Taking action during the teenage years is especially important. Most kids who use drugs/alcohol will not develop a problem or suffer serious consequences, but the facts show that 9 out of 10 people who do develop a problem started using as teens. The flip side of that issue is some very good news: a child who gets through their teen years without abusing drugs or alcohol is highly unlikely to develop a problem as an adult. Furthermore, the later we can delay first use, the less likely a child is to develop a problem. So, as you can see, you do matter.
Before we can act effectively to help prevent kids’ use of drugs and alcohol we need to understand some of the reasons why kids use.
Ok, we’ve talked about what’s going on inside their heads – but what’s going on in their world? More to the point, what issues in their world may make them more or less likely to decide to use drugs and alcohol? [Click] Stress from school: Dealing with school problems is the #1 reason kids give for using drugs and alcohol. School can be challenging and competitive. A kid who doesn’t feel successful can feel that their whole future is at risk. [Click] Relationships (Friends): Kids worry about losing friends if they don’t use; and some use drugs to impress their friends, or make new ones [Click] Relationships (Romantic): As parents, we may not like it, but kids make a decision about whether or not they will engage in sexual activity. Teens use may use alcohol and other drugs to “take the edge off” to make it easier for them to hook up. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol impair their ability to make smart, healthy decisions. Even when sex is not part of the equation, the emotions and feelings that go along with “young love,” become all the more difficult when drugs and alcohol are mixed in. One in four teens say that they have done more sexually than planned when under the influence of drugs / alcohol. (Click) Family pressures & problems: There are no perfect families. Most of us aren’t Waltons or Huxtables – we’re just trying to do our best. But we need to know, as adults, that the stresses and strains that come from within our home life have an impact on our kids. (Click) Transitions & fitting in: When kids start a new school, their whole life gets shaken up – new experiences; new schedules; new friends; new teachers. Most of these experiences will be positive. But the “newness” can be stressful in itself; and the need to form new relationships and fit in may lead kids to try drugs / alcohol to impress others. Changes in home life can also create pressures on a child that increases their risk of use. (Click) Independence (Cars): The biggest jump in independence happens when kids start driving. Suddenly, the world opens up to them. It is a new, private space for teens, away from the prying eyes of their parents. In addition to the obvious dangers of impaired driving, cars provide a concealed space that can mask risky behaviors that often combine drugs/alcohol and sex. (Click) Availability of drugs and alcohol: Another factor in a kid’s world is the extent to which drugs and alcohol are available and how easy they are to get. We know we can’t eliminate any and all access to drugs and alcohol, but the more impediments we can put in their way –by securing prescription drugs and alcohol in our own homes; by monitoring our kids; and by supporting policies that help law enforcement in their work – the better off we will be.
Finally, there are certain risk factors that, when present in a person’s life, make them statistically more vulnerable drug/alcohol use and abuse. If your kid is vulnerable, the one thing you should not do is resign yourself to the likelihood that they will end up using. Vulnerabilities don’t predict behavior; they just change the levels of risk. It means you should be extra vigilant to monitor, protect, and guide your child through their teenage years. [Click] Family history --predisposition to drug or alcohol problems: When it comes to a family history of substance abuse, we don’t need a blame game – the simple fact is that your child is at greater risk to develop a problem. A family history of substance abuse can also provide a powerful “teachable moment” when you talk with your kids about drugs. [Click] Close friends who use drugs or alcohol: If your kid has close friends who use drugs or alcohol, you should beware. The likelihood that your child will use drugs and alcohol roughly doubles. [Click] Early first use: Early first use increases the chances that a kid will develop problems later on. A kid who starts smoking pot at age 14 or younger is more than twice as likely to have a drug or alcohol problem as an adult than a kid who starts using at age 18-20. (Click) Teens who undergo a serious period of depression face a sharply increased risk of starting to use drugs and alcohol following that event. The word “self-medicate” is thrown around a lot, but that is exactly what these kids are trying to do. (Click) Problems in school/learning disabilities: Research has also shown that problems in school – both academic and social – place a child at greater risk for substance abuse .
Listen to Dr. Ken Winters talk to a number of teens and parents about when they think the human brain is fully developed.
