabeth McCauley, PhD, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, University of Washington; Elise Murowchick, PhD, Seattle University; Isaac Rhew, PhD, University of Washington; and Ann Vander Stoep, PhD, University of Washington.

Supporting Materials: 

http://www.seattlechildrens.org/Press-Releases/2012/Middle-School-Teacher-Support-Lowers-Risk-for-Early-Alcohol-Use/

Assuming you are not one of those ill-advised parents who supply their child with alcohol or drugs like marijuana in an attempt to be hip or cool, suspicions that your child may have a substance abuse problem are a concern. Confirmation that your child has a substance abuse problem can be heartbreaking. Even children whose parents have seemingly done everything right can become involved with drugs. The best defense is knowledge about your child, your child’s friends, and your child’s activities. You need to be aware of what is influencing your child.

Our goal should be:

A Healthy Child In A Healthy Family Who Attends A Healthy School In A Healthy Neighborhood. ©

Related:

New study about substance abuse and kids https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/new-study-about-substance-abuse-and-kids/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Yale research: Why some adolescents are more easily addicted to cocaine?

22 Feb

Yale researchers examined why cocaine affects some adolescents more profoundly than others. Bill Hathaway writes in the Yale News article, Cocaine and the teen brain: Yale research offers insights into addiction:

When first exposed to cocaine, the adolescent brain launches a strong defensive reaction designed to minimize the drug’s effects, Yale and other scientists have found. Now two new studies by a Yale team identify key genes that regulate this response and show that interfering with this reaction dramatically increases a mouse’s sensitivity to cocaine. 

The findings may help explain why risk of drug abuse and addiction increase so dramatically when cocaine use begins during teenage years.

The results were published in the Feb. 14 and Feb. 21 issues of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Researchers including those at Yale have shown that vulnerability to cocaine is much higher in adolescence, when the brain is shifting from an explosive and plastic growth phase to more settled and refined neural connections characteristic of adults. Past studies at Yale have shown that the neurons and their synaptic connections in adolescence change shape when first exposed to cocaine through molecular pathway regulated by the gene integrin beta1, which is crucial to the development of the nervous system of vertebrates.

This suggests that these structural changes observed are probably protective of the neurocircuitry, an effort of the neuron to protect itself when first exposed to cocaine,” said Anthony Koleske, professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry and of neurobiology and senior author of both papers.

In the latest study, Yale researchers report when they knocked out this pathway, mice needed approximately three times less cocaine to induce behavioral changes than mice with an intact pathway.

The research suggests that the relative strength of the integrin beta1 pathway among individuals may explain why some cocaine users end up addicted to the drug while others escape its worst effects, Koleske theorized.

If you were to become totally desensitized to cocaine, there is no reason to seek the drug,” he said.

Koleske and Jane R. Taylor, professor of psychiatry and psychology and an author of the Feb. 14 paper, are teaming up with other Yale researchers to look for other genes that may play a role in protecting the brain from effects of cocaine and other drugs of abuse.

http://news.yale.edu/2012/02/21/cocaine-and-teen-brain-yale-research-offers-insights-addiction

For the true policy wonks, here is the citation:

Journal of Neuroscience

Integrin β1 Signals through Arg to Regulate Postnatal Dendritic Arborization, Synapse Density, and Behavior

  1. M. Sloan Warren
  2. William D. Bradley
  3. Shannon L. Gourley
  4. Yu-Chih Lin
  5. Mark A. Simpson
  6. Louis F. Reichardt
  7. Charles A. Greer
  8. Jane R. Taylor
  9. Anthony J. Koleske

Abstract

Often children who evidence signs of a substance abuse problem come from homes where there is a substance abuse problem. That problem may be generational. eMedicineHealth lists some of the causes of substance abuse

Substance Abuse Causes

Use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs may begin in childhood or the teen years. Certain risk factors may increase someone’s likelihood to abuse substances.

