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A Parent's Guide For Self-Care While Your Child is in Crisis

Having a child with a substance abuse problem is one of the most difficult things that can happen to a parent. We’re told over and over again to practice self-care, but how do we do that when our child is slowly killing him or herself? Or what about if they’ve gone through treatment and they’re […]

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5 No-No’s When Talking to Teens About Drug Use

Do you suspect your teen has a substance abuse problem? Parents approach this issue in myriad ways. Some of these approaches are effective…and some aren’t. Let’s dig in. Avoid These Common Pitfalls Using ineffective methods can escalate the problem and cause unnecessary conflict. To truly help your teen, avoid making the following common mistakes concerning […]

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Should You Encourage Risky Behavior in Your Teen?

Adolescence is a time of tumultuous change. Teens are exploring who they are and who they want to be. They push at boundaries to determine what they’re allowed to do and what they’re capable of doing. This journey often takes them into the realm of risky behavior. As the parent, should you stop their exploration? […]

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3 Places Your Teen Might Be Hiding Drugs (Hint: Some Are in Plain Sight)

You want to trust your teen. You’re trying to find the balance between holding them accountable and having faith in their decision-making. When they’ve broken your trust already, however, this balancing act becomes even more challenging. Invading Their Privacy vs Protecting Your Teen If your teen’s struggling with substance abuse, you may have to take […]

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Find Out if Your Teen is a Master of Parental Manipulation 101

Manipulate: To control or influence a person cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously. How clever is your teen? Do they try to influence you in unfair and unscrupulous ways? If so, you’re not alone. Manipulation is common among children of all ages. When they’re younger, their goal may be to get extra cookies, get out of cleaning […]

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4 Easy Ways to Boost Your Teen’s Willpower

How would you rate your teen’s self-discipline? Is she a super-tasker, accomplishing more in a week than you thought possible? Or maybe she’s very self-controlled, finishing all her homework before the video games start? If that’s the case, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. But if your teen needs a little more prodding, you’ll […]

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Getting Real About the Dangers of Underage Drinking

If you asked your teen to list the risks of underage drinking, what would they say? If you’re like many parents, the answers may surprise you. As adults, it’s easy to assume teens understand the risks involved. But, what’s logical and obvious to us is often completely missed by teens. Their limited view of the […]

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To Keep My Kids Off Drugs I Should...Take Away Their Toys?

Conrad sorted the rocks he collected yesterday, tucking them safely away in his chair-and-blanket fort. He then rejoined his classmates, and they continued their trek through “the jungle,” pretending to be explorers on a safari mission. After a while, they switched to their recently-invented restaurant game and served up delicious (though invisible) hamburgers. Why aren’t […]

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Is Your Teen a Social Chameleon? Here's Why You Need to Know...

Libby is well-liked by her classmates. She seems to fit in with everyone. No matter who she is with, she makes them feel liked, listened to, and befriended. They feel comfortable around her. Libby’s secret to success is her ability to blend. She easily adopts the norms of those around her. Whether it’s a pattern […]

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5 Communication Barriers Parents Must Break

Have you tried talking to your teen about drugs? Making good choices? The risks involved? How did that conversation go? If you’re like most parents, you’ve encountered a few obstacles. Maybe you haven’t found the right moment to have the conversation, or your teen wasn’t receptive to what you had to say. Since this topic […]

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ProjectKnow.com Blog - Understanding Addiction

A Parent's Guide For Self-Care While Your Child is in Crisis

Having a child with a substance abuse problem is one of the most difficult things that can happen to a parent. We’re told over and over again to practice self-care, but how do we do that when our child is slowly killing him or herself? Or what about if they’ve gone through treatment and they’re […]

Read more »
5 No-No’s When Talking to Teens About Drug Use

Do you suspect your teen has a substance abuse problem? Parents approach this issue in myriad ways. Some of these approaches are effective…and some aren’t. Let’s dig in. Avoid These Common Pitfalls Using ineffective methods can escalate the problem and cause unnecessary conflict. To truly help your teen, avoid making the following common mistakes concerning […]

Read more »
Should You Encourage Risky Behavior in Your Teen?

Adolescence is a time of tumultuous change. Teens are exploring who they are and who they want to be. They push at boundaries to determine what they’re allowed to do and what they’re capable of doing. This journey often takes them into the realm of risky behavior. As the parent, should you stop their exploration? […]

Read more »
3 Places Your Teen Might Be Hiding Drugs (Hint: Some Are in Plain Sight)

You want to trust your teen. You’re trying to find the balance between holding them accountable and having faith in their decision-making. When they’ve broken your trust already, however, this balancing act becomes even more challenging. Invading Their Privacy vs Protecting Your Teen If your teen’s struggling with substance abuse, you may have to take […]

Read more »
Find Out if Your Teen is a Master of Parental Manipulation 101

Manipulate: To control or influence a person cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously. How clever is your teen? Do they try to influence you in unfair and unscrupulous ways? If so, you’re not alone. Manipulation is common among children of all ages. When they’re younger, their goal may be to get extra cookies, get out of cleaning […]

Read more »
4 Easy Ways to Boost Your Teen’s Willpower

How would you rate your teen’s self-discipline? Is she a super-tasker, accomplishing more in a week than you thought possible? Or maybe she’s very self-controlled, finishing all her homework before the video games start? If that’s the case, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. But if your teen needs a little more prodding, you’ll […]

Read more »
Getting Real About the Dangers of Underage Drinking

If you asked your teen to list the risks of underage drinking, what would they say? If you’re like many parents, the answers may surprise you. As adults, it’s easy to assume teens understand the risks involved. But, what’s logical and obvious to us is often completely missed by teens. Their limited view of the […]

Read more »
To Keep My Kids Off Drugs I Should...Take Away Their Toys?

Conrad sorted the rocks he collected yesterday, tucking them safely away in his chair-and-blanket fort. He then rejoined his classmates, and they continued their trek through “the jungle,” pretending to be explorers on a safari mission. After a while, they switched to their recently-invented restaurant game and served up delicious (though invisible) hamburgers. Why aren’t […]

Read more »
Is Your Teen a Social Chameleon? Here's Why You Need to Know...

