Archive | Substance Abuse

This May Be the Best Way to Get Teens to Stay Sober

Trying to get your teens to beat peer pressure and stay sober can be a daunting task. What’s the best way to talk to them about passing up on a Solo cup at a party? Most campaigns against drinking focus on the negative effects of drinking, but there may be a much more effective approach.

A new study suggests that pointing out the benefits of staying sober and providing strategies for doing so under pressure is more effective than the traditional method of warning against the dangers of alcohol consumption.

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Another Reason To Talk To Teens About E-Cigs: The Vapors Are Causing Lung Damage

Chances are you’ve heard about e-cigarettes. These battery-power devices have become so popular that the word “vape” was the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2014. They’re also incredibly popular among teens—which is pretty worrisome. In the past three years, the amount of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes has tripled.

While these devices aren’t regulated by the FDA yet, more and more evidence is surfacing about the potential dangers of e-cigs.

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Trouble Sleeping May Lead to Drug & Alcohol Trouble Later On

From lower grades to greater risk of obesity, not getting enough sleep is detrimental to a teen’s health in a variety of ways. In case you need another reason to convince your teens to rest up, look no further than this study! According to new research, adolescents with sleep difficulties may have substance abuse problems later on — specifically engaging in risky behaviors like binge drinking or driving under the influence. “Sleep difficulties” can either mean trouble falling asleep or getting an insufficient amount.

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Even the Occasional Cigarette Affects a Teen’s Health

When it comes to teens and cigarettes, there’s good news and bad news. The upside: The amount of teens smoking cigarettes has hit an all-time low. But the downside? Some teens who smoke cigarettes occasionally don’t realize the damage it does to their bodies. According to a new study, teens mistakenly believe that occasional cigarettes are harmless. But Medical Daily reports that the opposite is true—and there’s proof to back it up!

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Talking to Teens About Drinking Matters More Than You May Think

Talking to teens about drinking isn’t a waste of time. In fact, it could be more powerful than you think! According to new research, consistent conversations about alcohol with adolescents can have a positive effect on teen drinking. This research comes from the University at Buffalo.

The study showed that parents tended to talk to younger children more about the dangers of alcohol, but then discontinued the discussions as the kids aged. However, researchers found that parents shouldn’t underestimate the positive impact of those kinds of conversations.

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Cigarette and Alcohol Use Among Teens Hits an All-Time Low

Every year, the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey looks at substance use among middle and high schoolers across America. This year, while illicit drug use continues to show a national decline, cigarette and alcohol use are at their lowest points since the study began in 1975.

This annual study polls between 40,000 and 50,000 students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade from over 400 schools across the country. The results are then compiled and used to track substance abuse trends in teens.

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Teens’ Use of E-Cigarettes Continues to Grow

Since “vape” is the Oxford Dictionary’s word of 2014, this news may not be too surprising. At the same time, it’s pretty alarming. New studies show that teen use of e-cigarettes continues to rise. While some may think e-cigs are safer than regular cigarettes, these electronic devices still contain nicotine, a highly addictive chemical that can affect the developing brain. Studies also suggest e-cigarettes can be a gateway drug.

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Who’s the Biggest Influence on Teens’ Drinking Habits?

While “peer pressure” is an ever-present force in social interactions, it may not be the peers you expect that are having the biggest influence on teens… Or at least when it comes to underage drinking. According to new research, instead of being influenced by what they believe all of the other kids are doing, teens are actually impacted the most by the decisions of their close friends. In other words, if a teen hangs out with others who drink, they’re more likely to engage in that behavior themselves. Likewise, if a teen hangs out with non-drinkers, they’re less inclined to drink, despite what a bunch of their classmates may do on the weekend.

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The Marijuana Infographic Every Teen Needs to See

Though the laws surrounding marijuana are changing, more facts about the effects this drug has on the adolescent brain are still surfacing. Make no mistake, marijuana is still a mind-altering substance, and more and more studies are revealing the dangers of using it during adolescence.

“Studies show that marijuana interferes with attention, motivation, memory, and learning. Students who use marijuana regularly tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of high school than those who don’t use,” explains The National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Here’s Why 2014’s Word of the Year is One You Need to Know

Vape: (verb) to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device

What is this word and what does it have to do with teens? Well, for 2014, Oxford Dictionaries chose “vape” as its Word of the Year. Explaining this decision, Oxford writes on their site: “As e-cigarettes (or e-cigs) have become much more common, so vape has grown significantly in popularity.”

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