Another way to understand the national drug scene is to look at the wide range of drugs that are out there and that we need to talk with our kids about. While alcohol and pot are – far and away – at the top of the list, the number of kids who use other drugs – especially prescription and over-the-counter drugs -- should concern us all.
So, we’ve discussed the risks and the reasons why – now is the time to talk about what we can do as parents and concerned adults to protect the kids we love. (Click) We can help our kids avoid the problem, and (Click) We can help them deal with a problem I think that we would all prefer to take the first option and help our child avoid the problem of drugs and alcohol altogether – and we’ll talk about ways you can do that. But the fact is that you can do everything right, you can say all the right words, and your kid may still develop a problem – that’s when they will truly need you, and there is a lot you can do to help them.
The first thing that you can do is to learn the facts about drugs and alcohol. Take the time to learn the details, so that you can be a credible source of information for your kids. [Click] Keep your information fresh – read the paper, take advantage of opportunities to talk to law enforcement and educators about what they’re seeing – and attend events like this one. [Click] Even if you were exposed to drug and alcohol use as teens and young adults – and most of us have been – you can’t assume that you know what your kid is facing. Drugs have changed; media has changed; and pressures have changed. Today, we’re going to focus on [DRUG / CATEGORY OF DRUGS], a threat that parents need to know more about.
But – starting that conversation, and keeping it going, isn’t always as easy as we would like it to be. Here are some tips from The Partnership at Drugfree.org on effective communication: [Click] First, be clear, and focus on the risks of drug / alcohol use. Let your kid know that you love them and don’t want anything bad to happen to them. [Click] Second, let your kid know that you disapprove of any drug or alcohol use. Don’t assume that your kid “knows” that you don’t want them to use. You’ve got to say it; and consistently repeat it. Kids who think that their parents would be upset if they try drugs are 43% less likely to do so. [Click] Take advantage of teachable moments to communicate with your child about the risks of drugs. That could be a public service announcement, a story on the news, or a plot line on a TV show. Don’t let the moment pass – talk. [Click] Try to take time to talk – really talk – every day. Even if it is just for a few minutes. And, perhaps more important than talking, listen. By listening, you will be more aware of what is going on in your kid’s life and that you really care. The website TimeToTalk.org developed by The Partnership at Drugfree.org gives you a lot of important tips in engaging in these conversations. [Click] Finally, even if you used in the past, don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s about their future, not your past.
Hopefully, you will find this information helpful to you to help prevent your child from having a problem with drugs and alcohol. But all the information in the world doesn’t help too much if you keep it to yourself. You need to talk with your teens. We know that is usually a challenge, and you may have to be creative on how you bring up the subject of drugs and alcohol. In the following PSA, we show you there is no wrong way of doing it, as long as it gets done.
Another key thing that we, as parents, need to do to prevent problems is monitor our kids. “Monitoring” isn’t “hovering” or being over-protective – it’s keeping track of who your child is with, what they’re doing, where they are, and when they’ll be home. It means checking up on them, and making sure that what they say is what they do. Try to know your kids’ friends and their parents. Kids will probably push back and want greater independence, but you, as parents need to be the ones who set the limits on their behavior. We do this as parents not to be bullies or to dominate our kids, but because we love them and want them to be safe.
Before you can help address a problem, you have to be able to identify it. Here are five changes to watch for that could indicate that your child may be using alcohol or drugs: [Click each] Declining school work and grades Abrupt changes in friends, groups / behavior Sleeping habits/abnormal health issues Deteriorating relationships with family Less openness and honesty And again, if your child has any of the special vulnerabilities we discussed, you should be especially sensitive to potential problems. Now, many of these behaviors are “typical” teen behavior, and may have nothing to do with drug use, but the suddenness of changes, or the occurrence of several changes at once should alert you to the possibility of a problem.
