Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Does my teen need residential therapy?

Especially during the holiday season, this can be one of the hardest decisions a parent can make.

Sending a child to a residential program/school is a major decision. It is not one to be taken lightly or to be decided on overnight. 

Usually a teen's behavior has been slowly escalating and a parent knows that deep down things are not getting better.  As much as you hope and pray that things will change, this is only typical teen behavior, sometimes it just isn't.

With drug use and substance abuse rising - more dangerous and deadly ingredients being used, such as spice and inhalants, parents have reason to be concerned.  It isn't your marijuana of generations prior - it is so much worse and in many cases - addictive and deadly.

If you have reached your wit's end and now surfing the Internet for help, remember, anyone can build a website.  Anyone can put up nice pictures and create great content.  You need to do your due diligence.

Years ago I struggled with my own teenager.  I was at my wit's end.  I didn't realize what a big business this "teen help industry" was.  Yes, my child needed help, but what we received was anything but that.  My story is a cautionary tale - not one to scare you into not using a program, however on the contrary, you have to get your child help, but you have to do your research in getting them the right help.

Here are some quick tips:
  • Your child is not for sale, try to avoid those marketing arms selling you a list of programs that are not in the best interest of your child's individual needs.
  • Always speak with an owner or director - Someone that has a vested in your teen's recovery.  Their reputation is on the line.
  • Wilderness and other short term programs are usually nothing more than a band-aid that will fall off as quickly as the program lasted.  They are expensive camping trips and in most cases the Wilderness program will tell you at about 4 weeks that your teen will need to continue on to a longer term program.  What? Yes, now you go back to the research board and worse than that, your teen will be deflated when he finds out he/she isn't coming home in 6-9 weeks as they were lead to believe - and they will be starting all over again with a new therapist - new schedule - and new setting.  Don't get caught up in this "shuffle."  Start and finish with the same school/program.
  • The average stay should be about 6-9-12 months, depending on your teen.  Anything less is probably non-effective.  Anything more, you may be creating abandonment issues in my opinion. 
  • Do you really need an Educational Consultant?  Absolutely not.  You are the parent and no one knows your teen better than you do - with a few tips, you will be able to make some sound choices.
For more helpful hint and tips, please contact www.HelpYourTeens.com for a free consultation. After the ordeal I went through, I created this advocacy organization to help educate parents on finding safe and quality programs. 



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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Teen Drinking Turning Deadly: Drunkorexia

At first, "drunkorexia" may sound like kind of a funny word, jokingly made up to describe a situation in which college students and others forgo food in order to be able to afford more alcohol and feel higher effects of alcohol on an empty stomach. But what some may brush off as crazy college-kid behavior is actually a serious problem that can have highly damaging consequences both in long- and short-term health.

Of course, that hasn't stopped college students from engaging in this unhealthy trend, and a study at the University of Missouri-Columbia indicated that one in six students had practiced drunkorexia within the last year. Typically, drunkorexia is done by women; the study showed that three out of four drunkorexia respondents were female.

Students may not realize that drunkorexia is incredibly damaging to their health, but the fact remains that the practice puts them at risk for problems like sexually transmitted diseases, malnutrition, and even seizures and comas. Specifically, the University of Missouri study indicates that drunkorexia may lead to:
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • HIV
  • Drunk driving
  • Injury risk
  • Perpetrating or being a victim of sexual assault
  • Passing out
  • Malnutrition
  • Cognitive disabilities
  • Heart problems
  • Seizures
  • Comas
  • Organ failures
All of the possible effects are disturbing, but perhaps the most worrisome are heart problems and cognitive disabilities that can stem from drunkorexia-induced malnutrition. STDs, injury, or sexual assault are without a doubt difficult to bounce back from, but malnutrition-induced heart problems and cognitive disabilities are something you just can't take back. Cognitive problems are especially disturbing for college students, as they can result in "difficulty concentrating, studying, and making decisions."