Libby is well-liked by her classmates. She seems to fit in with everyone. No matter who she is with, she makes them feel liked, listened to, and befriended. They feel comfortable around her. Libby’s secret to success is her ability to blend. She easily adopts the norms of those around her. Whether it’s a pattern […]

Read more »
5 Communication Barriers Parents Must Break

Have you tried talking to your teen about drugs? Making good choices? The risks involved? How did that conversation go? If you’re like most parents, you’ve encountered a few obstacles. Maybe you haven’t found the right moment to have the conversation, or your teen wasn’t receptive to what you had to say. Since this topic […]

Read more »
Watch Your Body Language When Having the "Drug Talk"

The time has come. You need to have a tough talk with your teen. Whether it’s to educate them about the dangers of drugs or to confront them about their drug use, the conversation won’t be easy. And, if you aren’t careful, you can make it even more difficult. How? With your body language. Projecting […]

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Does Your Teen Know Substance Abuse Causes Skin Problems?

We all know that the teen years are a time when appearance is a major concern. While teens worry that too much chocolate or pizza might cause an acne breakout, do they know that drug abuse can cause serious, disfiguring skin problems? Here are the facts to help you educate your teen on how to […]

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5 Ways to De-Escalate Your Teen’s Escalating Emotions

Jill was worried about her daughter. Katelyn seemed to always be “on edge.” Jill knew adolescence was an emotional time for most teens, but Katelyn’s emotions seemed through the roof. Years ago, her niece struggled with similar escalating emotions; she ended up having several frightening panic attacks and ultimately turned to drug abuse as a way to calm her […]

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5 Things Every Parent Should Ask a Treatment Center

Your teen is your most precious cargo in the world. You want to make sure they’re in the best of hands. How can you know if a treatment center should be entrusted with their care? Not all facilities are equal, so it’s important to ask the right questions before sending your teen their way. Knowing […]

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Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol: Talking to My Daughter About Staying Safe

“I went to a great party – there were tons of cute guys and a couple of them asked for my number. One of them even texted me later that night,” Brittany excitedly told her mom on the phone. Janet, Brittany’s mom, was excited for her daughter, but she was also worried. Was there alcohol […]

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Out of Rehab: When Should Your Teen Go Back to School?

Cassie just completed a 90-day inpatient stay at a rehab facility. Returning home, she’s anxious to get back to school. She misses her friends and wants to feel like a “normal” teen again. Her parents, on the other hand, aren’t sure that going back to school this soon is a good idea. Cassie is clean and […]

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Family Finances: Coping Strategies for Parents and Teens

Jake’s boss called him in for a meeting on Friday; it was the week before Thanksgiving. Jake was being laid off. He would get unemployment and three months of health insurance for his family. After that, he was on his own, left to somehow support his wife Beth and their daughter Sara. His first instinct was to […]

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What I Wish My Family Had Known: Teens in Recovery Speak Out

“Spying on me just made me more secretive,” says Jen, 23, who battled heroin and crack addiction from the age of 15. “My mom used to search my room when I was at school. It just made me trust her less, and hide my use more.” Communication Breakdown Communication has often broken down in a […]

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Kids, Drug Abuse and Divorce: 3 Tips to Protect Your Family

Jon is 54, and he’s going through a divorce. He worries about his daughter, Nina, who is 12. “She’s a happy kid, a resilient kid,” he says, “But I worry about how she’ll handle the divorce.” Jon’s father had serious drinking problems; he’s had his own difficulties with alcohol and, at times, other drugs. Some […]

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Parents in Recovery: How Do I Rebuild My Kids’ Trust?

“My children will never speak to me again if I have another drink,” said Jan, 58, mother of two children in their twenties. She had taken a leave from her prestigious job to go to rehab, and stayed sober for three years, attending AA meetings regularly and working a solid program. But it took more […]

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Our Teen's Coming Home from Treatment: Are We Ready?

When a child comes home from treatment, it can be a time of celebration, but there’s usually a lot of tension, too. What if he or she drinks/uses again? How much should we be involved in the child’s “program?” Should we get rid of all the wine in the house? Will we ever be a […]

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Parental Burn-Out: When Teens Test Your Recovery Limits

As the slam of the bedroom door rocked the house, Kevin sank onto the living room couch. He just finished round two (for today) with his teenage son. Why did adolescence have to be so dramatic? He could hardly speak to his son without an argument exploding out of the conversation. Kevin worked hard to […]

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Skeletons in the Closet: Telling Teens About Your Past Drug Use

“If she only knew,” thought Jill. Jill recently caught her teenage daughter experimenting with drugs. At 16, Beth was a sophomore and had little history of trouble in school or otherwise. Jill worried her innocent daughter was headed down the same path she took at 17 – a trajectory that went downhill fast. As she […]

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Will Your Little Bully Grow Up to Become an Addicted Adult?

These days, you can find them in every classroom and on every playground. They seek out other children to torment with threats, intimidation, and physical abuse. They’re childhood bullies. But what happens when these little bullies grow up? The Snowball Effect Unfortunately, for a large portion of childhood bullies, things don’t get much better. Why? […]

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The Anatomy of a Recovering Parent's Apology

You’re in early recovery. Getting here wasn’t easy, but you’re proud of the progress you’ve made and determined to live a life of continued sobriety. Your head is finally clear and you realize the damage you’ve caused to the people who love you the most. You’ve apologized to your spouse. You’ve told your boss you’re […]

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Drinking and Driving: A Tragic Tale of Innocent Life Lost

You’ve been drinking, but you pick up your car keys anyway. You convince yourself you can make it home safely. You know you’re taking a risk, but you figure it’s your own risk. If you crash your car, you’ll just have to pay for it…right? Wrong. Drinking and driving puts others at risk; your “personal” […]

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Elementary School Shows Love for Students With Addicted Parents

Reading, writing, arithmetic…and addiction. In West Virginia, elementary school students need more than typical classroom lessons. This state is one of the hardest hit by the nationwide opioid epidemic. Rural areas like West Virginia face crippling, widespread addiction and are seeing alarming increases in the number of infants born dependent on drugs. In fact, maternal […]

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5 Tips for Explaining Overdose Deaths to Our Children

The paramedics loaded the gurney onto the ambulance and shut the doors. As they drove away with her mother, six-year-old Cassie looked up at her grandma. “When will Mom get to come home, Grammie?” she asked. “Are they going to give her medicine to wake her up?” Cassie’s mom wasn’t going to wake up. Her two-year battle […]

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Do Text Codes Render Modern Parents Clueless?

