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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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Teachers Tackle the Mixed Marijuana Messages Teens Receive

What happens when two educators can’t find the resources they need for their students? They create their own program. At least, that’s what happened when teacher Sarah Grippa and school counselor Molly Lotz recognized the need to better educate teens on the dangers of adolescent marijuana use. The result: the Marijuana Education Initiative (MEI). “We […]

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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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7 Things Parents Should Look for in a Child Therapist

As if parenting wasn’t hard enough, you’re now faced with the task of choosing the best therapist for your child. To many parents, this task feels overwhelming. How do you know what to look for? Who will provide the best intervention and support? The Essential Qualities in a Child Therapist? As you begin your search, […]

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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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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 »
Teachers Tackle the Mixed Marijuana Messages Teens Receive

What happens when two educators can’t find the resources they need for their students? They create their own program. At least, that’s what happened when teacher Sarah Grippa and school counselor Molly Lotz recognized the need to better educate teens on the dangers of adolescent marijuana use. The result: the Marijuana Education Initiative (MEI). “We […]

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 »
7 Things Parents Should Look for in a Child Therapist

As if parenting wasn’t hard enough, you’re now faced with the task of choosing the best therapist for your child. To many parents, this task feels overwhelming. How do you know what to look for? Who will provide the best intervention and support? The Essential Qualities in a Child Therapist? As you begin your search, […]

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 […]

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A Survival Kit for the Parents of Angry Teens

Holly slammed her bedroom door and flung herself onto her bed. After an angry outburst at the dinner table, her parents had sent her to her room. This had happened several times over the past few weeks. She was starting to get the message: Her parents didn’t want to listen to what was making her […]

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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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Opioid Epidemic Linked to Childhood Emotional Abuse

Researchers at the University of Vermont have identified a link between opioid abuse in adults and childhood emotional abuse. In a recent study, 84 participants with a history of opioid abuse and childhood trauma went through a series of psychological tests and were interviewed about their childhood experiences. The results showed that those who suffered […]

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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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7 Things Parents Need to Know About Betel Nuts

Ohio police recently caught teens using betel nuts to get high. If adolescents in one part of the country have discovered a new way to get high, you can bet others will soon follow suit. This incident left many parents asking if the substance is a threat to their teens. Good question. Fast Facts on […]

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Caught Off Guard: The First Time My Child Was Exposed to Drugs

Jake was shocked. It happened so fast. Nina was only ten years old. On the way home from school they stopped for some takeout Chinese food; that’s when she told him. “Dad, the eighth grade boys are smoking behind our school. It scares me because I have to walk by them to get to the […]

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7 Essential Questions to Ask When Talking to a Teen About Drugs

You’ve heard it time and again: It’s important to talk to your teen about drugs. But you have one glaring question: How? Many parents find it difficult to broach this subject. They either don’t know how to bring it up or aren’t sure what to cover in the conversation. The National Institute on Drug Abuse […]

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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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Worried About Kids Accessing Your Pain Meds? You Should Be!

More than 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed every day in the US. With so many people on pain meds, there’s a good chance you might have some of these pills sitting in your medicine cabinet. And if you also have children under your roof, the big question is are your opioids safely stored where your […]

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The Protecting Our Infants Act: Here's What You Need to Know

An alarming number of newborns in the US suffer from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). These babies are exposed to drugs in utero and experience drug withdrawal after birth. Just like adults in withdrawal, newborns suffer from fever, tremors, indigestion, muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, and irritability. Infants with NAS require high-level care and stay an average […]

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Spotlight on Talking to Your Teen About Suicide

The tragedy of teens dying due to feelings of overwhelming hopelessness or frustration is devastating to everyone – family, friends, and the community as a whole. For parents, learning how to approach the sensitive subject with teens is one of the most effective ways to help prevent further tragedies. It’s Your Job to Educate Your Teen It […]

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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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Hospital Volunteers Soothe Addicted Babies With the Cuddle Cure

Just three days old, baby Matthew trembles in the hospital volunteer’s arms. As she holds him close, she quiets Matthew’s cries, and he drifts into a more restful sleep. What is the source of Matthew’s tremors? He’s suffering from withdrawal. The Painful Truth About NAS Matthew is just one of the 13,000+ babies born in […]

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5 Things To Do For Your Addicted Teen

It was a moment Tom would never forget. He was simply gathering the dirty laundry from his kids’ bedrooms. When he got to 15-year-old Laura’s room, he found a lot more than the dirty socks he was expecting. Beneath a pile of crumpled clothes, Tom discovered a bag of pills. Suddenly, his daughter’s recent behavior […]

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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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Has Iceland Discovered the Secret to Keeping Teens Off Drugs?

