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Medicine Cabinets: Your Teens Drug Dealer – Be AWARE

It isn’t street drugs you have to worry about – your kids, teens and tweens can find drugs in your home or a friends home – even more prevalent if a grandparents home.

You know how easy it is to forget about a prescription that you never finished and stored in your medicine cabinet. Proper drug disposal protects your loved ones from misuse. Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs among 12-13 year olds. Many of these pills can be found in your medicine cabinet and around your house. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foundation and their AWARxEConsumer Protection Program are helping to stop this growing!

 April 28 is theDEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  If you have any unused prescription drugs in your home, you can drop them off at the designated collection site in your community on April 28. The DEA coordinates with the local law enforcement and community partners to provide thousands of sites across the country, many of them at police departments, so that the unwanted drugs are disposed of safely and legally. Sites will accept pills, both prescription and nonprescription, for disposal.

I had the opportunity to interview the Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Dr. Catizone on the dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse.  Dr. Catizone is the Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and a licensed pharmacist. He currently serves as a Governor of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Board of Directors and Chair of the PTCB Certification Council. Dr. Catizone is regularly called to serve as an expert witness for the US Government in the areas of pharmacy practice and regulation on both the state and national level issues.

Check out my interview with Dr. Catizone below and visit www.AWARERX.ORG for more information on prevention and the April 28 DEA Take-Back Day. Also, don’t forget to like AWARxE on Facebook! www.facebook.com/AWARxE

A)      What are the dangers associated with taking prescription drugs that are not prescribed to you.

Dr. Catizone:   Taking a medication not prescribed for you can lead to serious health consequences, permanent injuries, or death. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2009, 1.2 million emergency department visits were related to the misuse or abuse of prescription drugs. Controlled substance medications have the potential for abuse, and taking these medications if they are not prescribed to you could lead to addiction. Every year, 15,000 people die from an overdose of prescription painkillers, according to the CDC.

B)       What is the best way to prevent teenagers from abusing prescription drugs?

Dr. Catizone:   An important step is to talk with teens about the serious dangers of prescription drug abuse. A video recommended by AWARxE, called The Road to Nowhere, tells the story of a teen who experimented with prescription drugs at a party and became addicted to the drugs. A link to the video is available on the AWARxE Get Local Oklahoma page. Teens can visit AWARErx.org for many other resources.

C)      Are there any other ways to dispose of unused prescription drugs besides DEA prescription drug take-back days?

Dr. Catizone:  Many cities and counties across the country provide permanent medication disposal programs. Many programs provide a drop-box at a police department—these programs can take controlled substance medications for disposal. Other programs are run by hazardous waste disposal agencies or other entities that cannot accept controlled substance medications, but can take all other unused drugs for safe disposal.

Many of the AWARxE Get Local pages have links to local disposal programs, and we are actively expanding these resources. We are happy to take information about local programs and post it on our Web site. Anyone who has information on a disposal program can e-mail the information they have to AWARErx@nabp.net – we will review for inclusion on the respective state’s Get Local page.

If there are no drug disposal sites near you, there are options for disposing of drugs at home. The information that comes with your prescription may provide instructions on home disposal. Only some medications should be flushed down the toilet and the US Food and Drug Administration has a list of these drugs on its Web site. If there are no instructions for disposal you can throw the drugs in your home garbage. But first, take them out of the container and mix them with an undesirable substance like coffee grounds or cat litter.

More details about drug disposal programs are available on the AWARxE Medication Disposal page.

D)      How can you tell if someone is abusing prescription drugs and how can you help them stop?

Dr. Catizone: Side effects associated with prescription drug abuse include dizziness, loss of appetite, unconsciousness, impaired memory, mood swings, loss of motor coordination, trouble breathing and rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Seeking advice and assistance from your family health care provider, such as your doctor is recommended. Your doctor can provide information and/or referrals to local programs that help identify abuse and treat addiction.

