PARENT PARTNERSHIP II:
Responding to your needs...
2014 - NOVEMBER
DRUG & ALCOHOL AWARENESS
◻ Common drugs amongst adolescents and
trends you need to know
◻ Impact of substance abuse on adolescent
◻ Insight into AAS substance use via a preview
of the FCD Survey
-Freedom from Chemical Dependency.
A Global Non-Profit Substance Abuse Prevention Organization.
◻ General conversation and collaborative work
Selected Survey ?’s
My child is engaged and
interested in learning at
51.9% 43.3% 4.5%
There is a strong sense of
community within the school.
39.2% 52.1% 6%
Trends and Insight
● Freelance Author for The Lancet
● Former Editor of “It’s My Health” -
a consumer health website.
Drug use in UK and Russia (United Nations Illicit Drug
Trends in the Russian Federation 2006)
UK Statistics (Drug Misuse Report 2013-14) In the last year 16-25 year olds tried:
◻ Cannabis 13.5%
◻ Nitrous oxide 6%
◻ Cocaine 3%
◻ Ecstasy 1.4%
Drug Users Registered in Russia (UN Illicit Drug Trends in the Russian Federation 2006)
◻ Cannabis 6%
◻ Stimulants 1%
◻ Polydrugs and others 4%
◻ Opiates 89%
It’s estimated there are 8.5 million intravenous drug users. Somewhere between 700,000 to 1.3
million people in Russia have HIV/AIDS. Annually approximately 70,000 new cases of HIV - 56%
spread through sharing needles.
Factors affecting drug use
◻ Peer group acceptance
Based on that this cohort is most likely to be:
◻ drinking (alcohol, energy drinks)
◻ smoking (tobacco, e-cigarettes, shisha, cannabis)
◻ inhaling nitrous oxide
Underage drinking US stats (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
Prevalence of Underage Alcohol Use:
Prevalence of Drinking:
◻ 2 out of 5 15-year-olds report that they have had at least 1 drink in their lives.15
◻ In 2012, about 9.3 million people ages 12–20 (24.3 percent of this age group) reported drinking
alcohol in the past month (24.7 percent of males and 24 percent of females).16
Prevalence of Binge Drinking:
◻ Approximately 5.9 million people (about 15 percent) ages 12–20 were binge drinkers (16.5
percent of males and 14 percent of females).16
Prevalence of Heavy Drinking:
◻ Approximately 1.7 million people (about 4.3 percent) ages 12–20 were heavy drinkers (5.2
percent of males and 3.4 percent of females).16
How much we should drink: Units of alcohol
Number of units of alcohol in drinks
Shots: 1 x 25ml single spirit and mixer (40%) = 1 units
Pre-mixed drinks: 1 x 275ml bottle of alcopop (5.5%) = 1.5 units
Beer/Cider: 1 pint or 600 ml (4%) = 2.3 units
125 mls red wine 175 ml red wine 250 ml red wine
Top 10 Energy Drink Side Effects Listed in order of most common to least common:
1. Palpitations / tachycardia
2. Tremor / shaking
3. Agitation / restlessness
4. Gastrointestinal upset
5. Chest pain / ischaemia
6. Dizziness / syncope
7. Paraesthesia (tingling or numbing of the skin)
9. Respiratory distress
Alcohol vs drugs - deaths/100
The UN says number of deaths caused by drug abuse is 1 in 100 each year.
The number of deaths due to alcohol is 5 in 100.
UK hospital admission stats for 2013 show:
200,000+ admissions related to alcohol (accidents, disease related) - 34,000
of those were alcohol poisoning.
12,238 admissions primarily related to a drug overdose or drug related injuries.
◻ Tobacco - addictive, causes lung, mouth and esophageal cancers
◻ e-cigarettes - split medical community
- may be useful if quitting smoking
- some contain nicotine, some don’t
- not all tested so it’s not known exactly what’s in the vapours as industry is
- some tests have found carcinogens like formaldehyde in microparticles
that can get deep into the lungs.
