Teens Using Drugs for Study Aids: Getting High For An A

The most highly abused prescription drugs among college students are:

Stimulants: Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta are used primarily to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). They speed up brain activity causing increased alertness, attention, and energy that come with elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate and breathing

Getting High for an A: Stimulants as Studying Aids
Image compliments of Best Masters in Education

Reasons for Misusing or Abusing Prescription Drugs

– Improve their grades
– Concentrate more in class and maintain focus during late-night study sessions
– Diet
– Reduce stress
– Feel good/get high
– Ease nervousness in social scene / partying
– Enhance athletic performance
– Forget about problems
The Use of stimulants

– The D.E.A. lists prescription stimulants like Adderall and Vyvanse (amphetamines) and Ritalin and Focalin(methylphenidates) as Class 2 controlled substances – the same as cocaine and morphine – because they rank among the most addictive substances that have a medical use.
– 1993-2003: the number of prescriptions given yearly for Adderall has more than tripled.
– FACT: Adderall is the most commonly abused prescription stimulant among college students.
– 15: Percentage of college students admitting to use of some form of psychotherapeutic drugs for non-medical, academic uses.
– By students’ sophomore year in college, about half of their classmates will have been offered the opportunity to abuse a prescription drug. Of undergraduates that are taking stimulant medication under the direction of their doctor, more than half (54%) have been asked to sell, trade or give away their medication in the past year
– Full time college students are twice as likely to use a stimulant for non-medical reasons compared to those who aren’t in college, or are only part-time students.
– 90: the percentage of college students who used Adderall for non medical reasons in the past year who were also binge drinkers.
Compared to the average student, students who use Adderall for nonmedical reasons were, in the last year:

– 3x more likely to have used Marijuana
– 8x more likely to have used Cocaine
– 8x more likely to have used prescription tranquilizers
– 5x more likely to have used prescription pain relievers for nonmedical reasons.
– 5X more likely to develop a drug abuse.
– ER visits whose listed reasons included an ADHD stimulant rose from 13,379 in 2005 to 31,244 just five years later.
Early signs of abuse include:

– Using the medication more frequently or at higher doses without a healthcare professional’s direction
– Using the medication compulsively
– Not being able to carry out normal daily activities because of drug misuse
– Hiding or lying about use
– Spending more time, energy and/or money maintaining access to the drugs
Abusing prescription medications can lead to:

– Increases in blood pressure or heart rate
– Organ damage
– Addiction
– Difficulty breathing
– Seizures
– Heart Attack
– Stroke
– Death
Keep in mind

– It is illegal to take a controlled substance if it is not prescribed for you.
– Get rid of old or unused medications properly. Visit the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website at http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm101653.htm and
– RX Safe Disposal at http://www.smarxtdisposal.net