If teens are in need of help, a school’s guidance counselor can also be an excellent resource for local information.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides an online substance abuse treatment locator and links to resources about addiction and treatment on its Web site.

E )      What can parents do to make sure the prescription drugs they do have in their homes will not be abused by their teenagers?

Dr. Catizone:  Parents should securely store all medications in the household. For example, you may want to lock your medications in a secure cabinet or a medicine safe. In particular, you should securely store controlled substance prescription drugs, such as certain pain medications and ADHD medications.

You may also wish to keep track of the number of pills left in the bottle.

Remember that sometimes prescription drugs are taken out of medicine cabinets by visitors to the home, such as a teen’s guests.

If you have pills or medication that is no longer needed or has expired, dispose of it at an authorized DEA Take-Back location, or a local medication disposal program. The next DEA Take-Back Day is April 28, 2012 and collection sites will be located across the country.

More information about these events, as well as an alternate method for safely disposing of unneeded drugs in the home garbage, is available on the AWARxE Medication Disposal page.

Links for cited Web pages:

·         The Road to Nowhere video: http://www.awarerx.org/State_OK.php

·         Medication Disposal: http://www.awarerx.org/medDisposal.php

·         Get Local: http://www.awarerx.org/getLocal.php

·         FDA Drug Disposal Information: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186187.htm#MEDICINES

·         SAMHSA online substance abuse treatment locator: http://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/index.aspx

·         SAMHSA links to resources about addiction and treatment: http://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/index.aspx.

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Recovery Month March 2012: Join the Voices

Road to Recovery March 2012 is here!

We know that almost 1 in 10 Americans struggle with a substance abuse disorder and 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness.  Treatment and recovery are a pathway forward.

The National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) campaign offers help and hope not only for individuals receiving recovery services and in recovery but also for families, loved ones, and friends. The benefits of treatment and recovery-oriented services and supports in behavioral health ripple out across entire communities throughout our Nation, proving there are effective treatments and that people do recover.

As the Road to Recovery series kicks off its 12th season, this episode will highlight the many accomplishments of the 2011 Recovery Month campaign and look forward to a successful September 2012 Recovery Month.

 

Please visit http://www.recoverymonth.gov for more information.  Watch video.
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Facebook Addiction: 10 Signs You Are Checking Your Status Too Frequently

We often hear about our teens and their inability to “unplug“.

We know that the kids are constantly checking their Facebook, but what about the parents?

FaceBook status updates have become a common form of communication between friends and acquaintances. Some folks, however, get a bit carried away with it.

Here are 10 signs that you update Facebook too frequently.

  1. Before Reading. The very first sign that you may be updating your FaceBook status too often, is if you find that you’ve come back to read this article after having opened a new window or tab to post on your wall, before continuing on.
  2. Homework Updates. Another sign that you’re posting too often on FaceBook is when you realize you’ve posted on your teenager’s wall to ask about his or her homework. This is especially true if the two of you are both at home at the time of your asking.
  3. Serial Burglary. Your house has been burglarized 3 times in the last 2 months, because the creepy older brother of one of your son’s friends keeps track of your where-abouts through your facebook postings. This one is a sure sign that you are updating your Facebook status a bit too frequently.
  4. Recognized by Strangers. If people you’ve never met regularly approach you on the street and address you by name and ask if your cat still refuses to use the litter box, you’re probably updating FaceBook too often.
  5. OMG! Out Loud. If you ever catch yourself saying OMG! on witnessing an amazing event in real life, it’s time to consider how frequently you update your FaceBook status. This also includes out loud utterance of other acronyms, such as saying TY instead of thank you.
  6. Too Much Information. If your doctor calls you to suggest a possible solution to your frequent urination issues, and you haven’t reported any such thing to the doctor’s office, you’re probably updating FaceBook with too much information and too often.
  7. Status: Unemployed. If your FaceBook friends know that you’ve been laid-off from your job before your spouse knows, you are definitely posting status updates too often. On the flip side, the same is true if your FaceBook friends know about your promotion before your spouse knows about it.
  8. Unseen Award. If you look up from your computer and realize that your daughter has already received her high school diploma and is walking back to her seat, you’re probably updating FaceBook too often.
  9. Withdrawal. You may be updating FaceBook too frequently, if you begin to sweat and feel a tremor in your mouse hand when a staff meeting runs long and keeps you away from your computer for more than an hour.
  10. 3rd Person. Another sign to watch for is a shift toward 3rd person responses when someone asks you how you are doing. As it happens, the author of this article is just fine, though a little tired today. He thanks you for caring.