Iceland has produced some impressive statistics. From 1998 to 2016, the percentage of 15-16-year-old Icelandic youth who used cannabis fell from 17 percent to five percent. The percentage of youth who were drunk in the past 30 days dropped from 42 percent to five percent. Daily cigarette smoking decreased from 23 percent to three percent. […]

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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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5 Ways a Mentor Can Impact Your Teen’s Recovery

Maintaining sobriety is hard work, and no one should go at it alone. That’s why many in support groups reach out to mentors to help them navigate the choppy waters of early recovery. Just because your teen is young doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t have someone to reach out to – a neutral party […]

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An Emotional First Aid Kit for Your Teenager's Recovery

A volcanic eruption. A category four hurricane. A 9.5 earthquake. Teenage emotions often resemble the worst threats nature can throw at us. Toss addiction and recovery in the mix, and you’re facing a perfect storm. Navigating these tumultuous waters is no easy task for parents. It’s easy to say “the wrong thing” or feel like […]

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Need a Little Teenage Self-Control? Try These Hacks.

Let’s face it. If you’re reading this post, your self-control is probably…less than perfect. For some, it might be your biggest weakness. From resisting that candy bar to ignoring social media alerts or turning off that video game, self-control is not your greatest strength. What’s the good news? This trait can definitely change – especially […]

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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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Hey Parents, Stop Forcing Your Kids to Smoke Pot!

Tony and Debbie took their 18-month-old to the pediatrician for a check-up. Due to some complications at birth, the doctor wanted to do regular blood-work and urinalysis on their son, Bobby. When they got the results, they were shocked. “Bobby’s urine showed traces of marijuana,” the doctor informed them. “Are you forcing him to smoke […]

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Eye-Opening Mannequin Challenge Video

Videographers have taken us to locker rooms, school cafeterias, baseball fields and beyond. Teens, teams, and professionals from all walks of life have accepted the mannequin challenge and amazed us with their poses. This one’s different… The makers of this video weren’t attempting to show off their athletic moves or amaze viewers with laughter-inducing antics. […]

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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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Don't Let Your Teen Pay the Ultimate Price

Fourteen months ago, Becca started taking prescription opioids. She didn’t use them to help with physical pain; it was the mental pain she desperately wanted to quiet. But it didn’t work. Now, Becca’s emotional state is even worse. The opiates made her thinking even cloudier and her lows even lower. Becca’s tired of fighting the […]

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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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5 Tips for Channelling Teenage Rebellion Away From Drug Use

Have you ever felt as though your teenager is rebelling out of fear? If so, science backs that conclusion. We now know that adolescence is the stage of life most closely linked to feeling apprehension. It’s not just your imagination; in all likelihood, your teen feels more fear than you do. The Power of Love […]

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Wisdom Tooth Surgery and One Not-So-Smart Outcome

As a varsity quarterback, Brian considered himself pretty tough. Still, he was happy to take the painkiller prescription his dentist offered after he had his wisdom tooth removed. Based on his own experience, Brian’s brother had told him the recovery could be extremely painful. His brother was right. The next day, Brian was grateful for […]

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Don't You Dare Say DARE Doesn't Work!

The officer looked down at the fifth-grader’s outstretched hand. Small fingers grasped what the cop instantly recognized as five tightly rolled joints packed full of weed. The child brought them to school – so he could hand them over to the authorities. The little boy’s parents were breaking the law by using drugs, so he […]

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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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Have We Forgotten the Secret to Raising Drug-Free Kids?

We place a lot of emphasis on children’s mental health. We don’t want them to feel pain, anxiety or sadness. So what do we do? We give them therapy and medication. In fact, over the past 15 years, the number of young people taking medication for anxiety or depression has doubled. Children and teens are […]

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Terrifying Facts About Teenage Prescription Drug Abuse

True or false: You would be less upset if you caught your teen using prescription drugs than you would be if you caught them with “street drugs.” Whether or not it’s personally true for you, 23 percent of teens claim it’s true for their parents. The false belief that these drugs are safer is even […]

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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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Talking to Your Kids About Pot in a Legal Marijuana State

Although there are a multitude of proven reasons why marijuana is detrimental both mentally and physically, this proves to be tricky when you’re trying to explain the dangers to kids – especially if you live in a state where weed’s legal for recreational use. Kids may not understand why state laws have ruled that marijuana […]

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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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Dope Sick: The Tragic Story of a Friendship Lost to Fentanyl

Everyone looked at him with loathing and he saw the deep hurt behind their hatred. Their son – their brother – was dead…and it was his fault. “I didn’t mean to hurt him!” Justin wanted to scream, “I miss him too!” It’d been a month. Thirty-one days. 744 hours. Over 40,000 minutes since he’d “killed” […]

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Turns Out Mary Jane's Just Another Thief in the Night

Nothing seemed exciting any more. Tim used to love the thrill of reaching the next level in a video game. He always enjoyed winning at basketball, even if it was just a one-on-one with his neighbor. He liked being the first to solve a problem in math class because his teacher gave out prizes. Now, […]

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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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Too Young to Die: How Should You Grieve an Overdose Death?

