Tag Archive | Teen Drug Abuse

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll: ‘SKINS’ Where Teens Are Teens?

Viewer discretion advised…

Is that enough to convince your teen to watch with caution?  It seems most of today’s society simply ignore any warnings of viewer discretion announcement.

Reality shows are definitely the trend and there is no denying, they are becoming more and more popular with all ages, but what happens when it involves minors?  Toddlers and Tiarras has had much controversary, not to mention Jersey Shore.  From toddlers to young adults, when is enough – ENOUGH?

The controversy surrounding MTV’s no-holds-barred teen drama “Skins” is shaking up parents as as as the Parents Television Council (PTC). Just days after the U.S. version of the British teen series first aired,  PTC has urged the federal government to investigate the show for possible violations of child pornography laws.

According to the president of PTC, Tim Winter, “You have a major conglomerate, Viacom and MTV, that is directly marketing to children graphic sex, profanity, drug use.”

Seen on the Today Show (must watch video), legal analyst and victims’ rights advocate Wendy Murphy not only sees the PTC’s point, she anticipates Viacom’s defense.

Their defense is likely to be ‘oh, come on, this is just a television show,’ but that’s not really a defense, because that’s not the issue,” Murphy explained. “The only issue is, are there kids involved who are under the age of 18? That’s it! That’s enough!  That’s child pornography.”

For those that have not heard of this new show, Skins is not a reality show, it is actually scripted and the actors are between the ages of 15-18 years-old.  They are participating in disturbing acts such as sex, drugs and more.  Is this legal?

Let’s hear your opinion.  Leave your comments below.

Alexis P. of Ft. Lauderdale commented, “When my 14 year-old son sees a view discretion warning, he continues watching as if it wasn’t there.  It is ridiculous to believe that parents are able to control everything their kids are watching and it is a shame people see this trash as entertainment.”

MTV issued a statement on Today Show as follows:

Skins’ is a show that addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way,” the statement read. “We are confident that the episodes of ‘Skins’ will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers.”

Let’s go back to the beginning, who is really reading Viewer Discretion Advised? Most likely, not the kids watching it – those words usually peak the curiosity of most teens and tweens.

Be an educated parent, know what your kids are watching.

Read more.

Teen Drug Use: Dangers of Pot and Teens

 

When it comes to parenting your teenagers it is never too late or too often to talk about the dangers of drug use.

Many parents will ignore the warning signs or make excuses for them, but when reality hits home that your teen is using drugs, it is critical you get involved.  Communication is always key to prevention, however there are times when your teen is no longer listening.  It doesn’t mean you stop talking.

Intervention starts at home. If you suspect drug use, talk to your teen.  If they admit to using drugs, and are determined not to quit or even tell you they can quit if they want, take it to the next level.  Seek out local adolescent therapy or counseling.  In some cases this will be a brickwall but in other situations it can be the beginning of understanding why your teen is turning to substance abuse.

If your teen escalates to a level that is uncontrollable, or simply defiant to all your rules and boundaries – and most importantly, putting your family or themselves at risk – it may be time to think about residential therapy.  Remember, safety matters, and we are talking about the safety and health of your family.

What happens if you suspect that your teen is already using alcohol and drugs? What do you say to them? The conversation is the same: parents need to tell their kids that drug and alcohol use by teens is not allowed in your family. The issue won’t go away until you do something. You will simply have to acknowledge that your teen has a problem — your teen is using drugs and that won’t get any better until you take action on your teen’s behalf. It is OK to ask for help. In fact, getting help may make it easier for you to have the conversation.

Practice the conversation ahead of time. You may have to have a couple of “practice runs.” These conversations are not easy but they are worthwhile. Talking it over with your spouse/partner beforehand will help you keep a level head and speak to the issue. (Review some key talking points and practice these sample conversations beforehand.) – Source: Parents: The Anti-Drug

Are you considering residential therapy, contact Parents’ Universal Resource Experts for more infomation on this major decision.  It is about the safety of your family and your teenager.  Order Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen.