Every generation has its own slang terms. At times, it can feel like one generation speaks an entirely different language than the next. This is especially true among the youngest generations today. Raised in a world of tech, teens often truly do speak their own language. Their language: Text Most of us have the basics […]

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Think Twice Before Playing Favorites With Your Kids

Kyle could never live up to the standards set by his older brother. No matter what Kyle did, his brother did something even better. Their parents weren’t very impressed with Kyle’s MVP award when Kevin was busy earning two first place medals the same year. It was Kevin they posted news about. Kevin they bragged […]

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Art Students Wanted: Must Be Willing to Paint a Picture of Addiction

Could you capture the realities of addiction on paper? Could you sketch an image that accurately portrays the pain, the dangers and the effects of substance abuse? Could you create a picture that sends the message “You don’t want this.” That’s exactly what art students at Mountain Home High School were asked to do. Their […]

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Virtual Field Trip Introduces Kids to Addiction

Theaters. Art museums. Courtrooms. Aquariums. Planetariums. State capitals. What do these things have in common? They are typical destinations for high school field trips. Educational, interesting and fun, they have much to offer curious adolescents. They are a stark contrast to the latest destination added to the list. The DEA and Discovery Education have implemented […]

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First-of-Its-Kind Study Says Kids are Key to Mom’s Rehab

Meet Stephanie and Aiden Nine-year-old Aiden entered the therapist’s office with his mom, Stephanie. Aiden and Stephanie were at the office for family therapy, as part of Stephanie’s outpatient treatment for cocaine addiction. Together, they had attended 52 sessions over the past year. Stephanie was doing well. Her cocaine use declined quickly in response to the […]

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Is Your Teen In a Violent Dating Relationship?

When teens start dating, parents start worrying double-time. Will they choose a good partner? Will they make good sexual decisions? Will they be safe? Unfortunately, many teens aren’t safe in their current dating relationships. Around 1.5 million high schoolers in the U.S. report they’ve been intentionally hit or physically harmed in the past year by […]

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Supermarket Sweep: Teens Using More OTC Drugs to Get High

“It’s not like I’m doing anything illegal,” Kristen rationalized. “It’s just cough syrup.” Kristen had recently discovered she could get an “easy” high from this medicine. She was right – it’s not illegal. It’s also easy to obtain. It’s cheaper than street drugs, and she doesn’t need a dealer to get it. Kristen started drinking […]

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Enrolling Your Teen in the School of Sobriety

Jim and Mary had done all they could for their son. They’d put Josh through two rehab programs, counseling, drug education classes and family therapy. He’d been suspended from school several times. He was even arrested once. Through all of this, Josh continued to spiral out of control. His patterns of drug use, lying, and […]

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140 Characters or Less: Social Media's Role in Substance Abuse

Before starting his homework, Nick checked the latest posts from his friends. Among the many new messages were several pictures of his classmates drinking at a party and a couple more of them passed out afterwards. Another friend posted a selfie that showed him holding a pill. The caption read: “About to have a great […]

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Postpartum Blues: A Bottle for Baby...and One for Mom?

Stephanie held in her arms a new-born bundle of joy – so why wasn’t she feeling joyful? In fact, she was feeling quite the opposite. As she rocked little Henry to sleep, she eyed the liquor cabinet she had been visiting more and more often since he was born. She kept trying to numb her […]

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A Warning for Parents in Transition: Don't Ignore Your Teenager

Change can be tough for anyone. During adolescence, when your world is tiny and one poor fashion choice can seem like the end of all things, major change can be completely and utterly overwhelming. If your teen is changing schools, you’re in the middle of a divorce or they’ve gained a new step-parent (and step-siblings), […]

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You Think He's Using - Should You Drug Test Your Teen?

You’re seeing all the warning signs: Your child’s grades are sleeping, he’s becoming a recluse in his bedroom and no longer participating in the activities he used to love. Everything points to drug abuse, but should you go and buy a drug test to confirm your suspicions? More importantly, would it even help the situation? […]

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Living With an Alcoholic Parent: 3 Steps to Keep Teens Safe

Josh’s dad is an alcoholic. At the young age of 15, he simply doesn’t know how to cope with the situation. Josh wavers between wanting to help and wanting to escape. Some days he feels sorry for his dad; other days, he never wants to see him again. What can he do? What should he […]

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Help! My Teen is Dating Someone Who's Abusing Drugs

You want the best for your teen – the best education, the best extra-curricular activities, the best friends. And, ahhh yes, the best dating relationships. This is often one of the most significant factors in her overall health, yet it’s one of the factors you have the least control over. You can send her to […]

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Name That Tune: Can Music Really Influence Our Drug Choices?

We like songs about substance abuse. Who is “we”? Apparently, a majority of the population. Collectively, listeners seem to prefer catchy tunes that talk about being drunk and getting high – that’s especially true among teenagers. How do we know this? Let’s take a look at Billboard’s Top 100 Hot Country Songs of 2014. Did […]

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Party Debt: Your Hangovers Get Worse as You Age

You may not want to admit it, but it’s time to face facts: You’re getting older every single day. That means you may not be able to do everything with the carefree ease and flexibility you used to. And yes, the aging issue even applies to drinking alcohol – but especially those dreaded hangovers. A […]

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Let's Talk About Drugs: Is Your Teen Really Listening to You?

What do conversations with your teen typically look like? Are they one-sided? Does your teen receive instruction well? Do her eyes glaze over the moment you open your mouth? Does she cross her arms and stomp away? Many times, the cues teens offer aren’t so obvious. The trick is to watch for subtle cues to […]

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Baby on Board: What's Up With All the Drinking While Pregnant?