·         Factors within a family that influence a child’s early development have been shown to be related to increased risk of drug abuse.

o                       Chaotic home environment

o                       Ineffective parenting

o                       Lack of nurturing and parental attachment

·         Factors related to a child’s socialization outside the family may also increase risk of drug abuse.

o                       Inappropriately aggressive or shy behavior in the classroom

o                       Poor social coping skills

o                       Poor school performance

o                       Association with a deviant peer group

o                       Perception of approval of drug use behavior

Substance abuse is often a manifestation of other problems that child has either at home or poor social relations including low self esteem. Dr. Alan Leshner summarizes the reasons children use drugs in why do Sally and Johnny use drugs?

How Can You Recognize the Signs of Substance Abuse?

Parents provides general signs of substance abuse and also gives specific signs of alcohol abuse, and several different drugs, narcotics, and inhalants. The general warning signs are:

·         Changes in friends

·         Negative changes in schoolwork, missing school, or declining grades

·         Increased secrecy about possessions or activities

·         Use of incense, room deodorant, or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odors

·         Subtle changes in conversations with friends, e.g. more secretive, using “coded” language

·         Change in clothing choices: new fascination with clothes that highlight drug use

·         Increase in borrowing money

·         Evidence of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, etc.

·         Evidence of use of inhalant products (such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, common household products); Rags and paper bags are sometimes used as accessories

·         Bottles of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils

·         New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol

·         Missing prescription drugs—especially narcotics and mood stabilizers

Remember, these are very general signs, specific drugs, narcotics, and other substances may have different signs, it is important to read the specific signs.

What Steps Should a Parent Take?

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a series of questions parents should ask If you suspect that your child has a substance abuse problem, you will have to seek help of some type. You will need a plan of action. The Partnership for a Drug Free America lists 7 Steps toTake and each step is explained at the site.

Parents, grandparents and other family members often feel tempted to wait things out and see if they get better. Sometimes they confront the child only to be accused of being distrustful or they hear angry denial, leaving them more confused than before.

It is important to remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Following are crucial steps that will ease getting help for you and your child.

1. Involve a professional to help determine what to do next….

2. Document as much evidence as you can.

§         Use checklists to record all the behaviors that concern you. Carefully record every behavior that concerns you during this period. Documenting your observations is important because your child will work hard to convince you that things didn’t happen the way you remember.

§         Some parents search their child’s room looking for evidence of drugs or paraphernalia. You should expect that your child will be offended at your invasion of privacy. If you do find contraband, oftentimes your child will claim that it belongs to someone else…..

3. Prepare what you want to say to your child….

4. Plan to talk with your child at a time in a setting where you can have uninterrupted discussion. Strengthen your interaction by using the following talking points:

§         Describe specific behaviors you and others have observed and when they occurred. The more specific you are, especially if you have written your observations down, the harder it will be for your child to deny, disagree, or argue.

§         Express your love and concern and your desire to help your child.

§         Emphasize your firm, non-negotiable position that you will not tolerate drug use and that you intend to determine if these behaviors are indications of drug use.

§         It is not useful simply to ask if your child if he or she is using drugs. Almost always, children will deny using. But it’s not a bad idea to voice your suspicions at some point.

§         If you haven’t observed very many warning signs and believe that your child has just begun using, emphasize that any use of alcohol or other drugs at all is unacceptable. Describe the consequences for further behaviors that concern you. Use strong leverage; consequences might include no driver’s license, no use of the family car, an earlier curfew. ….

5. Make an appointment for a drug assessment for your child.

§         A drug assessment is the surest way to determine the extent of your child’s problem with alcohol and other drugs. When you make the appointment, make sure that the agency understands that the evaluation is for an adolescent; also that the evaluation includes a drug test. Don’t alert your child that a drug test will be part of the assessment…..

6. Keep the appointment no matter what.

7. Don’t give up if things don’t go the way you want — go the distance.

§         If ignored, alcohol-other-drug use will progress. Your efforts to this point have been an effective intervention. Hopefully, it will work early on. Often, parents have to continue to discuss the situation with the child, document evidence and work with other significant adults in the child’s life to turn things around. This difficult intervention may take more time than you want. Persevere.

