Concerts and Drugs: Avoid the Risks

shutterstock_151512185It’s summertime, and that means it is summer concert season. Massive music gatherings happen all over the country during the summer months, often attracting large numbers of teenagers.

Unfortunately, this can also mean experimentation with drugs. There have been numerous cases of young people dying in recent years from ecstasy or other substances at music festivals. A few examples:

It’s easy to point out that drugs and concerts have been connected since the Woodstock era. But the potent nature of modern drugs can translate to major concern for parents of teenagers looking to attend these festivals. Here’s a look at the dangerous ties between concerts and drugs. [Read more…]

Lies and Drugs: Tips on How to Approach Your Teen

shutterstock_232628977When parents realize that a child is blatantly lying about something, it can be a disheartening moment. When that lie has to do with drug abuse, it can be a devastating one.

A study in the journal Pediatrics showed how common these kinds of lies can be. As reported by Val Willingham for CNN, Wayne State University researchers surveyed “high-risk urban teens” and their parents about drug use. Then they took hair samples and tested them for opiates and cocaine. A key result: “The data found that young people were 52 percent more likely to test positive for cocaine in their hair samples than they were to actually report using cocaine on their questionnaires.”

“They are giving socially acceptable responses,” said Dr. Virginia Delaney-Black, the study’s author, in the CNN story. “People are not willing to admit to drug use so freely as they are other things. … We’ve known from other studies that adults downplay their drug use. This is the first time we’ve documented it in teens.”

What can parents do when they realize their children are using drugs and lying about it? Here are a few tips. [Read more…]

How to spot drug paraphernalia

shutterstock_193975568Every parent at some point has fears of their child using drugs and alcohol. Those nightmare scenarios are enough to make parents shudder. And that shudder might become real during a simple trip to the teen’s room and stumbling upon drug paraphernalia.

There’s a wide variety of items that are used in the consumption, injection or inhalation of drugs. Some of them are much more obvious than others. For example, it may not instantly register that a spoon or a piece of foil in a teenager’s room could be a sign of drug activity.

Here’s a look at drug paraphernalia that parents could spot among a teenager’s belongings. [Read more…]

Be a step ahead of suicide

Teen drug rehab | The Truth of Enabling and How it Can Hurt Your ChildAccording to the World Health Organization, an estimated 800,000 people die by suicide every year. If you do the math, that is one person every 40 seconds. This devastating number haunts the world today, but there are ways we can work together to prevent it from increasing. In light of September 10 being National Suicide Prevention day, here are some ways you can do your part in stopping suicide in its tracks: [Read more…]

Mood disorders and alcohol don’t mix

shutterstock_63776002We all have our moody moments. Stress, relationships, work, school and many other factors can contribute to mood swings, from feeling happy and productive to sad and depressed.

Many people deal with mood disorders, also known as mental disorders, and alcohol and drugs can play a role. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 6 in 10 people with substance abuse issues have mental disorders.

In a story for Livestrong, Shannon Marks notes a study that shows how “mild euphoria” can be experienced early on when drinking.

“This happens when the region of the brain that controls emotion and behavior is impaired by alcohol,” Marks says. “More severe emotional outbursts can become more frequent as a person’s drinking increases. And permanent changes to the brain and mood can occur after years of steady drinking.”

Teenagers’ brains have yet to fully form, so it’s no surprise that alcohol can be harmful. Here’s a look at some of the factors in mood disorders and the alcohol effect. [Read more…]