Hookah Smoke and Cancer
● The charcoal used to heat the tobacco can raise health risks by producing high levels of carbon monoxide, metals,
and cancer-causing chemicals, even after it has passed through the water.1,4
● Hookah tobacco and smoke contain several toxic agents known to cause lung, bladder, and oral cancers and heart
Hookah Smoking Compared With Cigarette Smoking
● While many hookah smokers may think this practice is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, hookah smoking has
many of the same health risks as cigarette smoking.1,2
o Water pipe smoking delivers nicotine2 and the tobacco in hookahs is at least as toxic as cigarette
● Because of the way a hookah is used, smokers may absorb more of the toxic substances also found in cigarette
smoke than cigarette smokers do.1,2
o An hour-long hookah smoking session involves 200 puffs, while smoking an average cigarette involves
20 puffs.1,2 (Inhaled 37 timed more smoke than a cigarette ).4
◻ home delivered for about 3000 roubles
◻ causes light-headedness or dizziness
◻ a feeling of eurphoria and makes people giggle.
◻ hypoxia (lack of oxygen) - blue lips
◻ passing out
◻ in rare cases, death.
Cannabis (dope, weed, marijuana)
Active ingredient - tetrahydrocannabinol or THC
◻ Causes: relaxation, hunger, laughing sleep
◻ Side effected: paranoia, nausea, lung damage as per smoking
◻ Is associated with mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia
- so best avoided if these run in the family.
◻ Can in rare cases cause psychotic events.
◻ Can be addictive in about 10% of regular uses.
Is it a gateway drug?
About one third of Americans, Australians and English people have smoked
Less than 2% of these populations have used heroin. Not all heroin users used
Spice and others not so nice...
Synthetic cannabinoids – like spice – are are herbs laced with a synthetic or man made
cannabinoid. These act like the THC but are stronger, increasing the risk of a psychotic event.
It is readily available, marketed as natural.
It can be smoked or drunk as a tea.
Mephadrone (plant food, meow meow, bath salts – based on an amphetamine-like substance found
in the khat plant.)
Known a ‘legal highs’ they can cause hallucinations and psychotic events which can result is death
or other violent behaviours.
salvia – or the ‘herbal high’ or ‘herbal ecstasy’ …
It’s a derivative of a Mexican type of mint plant and has hallucinogenic properties. It can be smoked
The effects last for between 1 – 30 minutes.
At the moment there are no long term studies in human on it but in rats it has been shown to affect
their memory and ability to learn.
Avoiding drugs - communication
The advice is to keep your lines of communication open. Talk to them about what’s going on.
If they ask questions about drugs… do you lie or tell the truth?
These are all individual decisions but experts say it’s best to tell the truth, and if you don’t know the
answer, why not look it up together.
If you just say ‘don’t do it’ they aren’t likely to talk to you about their issues as they already know there
will be a dead end conversation and a possible conflict. So, try and be rational and run through the
pro’s and con’s, making it clear you don’t approve and why, even if it means you’re a hypocrite
because ‘you did it.’ New research about health shows it wasn’t a good choice.
This will also allow you to address the issues of ‘everyone does it…’
Despite the headlines of 20% of kids take drugs, you’ve now seen the statistics that prove this isn’t
the case, it’s actually the minority who do, and that information can be very powerful in helping kids
feel better about saying no and diminishing ‘peer pressure’ – they are in the majority.
And finally, it will give you the opportunity to discuss safety.
Drunk too much - staying safe
The never do’s are:
◻ Ply them with coffee - it will dehydrate them more
◻ Ply them with water – small sips are ok if the are capable of sitting and drinking safely
◻ Put them in a cold bath or shower - risk of slipping, head injury or drowning
◻ Force feed them thinking it’ll soak up the alcohol– risk of choking
◻ Never leave them alone even if they tell you too as they could pass out and hit their head or
vomit and choke on it.
If they have passed out…
◻ Put them in the recovery position and prop something behind them to stop them from rolling
◻ Do not leave them – if they roll onto their back they can choke on their vomit, if they roll onto
their front they can choke on their vomit. – Note the hand under the face there – very important
as it keeps the face a little bit higher.
◻ Monitor their breathing rate – if it falls below ten breaths per minute or there are gaps of ten
seconds or so between breaths, call an ambulance. 112 is the universal number here – or make
sure you and your children have the number for EMC or whoever you use in their phones.
