Teen Drug Use Online: Monitoring Your Teen’s Digital Activity

What is your teen doing online? Did you know they can order drugs virtually?

IT’S OKAY!!!! Snooping when their safety is at risk is part of responsible parenting.

Parents often find it difficult to balance between keeping a watchful eye on their teens and invading their privacy. Some parents may shy away from proactively monitoring their teens’ online behavior because they don’t want to be overbearing, “uncool,” or untrusting. StopMedicineAbuse.org is here to tell you, IT’S OKAY!

There are ways to be hands-on without hovering, and here’s how:

Monitor what your teen is searching and where they’re going online.

Keep tabs on the list of websites visited and items searched on your computer by reviewing your internet browser’s history. You can do this by opening your internet window and using the shortcut Ctrl+H. Look for suspicious sites or search terms related to dangerous behavior, such as terms like “robotripping” or “dexxing” and pro-drug use sites like GrassCity.com and Erowid.com.

Address online behavior offline.

If you see your teen using their Facebook page in an inappropriate way, or if you see red flags for dangerous behavior, address it offline! Don’t use their profile as a way to communicate your concerns. Instead, take it as an opportunity to talk to your teen offline; for example, if you see friends referencing drinking or drug use on their wall talk to them about the risks of this dangerous behavior.

To friend or not to friend your teen on Facebook?

Friend away! According to a recent study by Lab42, 92% of parents are Facebook friends with their children and more joining to monitor their kids’ interactions, with 40% citing safety as the top reason for looking at their profiles. This will allow you to keep tabs on who your teen is interacting with and will allow you to identify any red flags for risky behavior, including dangerous teen trends like robotripping, surfing, and 30 seconds.

Bring Internet use out from behind closed doors.

Insist that your teen uses the computer in a communal space rather than in their bedrooms.

Special contributor: Stop Medicine Abuse

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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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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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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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SIZZURP – Cough Syrup Teen Drug Abuse

What will teens come up with next to get high from?  Why don’t some of them understand the dangers of substance abuse – the risks that come with even experimenting with some of these drugs?  We just heard about the alcoholic whipped cream, now we have this next trend.

PACT Coalition of St. Johns County, FL sends out a newsletter. It always has valuable information.  This week it informed parents about Sizzurp.  What is it????

This was their trend for the week:

We’ve had several requests for information about cough syrup abuse recently. This is a good reminder to keep a close eye on the items in the medicine cabinet. Cough syrup is a main ingredient of Sizzurp. This is a mixed drink which consists of codeine cough syrup, a fruit flavored soda and often a Jolly Rancher. The codeine causes a feeling of euphoria which can impair driving, cause lethargy and extreme tiredness. Pop culture has embraced this trend in many songs and movies.

During this month – Partnership at DrugFree.org has also rolled out their campaign – You Are Not Alone.

Many parents are more fearful of the stigma attached to having a teen use drugs than they are concerned for the teen that is using the drugs.  It is time to stop being a parent in denial -know that  you are not alone, and there is help and resources to get your teenager the help they need.

Get involved today!

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/youarenotalone

Drug Guide: http://www.drugfree.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/drug_chart_10.25.10_opt.pdf

Parents Toll-Free Helpline:  1-855-DRUGFREE

If you have any further questions, partnership ideas or comments, please feel free to email us at youarenotalone@drugfree.org.

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Youth Substance Abuse: Number 1 Health Problem in America

It's just pot anymore.

Nine out of 10 Americans who meet the medical criteria for addiction¹ started smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before age 18, according to a national study released today by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

 
Adolescent Substance Use: America’s #1 Public Health Problem reveals that adolescence is the critical period for the initiation of substance use and its consequences. The CASA report finds 1 in 4 Americans who began using any addictive substance before age 18 are addicted, compared to 1 in 25 Americans who started using at age 21 or older.
 
The CASA report reveals that:
  • 75 percent (10 million) of all high school students have used addictive substances including tobacco, alcohol, marijuana or cocaine; 1 in 5 of them meets the medical criteria for addiction.
  • 46 percent (6.1 million) of all high school students currently use addictive substances; 1 in 3 of them meets the medical criteria for addiction.
“Teen substance use is our nation’s number one public health problem. Smoking, drinking and using other drugs while the brain is still developing dramatically hikes the risk of addiction and other devastating consequences,” said Jim Ramstad, Former Member of Congress (MN-3) and a CASA board member who also chaired the report’s National Advisory Commission.

The CASA report noted that alcohol is the preferred addictive substance among high school students:

  • 72.5 percent have drunk alcohol;
  • 46.3 percent have smoked cigarettes;
  • 36.8 percent have used marijuana;
  • 14.8 percent have misused controlled prescription drugs; and
  • 65.1 percent have used more than one substance.
“Addiction is a disease that in most cases begins in adolescence so preventing or delaying teens from using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety,” said Susan Foster, CASA’s Vice President and Director of Policy Research and Analysis. “We rightfully worry about other teen health problems like obesity, depression or bullying, but we turn a blind eye to a more common and deadly epidemic that we can in fact prevent.”
Source: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University
 
Do you suspect your teen is using drugs? Get help at www.HelpYourTeens.com.

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Parents – The Anti-Drug

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.