During the second semester of her sophomore year, Kate lost her best friend. She didn’t lose her because of a guy or hurtful gossip; she lost her to a drug overdose. She’d lost other friends to drugs, none of them compared to the heartache of losing Haley. Kate tried to convince Haley to stop using. […]

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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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Teenage Manipulation: Is Your Child Playing You Like a Drum?

Manipulate: To control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means, especially to one’s own advantage. We humans are master manipulators. Some of us are more skilled at this art than others, but we’ve all done it. Unfortunately, manipulation and addiction are a bad combo that go hand-in-hand. Is manipulation your teenager’s go-to tool? […]

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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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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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Tools of the Trade: How to Spot Crack Paraphernalia

Tools of the Trade: Being a parent is tough, but the job becomes tougher once those teenage years roll around. Though “popular” or “trendy” drugs of abuse change, their paraphernalia items stay the same…and we can use that to our advantage. The sooner we recognize signs of drug abuse, the sooner we can intervene. Tools […]

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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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That’s Not Amazon: Is Your Teen Buying Drugs Online?

With three little clicks, I could get a 60-day supply of Xanax shipped to my door by the end of the week. I don’t need a doctor or a prescription – all I need is a credit card. As a parent, you might be surprised to learn what people sell online. A quick keyword search […]

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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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Do Teen Sports Lead to Prescription Drug Abuse?

Kyle’s knee might’ve recovered from a tackle injury, but his life sure hadn’t. When that defensive lineman brought him down, the pain was beyond intense. The doctor prescribed Vicodin to help Kyle get through those first few days. Months later, his knee was like new, but he hadn’t stopped taking the Vicodin. In fact, he […]

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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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3 Things I Wish People Knew About Eating Disorders

Eating disorders – like binge eating, bulimia and anorexia – impact millions of Americans and are widely misunderstood. All the prevailing myths and social stigmas prevent many people from speaking out or even seeking help. With that in mind, let’s look at three things people wish you knew about eating disorders…but would likely never tell […]

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Do Boys Have a Harder Time Coping With Eating Disorders?

Peter was 13 years old when he started skipping meals, refusing to eat certain foods and weighing himself compulsively. He lost weight, became depressed, began isolating himself from friends and abandoned all the activities he used to enjoy. Despite showing classic symptoms of anorexia, Peter went undiagnosed for several months. His parents finally grew so […]

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Tools of the Trade: How to Spot Cocaine Paraphernalia

Tools of the Trade: Being a parent is tough, but the job becomes tougher once those teenage years roll around. Though “popular” or “trendy” drugs of abuse change, their paraphernalia items stay the same…and we can use that to our advantage. The sooner we recognize signs of drug abuse, the sooner we can intervene. Tools […]

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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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Tools of the Trade: How to Spot OxyContin Paraphernalia

Tools of the Trade: Being a parent is tough, but the job becomes tougher once those teenage years roll around. Though “popular” or “trendy” drugs of abuse change, their paraphernalia items stay the same…and we can use that to our advantage. The sooner we recognize signs of drug abuse, the sooner we can intervene. Tools […]

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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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Tools of the Trade: How to Spot Meth Paraphernalia

Tools of the Trade: Being a parent is tough, but the job becomes tougher once those teenage years roll around. Though “popular” or “trendy” drugs of abuse change, their paraphernalia items stay the same…and we can use that to our advantage. The sooner we recognize signs of drug abuse, the sooner we can take action. […]

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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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The Magic Show: Creating Sober Family Function Out of Dysfunction

Rob spent the last 90 days in rehab; now he’s home and trying to figure out how to peacefully live with his wife and kids. How does he bring a sense of normalcy to the household? What patterns should he establish? Is it even possible to make his family function the way it used to? […]

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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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Going Out of Business: Teens Making Stimulant Dealers Obsolete?

Who needs a dealer? The doctor supplies the drugs and family members allow easy access. With millions of stimulant prescriptions written each year for ADHD, these drugs are now readily available in the home. In fact, researchers discovered a shocking 88 percent of teens who abuse prescription stimulants are using someone else’s medication. Flooding the […]

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Raising Teenagers: Learn to Become a Human Lie Detector

You want to believe your teen’s telling the truth. You want to be able to trust them. You hope they never lie to you. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. So, how can you tell if they’re lying to you? When teens lie, typically exhibit certain “tells” that give them away. When it comes to […]

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Music vs Meds: 4 More Reasons to Crank Your Favorite Tunes

Your favorite song comes on the radio and you instantly get “that feeling.” You’re automatically transported back in time to a moment that you’ll never forget – and you’ll never get tired of reliving. Or how about when you’re watching a scary movie and the creepy, ominous music makes your heart race? Or when you’re […]

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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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Look in the Mirror: Life with Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Imagine looking in the mirror and seeing someone who doesn’t look like you. Terrifying, right? But this is the reality for many of the people suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). We all dislike something about our own physical appearance; it’s human nature. But for someone struggling with BDD, this dislike becomes an extreme preoccupation […]

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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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5 Signs Your Teenage Student Athlete is Using Steroids

You’ve heard the rumors. Plenty of people around town are saying that members of your son’s football team are using steroids. You hope it’s not true. You hope even harder that it doesn’t involve your child. The question, however, is would you even know it if he was abusing steroids? If you suspect your teen […]

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Use Your Mind as an Eating Disorder Weapon

Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by periods of binge eating, followed by attempts to purge the body of those calories…and it’s notoriously difficult to treat. A groundbreaking study from the University of Granada, however, may have uncovered a way to treat bulimia using nothing more than a mirror and some simple mindfulness tools. Specifically, […]

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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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What do Broken Homes, Teenagers and Pot Have in Common?