Your Child’s Brain
Your Child’s Brain
brain is highly complicated, but for the sake of this conversation, we will focus on
two main parts: the limbic system and the frontal lobe
o Limbic system = emotional core; fight, flight, or freeze
● Fully developed by age 14
o Frontal lobe = long-term planning, organization, decision-making
● Fully developed by mid-20s
vs Pruning (Use it or lose it)
o From about age 11 to mid-20s, increased practice and use lead to pathway
specialization, enabling faster processing, usage, and improved performance in
the designated areas
o The trade-off is that unused pathways get pruned away
Teens Think Differently
these brain facts, it should not be surprising that studies have shown that
adults and teens truly do think differently.
o When presented with emotional scenarios adults use their frontal lobes to
analytically weigh pros and cons while teens use more of their limbic system to
weight how their decisions feel to them.
o Therefore, if teens cannot feel what the experience would be like, they are less
likely to quickly process logical outcomes than adults
Brain Reality and Modern Society
stress kept our ancestors alive and prevented them from trying to play with
saber-tooth tigers, nowadays stress spikes often get triggered by everyday
occurrences, and if it happens too often, health issues can arise.
o Stress spikes cause the limbic system to kick into overdrive, shutting off up to
80% of the brain’s thinking capacity; people literally cannot even hear well when
this happens as the muscles in the inner ear constrict
feel they are busier than ever, and they take shortcuts to make them feel more
productive and successful
o Sleep and exercise are often the first things people choose to cut
o Studies have shown that the best way to maintain physical and mental health as
people age is to maintain a balance of exercise that incorporates both cardio and
o The brain stores much of the knowledge it gains during a specific portion of the
o Sleep influences one’s ability to cope with stress, make quick, calm decisions,
think through one’s steps, and remember learned information
Effects of Drugs?
and other drugs have a multi-faceted impact on teens
o Alcohol and other drugs impact myelination (the build-up of gray matter in the
brain which helps pathways specialize), decreasing current and future
processing capability as well as frontal lobe development
o Down-regulation risk is greater, increasing the chances users or former users
will battle depression (see below)
Think of your brain as a pool. The red line is the bottom of the pool, and the dark blue line is the drain that
leads the water to the filter and then back to the pool itself.
Some drugs like cocaine and heroin find different ways to greatly elevate the amount of dopamine in your
brain, which is one of the chemicals most tied to happiness. This causes a dopamine flood which can never
naturally be replicated. Since this flood is anywhere from 10-20x the natural amount a body can produce,
sometimes the body thinks it does not need to produce as much of the chemical any longer, greatly
decreasing its production of dopamine. This is called down-regulation.
The brain then creates a new baseline that is often lower than it was originally, leaving the person regularly
in a state of minor-to-severe depression. When this happens the person now has a new, lower normal state,
and they miss the euphoric rush they experienced, leaving a yearning to repeat the experience and chasing
their ‘first high’ which can never be replicated. It is also the reason that drugs like cocaine and heroin are so
Signs of Drug Use
● Problems at school or work — frequently missing school or work, a sudden disinterest in school
activities or work, or a drop in grades or work performance
● Physical health issues — lack of energy and motivation
● Neglected appearance — lack of interest in clothing, grooming or looks
● Changes in behavior — exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering his or her room or
being secretive about where he or she goes with friends; or drastic changes in behavior and in
relationships with family and friends
● Spending money — sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation; or your discovery
that money is missing or has been stolen or that items have disappeared from your home, indicating
maybe they're being sold to support drug use
Signs of Sleep Deprivation
1. Lower stress threshold. When you’re tired, routine activities, such as stopping at the grocery store on
the way home from work, walking the dog or picking up the house can feel like overwhelming tasks.
2. Impaired memory. Deep sleep fosters the formation of connections between cells, and REM sleep
aids in memory formation. Students considering pulling an all-nighter to study for that big exam might
do better to get some sleep.
3. Trouble concentrating. When you’re dragging yourself through the day, it’s hard to stay alert and
focused. This is why we don’t want our pilots and surgeons to lose too much sleep. Sleep-deprived
people have trouble focusing on tasks and overestimate their performance.
4. Decreased optimism and sociability. Whether it’s the effort we have to put into staying awake or
other factors, sleep deprivation makes us less hopeful and less friendly.
5. Impaired creativity and innovation. A growing body of research suggests that sleep deprivation
may have a particular effect on cognitive processes that rely on our experience of emotions.