Teen Help: Good Kids Bad Choices

TeendefianceSummer is here and some parents will be considering summer camps while others are in the midst of hoping their teenager passed the school year, or had enough credits to graduate. If you are the parent of a teen who is struggling with school and acting out, it can drive you to your wit’s end.
Maybe your once fun-loving teenager who is good looking, intelligent, and has lots of good friends is now talking back to you, staying out late or sneaking out, defiant, and possibly sexually active? On the flip side, your once sweet child might be a teenage misfit who is acting out because of bullying, or is experimenting with sex, drugs, and/or alcohol in a desperate attempt to find acceptance.
What happens when you have a teenager that decides they don’t want to finish high school when they are more than capable? Perhaps they were consistently getting excellent grades and now they are just getting by or failing completely.  From an overachiever to an underachiever.  Or you have the teen that used to be a great athlete, was a popular kid in school–suddenly your child has become withdrawn and is hanging with a group of new peers that are less than desirable.
Is this typical teen behavior?
Possible, but how do you know when it is and when you need to intervene?
As the school year is coming to an end, it is a good time for parents to evaluate where their teen is at both emotionally and academically–especially if they are in High School. These are your final years to make a significant difference in their lives, and get them on a positive road towards their futures. When a child is crying out for help by using illegal substances,  running away, flunking in school, becoming secretive, possibly affiliating with a gang, or displaying other negative behavior it is a parent’s responsibility to get involved, as painful as that is, and seek treatment.
When adolescents reach the point of rebelliousness, many parents will try therapy, and this is a good place to start. But the success of local treatment will depend on the child and how far their behavior has escalated. Unfortunately many parents I have spoken to have reported that the one-hour session once a week–or even twice a week–rarely makes a difference in their teen’s behavior. For many parents there comes a time when residential therapy is taken under serious consideration–especially if drugs and/or alcohol are an issue. It is important to seek outside help, and removing a teen from their environment can be critical in getting them the help they need to heal. This is particularly true when a teen needs to be separated from undesirable peers that are instigating or perpetuating their negative behavior.
Though the majority of teens are unwilling to attend residential treatment, most of them are professionally transported by experts in the field. Parents spend a lot of time and stress about this part of the decision, but hiring a professional in this field can lessen the worries. They are trained to work with at-risk youth and will ask you all about your child before they arrive. In speaking with many parents and teens that have successfully used transports, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive.
At the end of the day, your teen truly wants to feel good about themselves again, too. They want to be that happy child that you remember. Remember, they were once that a good kid, and they can become that good person again.  Being a teenager isn’t easy, and parenting that child when you have reached your wit’s end is a challenge. Knowing you are not alone helps!
Take away tips for parents:
When seeking residential treatment, I always encourage parents to look for three key components that I call the ACE factor:
·        Accredited Academics (Ask to see their accreditation): Education is important, some programs actually don’t offer it.
·        Clinical (Credentialed therapists on staff): Please note–on staff.
·        Enrichment Programs (Animal assisted programs, culinary, fine arts, sports etc): Enrichment Programs are crucial to your child’s program. They will help build self-esteem and stimulate them in a positive direction. Find a program with something your teen is passionate about or used to be passionate prior their path in a negative direction.
I also encourage parents to avoid three red flags:
·        Marketing arms and sales reps (All those toll-free numbers, be careful of who you are really speaking to and what is in the best interest of your child.)
·        Short term programs (Wilderness programs or otherwise, rarely is there a quick fix. Short term program are usually short term results. They usually will then convince you to go into a longer term program after you are there a few weeks–why not just start with one? Consistency is key in recovery. An average program is 6-9-12 months, depending on your child’s needs and the program.)
·        Statistics that show their success rate (I have yet to see any program or school have a third party–objective survey–perform a true statistical report on a program’s success. Success is an individual’s opinion. You have to do your own due diligence and call parent references.)
For more information about researching residential therapy and helpful tips, visit http://www.helpyourteens.com and don’t forget to review the list of questions for schools and programs so you can make an educated decision.

It’s Not My Kid: Parents In Denial

NotMyKid2On a weekly basis parents will continue to blame the friends or the other kids that their teen is hanging out with for the bad choices their child is making.  You have to think, if the parent can’t come to some accountability—how can we expect the teen to?

Have you stopped to consider your child (teenager) has made a choice to hang out with that peer group?  They have free will not to hang out with that negative choice of friends–however that is where they believe they fit in.


Low self-esteem?  Belief that it is a cool group?  Desire to be part of a group even if it is a less than desirable one?

I speak to parents on a weekly basis and often hear how parents can make excuses for their teen.  Whether it is a friend’s fault–the school’s fault–the fault of an ex-spouse–you name it, rather than putting the blame on the person that is making the bad choices, some parents have a difficult time admitting their once good child is now making such negative decisions.

Don’t be a parent in denial; you are only hurting your child.  The sooner you recognize your teen needs help the sooner you can get on the path to recovery and healing in your home.

Do you feel like you are hostage in your home to your teen’s behavior?  At any moment  your teen could explode in a rage over something that didn’t go their way?

You shouldn’t have to live that way.  In life we don’t always get what we want all the time – actually most of the time.  Teens need to learn early that respecting authority, especially their parents, is a priority.  If you are giving your teen their boundaries and they are defying them you are heading down a road of trouble.  Start with consequences and don’t waiver.  Never threaten what you can’t follow through with.

If you feel you have exhausted all your local resources and including therapy, visit www.helpyourteens.com and consider the next step.  It may prove beneficial.  It is important to be proactive and don’t forget, academics are important too.  Just because your defiant child is out-of-control doesn’t mean they are going to skip out on school!

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!

Follow me on Twitter and join me on Facebook for more informational articles.

Teen Help Programs: The Difficult Choices

School is about over, the grades are in and you realize that your teen has failed some courses.

