Social Media: Is It Your Teen’s New Drug of Choice?

SocialMedia2When you think of drugs, most think of cocaine, marijuana, molly, crack, ecstasy, etc…

Years ago when Facebook hit the scene no one really knew what to expect from the website.

The site was exclusive to college students and allowed them to keep in touch with their friends at different colleges… and that’s it.

Fast forward to today and social media, which has grown far beyond just Facebook with the addition of websites like Twitter and YouTube, has become an addiction that doesn’t just encompass college students, it encompasses teens, parents, and grandparents alike. Even our pets have their own Facebook pages or Twitter accounts.

Don’t believe that social media is a metaphorical type of drug? Let’s compare.

1. It fills a self-imposed boredom: How many times have you heard someone say, “well I just get on to [Facebook, Twitter, etc.] when I’m bored”? People spend more time being “bored” than ever before. Instead of getting out and doing something we choose to spend our time inside on a computer checking up on other people’s lives and connecting with our friends through websites. Like a drug taking up all of our free time that could be spent doing something productive, instead we opt to fill our free time with social media.

2. It gives highs and lows: What about when you log onto a social media website and see that you have new notifications or connections? There is that instant high that someone has reached out to you publicly on a social media site. We crave social media popularity. It’s addicting. We need the gratification and we get jealous when we see other people are more popular and depressed when no one has tagged us in anything.

3. It’s used as a reward: Finish a project? Check Twitter. Write an article? Check Facebook. Check off items on a to-do list? Check blogs. We use social media as a reward for completing everyday tasks that deserve no reward, tasks that we should be doing because we are supposed to, not because it will allow us to reward ourselves with our next social media high.

4. It causes us to have withdrawals: Maybe the first time you noticed was when you sat at a stoplight and had to log onto your Facebook account from your phone… just to see if anything interesting was happening. Maybe it was when you couldn’t sit through dinner without tweeting something to your followers. Maybe it was the first time you got a pang of longing to log on because you weren’t around an internet. Whatever the cause, we suffer withdrawals from not being able to check in with our social media sites, just like drug addicts long for the next time they can get high.

5. It’s a tough addiction to break: As easy as it is to say that you aren’t addicted to social media as soon as you think about closing your accounts you’re probably met with that same fear that many people feel when faced with the thought of a life without it. How will you function since it’s become such an integral part of your life? Many of us have been addicted for so long that it would be incredibly difficult to make a clean break from the constant routine of checking our varying social media profiles.

Social media may not be illegal and it may not come with serious physical consequences, but it is an addiction that we are facing, and our teens are facing it in an even greater way because they’ve been inundated into the social media culture at a much earlier age than our generation of young and old adults were.

Contributor: Coleen Torres, blogger at phone internet, Save money on home phone, digital TV, and high-speed Internet by comparing prices from providers in your area for standalone service or phone TV Internet bundles.

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Addiction is a Disease: Teen Substance Abuse

It may start with a joint, but where will it end up?

It may start with a joint, but where will it end up?

The tragic loss of Corey Monteith has robbed us of of yet another young, talented, life cut down in its prime. At only 31 years-old, he had a bright future and an exceptional career most only dream of.

Corey Monteith never hid the fact he had struggled with substance abuse and addiction issues, on the contrary, he entered rehab many times for help.  Unfortunately it seems,  the demons of chasing the dragon (heroin) took over at the end.

What demons are we speaking about? No, not Satan, but substance abuse.

Many parents will overlook their teen only smoking pot, or just drinking a little, but in reality your denial is only harming your teenager.

Before becoming an addict, it start with just a joint – maybe just a shot of vodka, but where it ends up, no one knows.

What is addiction?

Addiction has long been understood to mean an uncontrollable habit of using alcohol or other drugs. Because of the physical effects of these substances on the body, and particularly the brain, people have often thought that “real” addictions only happen when people regularly use these substances in large amounts.

Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved. – Medical News Today

Let this tragedy be a time to open the door to communication with your teen. Talk about the dangers of drug use, drinking and other negative behaviors.

If your teen is using drugs and you are concerned about their health and safety, be proactive.  Corey started at 12 years old.  Don’t be a parent in denial – don’t assume it is just a phase.  Intervene as a parent now, you won’t regret it.

Visit www.helpyourteens.com for resources and options to get your at-risk teen help.

 

Precription Drugs, Your Medicine Cabinet and Your Teens: Be AWARE

Be an educated parent, clean our your medicine cabinets!

It’s not just pot, crack or cocaine – you could be contributing to your teen’s drug use.

Many teens believe that taking prescription drugs to get high is safer than using street drugs.

Be AWARxE!

Prescription drugs are dangerous when they are not used correctly as directed by a doctor.

  • One in five teens have taken a prescription drug that was not theirs to get high or to deal with problems.
  • Teens are abusing pain pills (Vicodin®, OxyContin®), stimulants (Ritalin®, Adderall®), and tranquilizers (Xanax®, Valium®).
  • Teens take these drugs right out of the medicine cabinet – at home, at a friend’s house, or when visiting family.
  • 5.2 million people, including kids ages 12 and older, said they had abused prescription pain relievers, as reported in a 2007 survey.
  • More people are visiting the emergency room because they misused prescription pain medication. From 2004 to 2009, emergency room visits due to misusing narcotic pain pills increased by almost 100%.

