Home 2 Homeroom: A Wake Up Call for Parents

Parenting teens is a challenge today.

Schools and parents today need to work together to help prevent teen drug use.

Fast Facts: Preventing Teen OTC Cough Medicine Abuse – From Home to Homeroom

A Wake Up Call for Parents

  • Thirty-three percent of American high school teens know someone who has abused cough medicine, a wake up call for those parents who think that their teen is not affected or being exposed to the issue.
  • Six percent of high school teens admit to abusing cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, or DXM, to get high in the past year.

Cough Medicine Abuse Does Not Happen By Accident

  • While safe and effective when taken as directed, teens looking to get high from cough medicine take excessive amounts, sometimes 25 to 50 times the recommended dosage. This translates to multiple bottles or packages of medicine at one time.
  • Teens often abuse cough medicines with other prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol.
  • Even the best kid in the world doesn’t have the same ability as adults to assess risk because the part of their brain that processes risk, the frontal cortex, doesn’t finish developing until their mid 20s.

Parents Have the Power to Keep Teens Drug-free

  • Research shows that kids who learn a lot from their parents about the risk of drug abuse are up to half as likely to use.
  • Parents are not alone in their fight to prevent medicine abuse; reaching out to the school nurse can help parents learn more about the issue and access local resources.
  • Parents can learn more about the Home to Homeroom campaign by logging onto www.StopMedicineAbuse.org

Parents can interact and help raise awareness by joining online communities including:

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It’s not your parent’s pot

Do you suspect your teen is using drugs?  Are you saying – it is only pot?  All kids experiment?  Really?  Sure, maybe in the sixty’s – but do you know what is on the streets today?  Your denial could literally lead to the death of your child.  Don’t have your head in the sand – be in the know.

  • Daily Marijuana use increased among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 2009 to 2010. Among 12th graders it was at its highest point since the early 1980s at 6.1%. This year, perceived risk of regular marijuana use also declined among 10th and 12th graders suggesting future trends in use may continue upward.
  • In addition, most measures of marijuana use increased among 8th graders between 2009 and 2010 (past year, past month, and daily), paralleling softening attitudes for the last 2 years about the risk of using marijuana.
  •  Marijuana use is now ahead of cigarette smoking on some measures (due to decreases in smoking and recent increases in marijuana use). In 2010, 21.4 percent of high school seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days, while 19.2 percent smoked cigarettes.
  •  Steady declines in cigarette smoking appear to have stalled in all three grades after several years of improvement on most measures.
  •  After marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the top drugs abused by 12th graders in the past year. Among 12th graders, past year nonmedical use of Vicodin decreased from 9.7% to 8%. However, past year nonmedical use of OxyContin remains unchanged across the three grades and has increased in 10th graders over the past 5 years. Moreover, past-year nonmedical use of Adderall and over-the-counter cough and cold medicines among 12th graders remains high at 6.5% and 6.6%, respectively.
  •  After several years of decline, current and past year use of Ecstasy has risen among 8th and 10th graders. From 2009 to 2010, lifetime use of ecstasy among 8th graders increased from 2.2% to 3.3%, past year use from 1.3% to 2.4%, and current use 0.6% to 1.1%. This follows declines in perceived risk associated with MDMA use seen over the past several years.
  •  Alcohol use has continued to decline among high school seniors with past-month use falling from 43.5% to 41.2% and alcohol binge drinking (defined as 5 or more drinks in a row in the past 2 weeks) declining from 25.2% to 23.2%. Declines were also observed for all measures among 12th graders reporting the use of flavored alcoholic beverages. Past-year use fell from 53.4% to 47.9%.

Need help?  Contact – www.HelpYourTeens.com today.

Source:  NIDA

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Inhalants – Deadly Household Products

The National Inhalant Prevention Coalition Awareness will help you learn about Inhalant Abuse. As 2010 is here, start now in being an educated parent on this very serious issue teens are trying.

Did you know:

One in five students in America has used an inhalant to get high by the time he or she reaches the eighth grade. Parents don’t know that inhalants, cheap, legal and accessible products, are as popular among middle school students as marijuana. Even fewer know the deadly effects the poisons in these products have on the brain and body when they are inhaled or “huffed.” It’s like playing Russian Roulette. The user can die the 1st, 10th or 100th time a product is misused as an inhalant. – National Inhalant Prevention Coalition

Inhalant abuse is a serious concern especially since these products are easily accessible as well as common household products.  They’re all over your house. They’re in your child’s school. In fact, you probably picked some up the last time you went to the grocery store. Educate yourself. Find out about inhalants before your children do.

What is inhalant use? Inhalant use refers to the intentional breathing of gas or vapors with the purpose of reaching a high. Inhalants are legal, everyday products which have a useful purpose, but can be misused. You’re probably familiar with many of these substances — paint, glue and others. But you probably don’t know that there are more than 1,000 products that are very dangerous when inhaled — things like typewriter correction fluid, air-conditioning refrigerant, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane and even cooking spray. See Products Abused as Inhalants for more details.