Sue Scheff: Prescription Drug Abuse and Teens

Smoking marijuana is unfortunately common amongst many tweens and teens, however just behind that is the use of prescription drug use.  This is a serious problem since many homes are stocked with RX’s – and some parents are in denial that their teen would even consider taking these medications.  Be an educated parent.  Talk to your kids about the dangers of taking prescriptions that are not for them.  Check out Operation Medicine Cabinet.

Source: Connect with Kids

Sharing Prescription Drugs

They’re sort of acting as their own health care providers, and that can really be dangerous.”

– Katherine Lyon Daniel, Ph.D.

What’s the most commonly abused drug by today’s high school students? According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, prescription drugs rank second behind marijuana. Abuse is more than buying drugs illegally. Parents should be talking with their kids about the problems of sharing prescribed medications – something that’s more common place in school hallways than one might believe.

Kids share asthma drugs… “I might say here you go and let him borrow it,” says Jaiah Scott, 17, about sharing his inhaler.

They share prescription pain killers… “People at school do that, if they have a headache or something,” says fifteen-year-old Michelle.

Even prescription medications like Accutane… “Like your friend could be oh, you know it helped me, it could help you,” says Jennifer, 18.

Studies report that about 20% of teens have shared their prescription drugs and about one-third who borrowed the medications experienced a negative side effect. Says 17-year-old Ginny, “I think there’s a lot of sharing of medication, prescription medications. It’s kind of come to not be such a big deal.”

But experts warn otherwise. The risks include overdose, allergic reactions, interactions with other prescriptions and a number of other side effects.

“They’re sort of acting as their own health care providers, and that can really be dangerous. You want to help a friend, they have a medication problem — you’re sharing. But this is one time sharing isn’t nice,” says Katherine Lyon Daniel, Ph.D.

With the acne drug Accutane, for example, severe birth defects can result if a teen who is pregnant takes even one dose. Another alarming statistic: 40 percent of adults share their medications. Experts say that while 40 percent of teens surveyed said that they got prescription medications from a friend, 33 percent said a prescription medication came from a family member.

Since children often take their cues from adults, experts say parents should set an example. Don’t share your own drugs and make it clear to your child that sharing medication with friends is dangerous — and that taking someone else’s medicine can be dangerous for you.

“You may think you need that medication, but you’re much better off if you get a medication that’s intended for you and the health problem that you’re experiencing,” adds Dr. Daniel.

Related Information

When teens want medicine to help clear up their acne or a strong painkiller for a headache, an alarming number of them skip the doctor and borrow prescription medication from friends, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Researchers based their study on a survey of approximately 1,500 U.S. boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 18. They found that roughly 19.7% of girls and 13.4% of boys actually borrow or share prescription medicine with both friends and family. Consider these additional findings from the study, published in the journal Pediatrics:

  • About 7% of older teen girls (aged 15-18) reported sharing prescription medication more than three times.
  • Eleven percent of the girls aged 12 to 18 admitted one reason they shared medications is they wanted “something strong for pimples or oily skin.”
  • Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed reported they received prescription medication from a family member.

A survey of 12- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. has found that about 20 percent said they have given their prescription drugs like Oxycontin and Darvocet to friends or obtained drugs the same way, according to a study published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Allergy drugs, narcotic pain relievers, antibiotics, acne medications, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications were the most commonly shared. About one-third of those who borrowed medications said they had experienced an allergic reaction or other negative side-effects as a result.
Past research has shown that 40 percent of adults also share their medications. “However, prior to our study, no one had asked adolescents how often they shared prescription medications, which meds they shared and what some of the outcomes were,” said lead researcher Richard Goldsworthy of Academic Edge, Inc.

Tips for Parents

According to the CDC study, most of the adolescents surveyed said they actually had their own prescription for the medication they borrowed from friends. They said they borrowed the medication because they either didn’t have the medication with them or they ran out of it. Others said they shared medicine because they “had the same problem as the person who has the medicine.”

What is the harm in sharing prescription drugs? The Nemours Foundation reports that drugs are tools doctors use to fight infection, treat disease and relieve pain. The right drug, however, must be given to the right child, for the right condition, and taken in the right amount and under the right circumstances to work well. Taking another person’s prescribed medication puts a teen at risk for overdose, allergic reactions, hazardous interactions with other medications and dangerous health side effects. In fact, the CDC study reported that many teens share the acne drug Accutane, which can result in severe fetal birth defects if a pregnant teen takes only one dose.