A couple of months ago, I was at a baby shower with a handful of other pregnant women. And much to my surprise, almost all of them had a mimosa or two. This wasn’t a one-time thing either – I’d seen them drink at a birthday party a couple of weeks before, too. According to […]

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Reaching Them Where They Are: 5 Tips for Healthy Teen Parenting

How often do you have significant conversations with your teen? When was the last time you had quality time together? If you struggle to connect with your teen, you’re not alone. Reaching through an engulfment of hormones, across a generational gap and into their narrow worldview is challenging for most parents. The key is to […]

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School Daze: Send Your Kid to College With Three Pieces of Advice

As he leaves the nest, you hope your college-bound teen remembers everything you’ve taught him, makes good choices and achieves great success in his studies. You might wonder if there’s anything you should’ve done differently. You might fear there’s something you should’ve told him that you didn’t. Don’t Let Fear “The Talk” To deter some […]

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Does Your Teen Have a Drinking Problem? Check for These Red Flags

Linda remembered experimenting with alcohol as a teen. She knew her teenage daughter probably would, too. But Gabby’s behavior was starting to make her worry. Was Gabby developing a drinking problem? Linda didn’t know if she should be concerned; she didn’t know if Gabby was showing legitimate signs of alcohol abuse. Despite the lack of […]

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Age and Weight: Two Teenage Triggers for Substance Abuse

Liam downed his first beer at a friend’s house when he was 11. Shortly after that initiation, he drank occasionally, then more frequently. Jackson wasn’t interested in alcohol until his freshman year of college. At 18, he had his first mixed drink. Like Liam, after this first experience, he drank on occasion, then more often. […]

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Family Matters: The FAQ on Family Counseling

Family therapy is form of psychotherapy (psychological counseling) that focuses on the entire family rather than one individual family member. It’s usually provided by a licensed therapist, clinical social worker or psychologist. What Does Family Counseling Look Like? In family counseling for addiction, therapists use techniques, including marriage and family therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, couples […]

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6 Tips for Writing an Intervention Letter to Your Teenager

Shelly’s downward spiral started at age 14 with a few pills for her anxiety – now 15 years old, she pops pills regularly and drinks heavily most days. Her family and friends are extremely concerned. Shelly doesn’t see the extent of her issues and denies having a problem. Her loved ones know it’s time to […]

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Getting Past the Lies: Teens Struggling to Trust Their Parents Again

Steve’s dad forgets to pick him up from practice again. More accurately, he’s probably too drunk to remember. And this isn’t the first time Steve’s dad has let him down. Steve doesn’t know why he keeps trying with his dad. He’s always disappointed. Can he ever trust his father to be there for him? When […]

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Automated-Response Calls Help Teens Get Honest About Drinking

Garrett’s mom asked him if he was drinking at the weekend parties he attended. He answered with a shrug and said that he “tried it,” but didn’t get drunk. A week later, before his school physical, Garrett’s doctor scheduled an automated-response call. The computer asked Garrett several questions about his health and activities. When asked […]

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Getting Past the Lies: Learning to Trust Your Teen Again

Callum snuck out of the house. He took his parents’ car and went to a party. He got high. He drove home. He found his parents sitting in the kitchen, waiting for him. If you were Callum’s parent, what would you do? Could you ever trust Callum again? It seems impossible, especially since Callum was […]

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Wait, You Want Me to Socialize...Sober?

What does your social life look like? Are you like Kim, who feels awkward at parties and turns to alcohol to “loosen up”? Or maybe you’re like Gary, the guy who is already outgoing, but gets a drink or two in him and really becomes the life of the party. What Kim and Gary don’t […]

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But Mom, I'm Bored! - Avoiding Those Teenage Summer Slumps

School’s out and your teen couldn’t be happier. But after the initial excitement of no homework wears off, let’s face it, he’s got a long, long summer ahead. The Danger of Down Time Summer days with nothing to do can create an unhealthy scenario for teens. In fact, boredom is a leading cause of teen […]

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Do Ultimatums Ultimately Work?

You’ve reached the end of your rope. Substance abuse is ruining her life…and yours. You can’t take it anymore. You deliver the ultimatum: It might be your spouse – “Stop drinking or I’m leaving you.” It might be your child – “Give up the drugs or move out.” It might be your sibling – “Get […]

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Rebel Without a Cause: What to Do When Your Teen Revolts

Kelly never had a problem with her parents’ rules before, but for some reason, things seemed to go haywire. Suddenly, she thought her curfew was unfair, limits on what she could wear were labeled outrageous and questions about where she went were considered an invasion of privacy. What in the world happened? When did that […]

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Want to Ward Off Alcoholism? Put a Ring On It!

We all know a married person who says their husband or wife drives them crazy with their nagging. “She won’t shut up about my man cave!” Or “He keeps telling me to go to the gym!” So aggravating, right? Not so fast… In a shocking turn of events, what seems like a downside of marriage […]

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Dear Parents: Let's Get on the Same Page About Teen Drug Use

Dave and Pam could feel the threads of their marriage wearing thin. They just couldn’t seem to agree on what to do about their daughter, Carley. They were already dealing with the tornado of teenage hurt and confusion she brought through the house every day, but things had got worse when Carley started experimenting with […]

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Home Sweet Home: My Brother is Addicted...and I'm Invisible

Josh is 14 and his older brother, Garrett, is 16. When Garrett started using drugs, Josh suddenly felt invisible. His parents were so focused on Garrett’s problems that they didn’t seem to care he had problems, too. Josh was understandably angry; maybe if he started using drugs, they’d actually pay attention to him. Kara is […]

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You Know What They Say About Idle Time...Right?

Anxiety. Anger. Loneliness. Depression. These are common reasons teenagers turn to drugs. Guess what else tops the list? Boredom. That’s right; teens with nothing else to do are more likely to fill their time experimenting with drugs. Researchers recently linked boredom to binge drinking, experimenting with marijuana and prescription drugs and using party drugs (like […]

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Is Your Teen Running With the Wrong Crowd?

It’s a simple truth: Friends influence our behavior. It’s true for you – and it’s true for your teen. So it only makes sense for parents to worry about their teens’ social circle. Who’s shaping your teen? Is it a good crowd or a “not so good” crowd? If they’re running around with bad influences, […]

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Do Not Pass Go: Should You Really Bail Your Teen Out of Jail?

