11 Reasons Why Teens Abuse Pain Pills
© Dmitris Papazi-Mouris

From a study of thousands of adolescent opiate users we learn the 11 most common reasons why teens abuse pain pills. Ultimately it all comes down to easy availability and misperceptions about ...

Inside (14 articles)

When Partying Gets Boring: Growing Up and Overcoming Ambivalence to Change © Adrianpua

There comes a time for each of us when we reflect on our lifestyle and see that it's time for a change. The New Year is the most popular time of year to do this. Start out 2014 by considering whether partying still matches the life you want today.

Prevent Teen Drug and Alcohol Use – Enforce Constructive Time © B erta

The more time your teen has for 'hanging out', the greater the odds of trouble. Head-off problems by swapping out some of that free time for time spent engaged in constructive activities. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Parents - Prevent Drinking to Prevent Developmental Brain Damage © Jepoirrier

Adolescents are burdened with a still developing brain that’s uniquely at risk to alcohol overexposure - but that still developing brain is also very attracted to experimentation and thrill seeking, it isn’t as affected by the negatives of alcohol (teens don’t get as sleepy when drinking or as hung over after the fact) and it isn’t as capable of higher order decision making. All in all, it’s a bad combination and because of this, parental prevention efforts are very important. Parents who can prevent underage alcohol abuse can prevent developmental brain damage.

Why Feeling ‘Connected’ to School Keeps Teens from Using Drugs and Alcohol – And How Parents Can Promote School Connectedness © Temari09

Teens who believe that their teachers and peers at school care about them and want them to succeed are less likely to use drugs and alcohol, less likely to get into trouble with violence or the law and more likely to finish school (with higher grades)! Find out why school connectedness matters and learn what you can do to increase your son or daughter’s feelings of school connectedness.

Prevent Underage Drinking – How to Send a Clear Message on Alcohol to Your Children © Neil Dorgan

Parents who send a clear message to their kids about the unacceptability of underage drinking have kids that are less likely to get into trouble with alcohol – but sending a clear message about drinking doesn’t begin and end with a single conversation, rather it takes both word and deed and particularly, the setting of a positive example in your own life. Want your kids to steer clear of underage drinking? Here are 7 ways to send the right message in your home.

The Importance of Supervision and Activity during the after School Hours © Anita and Greg

Kids and teens left unsupervised in the hours between the end of school and dinner are far more likely to get into trouble with drugs and alcohol. Read the research findings that paint a scary picture of the consequences of too much unstructured time.

Parenting Styles that Prevent Drug and Alcohol Experimentation © EmeryCo Photography

Although as the parent of a teen you may wonder how much influence you have, research shows pretty clearly that what you do (or don’t do) has a huge impact on your teen’s health, happiness, and even choices. Learn which parenting styles reduce the odds of drug and alcohol abuse and which styles increase the risks – and learn how parental monitoring can keep your son or daughter safe from the worst of the dangers.

Preventing Teen Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction © Kacey97007

While your teen son or daughter might never consider buying heroin or cocaine from a shady street dealer, they’re more likely than you might think to abuse a pretty similar type of drug, and if they’re like most teens abusing prescription medications – they don’t even have to pay for it…getting high is as easy as opening the family medicine cabinet.

The Importance of Teen Alcohol Use Prevention (A Few Beers DO Matter!) © Lin Pernille Photography

While you probably don’t want to see your teen son or daughter drinking alcohol, you may not worry about a few beers as much as you’d worry if you saw evidence of marijuana or even harder drug use. The true risks of those few drinks, however, extends far beyond the risks of alcohol alone – and teens that start drinking at a young age are much more likely to develop alcohol dependency issues as adults. Read on to learn more what increased dangers face those teens who drink alcohol.

Parents Who Binge Drink - Don’t Be Surprised When Your Teens Do Likewise! © Don Fulano

Teens that delay their first experimentation with alcohol until the age of 21 have virtually no risk of ever developing an alcohol abuse problem, but what can parents do to keep these experimentally prone youngsters from trying alcohol? - Researchers say that one of the most important things you can do to keep your children safe is to set a good example in the home and to practice what you preach!

Understanding Risk and Protective Factors – Things That Increase or Decrease the Risks of Teen Drug Use © Valentin Ottone

Although there are no guarantees, teens who grow up exposed to a significant number of protective factors (such as having loving and effective parents, doing well in school etc.) are far less likely to use drugs than teens who grow up exposed to many risk factors (early aggression, having peers who use drugs or alcohol, having a parent with a substance abuse problem or mental illness and others). Fortunately, parents can do a lot to increase the protective factors while decreasing the risk factors!

Social Norms Marketing for Alcohol Abuse Prevention © John Carleton

Heavy drinkers tend to think that other people drink more than they do (myth). If people with such misperceptions get accurate information about how much others in their community are drinking, they are more likely to reduce their overall consumption. Giving people who have incorrect beliefs about a negative behavior accurate information is called social norms marketing – and it is a cheap and effective way to reduce negative behaviors, like binge drinking, across a large population.

We think of drug abuse prevention as something provided to children and students yet to experiment, but drug abuse prevention can also assist those people already using; and drug abuse prevention interventions have proven very effective as a method to induce behavioral change in people currently exhibiting excessive drug or alcohol consumption behaviors, but who have not yet developed a dependency or addiction.

The best way to fight drug abuse is to never let it grab a hold in the first place, and the best time to start drug abuse prevention is as soon as kids are old enough to listen and understand.

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  • Environmental Factors: Can protect against or increase the risks of substance abuse
  • Social Norms Marketing: Can reduce negative behaviors, like binge drinking, across a large population
  • Brief Interventions: Are a low cost, quick and easy intervention to reduce a person's substance abuse before it progresses to addiction
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External Links
Parents - The Anti Drug Created by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. Equips parents and other adult caregivers with tools to raise drug-free kids.
Students Against Destructive Decisions Providing students with prevention tools to deal with drinking, drug use, risky and impaired driving, and other destructive decisions.
Above the Influence A site encouraging teenagers and young adults to live drug and alcohol free lives.
D.A.R.E. Drug Abuse Resistance Education: an acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.
Get Smart About Drugs A DEA resource for parents.
Too Smart To Start Helping youth, families, educators, and communities prevent underage alcohol use.
College Drinking Prevention Research addressing college drinking culture.
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) CADCA is the nation’s leading drug abuse prevention organization, training more than 5,000 local grassroots groups, known as community anti-drug coalitions, in effective community problem-solving strategies.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving - MADD Provides grassroots leadership to create major social change in the attitude and behavior of Americans toward drunk driving and underage drinking.
StopAlcoholAbuse.gov Plenty of research and resources on the prevention of underage drinking.
The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
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