So – if you get to the point that you think your child is having a problem, you have to take action – the sooner you act, the better the outcome. [Click] So, step one is to focus - you need to know that you can do this. Don’t panic and remember that you have to act right away. [Click] Next, start talking: Let your child know you are concerned - communicate your disapproval [Click] You will need to set limits, rules and consequences, if they haven’t been in place before you have to step in. [Click] Next, if you have been monitoring, you’ll need to double your efforts. If you haven’t, you need to start. This may also go beyond your previous efforts – snoop; go into their rooms, their cars. You may be uncomfortable doing this, but you are doing it because you love them. [Click] Finally, get outside/professional help – you don’t have to do this alone. This is a health issue: if your kid had a cough that wasn’t going away, you wouldn’t wait and wait and try to figure it out for yourself – you’d find a doctor. Substance abuse is no different. Talk to a doctor, a teacher, a substance abuse counselor, a parent who has been through this. They will all be willing to help you.
The Partnership at Drugfree.org has established an array of websites and newsletters that exist to help you as parents, keep your kids healthy and safe. Time to Talk: provides easy-to-use guides and tips to help you have ongoing conversations with your kids to keep them healthy and drug-free Time to Act: Is the only site of its kind designed to address parents in an active state of concern about how to help their child if they suspect or know their child is using The Partnership at Drugfree.org now offers eBooks to help parents determine whether or not their child is using, what action to take if they are, understand what treatment is, and how to find the right program for their specific needs. These sites can be accessed from drugfree.org/pact360
Carlisle teen trials
9 out of 10 people with a drug/alcohol problem started using as a teen… … a child who gets through her/his teen years without abusing drugs or alcohol is highly unlikely to develop a problem as an adult
In their world … <ul><li>Stress from school </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Friends </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Romantic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Family pressures & problems </li></ul><ul><li>Transitions & fitting in </li></ul><ul><li>Independence (Cars) </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of drugs and alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Society promotes quick fixes </li></ul>
Special Vulnerabilities <ul><li>Family history -- predisposition to drug or alcohol problems </li></ul><ul><li>Close friends who use drugs or alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Early first use </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnosed or undiagnosed depression / other mental health disorders </li></ul><ul><li>Problems in school / learning disabilities </li></ul>
video title goes here DR. KEN WINTERS – TEEN BRAIN
National Drug & Alcohol Scene Cocaine/Crack Ecstasy LSD Heroin Marijuana Inhalants Rx Drugs Cough Medicine Meth Alcohol The Partnership at Drugfree.org, Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, 2009
Alcohol <ul><li>Drug of choice among teenagers </li></ul><ul><li>Remains primary gateway drug </li></ul><ul><li>Kills more young people than all other drugs combined </li></ul><ul><li>Early use (before age 15) leads to increased risk. </li></ul><ul><li>Drinking Games. </li></ul><ul><li>Alcoholic Energy Drinks. </li></ul>
Tobacco <ul><li>Nicotine is powerfully addictive. </li></ul><ul><li>Every day in the US, 6,000 young people try smoking. More than 3,000 of them will become regular smokers. </li></ul><ul><li>Roughly 1/3 of teen smokers will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease. </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 90% of people who smoke had their first cigarette before the age of 20. </li></ul><ul><li>New Products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-Cigarettes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teabag-like pouches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dissolvable candy-like tablets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hookahs </li></ul></ul>
Marijuana <ul><li>Most commonly abused illicit drug </li></ul><ul><li>Pot, grass, weed, Mary Jane </li></ul><ul><li>Mind-altering drug made from the cannabis plant </li></ul><ul><li>Stronger today than in years past </li></ul><ul><li>Is it Medicine? </li></ul>
Inhalants <ul><li>Average age of abuser is 10 to 12 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Not drugs but poisons </li></ul><ul><li>Over 1000 common household chemicals used as inhalants </li></ul><ul><li>High derived from lack of oxygen to the brain </li></ul><ul><li>Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Actually causes braining atrophy </li></ul>
Synthetic THC (K2 / Spice) <ul><li>Developed in 1995 for researching the effects of cannabinoids </li></ul><ul><li>Olive-colored plant material, can be laced with synthetic cannabinoid mimicking compounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Sold as an all-natural incense and “Not for human consumption” </li></ul><ul><li>Contains up to 800 % more THC than marijuana </li></ul>