Lauren believed her parents were in a loving marriage. But when they told her they were planning to get a divorce, the stress became overwhelming. Where would she live? How would she maintain relationships with both of them? Shortly after her parents broke the news, Lauren began using marijuana because it helped her cope with […]

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Cyberbullying: A Rising Problem Among Kids and Teens

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but in the era of the Internet, words can really, really hurt. Cyberbullying – or cybervictimization – is a fast-growing problem. It’s a form of bullying that lives on the Internet, creating a “playground” for millions of young people. Defining Online Bullying   Cyberbullying is defined as any […]

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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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Alert: Your Teen's Heroin Addiction Probably Began with Painkillers

Hoping no one will notice, Steve occasionally swipes some OxyContin from his parents’ medicine cabinet. He figures, if they were prescribed for his dad’s back pain, they must be pretty safe to take. The doctor and the government have approved them, right? What’s the big deal? Steve is among the many teens who don’t understand […]

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Don't Let Low Self-Esteem Haunt Your Child into Adulthood

It’s no surprise that addicts often pick up drinks or drugs to numb feelings of low self-worth or inadequacy. After all, self-esteem holds a meaningful role in one’s tendency towards addiction. But, how is self-esteem developed, and when? Liking Who You See in the Mirror A recent study conducted by the University of Washington answers […]

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The Strange Link Between Eating Disorders and Bullying

Bullying can have a wide array of mental health consequences, and not just for the victims. A new study finds that kids who bully others are twice as likely to show symptoms of bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder classified by binge eating and purging. Perhaps less surprisingly, kids who are the victims of bullying are […]

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Wait...The Cough Medicine I Gave My Teen has WHAT in it?

It eases the tickle in your child’s throat. It helps her get a good night’s sleep. It also provides millions with an easy-access, medicine cabinet high. What is it? Dextromethorphan – also known as DXM. Dextromethorphan is the active ingredient in most over-the-counter cough medicines. When your child downs a cup of Robitussin or pops […]

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Warning: Sleeping Pills are Becoming a Digital Nightmare

Prescription sleep aids can be a lifesaver for anyone battling insomnia, but did you know these drugs can also be extremely addictive? And a team of toxicologists from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London are now warning that one potentially dangerous prescription sleeping pill is easier than ever to buy online. Not […]

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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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The Ugly Side of Sports: 5 Very Real Dangers of PED Abuse

Not long ago, an independent report blew the lid off an alleged “state-sponsored doping program” in Russia. If proven to be true, Russia’s use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) would essentially disqualify all their track and field athletes from the 2016 Olympic Games. Not surprisingly, this most recent scandal has once again put PED use […]

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Schools Using 'Marijuana Goggles' To Fight Teen Drug Problem

“Alcohol goggles” that simulate the experience of being drunk are used in 84 countries worldwide as a prevention tool to help avoid alcohol abuse, but could the same formula work with marijuana? The Fatal Vision Marijuana Simulation Experience, simply referred to by many as “marijuana goggles,” allows users to experience the sensation of getting high on pot […]

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7 Undeniable Signs Your Teen is Abusing Meth

Low income adult males – this used to be the typical meth user. Not anymore. Now, it is common for people from all walks of life and all ages to be caught in the deadly cycle of meth abuse. And, unfortunately, the modern cycle of meth abuse and addiction now largely includes teenagers. With today […]

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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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College Students Say Stimulants, Other Drugs are Easy to Find

The drugs college students are using, and their reasons for doing them, have evolved over the years. Today, more and more students are using prescription stimulants, like Adderall, to help them with their schoolwork, instead of just to get high, new research shows. And these stimulants are way too easy for most college students to […]

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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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Should Kids Undergo Mandatory Drug Testing at School?