If you find yourself nodding your head or smiling sheepishly at 3 or more of these signs, don’t be surprised if a day comes when your family or pastor arranges for an intervention and takes your smart-phone away from you for a while.

Source:  Internet Service

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Teen Drinking: Alcohol Screening and Intervention for Youth

If you manage the health and well-being of 9- to 18-year-olds, this Guide is for you.

“Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide” is designed to help health care professionals quickly identify youth at risk for alcohol-related problems. NIAAA developed the Guide and Pocket Guide in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, a team of underage drinking researchers and clinical specialists, and practicing health care professionals.

Why use this tool?

  • It can detect risk early: In contrast to other screens that focus on established alcohol problems, this early detection tool aims to help you prevent alcohol-related problems in your patients before they start or address them at an early stage.
  • It’s empirically based: The screening questions and risk scale, developed through primary survey research, are powerful predictors of current and future negative consequences of alcohol use.
  • It’s fast and versatile: The screen consists of just two questions, which can be incorporated easily into patient interviews or pre-visit screening tools across the care spectrum, from annual exams to urgent care.
  • It’s the first tool to include friends’ drinking: The “friends” question will help you identify patients at earlier stages of alcohol involvement and target advice to include the important risk of friends’ drinking.


Download or order the Guide and pocket guide.

You may also be interested in related resources to support you, your patients, and their families

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Internet Addiction: Would Ever Consider Taking the Internet Away From your Teens?

Taking the Internet away?  Highly unlikely!

This only re-iterates the fact that parenting has another added responsibility; Teaching your children the risks and dangers of the Internet as well as the benefits of it.

The Internet is an amazing source of information, news and culture. But the Internet also has a dark side that isn’t always appropriate for all ages. Perhaps that is why parents have stepped in to monitor how their children are exposed to the Internet. It’s a tough job, but someone has got to do it.

Here are the top 10 reasons parents take the Internet away from kids:

  1. Pornography: The Internet has plenty of valuable and useful information. It also has a great deal of highly offensive pornographic material that is not suitable for children. Parents can exercise their discretion in monitoring their children’s intake of pornography and have a responsibility to do so. Without their careful monitoring, a child can be exposed to things that they have no business seeing.
  2. Hateful Content: The freedom of expression the Internet allows can expose some truly hateful opinions. Children should not be exposed to this sort of hateful content, and it’s important that parents step in to prevent children from hearing overtly hateful messages.
  3. Religious Reasons: The Internet is the ultimate open forum where people can express a dizzying array of views on any subject. For those parents who have deeply held religious beliefs, exposing their children to discriminatory messages may not be tolerated. This might be a good reason to step in and take the Internet away from a kid who is snooping around in all the wrong places.
  4. They Should be Exercising: Whatever happened to playing outside? Many children spend too much time on the Internet and not enough time exercising. To help combat the epidemic of obesity, parents should step in and be sure that their kids are getting enough exercise. One great way to do this is to take away their kids’ favorite distraction: the Internet.
  5. Punishment: Now that kids rely on the Internet for everything, taking away a child’s access to the Internet can be an effective punishment. Threatening to take away Internet or Internet access may keep even the most unruly kids on their best behavior.
  6. Age: There is no official age limit on who can access the Internet, but parents have a good idea of who is too young to surf the web and should enforce those common sense ideas. If a kid is barely in Kindergarten, they may not need an iPhone or Internet access. Parents should use their discretion when it comes to children and the Internet.
  7. Excess Usage: If a kid is using the Internet way too much, a parent should step in and take it away. Why? Because many negative behaviors can be correlated with overdependence on the Internet at a young age, such as anti-social behavior, obesity and poor academic performance. Parents should closely monitor how long their kids spend on the net and take the appropriate steps to ensure that they aren’t surfing too much.
  8. Money Reasons: High speed Internet access can be expensive. In these tough economic times, sacrifices must be made. For some families, the expensive Internet access their kids enjoy may be on the chopping block. When facing a dismal financial reality, the Internet is a luxury that not every kid or family will be able to afford.
  9. Security: The Internet can be a dangerous place. From identity theft to sexual predators, kids are at risk when they surf the web. A responsible parent will know when to step in and ensure that their children are surfing safely. If they can’t surf safely, kids shouldn’t surf at all.
  10. Life Lessons: Going without something you enjoy is an important life lesson. You may not always get your way, and life isn’t always instantaneously gratifying. By taking away the ultimate source of instant gratification, for whatever reason, kids can learn a valuable life lesson that you can’t always get what you want.

