Approximately one in five U.S. schools has instituted mandatory student drug testing programs, but research suggests that these programs are not effective at reducing teenage drug abuse. Furthermore, regular testing of a reasonably-sized group of students can be expensive, and many critics feel that it is not a good use of limited school funding.
Reducing the availability of prescription drugs is one of the main goals in the fight against the prescription drug abuse epidemic, particularly among teenagers. One security company is even working on biometric technology to help secure prescription medications and keep them out of adolescent hands.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a commonly diagnosed disorder in young people, especially young boys. Kids with ADHD have a real struggle to face. They have a hard time controlling their impulses. They don’t always behave in socially appropriate ways. They are hyper and can’t sit still or focus, listen to directions or concentrate. Medications for ADHD can be a big help. Although it may seem counterintuitive, these drugs are stimulants and they help a child focus and control impulses. The bad news is that according to statistics on substance abuse, teens are exploiting these drugs for just those reasons.
New findings from an American research team indicate that teenagers who feel addicted to marijuana have a sharply increased chance of consuming hashish, a more concentrated and powerful form of the plant-based drug cannabis.
A string of teen deaths and medical scares in recent years is incriminating etizolam, a dangerous newcomer to the recreational drug scene. The narcotic, which mimics the effects of traditional benzodiazepine sedatives like Valium and Xanax, is growing in popularity among today’s teens and across college campuses, thanks to its easy online availability and a still largely unregulated market for drugs like it. Etizolam is currently a prescription medication in Japan, India and Italy but has recently emerged on the illicit drug market in Europe and the United States.
If you’re one of those parents who thinks her teen would never in a million years use drugs, and you cite her straight-A report card and extracurricular activities as proof, you could be making a dangerous assumption. Forty-nine percent of 12th graders have at least tried an illicit substance. Even good students and well-rounded teenagers experiment with drugs. Instead of assuming your child would never use drugs, be aware. Know both the physical and behavioral signs of drug use and watch for them in your teen.
During the 1970s, cultural experimentation was rampant. Edgy, daring trends in music, fashion, filmmaking and pop psychology were all the rage. Hedonistic pursuits became an accepted form of self-expression. Old standards were dismissed as quaint and reactionary.
Binge drinking, a form of alcohol consumption geared toward the rapid attainment of legal intoxication, is a relatively common and seriously harmful behavior among older teenagers and younger adults in the U.S. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal Substance Abuse, a team of Italian and British researchers investigated the potential usefulness of a smartphone application in helping young people reduce their binge drinking involvement. The app under consideration seeks to relay the known risks of this pattern of alcohol intake in a convenient, easily understandable format.
Many parents wonder how their parenting style might influence their child’s decision to use or not use drugs and alcohol. In fact, studies have shown that parents have significant influence over whether a child or teen will experiment with drugs and alcohol.
In this family, everything is black and white. The father rules with an iron fist and the mother supports him in all ways. The kids learn early on not to argue with their parents, and not to question any rules of the house. Things are done one way and one way only. Anything else results in punishment. Right is right and wrong is wrong. The kids have no input, no bargaining power and no voice. When they enter middle school and start learning about drugs and alcohol from their peers, mom and dad lay down the law: never in our house. The consequences will be dire. When the kids try to ask questions, they are shut down. The word is final: don’t do drugs, ever. Don’t drink, ever. There’s no need to know anything about drugs and alcohol, because drugs and alcohol are not an option. End of discussion.