Jen, a popular eighth student and former member of the honor roll, had a secret. For months, she had been hiding alcohol bottles under her desk at school. She’d also amassed quite the stash of alcohol in her closet at home. Although Jen was consuming somewhere around two pints of alcohol every day, no one […]

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Treating Bulimia is More Effective with Parental Support

Unfortunately, bulimia continues to be a serious problem among teenagers and adolescents throughout the country. It’s also an eating disorder that presents its own unique hurdles in treatment. That’s why many are encouraged by the results of a new study indicating that teens have a higher chance of recovery when parents participate in the treatment […]

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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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Daily Pot Use Among College Students at its Highest Since 1980

Lauren had just settled into her dorm room at Ohio State University. It was her first time living away from home. Her parents had always stressed the dangers of drugs and alcohol and she avoided temptation in high school, but she was no longer under their watchful eye. When her roommate offered her a joint […]

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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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Children with Military Parents at Higher Risk of Addiction

Eddie spent most of his upbringing without a father. He had one who wanted to be in his life, but was sent to fight overseas with the U.S. Army on three separate occasions. When his father returned from his last tour when he was 15, the PTSD he suffered from what he witnessed in combat […]

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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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What You Need to Know About Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction is very real. Tony is about to level up. He just needs ten more experience points. He has finished none of his homework, and turned down offers to hang out with friends tonight. He was very upset when his mom made him stop playing to have dinner. He would rather stay in […]

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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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Are Bodybuilding Supplements Fueling Eating Disorders in Men?

Guys who work out all the time may seem like the epitome of health, but a rigorous gym routine could be putting men at risk for an eating disorder. A new study finds that many gym goers are abusing bodybuilding supplements in order to achieve a physical ideal, and it could be harming their health. […]

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New Smartphone App Could Prevent Stoned Driving

Casey took several strong hits off a bong her friends had packed with marijuana during a frat party at her school. At the end of the night, she offered to drive everyone home. Her friends were reluctant, but Casey insisted she was actually a much more careful driver when smoking weed. Just one mile away […]

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Drugs, Death and EDM: Tips for a Safe, Sober Music Experience

In response to two more overdose deaths at the Hard Summer music festival, county officials have placed a temporary ban on electronic music dance (EDM) festivals within Los Angeles County. The victims, both under the age of 20, died as a direct result of suspected drug overdose. An Obvious and Deadly Trend The Hard Summer festival […]

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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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The Drug-Related Mistakes Haunting My Teenage Son

My kid would never be involved in drug abuse. Like thousands of other parents around the nation, that’s exactly what I believed…at least until the glass house shattered and came crashing down on our heads. Corbin was a happy-go-lucky teenager who never really wanted for anything. My husband and I worked our butts off to […]

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Teens Using Pot for Medical Reasons Likely To Become Addicted

For those who meet the criteria to obtain it, medical marijuana can provide relief from the painful effects of cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD and AIDS-wasting. Because of this, 23 states and the District of Columbia (DC) have all passed medical marijuana laws that allow for legal use after the diagnosis of specific conditions. However, many […]

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Study: Many Teens who Try Bath Salts are Frequent Users

When you hear the term “bath salts,” you might automatically envision lavender-scented sachets that are dumped into a nice, relaxing bath. Unfortunately, those aren’t the kind of bath products making headlines these days. Bath salts are usually sold in small plastic baggies or foil packaging and consumed as a legal substitute for stimulants like cocaine […]

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Study: Serotonin Can Increase Your Chances of Addiction

Although a lot of time has been spent studying dopamine, a “feel-good” neurological chemical, and its role in drug addiction, a new research project indicates that dopamine isn’t the only brain chemical we need to worry about. According to the results of an intensive study, scientists now believe that serotonin can also increase the risk […]

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Parents: Is the Seven Challenges Plan Right for Your Addicted Teen?

As a parent or legal guardian, you have the ability to make important and life-altering decisions for your child – that includes making decisions related to addiction recovery. Legally speaking, as long as your child is under the age of 18, you can admit him to an inpatient rehab program, regardless of whether or not […]

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Marijuana 'Dabbing' Explodes Onto the Drug Abuse Scene

Recent reports show that teen marijuana use may be on the decline overall, but that doesn’t mean marijuana products have waned in popularity among the adolescent crowd. While synthetic marijuana use has continued to grow exponentially, an alternative and highly-potent marijuana extract is causing serious concern among medical experts. What You Need to Know About Dabbing “Dabbing” […]

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Facebook Addiction Linked To Depression

We all know someone who is a chronic Facebook user. Perhaps you might even compulsively check status updates for “likes,” spend hours seeing what your friends are doing on the site or “Facebook stalk” an ex-lover. However, did you know that this compulsive behavior could also be a sign of depression? Social Media and Depression […]

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Hashish: Is Your Teenager at Risk for Abusing this Drug?

Despite more states across the country continue to decriminalize or legalize marijuana use, the number of teens smoking pot has actually declined. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that teen marijuana use has not increased for the past four years and actually dropped slightly in 2014, the first year several states began legalizing it. However, even more […]

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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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First Legal Drug Consumption Room to Open in Paris

In a country where medical marijuana for cancer patients is still forbidden in many states, the U.S. is unlikely to start instituting drug consumption rooms anytime soon. But while it may seem like a radical undertaking stateside, these rooms are hardly a new phenomenon throughout the world. The Drug Room Concept More than 90 drug consumption […]

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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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Mental Health Awareness: Teens and Dual Diagnosis

Most of us know a teenager who suffers from depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. Perhaps you’ve even dealt with one of these mental health disorders at some point. However, the dangers that teens face with mental health disorders are heightened, as they are far more susceptible to developing a drug or alcohol problem. Chemical Dependency […]