§         Get help for yourself. Parent support groups such as Families Anonymous, Tough Love, and Alanon can provide effective help as you strive to provide effective help to your child.

If your child has a substance abuse problem, both you and your child will need help. “One day at a time” is a famous recovery affirmation which you and your child will live the meaning. The road to recovery may be long or short, it will have twists and turns with one step forward and two steps back. In order to reach the goal of recovery, both parent and child must persevere.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Underage drinking costs society big-time

16 Feb

KING5 News reported in the story Teens Who Use Social Media Most Likely to Drink and Use Drugs, Study says

A new study finds teenagers who use social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are most likely to drink and use drugs compared to teens who avoid the social networks.

About 70 percent of teens say they use social networking sites every day. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University surveys teens every year in an attempt to track drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. This year, questions about social media were added.

The study states that teens that use social networking sites are twice as likely to use marijuana, three times as likely to drink alcohol, and five times as likely to use tobacco.

Some experts say kids see images of teens drinking and using drugs online, which takes the shock value out of bad behavior and leads some to think it’s what everyone is doing.

There are signs which may indicate that your child has a substance abuse problem.

How Can You Recognize the Signs of Substance Abuse?

Parents provides general signs of substance abuse and also gives specific signs of alcohol abuse, and several different drugs, narcotics, and inhalants. The general warning signs are:

·         Changes in friends

·         Negative changes in schoolwork, missing school, or declining grades

·         Increased secrecy about possessions or activities

·         Use of incense, room deodorant, or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odors

·         Subtle changes in conversations with friends, e.g. more secretive, using “coded” language

·         Change in clothing choices: new fascination with clothes that highlight drug use

·         Increase in borrowing money

·         Evidence of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, etc.

·         Evidence of use of inhalant products (such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, common household products); Rags and paper bags are sometimes used as accessories

·         Bottles of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils

·         New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol

·         Missing prescription drugs—especially narcotics and mood stabilizers

Remember, these are very general signs, specific drugs, narcotics, and other substances may have different signs, it is important to read the specific signs. Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex,Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

Huffington Post reports in the article, 

It’s no surprise that underage drinking is common in the U.S. In a 2009 study by the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, 42 percent of high school students reported having consumed alcohol in the previous month. But what some might find shocking is the high cost of drinking-related hospitalizations.

Underage drinking takes a toll not only on teens’ health and wellness, but also on treatment facilities. A Mayo Clinic study published today found that the total cost of hospitalizations for underage drinking is an estimated $755 million per year.

According to researchers, of the 40,000 young people aged 15-20 hospitalized in 2008, 79 percent were intoxicated when they arrived at the hospital.

The average age of alcohol-related hospitalizations was 18, and 61 percent of young people hospitalized for drinking were male. The highest number of incidences occurred in the Northeast and Midwest, while the lowest frequency was in the South.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/15/underage-drinking-on-the-_n_1279336.html?ref=email_share

Here is the citation for the Mayo Clinic study:

Journal of Adolescent Health

Hospitalization for Underage Drinkers in the United States

Received 28 April 2011; accepted 21 October 2011. published online 15 February 2012.
Corrected Proof

Hazelton.Org has some good reasons parents should not provide alcohol to children and the reasons can be summed up with the thought, someone has  to be the adult.      

Parents are poor role models if they reinforce the idea that alcohol and other drug use is a necessary and accepted way to entertain at parties. Kids need to know how to have fun without alcohol. Parents need to talk with their children about alcohol before hosting a party. They can be responsible hosts by setting a no-alcohol rule. Provine suggested that parents greet kids at the door, make certain that no uninvited guests are allowed in, check in on the party frequently, and not allow guests to come and go. Parents should never leave the party unattended….

The situation that most frequently results in problems is when parties are held while parents are away for the weekend, said Johnson. The word travels fast about such parties, and before you know it the party is out of control, with hundreds of uninvited guests.

Rules and expectations need to be clearly spelled out with young people before drinking opportunities present themselves. Young people need to be prepared to say no to alcohol in advance of drinking opportunities. Parents need to help them choose parties where there will be no alcohol. Parents need to deliver a clear message: Alcohol and other drug use of any kind is not acceptable.   