You also have realized they really don’t care much about their education at all!

Unfortunately I hear this more and more from parents today.  We have extremely intelligent children capable of getting A’s and not working up to their academic potential.  What is going on?

Teens that would rather either just get a GED or some that want to quit school all together!  Years ago that wouldn’t even cross our minds -but today these kids don’t recognize the importance of an education.

Especially in today’s financial world.

Some parents are also dealing with their smoking marijuana.  Some just brush it under the table and say that it is the same as when the were kids.  Well, it isn’t.  Pot today can be far more lethal than it was generations prior.

Whether you are  parent that is feeling hostage in their own home or a parent that feels their teen is heading down a dark path, you now have determined you need outside help there are steps that every parents needs to take.

I always tell parents that they need to exhaust all local avenues.  Short of your teen being 17+ years old, (since at that age you only have 12 months to do something – and do it quickly) – you have options to start with.

Local therapy, support groups, community centers, youth groups and youth pastors, sometimes sending your teens to live with a relative, changing schools…. these are all options that may work.  Sadly – many times they don’t – which is when you have to face it is time for residential therapy.

As you get online you have to be so careful of all these wonderful, colorful websites – tearful testimonials – slick sales reps and toll free numbers to God knows where.  Remember, this is your child you are searching for, not a car.

I created Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc (P.U.R.E.) exactly for parents in need – parents that have reached their wit’s end and don’t know where to turn.   On my site you will even find helpful hints in researching schools and programs and questions to ask.

I urge parents to read my story – when I struggled with my own teen daughter and the mistakes I made.

Remember, this is a major financial and emotional decision – take  your time and make an educated decision.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Teen Help Programs: Sorting through the Confusion of the Internet

School will be ending and summer is fast approaching.

Sending a child to a residential program/school is a major decision. It is not one to be taken lightly or to be decided on overnight.

Usually a teen’s behavior has been slowly escalating and a parent knows that deep down things are not getting better.  As much as you hope and pray that things will change, this is only typical teen behavior, sometimes it just isn’t.

With drug use and substance abuse rising – more dangerous and deadly ingredients being used, such as spice and inhalants, parents have reason to be concerned.  It isn’t your marijuana of generations prior – it is so much worse and in many cases – addictive and deadly.

If you have reached your wit’s end and now surfing the Internet for help, remember, anyone can build a website.  Anyone can put up nice pictures and create great content.  You need to do your due diligence.

Years ago I struggled with my own teenager.  I was at my wit’s end.  I didn’t realize what a big business this “teen help industry” was.  Yes, my child needed help, but what we received was anything but that.  My story is a cautionary tale – not one to scare you into not using a program, however on the contrary, you have to get your child help, but you have to do your research in getting them the right help.

Here are some quick tips:

  • Your child is not for sale, try to avoid those marketing arms selling you a list of programs that are not in the best interest of your child’s individual needs.
  • Always speak with an owner or director – Someone that has a vested in your teen’s recovery.  Their reputation is on the line.
  • Wilderness and other short term programs are usually nothing more than a band-aid that will fall off as quickly as the program lasted.  They are expensive camping trips and in most cases the Wilderness program will tell you at about 4 weeks that your teen will need to continue on to a longer term program.  What? Yes, now you go back to the research board and worse than that, your teen will be deflated when he finds out he/she isn’t coming home in 6-9 weeks as they were lead to believe – and they will be starting all over again with a new therapist – new schedule – and new setting.  Don’t get caught up in this “shuffle.”  Start and finish with the same school/program.
  • The average stay should be about 6-9-12 months, depending on your teen.  Anything less is probably non-effective.  Anything more, you may be creating abandonment issues in my opinion.
  • Do you really need an Educational Consultant?  Absolutely not.  You are the parent and no one knows your teen better than you do – with a few tips, you will be able to make some sound choices.

For more helpful hint and tips, please contact www.HelpYourTeens.com for a free consultation. After the ordeal I went through, I created this advocacy organization to help educate parents on finding safe and quality programs.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Defiant Teens: How to Handle Teen Rebellion

Many parents with teenagers are well aware that raising a teen presents a challenge. A teen’s attitude can fluctuate from being kind and well-behaved to rude and rebellious in a matter of seconds. Many want to know how to handle teenage rebellion, but several are unaware of where to start. Continue reading to learn how to handle your teenager’s rebellious stage and start establishing the role you’d like in their life.