Learn more at AWARE RX.

Fact: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.  In an effort to help stop this growing problem, the DEA is hosting a Take-Back Day on April 28, 2012. 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.

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Uppers, downers, rits, crosses, hearts, toots – What does it all mean to your teen?

From marijuana to heroin. It's that easy - and fast!

October 31st through November 6th is National Drug Facts Week.

This is an opportunity to shatter the myths about drug and substance abuse as well as become an educated parent and build a stronger drug-free community.

Stimulants are a common drug of choice for many teens, even college students.

What Are They?

Stimulants are a class of drugs that elevate mood, increase feelings of well-being, and increase energy and alertness.

What Are the Common Street Names?

Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder, known as “coke,” “C,“ “snow,” “flake,“ “blow,” “bump,“ “candy,“ “Charlie,” “rock,” and “toot.” “Crack,” the street name for the smokeable form of cocaine, got its name from the crackling sound made when it’s smoked. A “speedball” is cocaine or crack combined with heroin, or crack and heroin smoked together.

Methamphetamine is commonly known as “speed,” “meth,” “chalk,” and “tina.” In its smokeable form, it’s often called “ice,” “crystal,” “crank,” “glass,” “fire,” and “go fast.”

Street names for amphetamines include “speed,” “bennies,” “black beauties,” “crosses,” “hearts,” “LA turnaround,” “truck drivers,” and “uppers.”

Street names for methylphenidate include “rits,” “vitamin R,” and “west coast.”

How Are They Abused?

Stimulants are abused in several ways, depending on the drug. They can be:

  • Swallowed in pill form.
  • Snorted in powder form through the nostrils, where the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues.
  • Injected, using a needle and syringe, to release the drug directly into a vein.
  • Heated in crystal form and smoked (inhaled into the lungs).

Injecting or smoking a stimulant produces a rapid high—or rush—because the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, intensifying its effects. Snorting or swallowing stimulants produces a high that is less intense but lasts longer.

Powder cocaine is usually snorted or injected (also called “mainlining”), or it can be rubbed onto mucous tissues, such as the gums. Street dealers generally dilute cocaine with other substances (such as cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar), with active drugs (such as procaine, a chemical that produces local anesthesia), or with other stimulants (such as amphetamines). Crack cocaine is often smoked in a glass pipe.

Methamphetamine is swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. “Ice,” a smokeable form of methamphetamine, is a large, usually clear crystal of high purity that is smoked, like crack, in a glass pipe.

Amphetamines and methylphenidate are usually swallowed in pill form.

How Many Teens Use Them?

In 2010, a NIDA-funded study reported that the following percentages of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders had abused these drugs at least once in the past year:

  • Powder cocaine: 1.3 percent of 8th graders, 1.9 percent of 10th graders, and 2.6 percent of 12th graders
  • Crack cocaine: 1.0 percent of 8th graders, 1.0 percent of 10th graders, and 1.4 percent of 12th graders
  • Methamphetamine: 1.2 percent of 8th graders, 1.6 percent of 10th graders, and 1.0 percent of 12th graders
  • Amphetamines: 3.9 percent of 8th graders, 7.6 percent of 10th graders, and 7.4 percent of 12th graders
  • Nonmedical use of Ritalin: 1.5 percent of 8th graders, 2.7 percent of 10th graders, and 2.7 percent of 12th graders
  • Nonmedical use of Adderall: 2.3 percent of 8th graders, 5.3 percent of 10th graders, and 6.5 percent of 12th graders

Do you have a teen that you suspect is using drugs? Have you exhausted all your local resources? Take the time to learn about residential therapy, visit www.HelpYourTeens.com. Each teen and family are unique, there are many teen help programs, knowing how to locate the one best for you can be a challenge, however Parents’ Universal Resource Experts in Broward County, can help, starting with a free consultation.

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Addiction, Teen Addict, Get Sober Today: Recovery Month 2010

Sadly many parents watch their teens spiral out-of-control using drugs and drinking.  Today it seems there is more accessibility as well as freedoms that teens are taking advantage of.  Worse than all of this is if your teen becomes addictedAddiction can control your life and ruin it, as well as destroy families.

Now the positive side. Year after year, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) witnesses tremendous success and commitment from people and organizations across the country. For more than 20 years, the campaign has joined together millions of people to celebrate recovery and educate communities about addiction.

This year is no different.  Get ready for September 2010 when Recovery Month is back and ready to reach into your community and make a difference in lives.

in South Florida on September 25th, Family Fun Day sponsored by South Florida Behavioral Health Network/ Concept House starts at 10:00am.  Located at Morningside Park in Miami, there will be a BBQ and lots of fun with games, sack races, food and more.  Contact Martha Morales at mmorales.concepthouse@yahoo.com for more information.

Find your local event for Recovery Month or have one!  Put your zip code in the box on Recovery Month page. Click here. Come back here to watch the quick and powerful video.

Make a difference in someone’s life today.  Download the 2010 Recovery Kit today.  Click here.
Follow Recovery Month on Twitter and join their group on Facebook.

MUST WATCH VIDEO . PASS IT ON.