The fact that a parent has to assume the role of their child’s friend says a lot  about their lack of maturity and judgment. Unfortunately, for some children, mom and dad are growing up right along side them.

Assuming you are not one of those ill-advised parents who supply their child with alcohol or drugs like marijuana in an attempt to be hip or cool, suspicions that your child may have a substance abuse problem are a concern. Confirmation that your child has a substance abuse problem can be heartbreaking. Even children whose parents have seemingly done everything right can become involved with drugs. The best defense is knowledge about your child, your child’s friends, and your child’s activities. You need to be aware of what is influencing your child

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Another casualty of the economy: Kid’s lives going up in smoke

1 Dec

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has issued the new report, A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 13 Years Later. Among the findings are:

Our latest report, issued November 30, 2011, finds that the states have cut funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs to the lowest level since 1999, when they first received tobacco settlement funds.

The states this year (Fiscal Year 2012) will collect $25.6 billion in revenue from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend only 1.8 percent of it — $456.7 million — on programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. This means the states are spending less than two cents of every dollar in tobacco revenue to fight tobacco use.

The states have cut funding for such programs by 12 percent ($61.2 million) in the past year and by 36 percent ($260.5 million) in the past four years….

Other key findings of this report include:

  • Most states are falling short of funding levels for tobacco prevention programs recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The $456.7 million the states have budgeted amounts to just 12.4 percent of the $3.7 billion the CDC recommends for all the states combined.
  • Only two states — Alaska and North Dakota — currently fund tobacco prevention programs at CDC-recommended levels.  Only four other states provide even half the recommended funding, while 33 states and DC provide less than a quarter.  Four states — Connecticut, Nevada, New Hampshire and Ohio — and DC provide zero state funds for tobacco prevention this year.
  • Tobacco companies spend nearly $23 to market tobacco products for every $1 the states spend to fight tobacco use.  According to the latest data from the Federal Trade Commission, tobacco companies spend $10.5 billion a year on marketing.

The report comes as recent surveys have found that smoking declines in the United States have slowed.  To continue reducing tobacco use, elected officials at all levels must redouble efforts to implement proven strategies. That includes using more tobacco money to fund tobacco prevention programs.

http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/what_we_do/state_local/tobacco_settlement/

The report contains an Interactive State Funding Tobacco Prevention Funding Map.

Some children consider smoking a rite of passage into adolescence. According to Tobacco Facts most teenage smoking starts early. Among the statistics cited at Tobacco Facts are the following:

Each day 3,000 children smoke their first cigarette.

Tobacco use primarily begins in early adolescence, typically by age 16.

At least 3 million adolescents are smokers.

20 percent of American teens smoke.

Almost all first use occurs before high school graduation.

Roughly 6 million teens in the US today smoke despite the knowledge that it is addictive and leads to disease.

Of the 3,000 teens who started smoking today, nearly 1,000 will eventually die as a result from smoking.

Of every 100,000 15 year old smokers, tobacco will prematurely kill at least 20,000 before the age of 70.

Adolescent girls who smoke and take oral birth control pills greatly increase their chances of having blood clots and strokes.

It is important to prevent teens from beginning to smoke because of health issues and the difficulty many smokers have in quitting the habit.

Denise Witmer at About.Com lists the reasons teens smoke

According to the World Health Organization ‘between 80,000 and 100,000 children worldwide start smoking every day.’ Here are some of the reasons why teens start smoking:

·         One or both parents smoke.

·         People they admire smoke.

·         Teens find acceptance by peers if they smoke too.

·         Mass media campaign for smoking works on teenagers and adults.

·         Teens feel invincible or that they can stop at anytime. So why not try it?

·         It helps the teen lose weight, reduce stress, etc.

·         Smoking’s biggest draw is that it is an adult activity that is forbidden 

Lauren Pappa writing in Junior Scholastic quotes Danny Mc Goldrick who cites peer pressure as the most important reason kids start to smoke.