Your eyes fly open. A second ago, you were deep in dreamland. Now, your phone is screaming for attention. As you reach for it, you realize two things: You recognize your son’s ringtone and you see that it’s 3 a.m. Putting these two thoughts together, you know this call can’t be good. “Hi Dad,” he […]

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What's Your Teen’s Top Pick for Drug Use?

If you’re raising a teenager, you’ve asked yourself the following: What substances are tempting today’s teen? And more importantly, what are the drugs my teen is most likely to abuse? To protect your teen from drug use, it’s important to answer questions like these. Let’s Talk About Drugs Here’s a list that outlines the drugs […]

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Is Your Teen's Recovery Counselor Speaking Her Language?

Teen years are tough; addiction recovery is even tougher. Put the two together and the odds can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, however, they aren’t. Every day, teens who are struggling with substance abuse get the professional help they need and an important step in the process is proper counseling. Knowing your teenager’s recovery success largely hinges […]

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Family Addiction Secrets: Give Your Teen the Gift of Honesty

More than 28 million Americans are children of alcoholics, yet many of them remain in the dark about addiction. And that’s a frightening thing, considering genetics account for about half the risk of developing a dependency on drugs or alcohol. What does all this talk about genetics mean for your kids? Well, if you have […]

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Non-Alcoholic Drinks: Safe for Adolescent Sipping?

Non-alcoholic beer. Virgin drinks. Mocktails. These libation alternatives may seem to offer safe options for college students and other adolescents, but are they really harmless? Without the alcohol content, you could argue they provide a “safer” alcohol-free choice for adolescents struggling with sobriety, but this argument fails to capture the whole scenario. Now pay attention, […]

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Knock Knock: Addiction is at Your Door

It’s no secret that society stigmatizes addiction. And even with evidence to the contrary, the masses continue to think it’s a personal choice rather than a disease. A large portion of society believes every single addict fits into one mold. They’re often pegged as weak, untrustworthy and undeserving of love and support. In response, society […]

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Social Butterfly: Hanging Out Stunts Substance Abuse in Teens

Family. School. Friends. Ready for some good news? Well, here it is: According to a recent study, if your teen is a social butterfly who lives for socializing and hanging out with all three of these groups – family, school and friends- it actually provides them with a trifecta of protection against substance abuse. Specifically, […]

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Can We Blame the Bullies for Teen Substance Abuse?

Billy’s third grade school year isn’t going great. He’s regularly bullied by one of his classmates and a larger-than-life fourth grader. Jimmy’s elementary school years were great…it’s his middle school experience he wishes he could skip. The verbal insults he hears every week are more than he can take. Which of these boys will be […]

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The Other DWI: Dialing While Intoxicated

You won’t get a ticket, lose your license or go to jail for this driving offence…but it can still have dire consequences. Most likely, you risk damaging or losing a relationship…or starting one you don’t want! Setting the Scene The scenario isn’t hard to imagine. Maybe you’ve been there before – either on the giving […]

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Survey Says: An Honest Look at Teenage Drug Abuse

Based on input from nearly 45,000 students at public and private schools, the 2015 Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF) shows a downward trend in teen drug use. Compared to previous surveys, the 2015 numbers have decreased for alcohol, prescription opioid pain relievers, cigarettes and synthetic marijuana use. What remains high (no pun intended) are the […]

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Spring Break: Fun in the Sun; Hold the Booze

Most people associate the term “spring break” with tequila, beer, a beach…and more tequila. The week or two off school in the spring is a time when college kids are notorious for getting wasted in tropical locations and making all kinds of decisions they might regret later. It might be hard to imagine a spring […]

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The Dreaded Talk: 5 Ways NOT to Talk to Teens About Drugs

Speaking with a teenager can sometimes feel like traveling to a foreign land. The language is different. The culture is different. Without a translator, you feel totally lost. Your efforts to communicate go nowhere, leaving you frustrated and defeated. This is especially true if you bring up the touchy subject of alcohol and drug use. […]

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Are We Self-Medicating Ourselves into Addiction?

Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar? Scenario #1: Kim gets really nervous in social situations. Because of her anxiety, she often stays home on the weekends, rather than interacting with people. If she does go out (or is forced to attend a get-together), she has a few drinks to put her at ease. […]

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When Helping Hurts: 7 Signs You're an Enabling Parent

It’s only natural – you want to do everything to help your child. And that’s especially true if she’s struggling with an alcohol or drug problem. Despite your best intentions, sometimes your behaviors can actually enable her substance abuse and, in many cases, even make it worse. Recognizing and Stopping Your Enabling Behaviors   Instead […]

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Don't Look Back: Stop Repeating the Same Old Mistakes

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana Thanks for the tip, George. Does that mean if we remember our mistakes, we won’t repeat them? That would be a relief for us all, right? We’d simply keep in mind what we have done wrong in the past, then […]

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Time for the "Drug" Talk: 5 Mistakes Parents Can't Afford to Make

Some say our teenage years can be the most challenging – for both parents and young adults. As we transition from adolescence into adulthood, we begin to form relationships, develop identities, go through phases and show curiousity about the world outside of their familiar surroundings. With this notion of curiosity and discovery, parental concerns begin […]

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The Affluenza Defense and its Effect on Addiction

Ethan Couch has become a household name. Known as the teen who evaded jail time for using the “affluenza” defense, he killed four and paralyzed another after causing a drunk-driving crash back in 2013. We all thought we’d heard the last of him until a video surfaced on Twitter last month showing him at a […]

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Researching Teenage Drinking: It's Instagram to the Rescue!

Instagram has become a photo journal of our day-to-day lives. Want to know what someone has been up to for the past month? Click through their Instagram posts and check out the pics. Every memorable moment, unique location or fond memory has likely been captured and shared on this wildly popular app. Just how popular […]

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Can a Month without Booze Give You Homer Simpson Results?