Special contributor: Gordon Smith of  Internet Provider

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Addiction: It is more than substance abuse

Is social networking addictive?

Addiction is a strong word that a parent has difficulty accepting when it comes to their teens or young adult children.

Addictions are powerful chemical dependencies that don’t always make sense to outsiders or even psychologists, for that matter. What we do know is that if the brain likes what it tastes, feels or sees, anything and everything can become addictive.

Here are 25 addictions you didn’t know existed:

  1. Work Addiction: People joke about it, but work addictions really do exist. People who are addicted to work obsess over work and spend more than the necessary amount of time at work because it gives them a sense of fulfillment. Workaholics often experience broken relationships, emotional disconnection and other health-related problems.
  2. Eating Cigarette Ashes: Addiction to eating cigarette ashes is a form of pica disorder, in which a person craves foods with no nutritional value. People who eat cigarette ashes may have nutritional deficiencies or be anemic. Excessive consumption of cigarette ashes could be toxic and cause gastrointestinal issues.
  3. Tanning: Tanning addicts aren’t just soaking up the sun during summer — it’s a year-round activity. In order to release the pleasure-inducing (and addictive) endorphins in the brain, sun worshipers go to tanning salons and sunbathe outdoors to get their fix. Tanning addicts are in danger of developing serious skin cancers and increased signs of aging.
  4. Eating Chalk: Chalk eating is a common form of pica disorder that affect both children and adults. Even though it is labeled as non-hazardous, excessive chalk eating can be harmful to your health. Chalk may be contaminated during the manufacturing process and could contain metal shavings, rodent droppings and traces of chemicals that may be dangerous to ingest.
  5. Eating Glass: Glass eating, also called hyalophagia, is a pathological and pica disorder that is very dangerous. People who are addicted to eating glass may sustain internal injuries and have serious gastrointestinal issues. Glass eating has been a performance technique for years, and many addicts enjoy the attention that comes with eating glass.
  6. Hair Pulling: Hair pulling, also called trichotillomania, is an overwhelming addiction to pulling, twisting and plucking hair from the scalp or face. People who are addicted to pulling their hair typically have bald spots and may disguise their condition by wearing wigs or hats. The cause of hair pulling is not completely clear, but researchers believe genetic and environmental factors contribute to this painful addiction.
  7. Eating Dirt: Eating dirt, also referred to as geophagy, may be common among some cultures and species, but it’s also considered a form of pica disorder. Even if reports say that eating some dirt can be good for you, excessive consumption can be very unhealthy. Dirt eaters have a high risk for parasitic infections and poisoning if the soil is contaminated with industrial and human pollutants.
  8. Eating Toilet Paper: Toilet paper is another common non-food item consumed by people with pica disorder. Even though toilet paper may seem harmless because we use it on our skin every day, it can contain trace contaminants and chemicals from the manufacturing process. Not only is it unsafe to ingest these chemicals, but toilet paper is not easily digested by the body.
  9. Eating Soap: Believe it or not, there are quite a few people who not only enjoy having a bar of soap in their mouths, but they like to eat it too. Eating soap is a form of pica disorder that can have some serious health consequences. The toxic chemicals in soap can cause digestive problems, metabolic changes and affect the blood stream.
  10. Eating Laundry Detergent: Eating laundry detergent is a form of pica disorder, in which the consumer retains no nutritional value from the product. This addiction poses a serious danger to one’s health when consumed in excess. Laundry detergent is full of toxic ingredients, such as phosphates, chlorine bleach, corrosive acids and fillers that can make you sick to your stomach and cause several other health complications.
  11. Online Shopping: Online shopping addicts will spend a great deal of time and money shopping online for things they don’t need and will never use. This compulsive need to buy is similar to other kinds of shopping addictions, but online shoppers can do it anywhere, anytime. Online shopping addicts often struggle with finances, relationships and work productivity.
  12. Thumb Sucking: Thumb sucking is an addiction shared by children and adults alike. There are many reasons why people suck their thumbs during adulthood, such as anxiety and security. Aside from public humiliation and embarrassment, adults who are addicted to sucking their thumb might experience dental problems, social isolation and shame.
