Drugs and Alcohol

All Articles in the Category ‘Drugs and Alcohol’

Teens and Sexual Assault, Part 2: Drinking and Drugs

Group Of Teenagers Drinking AlcoholIn this post, and posts to come, I’m going to talk about safety measures that teens can take to try and lower their risk of sexual assault. However, that comes with two important caveats. The first is that, unfortunately, there is nothing a teen can do to keep themselves 100% safe from sexual assault. The second is that if a sexual assault occurs, the blame is 100% on the perpetrator. It does not matter how the victim was acting, or what risks they took, or whether or not they showed good judgment in the situations leading up to the assault; a person who sexually assaults another person is the only one who bears responsibility for that assault.

The tips I am giving in the next few posts are ways to possibly lower risk, but someone who chooses to ignore all of them should never be blamed if they are attacked. Sometimes I wonder if we spend time teaching our teens to take safety measures and then forget to teach our teens to not sexually assault people. Like I mentioned in my last post, take the time to discuss with your teen, no matter what their gender, what is and is not acceptable. Again, I’m not implying your teen is the type of person to victimize someone, but they might be able to speak up to help someone else. If one teen had chosen to call the police when they saw what was happening during the Steubenville incident, the victim’s assaults- or at least some of them- might never have happened. Read full post »

Marijuana legalization: what parents can say to their children

With the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana and marijuana-infused foods and beverages in Washington state this week, and the development of a commercial marijuana market over the next year, parents are asking what they should say to their children.

Since parents are the primary influence on adolescent behavior, even if it may not seem that way, it is important to discuss the new law and what is expected in your family.  High school students who smoke marijuana report that they started between the ages of 13 -14 so conversations need to start early.

First, ask children what they know about marijuana.  This is a good time to correct the many myths about marijuana.  For example, many teenagers tell us that marijuana cures cancer.  This is not true.

Then move on to the facts. Read full post »

Drug Use Among Teens: Part 6 Inhalants

In this series we’ve been discussing various things teens may use to get high. So far we’ve covered alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana, and even non-chemical things like the choking game. There are so many substances out there that it would be hard to cover everything! But before we end the series, I wanted to talk a bit about inhalants. Read full post »

Drug Use Among Teens: Part 5 the choking game

We’ve been talking about various drugs that teens may be exposed to in this series, but I wanted to also address other things teens may use to ‘get high.’ This post will focus on the ‘choking game,’ which isn’t a game at all. In fact, teens may ‘play’ this game because they see it as safe: it’s not a drug or alcohol. It can be done alone or with friends and is free. The problem is that this can be deadly. Read full post »

Drug use among teens: Part 4 Alcohol

Drug and alcohol use amongst teens is not a new issue. In fact before this series, we had previous blog posts on these topics, but the substances that are used to get high are constantly changing names and new things are being introduced, so I felt a series dedicated to the subject was warranted. In this post, the focus will be on alcohol, the most commonly used addictive substance among teens. Read full post »

Drug Use Among Teens: Part 3 Marijuana

Marijuana use amongst teens is not uncommon. In fact, 40% of teens in high school have tried marijuana at least once. Cannabis use has long been a topic in the press. In Washington state, measure Initiative-502 calls to legalize marijuana and a local commercial includes a mother discussing her reasons for supporting the measure. The purpose of this blog is not to support or disapprove of marijuana use, but to educate on some of the harmful effects marijuana can have on teens.

In a previous post we discussed marijuana and warning signs of substance abuse for parents to watch out for.  Here I want to discuss some of the behavior changes that go along with marijuana use. Read full post »

Drug Use Among Teens: Part 2 Stimulants

We started this series discussing teen drug use and designer drugs. Now we’ll talk a bit about stimulants. These consist of a wide variety of substances, but some are easier to get than others.  A great example of a stimulant is that most adults rely on each morning is caffeine.

For this post, I’ll provide an overview of caffeine, prescription ADHD medicines, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Read full post »

Drug Use Among Teens: Part 1 Designer drugs

This is the first in a series of posts about drugs that teens are abusing these days. A friend who is a social worker suggested I start this blog discussing some of the newer drugs that are gaining popularity. I am always amazed at the variety of things being offered to teens and surprised at how many teens admit to trying them. The substances being used include ones that have been around for centuries (alcohol, tobacco), but there are always going to be new things out there. For parents, it’s important to know what drugs are being offered to their kids, but  it’s even more important to remember to teach teens how to be responsible for their health and say ‘no thank you’ to drugs. This series will discuss the new and old drugs being used by or offered to teens.

I’ll start the series talking about some of the newer drugs… bath salts and spice. Read full post »

Teen Mental Health, Chronic Pain, and Prescription Drug Abuse

I will be continuing with the Transgender Teens posts, but a recent study came out that I want to highlight, as it’s an important one. It involves teens, pain, and substance abuse- specifically, chronic pain, and the dangers that can come when careful attention is not paid to how teens are treated.

Chronic pain is generally defined as pain that lasts beyond a certain amount of time: usually 3 or 6 months. Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand exactly what is causing it. For a parent, it is exhausting and miserable to watch your child suffer day after day. You should always be vigilant and ensure that your child’s pain is being appropriately treated; but if they are on certain medications, your vigilance needs to extend even further.

Read full post »

Teens and Black Out Parties

I was watching the news this week and took note of a dangerous new trend called “black out” parties.  These are parties where teens and college students dress in neon colors and go dance. They can be held in warehouse spaces or empty buildings that can be rented for the evening and are usually promoted as light shows with dancing. Often the advertising for the party states it is alcohol-free. This simple description doesn’t sound so harmful, however, what struck me was the report of how many teens are using the parties as a way to access alcohol and drugs. Read full post »