This pressure exerted by peers and culture can be countered by the active involvement of parents and guardians.

Science Daily reported about a Swedish Study  which showed that parents are influential in their child’s decision whether to smoke. Another study reported by Reuters came to a similar conclusion that parents influence the decision whether to smoke

The Mayo Clinic has some excellent tips on preventing your teen from smoking

These 10 tips can help.

1. Understand the attraction.

Sometimes teen smoking is a form of rebellion or a way to fit in with a particular group of friends. Some teens light up in an attempt to lose weight or to feel better about themselves. Others smoke to feel cool or independent. ..

2. Say no to teen smoking.

You may feel as if your teen doesn’t hear a word you say, but say it anyway. Tell your teen that smoking isn’t allowed. Your disapproval may have more impact than you think. Teens whose parents set the firmest smoking restrictions tend to smoke less than do teens whose parents don’t set smoking limits. The same goes for teens who feel close to their parents.

3. Set a good example.

Teen smoking is more common among teens whose parents smoke. If you don’t smoke, keep it up. If you do smoke, quit — now. ..

4. Appeal to your teen’s vanity.

Smoking isn’t glamorous. Remind your teen that smoking is a dirty, smelly habit. ..

5. Do the math.

Smoking is expensive. Help your teen calculate the weekly, monthly or yearly cost of a pack-a-day smoking habit. You might compare the cost of smoking with that of electronic gadgets, clothes or other teen essentials.

6. Expect peer pressure.

Friends who smoke can be convincing, but you can give your teen the tools he or she needs to refuse cigarettes. Rehearse how to handle tough social situations. It might be as simple as, “No thanks, I don’t smoke.” The more your teen practices this basic refusal, the more likely he or she will say no at the moment of truth.

7. Take addiction seriously.

Most teens believe they can quit smoking anytime they want. But teens become just as addicted to nicotine as do adults, often quickly and at relatively low doses of nicotine. And once you’re hooked, it’s tough to quit.

8. Predict the future.

Teens tend to assume that bad things only happen to other people. But the long-term consequences of smoking — such as cancer, heart attack and stroke — may be all too real when your teen becomes an adult. Use loved ones, friends or neighbors who’ve been ill as real-life examples.

9. Think beyond cigarettes.

Smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes (kreteks) and candy-flavored cigarettes (bidis) are sometimes mistaken as less harmful or addictive than are traditional cigarettes. Hookah smoking — smoking tobacco through a water pipe — is another alternative sometimes touted as safe. Don’t let your teen be fooled. Like traditional cigarettes, these products are addictive and can cause cancer and other health problems. Many deliver higher concentrations of nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar than do traditional cigarettes.

10. Get involved.

Take an active stance against teen smoking. Participate in local and school-sponsored anti-smoking campaigns. Support bans on smoking in public places.

If your teen has already started smoking, avoid threats and ultimatums. Instead, be supportive. Find out why your teen is smoking — and then discuss ways to help your teen stop smoking, such as hanging out with friends who don’t smoke or getting involved in new activities. Stopping teen smoking in its tracks is the best thing your teen can do for a lifetime of good health.

As with a lot of issues adolescents face, it is important for parents and guardians to know what is going on in their child’s lives. You should know who your child’s friends are and how these friends feel about smoking, drugs, and issues like sex. You should also know how the parents of your child’s friends feel about these issues. Do they smoke, for example, or are they permissive in allowing their children to use alcohol and/or other drugs. Are these values in accord with your values?

Parents need the support that smoking prevention programs give them and their children against the culture, peers, and the media. Smoking prevention programs are yet another casualty of the prolonged economic downturn.

Resources:

Summary of Tobacco Settlement Bonus Payments (PDF)

Coming Increases to State Settlement Payments in April 2008 (PDF)

Report: A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement Eight Years Later

Fact Sheets

Comprehensive Statewide Programs Reduce Tobacco Use (PDF)

Comprehensive State Tobacco-Control Programs Save Money (PDF)

Using Tobacco Tax Increases to Fund Comprehensive Tobacco Prevention Programs (PDF)

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©