A classic episode of The Simpsons finds Homer challenged by Marge to give up drinking for 30 days. At the end of the month, he’s lost weight, saved money and appears to be healthier overall. Ironically, Homer decides it’s time to celebrate; he races to the bar so he can knock back a few beers with his […]

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Can Drinking Age Affect Dropout Rates? (Survey Says Yes)

Should the United States lower its drinking age from 21 to 18? Our nation’s legal drinking age is one of the highest in the world and has remained that way since the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed in 1984. Those in favor of lowering it argue that, if Americans can vote and serve […]

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A Teenage Warning: There's No Such Thing as a Harmless Drink

Because the human brain continues to develop well into our 20’s, the decisions we make as teenagers can have permanent consequences that echo far into adulthood. Unfortunately, adolescents aren’t exactly known for making the best or most rational decisions. A new study highlights that train of thought, noting alcohol’s lasting effects are a particular concern […]

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Deadly Trifecta: Early-Maturing Girls, Absent Parents and Alcohol

Looks like Mom and Dad’s strict anti-booze rules may not have been in vain after all. Teenagers who grow up in households with inadequate supervision may be at a higher risk of behavioral issues, including substance abuse, research shows. This risk may be especially high for girls who reach puberty early, a new study finds. […]

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Family Arrest Histories Push Some Teens Toward Drug Abuse

Teens are more likely to use pot or drink heavily into adulthood if their friends or family members have been involved in crime, according a new study from The University of Texas, Dallas. Researchers at UT Dallas studied a sample of 1,354 young people, mostly males between the ages of 14 and 17, directly linked […]

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College Bound: Talk to Your Kids About the Dangers of Drinking

Back-to-school season can be an emotional time for first-time college students and their parents. It’s also a time when young people are especially vulnerable to underage alcohol use and binge drinking. Six Weeks of Danger During the first six weeks of their freshman year, college students are at the highest risk for excessive drinking and […]

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University of Michigan to Notify Parents of Repeat Alcohol Offenses

James arrived at his university having never tried alcohol in his short 22 years of life. He came from a strict religious upbringing and his parents had managed to successfully shelter him from temptation. When finally left to his own devices, however, his curiosity quickly took over. Soon, James began to experiment with both alcohol […]

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Back to School: 9 Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Drug Use

The summer break is over and most kids have made their way back to school. They’ll have plenty of time to catch up with friends and talk about what they’ve been doing over the last couple months. And for some, this is the time they’ll be confronted with dangerous temptations in the form of drugs […]

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Teen Hopes Shocking Photo will Combat Drug Use at EDM Festivals

Jordan Blackburn is no different than the thousands of 20-somethings around the world who love attending music festivals. But last year, he attended one U.K. electronic dance music (EDM) concert that would change his life forever. Peer Pressure and Other Deciding Factors Jordan, along with a group of his friends, decided to “heighten” the EDM […]

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New Survey Suggests Social Media is Not to Blame for Alcohol Use

Scrolling through my Instagram feed on a Sunday morning, I see blurred flashbacks of Saturday night’s activities — guys doing keg stands, girls holding fruity drinks…and that one obligatory “friend of a friend” passed out on a bathroom floor. I flick my thumb over the screen, never thinking twice of the underage kids’ party photos. […]

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Want to Stop Drug Cravings? Try Playing a Video Game

Most of us have experienced the feeling of being sucked into a video game at some point in our lives. An hour or two passes by and you haven’t moved from the same position. The thoughts and worries that consumed your mind earlier are now a distant memory because the game requires all of your […]

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The "R" Word: 5 Relapse Triggers Facing Teens in Recovery

Our teenage years can be a very confusing time. Transitioning from childhood to adulthood includes the universal challenges of dealing with puberty, peer and academic pressures, family changes and so on. The Formative Teenage Years Teenage years are also associated with a time of taking risks, making mistakes and experimentation. Unfortunately, one of the most […]

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When to Say When: 5 Signs It's Time to Take a Loved One's Car Keys

They’ve been drinking. Should you let them drive? We all know the risks associated with driving under the influence. None of us wants our loved ones to take those risks. But, how do we know when they have reached their limit? When is it no longer safe for them to drive? When should we step […]

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Emojis Spark a New Expressive Anti-Drug Language for Kids

No matter what you’re feeling right now, there’s probably an emoji to express it. Instead of using words, younger generations are more frequently displaying emojis to convey thoughts or emotions in their text messages and online chats. Whether it’s a smiley face that shows happiness or a face with a teardrop to indicate sadness, these […]

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Alcohol and the Internet: A Dangerous Combo for Teens

Before the Internet ruled our daily lives, the only way to gain access to alcohol as a kid was to raid your parent’s alcohol liquor cabinet, put the used bottles in the back and hope they never noticed. Instant Alcohol Delivered? Today, modern technology has made access to alcohol as easy as clicking a button. […]

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Weekend Drug Use Usually Turns into Weekday Use

When it comes to substance abuse, most people are unable to exercise self-control. Think about how many times you’ve heard someone say “I’m only having one drink,” only to witness them drunk by the end of the night. In the same way that people lowball the amount of alcohol they end up consuming, illicit drug […]

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Run for the Border: Taco Bell to Begin Serving Alcohol?

Plenty of college students head to Taco Bell when they’re inebriated and looking to chow down on some chalupas and burritos to soak up the alcohol. Believe it or not, if one Chicago-based Taco Bell location has its way, those same college students will be coming in for more than just fast-food…they’ll also be coming […]

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Should Beauty Salons be Allowed to Serve Alcohol?

Beauty treatments and alcohol are hardly a new marketing combination. New York City’s Dashing Diva currently offers free cocktails to clients waiting for pedicures. The salon’s “Girls’ Night Out” package also includes a free “diva” cocktail with any service. The trend has already brought in some serious revenue for nail salons across the nation, so it goes […]

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Mothers Find Strength in the 3 C’s of Addiction

Mother’s Day is a time for sons and daughters to express their gratitude for all that mom has done. Moms are skinned-knee nurses, Michelin-starred macaroni chefs, soccer game chauffeurs, persistently patient psychologists, best friends and experienced mentors. One of the most instinctive – yet sometimes impossible – roles mothers play is the role of protector. […]

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HIV-Positive Men Need Fewer Drinks to Get Buzzed

When it comes to alcohol, tolerance plays a key role in how fast or slow you become intoxicated. If you rarely drink, for example, tossing back three shots of whiskey would leave you inebriated. If, on the other hand, you are an alcoholic, those same three shots probably wouldn’t have a huge impact…unless your’re HIV […]

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5 Tips for Making Your Teen's Prom Safe and Sober

