A recent article from Patch.com put together some helpful tips from experts on how parents can help their children avoid drug use. Experts say that with a rise in prescription drugs, and the big names out there like, coke Molly, heroin etc. the youth of today “need stronger tools to avoid drug use in the first place.” Below are some suggestions on how parents can provide support for keeping their children away from drugs.
Experts Suggest: 1. Be the fall guy (Read More)
2. Lock up prescriptions drugs (Read More)
3. Get rid of unneeded medications (Read More)
4. Talk, talk and role model(Read More)
5. Be vigilant and streetwise- “Education is the key,” (Read More)
The Addiction Resource Council website lists these warning signs:
• Changes in sleeping, eating, or grooming habits;
• Hypersensitivity or temper tantrums;
• Unexplained weight loss or gain;
• Red or watery eyes;
• Shaking of the hands, feet, or legs;
• Frequent nausea or vomiting;
• Excessive sweating;
• A drop in grades at school or skipping school;
• Loss of interest in family activities previously enjoyed;
• An “I don’t care” attitude;
• Excessive need for privacy or secrecy; or
• An unexplained need for money or even stealing money
Patch Moms discuss the importance of talking about drugs with your teen. Many parents question how they should approach their teen in an open discussion on drugs. Naturally, it’s a difficult topic to broach, and many parents can only hope that their child has not succumbed to the pressures of peers. That’s why it is critical for parents to always have open lines of communications with their children.
“Only a third of parents talk to their teens about the risks of drugs and alcohol, despite research showing that kids are less likely to use if parents have these conversations, according to the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. And it’s not just illegal drugs parents have to worry about their kids abusing, but also the over-the-counter and prescriptions drugs in their own medicine cabinets.” (For more information check out The 411 on Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse).
If communication with your teen is a struggle especially during those turbulent teenage years, there are alternative ways for parents to at the very least have some reassurance in knowing if their teen is experimenting or using drugs and alcohol or not. Parental controls and computer monitoring software like WebWatcher and WebWatcher Mobile make it possible for parents to track their child’s activity both on their PCs and on their Smartphones.
Yesterday marked a very important day for parents and teens. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) hosted an event called PowerTalk21, a national day to start talking about alcohol. MADD is also offering a handbook, which can be found on the MADD website, as an aide to help parents start this important conversation with their teens, and to stress the importance of not drinking before they’re 21 years old (the legal age of alcohol consumption in America). We attended the event in NYC where some very important people spoke on the importance of starting this discussion immediately, and right in time for Prom and graduation. Kimberly Earle, CEO of MADD National opened this discussion. Chuck Saylors, President of the National PTA also spoke on how important it is for parents to start addressing these types of conversations now rather than later. Dr. Robert Turrisi, Professor at Penn State University, lead a Parent Workshop on how to broach the topic with teens and stressed the importance of keeping this dialogue at the forefront of our minds. He shared with the audience some important findings on teenagers and alcohol consumption.
Fast Facts on Teens and Drinking:
Teen alcohol use kills about 6,000 people each year
1 in 3 students in 8th grade drinks alcohol
1 in 5 teens binge drink
3 in 4 teens try alcohol outside the home before graduating high school
Some conversations starters for Parents:
Do you know kids who drink?
Have you ever been offered alcohol by someone you knew? If so, what did you say? What would you say?
Of the top 10 parenting concerns, from a National Poll on Children’s Health conducted by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, cyberbullying was ranked #4 and internet safety ranked #5. Another important statistic to keep in mind is that the Centers of Disease Control found that a third of suicides among young people are caused by bullying.
The majority of these concerns can be put to rest with smart parenting and open dialogues with your child. When it comes to cyberbullying and online safety, parents can find peace of mind with computer monitoring software and can keep up with what their child is doing online with software like WebWatcher.
Top 10 overall health concerns rated as a big problem for U.S. children in 2009:
Childhood obesity. Forty-two percent of U.S. adults rate childhood obesity as a big problem. In 2008, 35 percent of adults rated childhood obesity as the top overall health concern for children. In 2007, it was ranked No. 3.
Drug abuse. Thirty-six percent of U.S. adults rate drug abuse as a big problem for children and has held at No. 2 since 2007.
Smoking. Ranked No. 1 in 2007, smoking continues to hold the No. 3 position since 2008, with 32 percent of U.S. adults rating it as a big problem for kids.
Bullying. Holding at No. 4, 31 percent of U.S. adults rate bullying as a big problem for children.
Internet safety. Continuing at No. 5, 31 percent of U.S. adults consider internet safety a big problem for kids, slightly up from 27 percent in 2008.
Child abuse and neglect. This issue, which was ranked No. 10 in 2007, holds at No. 6 and was rated as a big problem among 29 percent of U.S. adults, up from 25 percent in 2008.
Alcohol abuse. Up from No. 8 in 2008, 26.5 percent of U.S. adults consider alcohol abuse a big problem. For the 2008 poll, 23 percent of adults listed alcohol abuse as a health concern for kids. In 2007, alcohol abuse was ranked fourth overall.
Stress. New to the list in 2009, 26 percent of U.S. adults rate stress as a big problem for children.
Not enough opportunities for physical activity. Up one spot from 2008, nearly 25 percent of U.S adults rate this as a big problem for kids.
Teen pregnancy. Falling three places from No. 7 to No. 10, 24 percent of U.S adults rated teen pregnancy as a big problem in 2009.
Parents should watch this video immediately! Dr. Drew Pinksy, an American radio and television personality, board-certified internist and addiction medicine specialist discusses the upward trend in prescription drug use and abuse.
• Teen prescription drug abuse is a growing concern. 1 in 5 high school students has taken a prescription medication that was not prescribed for them by a doctor, and more teens abuse prescription drugs than illegal drugs except marijuana.”
• In 2008, 4.7 million teens reported that they had abused a prescription drug at some time in their lives.
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