  13. Online Gambling: Online gambling addiction is a serious problem that can cause you and your loved ones a great deal of pain. Online gambling addicts spend countless hours and inconceivable amounts of money gambling every day. They often experience problems in their relationships, finances and work performance.
  14. Bodybuilding: Bodybuilding is something that can start out as normal and healthy, but can become very addictive in no time. Extreme bodybuilding can lead to many unhealthy practices, such as steroid usage. The obsession with being as muscular and strong as possible puts serious strain on one’s body and heart and can lead to disordered eating, as well.
  15. Chat Room Addiction: Visiting online chat rooms may seem like an innocent activity, but it has proven to be quite addictive for some. Chat room addicts spend a great deal of time on the computer visiting chat rooms and talking to friends or complete strangers. Some symptoms of a chat room addict include social isolation, irritability and anxiety when not on the computer, depression and problems at work.
  16. Romantic Rejection: Believe it or not, romantic rejection is something that people can become addicted to. People who constantly experience romantic rejection may actually become addicted to the pain and distress they feel afterward. This is an unhealthy addiction that could lead to further emotional and mental health problems.
  17. Tattoos: For many people, tattoos are like potato chips — you can never have just one. However, there comes a point where getting tattoos can become a serious addiction. Tattoo addicts may be obsessed with the pain of the needle and the adrenaline response, as well as the attention they get from having tons of tattoos. The more tattoos a person gets the greater their chances are for having allergic reactions, skin infections and contracting blood-borne diseases.
  18. Facebook: Even though it isn’t an actual medical diagnosis, Facebook addiction is a real concern. Facebook addicts are so enamored with social networking that they’ve dissociated themselves with the real world. Facebook addicts are always signed on and constantly updating their statuses or looking at others’ profiles. They may have trouble being productive at work and keeping their relationships intact.
  19. Text Messaging: Text messaging may be the next dangerous addiction affecting today’s youth and adults. Text messaging addicts are obsessed with sending message after message and may prefer shorthand messages over direct communication, which can drastically impair social skills. An addict’s impulsivity to send a message also increases their chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
  20. Piercings: Piercings, much like tattoos, can be very addictive. Whether it’s the pain of piercing the skin or the attention it draws, people can become addicted to piercings in an unhealthy way. There are some serious risks involved with excessive piercing, such as bacterial infections, allergic reactions, blood-borne diseases and damage to nerves.
  21. Eating Sugar: Sugar addiction is not just an excuse to eat tons of candy – it’s a real problem. Sugar addicts consume foods and drinks that contain large quantities of sugar, specifically white refined sugar. This unhealthy diet can lead to many health problems, including diabetes, pancreatic problems, bowel diseases, obesity and dental issues.
  22. Computer Addiction: In today’s day and age, computer addiction is a real and concerning problem. Computer addicts spend hours upon hours on the computer doing a number of activities that aren’t work-related. The need to be on the computer at all times can cause serious problems in one’s relationships, work performance and overall well-being.
  23. Eating Paint Chips: Eating paint chips is a common form of pica disorder that is often seen during childhood. Ingesting paint chips is very dangerous to one’s health and can lead to lead poisoning. Lead poising in children can lead to irreversible brain damage and slow physical and mental development. In adults, lead poisoning can cause nerve damage, poor muscle coordination and reproductive problems.
  24. Eating Household Cleansers: Eating household cleansers is a form of pica disorder that is more common than you may think. This bizarre eating habit gives addicts a sense of happiness and fulfillment, but also comes with a slew of health problems. Household cleansers contain several toxic chemicals that are dangerous to ingest and can cause gastrointestinal issues and poisoning in large amounts.
  25. Life-Sized Love Dolls: It may sound ludicrous, but there is a large group of individuals who are addicted to life-sized love dolls. These dolls don’t just provide sexual partnership; they also offer companionship and acceptance to these lonely individuals. People who are addicted to love dolls are often socially isolated and disconnected with the real world.