  Throughout May and June, high school seniors begin gearing up for what can feel like the biggest night of their lives. Prom night can be a great way for your child and his or her friends to celebrate making it through four years of school together. And in all reality, prom night can sometimes […]

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Drinkers with Insomnia Run a High Risk of Suicide

A good night of sleep typically leaves you feeling refreshed the next day, while a lack of sleep can make you feel like a walking zombie. But a new study reveals we have a lot more to worry about when alcohol is factored into the equation. Evaluating Alcohol, Insomnia and Suicide We need a certain […]

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There's a Rehab for Everyone...Including Animals

After 20 years of alcohol abuse, two Russian residents have received an offer to attend rehab – free of charge – in Romania. This would be a heartwarming story under normal circumstances, but this “intervention” is different. Why? Well, for starters, the addicts in question are wild bears. Yes, you read that correctly; two wild […]

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Talking to Your Kids about Drinking? 7 Valuable Conversation Tips

It’s common knowledge that teenagers are faced with some pretty serious temptations, especially when it comes to trying alcohol before they’re old enough to legally consume it.  And for parents, the growing issue of problem and binge drinking among teens makes it essential to address this issue at home. Acknowledging the Risk Frightening statistics released […]

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Teens with Poor Sleep Habits Turn into High-Risk Adults

Adequate sleep for teenagers isn’t just important for their mental and physical health. A new study reveals that adolescents who have problems getting adequate sleep could be more susceptible to risky alcohol behaviors in adulthood, including binge drinking and driving drunk. The Value of Quality Sleep The research project, led by Maria M. Wong, professor […]

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Another Reason to Pay Attention to Your Gut Feelings

New research out of Belgium shows bacteria found in the human gastrointestinal tract not only promotes inflammation, it can also spark dangerous alcohol cravings among problem drinkers. This is an alarming piece of information, as it seems to indicate cravings can be spurred on by our own bodies. The Research Phase The study, published in […]

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New Bar Sets Up Shop…Inside Abandoned Restrooms?

Thanks to a plethora of cocktail lounges, taverns and nightclubs, more and more bar owners are desperately searching for new and inventive ways to lure in customers. One modern marketing tactic relies solely on shock, awe and location, location, location! Who’s Up for Drinking in a Toilet? By setting up bars in odd and off-the-wall […]

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Michigan Drunk Driving Laws Finally Extend Off-Road

After more than a decade of different drunk driving laws on land and at sea, Michigan is now holding all vehicles and motorists to the same standard. Holding All Drivers Accountable The legal alcoholic limit for driving a car was changed from 0.10 to 0.08 in 2003, but that same policy wasn’t made for boats, […]

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Holiday Break: Time to Check-Up on Your College Student

It’s not just the Freshman 15 that’s common among college students: Substance abuse, eating disorders, depression and anxiety are all common issues that many young adults suffer through during their time on campus. Making Mental Health a Priority A 2011 survey from the American College Health Association found a substantial number of students suffer from behavorial health […]

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Children of Addicts Work Harder to Break the Cycle

A new study found that children of alcoholics not only have to contend with difficult factors in their environment, they also have improperly developed brains that make it harder to fight impulses. The Study Data Scientists from the University of Texas Health Science Center tested the impulsivity of 105 children, 72 of whom came from […]

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5 Tips for Getting Addicted Teenagers into Rehab

Drug use issues among teenagers may be on the decline in the U.S., but those with substance abuse problems often aren’t receiving the treatment they so urgently need. A 2014 report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that almost 25 million Americans ages 12 and up currently need treatment for […]

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What Do a Teenager's Eyes Say About Drug Abuse?

Generations of parents have spent many a night lying awake, waiting for their teenagers to come home. With a simple hug goodnight, parents were able to conduct the “smell” test for alcohol or marijuana. Unfortunately, today’s parents can no longer rely solely on their noses to provide clues about a teen’s nighttime activities. Over the […]

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Can Nail Polish Really Detect Rape Drugs in Your Drink?

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that one in six women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, many of whom are unknowingly drugged. Known as date rape drugs, these chemicals generally have no color, smell, or taste, making them nearly impossible to detect when added to a drink. Victims quickly become […]

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Starving and Binge Drinking: A Dangerous New Disorder?

More and more college students are struggling with a disorder that has been unofficially coined “drunkorexia.” Though it has yet to be recognized as a diagnosable medical condition, drunkorexia is a very real and extremely dangerous disorder. The term itself represents the harmful combination of disordered eating and heavy alcohol consumption. A 2013 study published […]

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'Safe Alcohol' with a Sober Antidote - Too Good to Be True?

According to data from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol is responsible for an estimated 2.5 million global deaths each year. Scientists have long studied alcohol, its effects on the human body, and possible methods of preventing alcoholism. Dr. David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacologist at Imperial College London and former drugs advisor to […]

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Back to School: Protect Your Teen from Substance Abuse

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future study, roughly 30 percent of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 will experiment with illicit drugs – including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and prescription pills. In fact, teenagers are more likely than adults to engage in risky drug behaviors as a way to […]

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Pass Out Pages: Twitter Trend Glorifies Binge Drinking

Most adolescents and young adults don’t understand the life-threatening dangers posed by binge drinking. “Pass out pages,” a new social media trend, is a perfect example of that misunderstanding. Via Twitter, thousands of underage students are now posting pictures that glamorize the results of binge drinking sessions. In pictures posted to pass out pages, young […]

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Why Does Food Taste So Much Better When You’re Drunk?

A new study by Israeli researchers suggests that people have an increased sense of smell after consuming a moderate amount of alcohol. This may help to explain why food tastes so good after a bout of drinking. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science administered a simple odor-discrimination test to 20 volunteer subjects. First, the […]

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Drinking on the Job: Is Alcohol a Smart Reward System?

