Teenology 101

Addressing teen substance use: Post 4 How to talk with your teen about alcohol poisoning

In this post, our guest blogger Lisa Chinn LMHC, CDP will discuss how to talk to your teen about alcohol poisoning. This is the 4 post in our series on addressing substance use in teens.

How to talk with your teen about alcohol poisoning. (Please keep in mind, this is about alcohol poisoning, all substances effect the central nervous system.)

How important is it to help your teen understand the dangers of alcohol poisoning. Teens do not drink like adults do. Most teens and young adults that drink tends to drink to “get drunk,” most adults will have one or two drink in a sitting and they are done. Yes, I know there are plenty of adults who drink and get drunk, but when I hear teens talk about their drinking habits, they tend to report excessive drinking, most of the time generally drinking multiple drinks or binge drinking within a few minutes.   What is the danger for drinking “a lot” of alcohol in a short amount of time? Read full post »

Addressing teen substance use: Post 3 The GIVEN or PRIVILEGE of DRIVING

This is the 3rd post in our series on teen substance abuse by guest blogger Lisa Chinn LMHC, CDP.

Over the years, if I received 10 cents (inflation taken into consideration) every time I heard “I drive better when I am smoking weed.” OR “My friend drives better when they are using.” I would be SO MUCH closer to retirement. Ok, all kidding aside, many teens who are using substances actually believe they drive better under the influence. Most teen know they shouldn’t drink and drive, but most teens believe they can smoke marijuana and drive. There are many teens who believe they drive BETTER when they smoke marijuana. This blog isn’t about proving whether someone can drive “better or worst” under the influence, but about what happens if your teen gets into an accident. Remember parents: When your teens start to drive, they are under YOUR insurance. Read full post »

Addressing teen substance use: Post 2 Do UAs at home or Not to do UAs at home

This is the second post by guest blogger Lisa Chinn LMHC, CDP on adolescent substance use. In this post, she’ll cover the topic of home urine toxicology screens.

Do UAs at home or Not to do UAs at home?

What is a UA? UA is short hand for urine analysis, urine toxicity screen or drug test. UAs are the only neutral evidence of whether a person has used substances or not. It is not dependent on a person’s word or their behaviors. As a drug treatment provider, I recommend that UA or drug testing be done at home when you suspect or know that your adolescent is using. Most teens know, most substances will flush the system within a couple of days of using, therefore if the only drug testing they get are at their appointments, they may not get “caught” for a while.

Drug testing has two purposes: to catch them when they are NOT using and catch them when they ARE using. It is as important to catch them when they are NOT using, as it is to catch them when they are using. Read full post »

Bullying Among Adolescents Part 1: What is Bullying, Really?

girl bullying

When I ask parents and teens, “What do you think is the most pressing health issue facing adolescents today?”  I often hear that bullying is on everyone’s minds.  Some of this concern comes from high-profile media cases of teens who have, sadly, died of suicide after being victims of bullying; in the media, bullying has also long been blamed as a contributor to school shootings and continues to be reported as a trigger for violent retaliatory behavior.  In addition, research on bullying has increased in the last few decades, with many studies finding that kids who have been bullied AND kids who bully others are more likely to have school problems, mental health issues, and even physical health problems into adulthood.

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Teens and loss of a friend or loved one

Me and My DadAs my family welcomes our new daughter and the holiday season starts, I’ve reflected on the death of my Dad in 2013. Knowing that he isn’t present to hold his grandchild or share in our excitement is painful. Even though I grieved for my Dad when he passed away, the loss still hits me from time to time.  Thinking of my own loss, I am reminded of many of the teens I’ve worked with in clinical practice who are also facing the loss of a friend or loved one. Death is a natural part of life and eventually everyone will lose someone they care about, but this doesn’t make the loss any easier to handle. Read full post »

Newbie blogger alert!

Selkie 2014Hello everyone!  I’m Ellen Selkie, one of the docs in Adolescent Medicine, and I’m stepping into the GIANT shoes left behind by Jen Brown on Teenology 101.  I’ll be blogging along with Dr. Evans, and thought I should introduce myself.  I’m excited to continue the dialogue on this blog about current topics in adolescent health and culture, and I look forward to answering any questions you might have!

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Addressing Teen Substance Use: Post 1 Are Your Teen(s) Using In Your Home?

In the Adolescent Medicine Clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital, we have the privilege of working with chemical dependency professional, Lisa Chinn LMHC, CDP. Over the next two months, we’ll be posting a guest authored series written by Lisa on teen substance abuse. She’ll cover some of the challenging topics parents often ask about in our clinic setting including how to address substance use in your home, whether or not to have your teen provide random drug screens, and how to address alcohol poisoning. Lisa is a great resource and we hope readers find useful information throughout the series!

Are Your Teen(s) Using in Your Home? Read full post »

A Goodbye, and a Hello

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Dear Readers,

As many of you know, I have been studying at the University of Washington for a graduate nursing degree. I am now a nurse practitioner, and have found work at an agency outside of Children’s.

This means that I will be leaving Teenology 101. The good news is that an absolutely amazing Children’s employee will be taking my place! Read full post »

Video games and teens: harmful or helpful?

computerkidThe question of whether video games lead to risky behaviors is one that has been asked by parents, educators, psychologists, and most of the other adults who are routinely around teens. Some video games portray acts of violence (such as stealing cars, driving recklessly, or killing ) while others put the teen in the role of a superhero (such a those based on comic book characters). Is there a difference in how a teen may act in their regular life, while not playing a game, if video games are a hobby? Read full post »

Teens and the use of human growth hormone

girls basketballIn our society we are constantly bombarded with images displaying a narrow view of what it means to be attractive, handsome, or beautiful. Adolescents are just as susceptible to feeling like they need to look a certain way as adults are. Unfortunately, this push to have a certain physique can lead to some pretty dangerous behaviors. Teens may skip meals, take diet pills, exercise excessively, vomit after eating, or take laxatives in order to lose weight or prevent weight gain. Another dangerous trend is increasing: the use human growth hormone in an effort to build muscle. Read full post »