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Transgender Youth at Highest Risk for Eating Disorders

The mental struggles that transgender individuals face are unfathomable to most. Feeling that you were born in the wrong body creates an enormous amount of stress, but one new study has uncovered how this can transform into a high-risk eating disorder. The Link to Eating Disorders Findings released by the University of Washington – St. […]

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Teenagers and Sleeping Pills are a Bad Combo

We already know that a good night’s rest is essential for growing children and teenagers. And despite having that knowledge, there’s no denying that kids these days are getting less sleep than ever before. National polls have shown that 27 percent of school-age children and 45 percent of adolescents don’t sleep enough. Some of this is due […]

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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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Georgia Legalizes a Singular Form of Medical Marijuana

Georgia residents suffering with major illnesses like multiple sclerosis, cancer or AIDS wasting recently got some good news. State lawmakers officially signed a bill that allows for the legal use of cannabis oil. Recognizing that the active ingredients in marijuana can alleviate many of the painful and debilitating side effects caused by these diseases, officials […]

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Overdose Prevention: Don't Wait Until it's too Late

Drug overdose deaths have been a long-standing program in the U.S., but the issue has grown into an epidemic in recent years. Deaths from prescription drug overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, while heroin overdose deaths climbed 39 percent between 2012 and 2013. When it comes to overdose prevention, being proactive is always the best plan of action. […]

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Addicted Kids: Parents Feel Lost in Shame and Stigma

Although progress is made everyday in the field of drug addiction, addiction-related stigmas are still prevalent in our society. Even in the face of scientific evidence, some still feel addiction is merely a character flaw, a moral failing and a reflection of the household. Twisted and Tangled Feelings Unfortunately, many parents of addicts internalize these […]

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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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5 Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Weed

More young people are using marijuana than ever before. In fact, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that more than 21 percent of high school seniors have used marijuana over the last month. Even worse, nearly 6 percent of the teens reported daily use. So, what’s causing the massive spike in underage pot […]

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Flakka: The Designer Drug Putting Bath Salts to Shame

Remember the bath salt craze that swept the nation a few years ago? Well, many drug users across the country are now partying like it’s 2012 all over again, thanks to a potentially fatal and highly dangerous designer drug called Flakka. Knowledge is Power Just like bath salts, Flakka is made from the chemical Alpha-PVP, […]

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Can Safe Cars Save Us from Impaired Drivers?

According to statistics compiled by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 30 people die in alcohol-related car crashes every single day. That’s a drunk driving fatality every 51 minutes, accounting for one third of all vehicle deaths. Not only does drunk drinking costs lives, the financial cost of alcohol-related crashes tops out […]

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NC School Program Tackles Addiction Head-On

If you remember anything at all from pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, those memories likely include your favorite nap time spot, playing with blocks or perhaps learning how to read. But for the kids in one North Carolina county, part of their school days will now be spent learning about some very adult prescription medications. Kids and […]

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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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Internet Addiction is More Common Than You'd Think

Internet addiction is commonly associated with teenagers who spend days at a time playing video games, but it’s not as much of a niche issue as you would think. A new study, published in the latest issue Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, found that a shocking 6 percent of the world’s population now suffers from Internet addiction. Addicted […]

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Trading a Cocaine Habit for...Chocolate?

Could chocolate soon become the next drug of choice – one that people use when they’re looking for a fix? Well, one chocolatier out of Belgium has created a line of “high-end cocoa powders” meant to do just that. And these chocolaty confections aren’t eaten by mouth; they’re consumed with a sniffing device…just like cocaine. Sound […]

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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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Should Colleges Warn Parents About On-Campus Drug Abuse?

Although drinking and smoking pot have long been prevalent on college campuses, parents have new reason for concern as heroin use is now sharply rising among university students. The Numbers on Campus A 2012 National College Health assessment found that over 19 percent of students said they knew someone who had used heroin, while nearly […]

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THC Edibles: Don't Let Appearances Fool You

Thanks to their yummy appearance, many people believe that marijuana edibles aren’t dangerous. In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth. This unique form of mistaken identity is responsible for a number of THC overdoses, leaving many communities asking why marijuana edibles aren’t being regulated more closely. Confections that Pack a Punch Last […]

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Keeping Your Teen Sober is a Family Affair

There is a wide chasm between tough love and enabling, especially when it comes to teens and addiction. Parents often feel lost in a sea of uncertainty, going back and forth between punishing and coddling teenagers facing drug-related issues. While there is no universal guide to raising teenagers, the last thing you want to feel […]

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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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Meet the New Synthetic Ingredient Causing Chaos

A new synthetic substance that is 100 times stronger than cannabis has been causing havoc throughout Europe and experts fear this dangerous drug will find its way to the United States. The new “psychoactive substance” goes by the name of CHMICA or CHMINACA. It is named after a chemical commonly found in synthetic marijuana, known as AB-CHMINACA. […]

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Proactive Parenting: Keeping Kids Safe from Addiction

Drug use continues to be a major issue among pre-teens and adolescents. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports 36 percent of all 12th-graders smoked marijuana last year, while 15 percent illegally abused prescription drugs. As if that weren’t bad enough, the data shows children as young as 10 years old are experimenting with alcohol and […]

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Teens and Brain Injuries: A Higher Risk for Drug Abuse

More than 12 million Americans use crystal meth on a daily basis, but a new study has found that teenagers who suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are more susceptible to using the drug. Linking Brain Injuries and Meth Use The results of this groundbreaking research project have been published in the latest issue of […]

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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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Are Some Young Women at Higher Risk for Purging?