These are long-term health issues brought on by drunkorexia that can follow a college student for the rest of her life. That is, assuming that the student survives past the possibility of seizures, comas, and organ failure.

So it seems that a practice that may be approached lightheartedly is in fact a very serious problem that doesn't just stop with fun (and possible weight loss) one night. Used as a regular practice, drunkorexia can scar you for life and even end in death. And although the long-term effects are certainly frightening, the short-term possibilities of drunkorexia aren't incredibly easy hurdles to get over, either. Just one night of drunkorexia can have serious consequences, with higher levels of intoxication and starvation putting students at risk for dangerous behavior.
At high levels of intoxication, students lose the ability to make good decisions, which can lead to dangerous situations like having unprotected sex, or even being involved in a rape, driving drunk, and becoming injured as a result of stunts, fights, or simply an inability to function properly. In addition to these risks, just one night of intense drinking on an empty stomach can lead to blackouts, hospitalization, and death from alcohol poisoning.

Clearly, drunkorexia has serious and lasting consequences, even for students who aren't repeat offenders.

Source:  Online College

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Teen Drug Use: Dangerous and DEADLY to their brain

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) has created an extremely informative and educational website to keep parents, teachers, teens and kids informed on substances and all forms or mind altering drugs that are being used today.


Here is a snapshot to learn about the effects of drug abuse on the body and the brain.

Anabolic Steroids – Anabolic steroids are artificial versions of a hormone that’s in all of us — testosterone. Some people take anabolic steroid pills or injections to try to build muscle faster.
Cocaine – Cocaine is made from the leaf of the coca plant. It often comes in the form of a white powder that some people inhale through their nose. Another form of cocaine, known as crack, can be smoked.
Hallucinogens – Hallucinogens cause people to experience – you guessed it – hallucinations, imagined experiences that seem real.
Inhalants – Hair spray, gasoline, spray paint — they are all inhalants, and so are lots of other everyday products. Some people inhale the vapors on purpose.
Marijuana – You may have heard it called pot, weed, grass, ganja or skunk, but marijuana by any other name is still a drug that affects the brain.
Methamphetamine – Methamphetamine comes in many different forms and is snorted, swallowed, injected, or smoked. Methamphetamine can cause lots of harmful things, including inability to sleep, paranoia, aggressiveness, and hallucinations.
Opiates – Maybe you’ve heard of drugs called heroin, morphine or codeine. These are examples of opiates. If someone uses opiates again and again, his or her brain is likely to become dependent on them.
Prescription Drug Abuse – Abuse is when someone takes a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription or in a way or amount that is different from what was prescribed. Abuse of prescription drugs can have serious and harmful health effects, including poisoning and even death.
Tobacco Addiction – When tobacco is smoked, nicotine is absorbed by the lungs and quickly moved into the bloodstream, where it is circulated throughout the brain.
Teacher’s Guide – The Teacher’s Guide is used in combination with the magazines in the series to promote an understanding of the physical reality of drug use, as well as curiosity about neuroscience.


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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jail is not an option: Your teen needs help

Yes, your teen is making bad choices.

Yes, your teen is failing.

Yes, your teen is experimenting with drugs.

Yes, your teen is hanging out with less than desirable kids.

Yes, your teen may be having sex.

Yes, your teen is disrespectful.

Yes, your teen needs help!  They don't need to be harmed!

If you feel you are at your wit's end and have exhausted all your local resources - therapy isn't working or your teen simply refuses to go, it may be time to start thinking about residential therapy.

This doesn't mean you are a bad parent, quite the contrary, you are giving your teen a second opportunity at a bright future.

Need more information? Visit www.HelpYourTeens.com.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Teen Runaways: What does a parent do?

The authorities all but tell you (or they do tell you) "typical teen" they will show up eventually.  In the meantime you are a nervous wreck.