6. Increased resting blood pressure. Several studies have found that sleep deprivation leads to
increased blood pressure (Fujikawa et al., 2009) and even half a night of sleep loss has been reported
to increase blood pressure in people with hypertension or pre-hypertension (Lusardi et al., 1996).
7. Increased food consumption and appetite. Research indicates that acute sleep loss enhances
pleasure response processing in the brain underlying the drive to consume food (Benedict et al.,
2012). The researchers raise the question of whether chronic sleep deprivation is linked to rising
levels of obesity.
8. Increased risk of cardiac morbidity. A number of factors can lead to an increased risk of heart
attacks, and sleep deprivation is one of them. During experimental sleep deprivation of healthy
participants, increases in inflammation associated with the future development of cardiovascular
What does this all mean?
you thought of an adolescent as a car, they have fully developed motors and
really bad brakes
o Practice and support can help teens think through their decisions,
strengthening their ‘brakes’
o Supporting teens needs to be done on the teen’s terms, especially if he does
not have any kind of emotional experience which connects him to the
hypothetical situation being discussed
use is more likely to negatively impact a teen’s brain than an adult’s due to the
respective stages of brain development
who experience poor stress management, sleep deprivation, drug use,
and/or head trauma worsen their impulse control, planning, decision-making,
organization, and time management. They also make it more likely that needed brain
pathways will be pruned or at least not fully maximized, negatively impacting
academic, social, and professional success. All of these also have cumulative effects
that cannot be undone later in life.
some students will try alcohol and/or other drugs before they reach
adulthood, it is more likely your child’s success could be limited by sleep
deprivation than drug use.
you notice changes in your child, talk to other caring adults who see him or her in
different settings to get more information. Don’t take anything for granted as signs
for drug use, sleep deprivation, and depression are all quite similar and need to be
This past September in advisory AAS high school students completed a survey from
FCD (“Freedom from Chemical Dependency”) regarding student drug knowledge and
use. FCD will be presenting the results to staff, students, and parents from Nov.24-28.
Parent presentations will held during the day of Parent-Teacher Conferences
(Thursday, Nov.27) at 9:00 and 13:00, each followed by drop-in times for parents.
Russia has moderately strict laws regarding
drugs (for adults) …and no educational program
◻ Chapter 25, Articles 228-234 of Russian Law
Crimes Against Human Health and Public Morality
◻ Jail terms
◻ Confiscation of property
◻ Drug List expanded in July, 2014
Russian Law continued…
◻ Criminal Culpability generally at 16
◻ Lowered to 14 on serious crimes, but not on drug
◻ So, if under 16, the following is likely by student group:
⬜ Russian citizen: suspended sentences to detention
in educational facilities for up to 4 years
⬜ Expatriate and Diplomatic students: Likely expelled
from country (?)
FCD Preview - From 2010-2014
(never to ever)
◻ Alcohol use decreased among 9th-12th grade
◻ Marijuana use decreased
◻ Perceptions of social encouragement to use alcohol
◻ Fewer 9th-12th grade students perceive that AAS
students think heavy or binge drinking is OK
◻ Number of students classified as “higher-risk drinkers”
decreased by over 60%
◻ Percentage of students who have ever used alcohol or
other drugs before coming to, or during a school event,
decreased from 8% to 2%
Key FCD Quote...
“While students engaged in risky,
irresponsible behavior pose a threat to
themselves and the school community, there
are far more students at AAS making healthy
decisions. These students can be a powerful
force for maintaining and strengthening the
health of the school.”
As a community, AAS has set substance abuse
prevention as a priority. Survey results show a
strong need for continuing an intensified
program. AAS has a strong foundation of non-using
students. We believe that these students
support the school efforts to maintain a healthy
community, with the majority of students finding
the school policies and enforcement “about
FCD Next Steps
◻ All 8th and 10th meet with FCD in advisories
◻ Parent Presentations on the 27th
⬜ 9:00 a.m.
⬜ 1:00 p.m.
◻ Parent Drop in Times on the 27th
⬜ 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
⬜ 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
It’s all about communication…
- Discipline does not extend beyond school
- Communication DOES!!
- Forums - purpose is to set stage for this and
offer opportunity for two-way dialog.
Deepen our understanding of next steps.
Small Group Conversations:
1. What did we cover that was helpful?
2. What do you need more of?
3. What else do we need to address?