Adolescent girls in middle school and high school who have low self-esteem, depression, a perception of being overweight (even if that’s not the case), and a host of other risk factors are susceptible to the eating disorder called purging. Researchers at Wesleyan University recently examined data of 5,670 young girls in grades 7 through 12 […]

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Researchers Launch Study of OTC Medicine Addiction

A new study has found that addictions to over-the-counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen and non-prescription painkillers may not be as uncommon as many think, sparking further investigations on the subject. Medicine Cabinet Dangers Niamh Fingleton, a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen, has completed the initial phase of what is believed to be the […]

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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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Brain Power: Helping Kids Say No to Drugs

Parents these days spend a lot of time wondering how to keep their kids off drugs, but one key characteristic in the fight against this problematic behavior is out of their control. Believe it or not, the strength of a child’s working memory might hold the key to life without drugs and alcohol. What’s in […]

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Behind the Scenes with Recovery High School Teachers

One of the many challenges parents face when confronting a teenager’s substance abuse is figuring out how to provide the treatment and recovery help they need – without being forced to sacrifice a quality high school education in the process. Once in recovery, the thought of sending kids back into the same high school environment that likely helped […]

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The Devastation of Synthetic 2C-B Marches On

A designer synthetic drug known as 2C-B is currently wreaking havoc in Colombia, but it has been making headlines in the U.S. and other countries for years. The Basics of 2C-B 2C-B was first created in the ‘70s by an American chemist as an aid during therapy. The drug comes in a powder form and […]

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5 Vintage Anti-Drug PSA’s You Have to See to Believe

Nobody wants to see kids doing drugs. However, anti-drug PSA’s don’t always get the message across. As these old-school videos show, good intentions can sometimes get lost in translation. 1. Ninja Turtles Poor Joey. In this classic 1980s anti-pot PSA, a young drug dealer confronts a young boy named Joey by his locker at school, […]

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The Nation's Skinniest City Has a Dark Side

Boulder, Colorado is one of the most beautiful and tranquil spots in the U.S. The beautiful Rocky Mountains and the high altitude magically draw in the physically fit and the outdoor enthusiasts. Boulder is a city centered on health and healthy living. It’s earned the title of “skinniest” city in the country and, while that […]

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New Marijuana Edibles Promise a "Mild" High

Many of Colorado’s recreational marijuana retailers are scrambling to bring in new business. Instead of targeting the experienced and knowledgeable cannabis users, stores are looking to lure in a more “THC-naïve” clientele. To attract these consumers, many Colorado retailers are offering up a new line of marijuana edibles that provide a “mild” high. Edibles Pose […]

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Drug-Laced Candies Bring an Early Halloween Scare

This isn’t your typical Halloween candy. Two men were arrested last week after police caught them carrying three pounds of ecstasy-laced candy in the town of Eugene, Oregon. Bradley Lyndon Cosby and James Richard Cossairt, both 35, were arrested and slapped with drug charges after officers found the men carrying a bag with 150 pieces of the […]

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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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Etizolam: What Every Parent Should Know

Hospitals around the country have seen a spike in the number of emergency room visits linked to a prescription drug known as etizolam. This dangerous and relatively little-known sedative has garnered a lot of unwanted attention lately. Firstly, it isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, etizolam is undetected by most drug tests. As if […]

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Cloud 9: New Synthetic Drug Ripping Through the Heartland

Synthetic drugs are a growing problem in the United States, especially among teenagers and young adults. Just when authorities think they’ve eradicated one synthetic substance, another one takes its place. Currently, Cloud 9 is one of the most dangerous designer drugs on the streets. What is Cloud 9? Though Cloud 9 is classified as a […]

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'Out of Reach' Documentary Exposes Pill-Popping Teens

A high school student from Texas is highlighting the issue of prescription drug addiction among teenagers in a startling new documentary, but says that parents are indirectly causing the source of the problem. Cyrus Stowe, 17, created the documentary “Out of Reach,” which shows his fellow classmates popping pills on camera. Several of the students […]

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Want to Go to College? Then Stop Smoking Pot

There’s a lot of argument over how marijuana use might affect young people throughout their formidable years, but a lack of solid data to help figure it out. That leaves many parents in the dark when it comes to making decisions about use and legalization. A study published in the July edition of the Journal […]

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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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What You Need to Know About Marijuana Wax

This isn’t Burt’s Bees. A new marijuana product looks and feels like lip balm, but a single application is the equivalent of smoking 15 to 20 joints of pot. The marijuana wax goes by several names including Honeycomb, Wax and Butter. It’s made from oils found in pot plants and has a higher concentration of […]

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Will Human-Sized Rat Cages Stop Teen Marijuana Use?