Who is at risk? Inhalants are an equal opportunity method of substance abuse. Statistics show that young, white males have the highest usage rates. Hispanic and American Indian populations also show high rates of usage. See Characteristics of Users and Signs of an Inhalant User for more details.

Source: National Inhalant Prevention Coalition


Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Inhalant Abuse Among Teens and Pre-teens


Inhalant Abuse is a growing problem among teens and pre-teens and a major concern for parents today.

Inhalant Abuse is a lesser-known form of substance abuse, but is no less dangerous than other forms.The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service has reported that more than 2.1 million children in America experiment with some form of an inhalant each year and the Centers for Disease Control lists inhalants as second only to marijuana for illicit drug use among youth.

As a parent advocate, I believe parents need to be aware of this critical issue today. I am extremely grateful to the parent that wrote me and asked me to speak out and spread the awareness. She lost a son from inhaling air freshener. As a parent, she always spoke to her kids about substance abuse, but never knew about Inhalant Abuse.

For more information on this deadly growing epidemic visit http://www.inhalant.org/ – it could save a life today.

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) ADHD and Drug Abuse

adhd.jpgBy Connect with Kids 

“In other words, [children with ADD] are no more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs than someone who doesn’t have ADD.”

– William Buchanan, Ph.D., clinical psychologist

As more and more children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD), millions of parents must decide whether to put their kids on medication. Many worry that taking drugs today may cause children to abuse drugs later in life.

“When you hear the word ADHD you’re instantly alarmed,” says Gina Hagin, mother.

When 9-year-old Graysen first starting taking Ritalin, his mom was worried.

“Just the thought of putting your child on a narcotic for an extensive period of time is very scary,” says Hagin, Graysen’s mother.

Ritalin is actually a stimulant, and starting kids on it at early age is scary for parents for a number of reasons.

“They range from growth type of things [such as] stunted growth, which really is not the case, to things like whether this would lead to drug abuse and dependence,” says Dr. Elaine Mateo, M.D., psychiatrist.

Does it lead to later drug abuse? Doctors at Massachusetts’s General Hospital tracked more than 100 ADHD patients for 10 years. They found that the use of ADHD medicine has no impact on future substance abuse.

“In other words, they’re no more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs than someone who doesn’t have ADD,” says Dr. William Buchanan, Ph.D., clinical psychologist.

Experts caution, however, that if a child already has a substance abuse problem, parents should consult their child’s physician.

“We don’t want to make something more available to them that they can misuse.  But taking the medication itself is not going to lead to a dependence,” says Mateo.

Before Ritalin, Graysen couldn’t concentrate and his grades were terrible.

“It was sometimes frustrating and I’d just want to cry,” says Graysen.

Today, he’s an A student and a happier boy.

“To see in your child’s eyes a yearning and a sadness, and then to go from that to see your child productive and happy — you can’t replace that,” says Hagin.

Experts say it’s important to talk to your kids, even at an early age, about the exact purpose of their medicine and how it should be used

Tips for Parents

  • Some of the medicines for ADHD are stimulants, but instead of stimulating the person or making him or her more jittery, they help control ADHD symptoms. (Nemours Foundation)
  • The medicine usually comes in pills or capsules. The doctor will explain how often the child needs to take the medicine. Parents and children will have to work out a schedule for taking it so it becomes part of the normal routine, like teeth brushing. (Nemours Foundation)
  • Just like with any medicine, the person’s parents and doctors will want to watch for side effects, which are other problems or symptoms that may be caused by the medicine. Common side effects from stimulant drugs include irritability (feeling grouchy), headaches and stomach trouble. (Nemours Foundation)
  • If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, you have several treatment options to consider. The most common treatment is the use of medication. Stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin, Cylert and Dexedrine, when used with medical supervision, are usually considered quite safe and effective. (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Symptoms can be classified as “inattention” and “hyperactivity-impulsivity.” (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC)
    • “Inattentive” Symptoms (if your child shows six or more of these symptoms for six months, consult your child’s physician):
      • Does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work or other activities
      • Has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities
      • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
      • Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
      • Has trouble organizing activities
      • Avoids, dislikes or does not want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework)
      • Loses items (toys, school assignments, pencils, books, tools, etc) needed for tasks and activities
      • Often easily distracted
      • Often forgetful in daily activities
    • “Hyperactivity-Impulsivity” Symptoms: (if your child shows six or more of these symptoms for at least six months, consult your child’s physician)
      • Fidgets with hands or feet, or squirms in seat
      • Gets up from seat when he/she is expected to stay seated
      • Runs around or climbs when and where it is not appropriate
      • Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly
      • Is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”
      • Talks excessively
      • Blurts out answers before questions have been finished
      • Has trouble waiting his or her turn
      • Interrupts or intrudes on others (during conversations or games, for example)


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Nemours Foundation