As a parent, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basic elements of a prescription:

  • How much of and how often the medicine should be taken
  • What the side effects and reactions are, if any
  • How the medicine should be taken
  • How the medicine should be stored

If your doctor prescribes medication for your teen, always look at it carefully before you leave the pharmacy. The Nemours Foundation offers these additional questions to ask your pharmacist:

  • Does this medication require special storage conditions (room temperature or refrigeration)?
  • How many times a day should it be given? Should it be given with food? Without food?
  • Should my teen avoid dairy products when taking this medication?
  • Should I look for any special side effects? What should I do if I notice any of these side effects?
  • Should my teen take special precautions, such as avoiding exposure to sunlight, when taking this medication?
  • What should I do if my teen skips a dose?
  • Is it OK to cut pills in half or crush them to mix into foods?
  • Will this medicine conflict with my teen’s alternative treatment of herbal remedies?

To ensure that your teen is using his or her prescription medicine safely, the National Clearinghouse for Drug & Alcohol Information suggests reviewing the following information with your teen and or your physician:

  • Talk with your physician about any other drugs – prescription, over-the-counter or illegal – you are taking. Drugs may interact negatively with one another, causing harmful side effects and even causing medications to be ineffective.
  • Discuss your medical history with your doctor. Side effects caused by some drugs may worsen other health conditions, even if the medication is used properly. For example, some prescription medications may elevate the user’s blood pressure, causing a serious consequence if the user already suffers from high blood pressure.
  • Read the instructions that come with your medication carefully and take the drug exactly as recommended.
  • Do not give your prescription medications to other people, and never take prescription drugs that have not been prescribed to you by a physician.
  • Throw out expired or leftover medicines.

References

Sue Scheff: Your Medicine Cabinet Could Be Your Teen’s Drug Provider

Have you ever considered you may be your child’s drug provider?  Have you ever thought when they visit your parents (their grandparents) your teens may be taking their medications too?  Broward County, Florida offers Operation Medicine Cabinet

According to the United Way Commission on Substance Abuse, prescription drug abuse is skyrocketing. This fact has fed the increasing rates of opiate-related deaths in recent years. In addition, the DEA reports that painkillers now cause more drug overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. Florida teens abuse prescription pain relievers more than any other illicit drugs except marijuana, according to the 2008 Florida Youth Substance Abuse survey.

While illegal drug use among teens is falling, teen prescription drug abuse is on the rise. One in five teens has abused a prescription pain medication, and in Florida prescription drugs have killed 300% more people than illegal drugs.

Operation Medicine Cabinet helps you rid your medicine cabinet from expired or unnecessary prescriptions.  These prescriptions, in the wrong hands, can be harmful and dangerous.  Participants can drop off prescription drugs with no questions asked and receive a $5.00 gift card to local stores and pharmacies. For information about when and where BSO will hold its next “take back” program, download the schedule and plan you drop off.

Take the time to secure your medicine cabinet against teenagers and children.  Having a teen overdose can be devastating.  How would you feel if he/she overdosed on your very own prescription?  Don’t take that chance.  Be proactive today!

For more information outside of Broward County, Florida, click here.

Watch video and read more on Examiner.

Sue Scheff: Drug Prevention and Your Teens Start with Parenting

Drug prevention with teens and kids today start with PARENTS.   Parents need to take the initiative to talk about the dangers of drug abuse, inhalants, Choking Game, trunking, SNAP, Rainbow Game and many other disturbing issues surrounding teens today.

Peer pressure is a powerful tool, parents need to be stronger and more vocal than the peer groups.

Being an educated parent is the beginning of instilling prevention and having safer and healthier teens.

The Anti-Drug begins with parents.  About The Anti-Drug:

TheAntiDrug.com was created by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to equip parents and other adult caregivers with the tools they need to raise drug-free kids. Working with the nation’s leading experts in the fields of parenting and substance abuse prevention, TheAntiDrug.com serves as a drug prevention information center, and a supportive community for parents to interact and learn from each other.

