“The best thing for being sad … is to learn something,” the magician Merlin counsels his young pupil, Wart, in the fantasy classic The Once and Future King. And the latest insights from science seem to confirm that conclusion, with the implication that encouraging your teen’s studies may be their best defense against addiction and potentially other forms of mental illness like depression.
Teens love summer. School is out. They have more time to hang out with friends. And, if both parents work, they get to enjoy the freedom of unsupervised time. For many teens, this is a chance to demonstrate maturity and responsibility, but there are also risks. Unsupervised teens are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your teen would never do this. Instead, if you have to leave your teen alone this summer, take steps to reduce the risk that he’ll get into trouble.
When advanced ALS confined him to a bed and round-the-clock care, John Arthur and his partner of 20 years, Jim Obergefell, chartered a private plane with the help of generous donations from family and friends and headed off to get married. But after traveling from their home state of Ohio to Washington, D.C., to tie the knot officially, they soon discovered that their marriage would not be recognized on Arthur’s death certificate in Ohio. That is when the pair filed a civil lawsuit (knowing that Arthur would not live to see its resolution), asking that Ohio recognize their marriage.
Teenage girls who have first- and second-degree relatives with alcohol problems are at an increased risk for having altered brain structures that make them susceptible to problematic alcohol use even if they don’t currently drink, a new study finds.
The relationship between social media and addiction is a complicated one. There is growing evidence that the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter can itself be addictive. Research has also found that teenagers are more likely to drink or smoke if they see pictures of their Facebook friends engaging in substance use.
There is no question that drug use among students is a problem. Teens are no longer just getting high or drunk. They are abusing dangerous prescription pills and heroin, and they are dying from overdoses or living with life-altering addictions.
Mindfulness is commonly used shorthand for the ability to stay aware of the internal and external changes going on in your moment-to-moment reality. While certain practices can enhance this ability, each adult already has a baseline level of mindfulness. In a study review scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of researchers from Indiana University-Purdue University assessed the impact that this baseline awareness, known as trait mindfulness, has on the likelihood that any given person will use a range of mind-altering substances or develop significant problems related to substance use.
Heroin is, in many respects, the classic opioid substance of abuse. Among other risks, users of this powerful drug regularly face the possibility of overwhelming their systems and experiencing a potentially lethal overdose. In a study published in July 2014 in the International Journal of Drug Policy, researchers from Sweden’s Malmo University used a small-scale project to examine how heroin users respond to other users in the midst of a drug overdose. These researchers concluded that, despite generally good intentions, a number of factors can significantly interfere with a heroin user’s ability to help another overdosing user.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), there is no single predictor about who will or will not experience drug addiction. There are multiple risk factors which influence any given individual. Addiction risk factors include a physiological make-up, direct environment, and age. Experts say that addiction is not merely a matter of nature, nor is it simply the result of nurture, but rather a complex interplay of various factors. When more risk factors are present, the likelihood of addiction rises, though it is never pre-determined.