Special contributor:  Celina Jacobson

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Teen Help: Hesitation and Procastination

Parenting is probably one of the hardest jobs there is.

During the holidays the added stress can cause contention as well as family disputes.

However if you are dealing with an at-risk teenager, a teen that was already struggling down a negative path – maybe experimenting with drugs or hanging with a less than desirable peer group or has failed their first semester of school, holiday times can be more strenuous.

Dealing with troubled teens at any time of the year is not easy, it is a challenge.  Dealing with troubled teens during the holidays can be double the trouble.  With time off from school, many families have both parents working with limited supervision at home which leaves many teens on their own.  Have you checked your medicine cabinets lately?

Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, founded in Broward County, has been helping families with teens in trouble for almost a decade.  One of the common threads is during the holidays when teens start to escalate with their issues, and parents will go deep into denial hoping to get through the holidays.

What they don’t seem to understand is that teenager is crying out for help and prolonging this help can only make things worse – whether it ends up in a legal battle or otherwise, if you are debating an intervention with your teens, don’t hestitate because it is the holiday.  There will be many more holidays in the future and the sooner you get your teen help, the sooner your family will be on the road to healing.

Being a parent in denial is also being selfish.  This is not about the parent – it is about the teen.  There will be plenty of time for blame and/or shame later, the immediate issue is getting your teen help.

Ask yourself:

  • Is your teen escalating out of control?
  • Is your teen becoming more and more defiant and disrespectful?
  • Is your teen manipulative? Running your household?
  • Are you hostage in your own home by your teen’s negative behavior?
  • Is your teen angry, violent or rage outbursts?
  • Is your teen verbally abusive?
  • Is your teen rebellious, destructive and withdrawn?
  • Is your teen aggressive towards others or animals?
  • Is your teen using drugs and/or alcohol?
  • Does your teen belong to a gang?
  • Do they frequently runaway or leave home for extended periods of time?
  • Has their appearance changed – piercing, tattoo’s, inappropriate clothing?
  • Has your teen stopped participating in sports, clubs, church and family functions?  Have they become withdrawn from society?

Be an educated parent – don’t let the holidays prolong you from getting your teen the help they may need.

Need parent choices?  Click here.

Helpful hints when looking for residential therapy: Click here.

Visit www.helpyourteens.com for more information.

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