The site provides parents and other adults caregivers access to:
 

  • Helpful articles and advice from experts in the fields of parenting and substance abuse prevention;
  • Science-based drug prevention information, news and studies;
  • Support from other parents striving to keep their children drug-free;
  • Perspectives of teens themselves.

Where are teens getting prescription drugs? The search starts at home.  Teens say they are easily assessable in their own homes, at a relatives or friends house or even online pharmacies.  What does this mean for parents?  It means you need to learn to safeguard your prescriptions, but more important you need to educate your teens of the dangers of these drugs taken without being prescribed.

Learn much more at The Anti-Drug.com

Read more on Examiner.

Sue Scheff: Don’t be a parent in denial – Learn about drug treatment

After speaking with Dr. Drew last week in an insightful call on teens and cough syrup abuse, the conversation turned to the many parents that are in denial or constantly looking to blame others for their child’s behavior.

How many times have you blamed your child’s friend or a neighbor for negative behavior of your child?  It is not your child, it is the friends he/she is hanging with.  Your child would never do drugs, they are too smart for that.  Are they?  Yes, many are highly intelligent but that doesn’t mean they are immune to drug use.

The faster you remove yourself from the “it’s not my child” excuse, the sooner you can work on getting your child the help he/she may need.

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in five teens reports having abused a prescription drug to get high. 

Teens who learn a lot about the dangers of drugs from their parents are half as likely to abuse drugs. – StopMedicineAbuse


Some red flags parents should be aware of, and not ignore are:

  • Change in friends/peer group
  • Withdrawn, secretive
  • Change in appearance, grooming
  • Decline in grades, skipping school
  • Dazed eyes, glassy eyes, bloodshot
  • Odor or smell to their hair or clothes of alcohol, pot, or nicotine (using body sprays and perfumes more frequently)
  • Lying about their whereabouts, defiance
  • Loss of interest in their usual interests such as sports, dance etc.

Parents need to understand that ignoring these signs or blaming it on others is not going to help your child.  You need to seek treatment so it doesn’t escalate to much worse.  A parent in denial is not helping the child, it is actually harming them.  There isn’t any shame in having a child that is struggling, there is only shame if you don’t reach out and get help.

Resources:

Time to Talk, Five Moms, Stop Medicine Abuse, Inhalant Abuse, Drug Free America, The Anti-Drug

Read more on Examiner and watch video.

Sue Scheff: Young Teens Overdose on Cough Medicine

According to the Florida Sun-Sentinel, 4 students at Pioneer Middle School (ages 13-14 years old) had each taken between eight and 12 cough suppressant pills, though it was unclear if they gulped them down before school or during classes, said Mike Jachles, a Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman.

Parenting teens today is challenging.  These incidents shouldn’t be our wake-up call to talk to our kids. 

Stop Medicine Abuse is an organization that helps parents learn more about drug abuse and teens. Learn more about Stop Medicine Abuse and Five Moms who are making a difference:

Recent studies among middle and high school aged kids across the country show a disturbing form of substance abuse among teens: the intentional abuse of otherwise beneficial medications, both prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC), to get high.

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in five teens reports having abused a prescription drug to get high. Where OTC medicines are concerned, data from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America indicate that one in 10 teens reports having abused OTC cough medicines to get high, and 28 percent know someone who has tried it.

The ingredient the teens are abusing in OTC cough medicines is dextromethorphan, or DXM. When used according to label directions, DXM is a safe and effective ingredient approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is found in well over 100 brand-name and store-brand over-the-counter cough medicines. When abused in extreme amounts, DXM can be dangerous.

StopMedicineAbuse.org was developed by the leading makers of OTC cough medicines to build awareness about this type of substance abuse behavior, provide tips to prevent it from happening, and encourage parents to safeguard their medicine cabinets. Substance abuse can touch any family: The key to keeping teens drug-free is education and talking about the dangers of abuse.

Visit Five Moms: Stop Cough Medicine Abuse for more information from parents.  Watch the short video  and learn more about what your kids ARE doing.

Also on Examiner.