1. Listen
One thing that many parents have difficulty with is listening to their teen. It’s crucial for both parent and teen to talk and share feelings with one another. In order to communicate effectively,be aware of where your child is coming from and what his/her mindset is. Listening cannot only help our relationship, but also help identify issues that need to be addressed.

2. Enforce Rules & Values
When teens are going through their rebellious period, they break rules. This behavior can be improved by consistently letting your child know what is expected of them. Eventually, behavior will improve. Aside from enforcing rules, discussing values can also aid in improving behavior. Values are a huge part of life and making your teen aware of them can help them through their rebellion and throughout their entire life.

3. Allow Some Distance
Every teen is going to be in a bad mood every now and then. When this occurs, parents need to give them some space. If your teen is neither violent nor destructive, give them some privacy. There is nothing wrong with giving them time to take a walk around the park alone or go in their room and lock the door. Sometimes, a few minutes alone can calm a teenager down.

4. Get to Know Teachers
Getting to know your teen’s teachers and developing a good relationship with them can make it much easier, as well as make both yourself and their teachers aware of behavior problems. This can help build a support system for the child and yourself too.

5. Support Group
Although you may believe that your teen is the issue, there is always room to work on yourself as a parent. A parent support group/parenting classes can teach you how to improve your home environment and inform you of better ways to handle your teen when the rebellion switches into full gear.  Bettering yourself as a parent can benefit your rebellious teen significantly.

6. Family Counseling
Family counseling can help to address the underlying issues that led to the rebellion. Every rebellious period stems from an underlying issue. This can be anything from school to friends or yourself. Once the cause of your teen’s bad behavior is addressed, a family counselor can then give the family tips, strategies and skills to repair these issues.

Overal,l leaning to handle teenage rebellion requires work, patience and determination. Getting involved in their life without being invasive is a great place to start. Aside from that, these tips should be very helpful, because they have proven helpful to me time and again.

Contributor:  Kim Richmonds likes to write about parenting & saving money at www.homeinsurance.org.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Smart Teens Making Bad Choices: Looking for Teen Help

Don't be a parent in denial.

What happened to my teen that as making straight A’s always so concerned about getting their homework done on time, participated in school activities and looked forward to family gatherings?

Adolescence? Peer pressure?  Today’s society? A school incident such as bullying/cyberbullying?

Sometimes it could be something a parent can’t detect however they do see their once flourishing child now sinking into a deep dark hole.  They are either gravitating to a negative peer group or withdrawing all together, becoming secretive and actually failing school.  Sometimes skipping classes or not attending school at all.  Do you suspect they are using drugs or drinking?

What is the next step?

Seeking local help and all local resources should always be the first step.  Once you have exhausted all these options and you still see your child is sinking deeper, it may be time to consider residential therapy.  This is a major emotional and financial decision.

This will take time and research.  The Internet will be your friend and your foe at this point.  It is important you understand the difference between Internet fact and Internet fiction. Who to trust and who is simply “selling” you a litany of programs.

For a free consultation on this daunting industry, and a free chapter of my book, Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teens, visit www.helpyourteens.com.

Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Look for programs that are not attached to “sales reps”.  You want to speak directly to an owner or director.  Someone that has a vested interest in your teen.  Someone that their reputation will be reflected on your child’s success (or lack of).  Someone who you can hold accountable through the duration of your teen’s stay.
  • Look for the ACE factor.  A=Academics – Always ask for a copy of their accreditation for education – be sure it is transferable back to where you live.  C=Clinical – Be sure the clinical staff is credentialed. E=Enrichment programs – These are critical to be sure your teen is stimulated in a positive direction to want to make better choices.  This isn’t about breaking your child down, it is about building them up.
  • Ask for parent references of parents with the same gender and age of your own teenager.  Also take it a step further.  Ask for families that are in your same geographical area.  This way maybe you will be able to meet with them and possibly even the graduate of the program you are considering.
  • Keep in mind – Short term programs – short term results.  Don’t get sucked into them.

I have many more tips and offer free parent consultation at www.HelpYourTeens.com.

Don’t reach your wit’s end and make a rash decision – made an education choice…. Be an educated parent – this a major emotional and financial decision.