A new campaign entitled “Don’t Be a Lab Rat” is taking on teenage marijuana use in Colorado and stirring up some serious debate in the process. The unique anti-weed campaign was officially unveiled yesterday, with organizers setting up several human rat cages around the state of Colorado. Each cage bears the message: “Because so much […]

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Two More Overdose Deaths Reported at EDM Festival

Electronic dance music (EDM) festivals have earned an unwanted reputation as of late. Shows in Las Vegas, Brooklyn, Boston, and Washington saw dozens of concertgoers rushed to local hospitals, suffering from apparent drug overdoses. What’s worse, many of those victims died. And now Columbia, Maryland can add its name to the growing list of EDM […]

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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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Is the Electric Zoo Festival’s Anti-Drug PSA Enough?

In the growing wake of drug overdose deaths at summer concerts, one New York festival is making it a priority to educate concertgoers about the dangers of drug use. The Electric Zoo Festival has launched a “Come to Life” campaign PSA, which was written and produced by Dexter creator/writer James Manos, Jr. and his 19-year-old […]

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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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Hey Kids, Want Some Free Cocaine?

Let’s face it; drug dealers aren’t exactly known for their compassionate sense of giving. These days, it’s common to see reports of terrible violence brought down on a “client” who racked up massive drug debt, but simply couldn’t afford to pay. Strangely enough, a group of drug dealers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada decided it was […]

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HGH Use Exploding Among American Teens

With promises to deliver increased muscle bulk and athletic performance, improved looks, and exhilarating energy boosts, human growth hormone (HGH) is now being widely abused and sold in mass quantities on the black market. Hammering home the prevalence of illegitimate use, a large-scale national survey shows that abuse of HGH among America’s teenagers has more […]

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Teen Smokes Spice and Has a Psychotic Breakdown

News stories chronicling the dangers of synthetic cannabis – commonly referred to as spice – are becoming increasingly common. Use of the chemical-laden product has been linked to serious health issues and even death. One of the most disturbing spice-related incidents involves a young lady who ultimately experienced a psychotic breakdown as a result of […]

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Kids with ADHD are More Likely to Abuse Drugs

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioral disorder among children, affecting approximately 8 percent of the nation’s children and adolescents. A new study found that children who suffer from the disorder are more than twice as likely to try and/or abuse drugs. Conducted by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) and published in the […]

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High School Prom King Dead from Caffeine Overdose

On May 27 a high school senior from LaGrange, Ohio was found dead near bags of white powder. Logan Stiner, age 18, had recently been elected prom king and was supposed to graduate from high school in just a few days. His brother found him in his room during a lunch break. Lorain County coroners […]

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Dozens Hospitalized from Drug Abuse at Avicii Concert

Grammy-winning DJ and producer Avicii and the electronic dance music (EDM) culture have earned quite a tarnished reputation over the last 12-months. More than a hundred EDM fans have been hospitalized at Avicii concerts in recent weeks, with hundreds more requiring on-scene medical treatment directly related to drug and alcohol abuse. The latest incident on […]

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New Mobile Game Takes on Teenage Eating Disorders

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), an estimated 20 million teenagers across the nation are unhappy with the way their bodies look. That number has prompted a huge surge of eating disorders among high school students and young adults, especially girls. In an effort to meet these at-risk females on their own turf, […]

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Should Parents Be Involved in Treatment of Teen Anorexia?

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes an unhealthy loss of weight. Onset of the disorder most often coincides with the onset of puberty, putting teenagers at the highest risk of developing anorexia. In fact, statistics reveal anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents. Driven by an intense fear of […]

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What You Need to Know About the 'Snapchat Drug'

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the Snapchat smartphone app would surely disagree after a dangerous synthetic drug began using its name and trademarked logo. The Snapchat drug hit the streets of Darwin, Australia over the weekend, each pill clearly stamped with the popular app’s signature ghost logo. The Snapchat drug […]

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Should Middle Schools Drug Test Students?

A Pennsylvania mother has expressed outrage after her 10-year-old daughter was drug tested at school three times this year. Fifth-grader Natalie Cassell was pulled from class three times for the drug tests because she is a member of Susquenita Middle School’s Family and Consumer Science Club. The Susquenita School District requires any student participating in […]

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Are E-Cigarette Advertisers Targeting Your Teenagers?

If you were watching cable TV when you suddenly had an inexplicable urge to smoke an e-cigarette, you may not be alone. A study published in the medical journal Pediatrics shows that young adults’ exposure to e-cigarette advertising has shot up 321 percent since 2011. Unlike traditional tobacco products, there are no enforced federal regulations […]

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