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Binge Drinking: How to Keep Your Teen Safe this 4th of July

4th of July weekend brings an increase in underage and binge drinking. It can be a dangerous time for teens and young adults. Here's how parents can help.4th of July weekend can be a dangerous time for teens and young adults, not only does the amount of underage drinking increase but so does binge drinking (consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time). SAMSHA estimates that hospital ER visits during this holiday weekend double due to underage and binge drinking (87% higher than any other day in July).

It’s important that our teens and young adults who might be hitting the beach this weekend with friends or other parties, that drinking, especially binge drinking, is not a harmless right of passage. There are serious consequences to these actions that can result in harming oneself, someone else, even death. Read more

Heroin Effects: Why is Heroin Use on the Rise in High Schools?

Heroin effects the body the same way as opioid prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet or Vicodin. But unlike prescription drugs, heroin is often cheaper and easier to obtain. Heroin effects more than the stereotypical impoverished, urban narcotic user. It’s no longer seen as the hard-core street drug it was in the 1960s. In fact, there has been a dramatic shift in heroin users in the past 50 years. Today, studies are showing that heroin use is reaching epidemic proportions and is more commonly affecting suburban, middle class youth. In the 1960s, people who abused heroin reported that it was the first drug they abused. Today, 75% of people who began abusing heroin report first abusing prescription painkillers. (JAMA Psychiatry) Read more

Teen Stress: What are the Risks? What to Look Out For?

Teen stress is unavoidable, but there are healthy ways to cope that don't include turning to drugs or alcohol or putting a teen's health and safety at risk. Teen stress can be a powerful force in a young person’s life. It can be caused by school work, home life, social pressure, and the general flux of hormones and growth they undergo at this time. Stress is a very normal part of a teen’s life, and there is no way to completely avoid it. But how teen stress is managed is what’s important.

There are healthy ways to cope with teen stress like listening to music, playing sports or even watching TV. But often in order to deal with the mounting stress, teens turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Not only does this put their imminent health and safety at risk, but it puts them at risk for developing dependencies to drugs or alcohol later in life. Read more

Alcohol Awareness Month: What Teens are At-Risk?

Teens are especially vulnerable to alcohol use and abuse. Teens are especially vulnerable to alcohol use and abuse. Their age also requires a unique approach to educating, preventing, and addressing alcohol problems. During Alcohol Awareness Month, we are focusing on ways to recognize alcohol abuse, talk to your teen about it, and help prevent it.

The scary fact is that teens who start using alcohol before the age of fifteen are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent as they get older. This is why education and prevention are so key. A brain compromised from alcohol abuse will cause a teen to miss important developmental lessons, so early intervention is crucial. Read more

Alcohol Awareness Month: How to Curb Youth Drinking

Curbing youth drinking is a complex issues that requires the efforts of many different people from parents to college administration. There are three major things that you can do that have proven effective in curbing youth drinking. Our Alcohol Awareness Month topic this week is How to Curb Youth Drinking? According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), alcohol is the most widely used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more so than tobacco or illicit drugs. Not only does early use of alcohol put youth at risk for developing dependence later in life, but alcohol use increases the number of injuries and deaths related to alcohol misuse, while exacerbating many problems that already exist for our young people. So what are the risks of underage drinking and how might we help to curb youth drinking? Read more

Teens and Drugs: Making Sure Your Home is a Safe Haven

Teen looks in medicine cabinet at prescription drug bottles. When it comes to teens and drugs, how can you make sure that your home is a safe haven? Keep any prescription drugs in a secure place. When it comes to teens and drugs, how can you make sure that your home is a safe haven? Talking to your kids about drugs is important at any age, but teens are especially susceptible to drug use because of peer pressure and high stress levels. Teens look to their parents to set a good example for how they should conduct their lives. They count on their parents to be their support system and to help them create a positive home environment that encourages an open dialogue about drugs. Read more

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