<ul><li>Native to southern Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>Smoked </li></ul><ul><li>High lasts less than 1 hour </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to LSD </li></ul><ul><li>Currently legal for adults to purchase </li></ul><ul><li>No current long term studies on dangers </li></ul><ul><li>Does not show on drug screens </li></ul>
<ul><li>Contains the similiar properties as cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy, and meth combined </li></ul><ul><li>“ Ivory Snow”, “ Ivory Wave”, “Bliss”, “White Lighting”, “Red Dove”, and “Vanilla Sky” </li></ul><ul><li>Snorted, smoked, injected </li></ul><ul><li>Linked to multiple suicides </li></ul><ul><li>No current long term studies on dangers </li></ul>
Over-The-Counter Drugs <ul><li>OTC cough and cold remedies containing Dextromethorphan (DXM) </li></ul><ul><li>Cough-suppressing ingredient found in more than 125 OTC products </li></ul><ul><li>Robitussin, Coricidin HBP, Vicks NyQuil and Vicks Formula 44 are most common </li></ul><ul><li>Misuse of DXM produces a high and mind altering effects. </li></ul>
What You Can Do <ul><li>You can help your child avoid the problem (prevention) </li></ul><ul><li>You can help your child address the problem (how to spot drug/alcohol use & what to do when you find it) </li></ul>
Parental Influence <ul><li>Parents are the biggest deterrent to your kids’ use of alcohol and drugs. </li></ul><ul><li>75% of teens (13-17) cite their parents as the primary influence in their decisions about whether they drink or not. (Roper Youth Report, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Kids who learn about drugs from their parents are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>36% less likely to smoke marijuana. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>50% less likely to use inhalants. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>56% less likely to use cocaine. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>65% less likely to use LSD. (Office of National Drug Control Policy) </li></ul></ul>
Learn <ul><li>Learn the facts about drug/alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of what’s going on in your community </li></ul><ul><li>Remember it is not the same world you grew up in </li></ul>
Communicate – 4 Tips to Help <ul><li>Clearly communicate the risks of drug/alcohol use </li></ul><ul><li>Let your kids know you disapprove of any drug/alcohol use – teens in grades 9-12 who believe their parents will be upset if they try marijuana are 47% less likely to do so </li></ul><ul><li>Use “teachable moments” to raise drug/alcohol issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently talk AND LISTEN to your kids about how things are going in their lives </li></ul><ul><li>Even if you used in the past, don’t be afraid to talk! </li></ul>The Partnership at Drugfree.org, Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, 2009
Help Youth Recognize the Truth <ul><li>A majority of youth do not use drugs or alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Help them realize the importance of being an individual </li></ul><ul><li>Help them understand that very few things are a quick fix, especially how we feel. </li></ul>
Monitor – 6 Tips to Help <ul><li>Know who your child is with </li></ul><ul><li>Know what they’re doing </li></ul><ul><li>Know where your child will be </li></ul><ul><li>Know when your child is expected home </li></ul><ul><li>Know who your teen’s friends are – communicate with their parents </li></ul><ul><li>Establish and enforce rules – including a clear “no use” policy. </li></ul>
How To Spot Drug/Alcohol Use <ul><li>Here are 5 changes to watch for… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Declining school work and grades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abrupt changes in friends, groups / behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sleeping habits/abnormal health issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deteriorating relationships with family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less openness and honesty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be aware of special vulnerabilities </li></ul>
What to Do When You Spot Drug/Alcohol Use <ul><li>5 ways to take action </li></ul><ul><li>Focus - You can do this </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t panic, but act right away </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Start talking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let your child know you are concerned - communicate your disapproval </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set limits – set rules and consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor – Look for evidence, make lists, keep track </li></ul><ul><li>Get outside/professional help – you don’t have to do this alone </li></ul>
TimeToTalk provides easy-to-use guides and tips to help you have ongoing conversations with your kids to keep them healthy and drug-free www.timetotalk.org If you suspect or know your child is using drugs or alcohol, it is important to take action right away. So don't give up. We're here to help www.drugfree.org/timetoact The Partnership at Drugfree.org now offers eBooks to help parents determine whether or not their child is using, what action to take if they are, understand what treatment is, and how to find the right program for their specific needs www.drugfree.org/gethelp Two New Resources from The Partnership at Drugfree.org
Your Local Prevention Coalition Needs You! WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!!!