shutterstock_524796310The rise of e-cigarettes was hailed as a way to reduce the risks of smoking. Instead of a cigarette with burning tobacco, the electronic devices vaporize a liquid containing nicotine. Inhaling the vapors is thought by some to be less harmful on the body than the smoke and chemical contents of a cigarette, though that notion has been debated.

The devices, also known as vape pens, are gaining in popularity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high school students’ e-cigarette use jumped from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014. The numbers moved from 1.1 percent to 3.9 percent for middle school students.

But there is more for parents to worry about than nicotine when it comes to e-cigarettes and vape pens. Here’s a look at how vaping can include illegal drugs, or serve as a sort of gateway to those substances. [Read more…]

The power of gratitude

shutterstock_520034698It’s Thanksgiving week, and once the school and work tasks slow down, it’s a day typically filled with family, friends and warm vibes all around. It can mean much more than just a fun day of turkey, parades and football on TV, however. For teenagers who have struggled with drugs or alcohol use, Thanksgiving can be a reminder of the power of gratitude, as in being thankful for the people around us who care, and staying positive about being on the right path.

Here’s a look at some of the benefits of gratitude. [Read more…]

New Beginnings Announces Appointment of Chase Thayer to Director of Business Development

unknownOPELOUSAS, LA:   Chase Thayer has been named Director of Business Development by New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center in Opelousas, Louisiana.   Thayer previously held the position of National Outreach Coordinator with the nationally recognized substance abuse recovery center and served in that capacity since early 2016.  His appointment was announced by Chase Glenn, Chief Executive Officer of New Beginnings.   Glenn commented, “Chase Thayer has well represented New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center on a nationwide basis in his role as Outreach Coordinator. That strong experience will now be brought into his new role as Business Development Director for our adolescent recovery center.”

[Read more…]

Stay alert for early signs of teen drug use

Teen interventionNo parents want to believe that their teenage son or daughter is using drugs. But there can be early signs of this, and parents should be aware of sudden changes in appearance and behavior.

As most parents understand, the adolescent years are difficult for anyone to navigate. Carl E. Pickhardt examines this in a story for Psychology Today, calling adolescence “a process of separation from childhood and family, differentiation from how one was as a child, and experimentation with new (often forbidden) experiences to grow.”

This experimentation can include drugs, and as Pickhardt points out, it’s not something teenagers will openly discuss. “It will be because he has gotten caught,” Pickhardt says. “ … When adolescents start significant substance use, they usually do not confess it to a parent in words; they betray it by their actions. So parents need to know what behaviors to look for. To begin, they should pay attention to uncharacteristic changes in their son or daughter’s behavior.”

Here’s a look at several things parents should look for regarding teens and drug use. [Read more…]

Dissociative hallucinogens & the risks

shutterstock_57380377In our last entry, we examined hallucinogens including LSD, mescaline and psilocybin and their effects. These are the “classic” hallucinogens, as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Another brand of hallucinogens is known as dissociative drugs.

As reported by the NIDA, the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 33,000 Americans (ages 12 and older) were current users of PCP, one of the most well-known dissociatives. A Monitoring the Future survey four years prior showed salvia as a popular dissociative, with 5.9 percent of high school seniors reporting use in the previous year. (On a positive note, the NIDA states those numbers dropped to 1.8 percent in 2014.)

Like other hallucinogens, dissociative drugs can have dangerous effects, which are all the more frightening for parents concerned about teenagers experimenting with drugs. Here’s a look at some of these drugs and their impact. [Read more…]