Drinking on the job has generally been considered a no-no… until the Don Draper era came along. A&E’s hit television show “Mad Men” is all about a Madison Avenue advertising agency in the 1960s, which embraced the theory that booze on the job was a good thing. Office workers are seen drinking martinis in-office before […]

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In Case You Need Another Reason to Stop Driving Drunk

There are already plenty of reasons to not drink and drive, but a new study out of the University of Grenada (UGR) indicates that excess alcohol consumption can temporarily disturb night vision. Researchers found that drinking alcohol increases the perception of halos and other disturbances at night. These halo visuals can make it difficult for […]

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Free Pregnancy Tests Coming to a Bar Near You

Most people wouldn’t think to pick up a pregnancy test with their vodka-cranberry, but researchers in Alaska are hoping that female bar-goers will do just that in the hopes of addressing the state’s issues with fetal alcohol syndrome, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The University of Alaska has been given $400,000 for a two-year […]

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Alcoholism in Japan Inspires PSA Shaming Campaign

A new public service announcement (PSA) in Japan turns sleeping drunks into billboards to warn others of the dangers of alcoholism. The commercial was produced by Yaocho Bar Group, a well-known bar chain in Tokyo, Japan. Alcoholism levels have risen sharply in Japan during recent years and some people have developed the habit of passing […]

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A New Hangover-Free Alcohol... Too Good to Be True?

College students at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) claim to have discovered a hangover cure. They are raising funds on Indiegogo to start their business in the amount of $20,000. The proposed hangover aid is a beverage called Prime. It is a blue, electrolyte rich drink that is 5 percent alcohol by volume. The formula […]

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The Link Between PTSD and Alcoholism

United States military veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are often linked to alcohol abuse. This is not a mere stereotype. Up to 50 percent of those with PTSD also suffer from alcoholism, and as many as 60 to 80 percent of Vietnam veterans with PTSD have reported abuse of alcohol, according to […]

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Warning Signs Your Teen is Experimenting with Drugs

Drug and alcohol abuse in teenagers is a serious issue in today’s culture. Studies show that those who begin abusing drugs as juveniles are at a higher risk of becoming addicts than those who begin using at a later age. This is because the teenage brain is not fully developed, and impulse controls are not […]

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Can I Die Trying to Detox from Alcohol or Drugs?

If you’re trying to detox from alcohol or drugs, you may want to consult a medical provider. Detoxing incorrectly from alcohol and some drugs can lead to serious side effects. Medical providers are there to help you, and they will know exactly what to do to prevent your withdrawal symptoms from taking over while you […]

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A History of Major Alcohol Awareness Campaigns

Alcohol awareness campaigns have been part of the public health landscape for centuries. With the rise of concern about social responsibility in late 1800s, the negative aspects of alcohol consumption and especially alcohol addiction rose to the forefront of the public debate. Though extreme measures like prohibition are no longer on the table, alcohol use […]

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A Complete Guide to the US Presidents and Their Drug and Alcohol Use

The history of alcohol and drug use among United States presidents is a complex topic, especially since some drugs that are now illegal were legal at different points in this country’s history. For example, in the late 1800s, many over-the-counter remedies had large amounts of cocaine in them. Even with that caveat, some presidents indulged […]

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15 of the Most Horrific Drinking and Driving Accidents

A drunk driving accident that results in injury or loss of life is tragic. However, some accidents are particularly horrific because of high fatality rates, terrible injuries, or other circumstances. Due to unawareness of the possible effects of alcohol use, it can lead to fatal injuries, accidents and even death. 1. Taconic State Parkway, New […]

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9 Beautiful Models with Alcohol or Drug Addiction Problems

Models can be exposed to very adult problems at an early age, which is perhaps why some end up with drug and alcohol problems. These nine models have dealt with severe alcohol and drug abuse problems, and many are not yet sober. While some of these models might be in denial about their alcohol and […]

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Can Binge Drinking Kill You?

The short and simple answer to whether or not binge drinking can kill you is yes. Binge drinking is very dangerous, and depending on how much you drink at once, even your first experience binge drinking can be fatal. Most people will never drink enough to be poisoned by the alcohol they’re consuming; however, some […]

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12 Symptoms of Alcoholism Everyone Should Know

Alcoholism is a chronic disease that affects some of those who drink alcohol. It’s a disease because it causes physical effects in the brain. It’s not a sign of moral weakness or anything like that; it’s a physiological response. Consequently, it has symptoms, just like any other disease. This means there are signs and markers […]

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A Straightforward Alcohol Addiction Assessment

Defining alcohol addiction is relatively straightforward, thanks to the research that has happened over the past thirty years. It’s defined as a “primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” It’s no longer seen as a moral failing, which makes getting addiction treatment and seeking help a lot easier. It’s also had […]

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I Want to Stop Drinking. I Can’t Stop Drinking.

Drinking is a part of everyday life for many people, and for years it was the only way to ensure that you had potable liquid (i.e., fluids that wouldn’t give you dysentery or other nasty diseases). However, most of us have good sanitation and decent water systems in our own homes, so why do people […]

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Advertising Addiction: The Marketing of Alcohol

Businesses advertise all over the place, and nowhere is that more true than with the business of selling alcohol. From wall hangings in bars to multimillion-dollar adverts during the Super Bowl, beer companies know how to draw our attention, and they’re able to persuade us to spend millions on their products. Of course, for many, […]

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Help, I’ve Been Arrested for DUI — What Can I Do to Stay Out of Jail?

It’s finally happened. You’ve had a drink too many, you’ve been pulled over, and you’ve been arrested. How can you avoid going to jail? First, you get a good lawyer. As clichéd as it sounds, you need good legal representation, and it is your right to have a lawyer represent you. Do not try to […]

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Five Signs of an Impending Relapse… And Five Things You Can Do About It

Whether you got out of rehab recently or have been clean for years, a relapse is possible. In fact, it is estimated that “more than 90 percent of those trying to remain abstinent have at least one relapse before they achieve lasting sobriety.” Addiction is a serious, life-affecting issue that has many triggers. Even though […]

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The Case Against Legalizing Drugs

When it comes to drugs, there are almost as many stances as there are drugs. They all hinge on one major question: Is the general public able to responsibly consume drugs? The evidence says no. There are a number of legal drugs available on the market, and the most common one is alcohol. It’s been […]

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The Case for Legalizing Drugs

There is a common misconception that drugs are generally bad for you. Of course, in excess and when used inappropriately, that’s true. But it’s hard to insist that some of the drugs that are currently banned in the United States are more dangerous than alcohol or nicotine. Alcohol Ban Did Not Work Let’s face it: […]

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