What do you do?  Here are some quick tips for you:
  • Keep an updated phone list with the home and cell numbers of your teen's friends. Using the phone list, call every one of your teen's friends. Talk immediately with their parents, not their friends, as teenagers will often stick together and lie for each other. The parent will tell you anything they know, including the last time contact was made between their child and yours. They will also know to keep closer tabs on their own child.
  • Keep an updated photo of your child on hands at all times. With this photo, create one-page flyers including all information about your teen and where they were last seen. Post these flyers everywhere your teen hangs out, as well as anywhere else teenagers in general hang out. Post anywhere they will allow you to.
  • Immediately contact your local police. It is advised that you actually visit the office with a copy of the flyer as well as a good number of color photos of your teen. Speak clearly and act rationally, but make sure that they understand how serious the situation is.
  • Contact the local paper in order to run a missing ad. Also, contact any other printed media available in your area; many will be very willing to help.
  • Contact your local television stations, as well as those in nearby counties. Most stations will be more than happy to run an alert either in the newscast or through the scrolling alert at the bottom of the screen. 
Be sure to contact National Runaway Switchboard and if you need residential therapy, please contact Parents' Universal Resource Experts. 


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Monday, November 7, 2011

Teen Drugs Today - Is not your parents drugs of yesterday

Do you suspect your teen is using drugs?  Are you saying - it is only pot?  All kids experiment?  Really?  Sure, maybe in the sixty's - but do you know what is on the streets today?  Your denial could literally lead to the death of your child.  Don't have your head in the sand - be in the know.
  • Daily Marijuana use increased among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 2009 to 2010. Among 12th graders it was at its highest point since the early 1980s at 6.1%. This year, perceived risk of regular marijuana use also declined among 10th and 12th graders suggesting future trends in use may continue upward.
  • In addition, most measures of marijuana use increased among 8th graders between 2009 and 2010 (past year, past month, and daily), paralleling softening attitudes for the last 2 years about the risk of using marijuana.
  •  Marijuana use is now ahead of cigarette smoking on some measures (due to decreases in smoking and recent increases in marijuana use). In 2010, 21.4 percent of high school seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days, while 19.2 percent smoked cigarettes.
  •  Steady declines in cigarette smoking appear to have stalled in all three grades after several years of improvement on most measures.
  •  After marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the top drugs abused by 12th graders in the past year. Among 12th graders, past year nonmedical use of Vicodin decreased from 9.7% to 8%. However, past year nonmedical use of OxyContin remains unchanged across the three grades and has increased in 10th graders over the past 5 years. Moreover, past-year nonmedical use of Adderall and over-the-counter cough and cold medicines among 12th graders remains high at 6.5% and 6.6%, respectively.
  •  After several years of decline, current and past year use of Ecstasy has risen among 8th and 10th graders. From 2009 to 2010, lifetime use of ecstasy among 8th graders increased from 2.2% to 3.3%, past year use from 1.3% to 2.4%, and current use 0.6% to 1.1%. This follows declines in perceived risk associated with MDMA use seen over the past several years.
  •  Alcohol use has continued to decline among high school seniors with past-month use falling from 43.5% to 41.2% and alcohol binge drinking (defined as 5 or more drinks in a row in the past 2 weeks) declining from 25.2% to 23.2%. Declines were also observed for all measures among 12th graders reporting the use of flavored alcoholic beverages. Past-year use fell from 53.4% to 47.9%.
Need help?  Contact - www.HelpYourTeens.com today.

Source:  NIDA

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pill Popping: Ecstasy and your teens

Do you suspect your teen is using drugs? Or it isn't your teen, it is their friends? Don't be a parent in denial, you aren't helping your child.

Does it start with marijuana? Advance to pills? On to needles?


There can be so many different paths your teen can take to the road to addiction, but the one path they need to realize is they don’t need to start to begin with.  Understanding the risks and dangers is the beginning of teaching prevention.

October 31st through November 6th is National Drug Facts Week.

This is an opportunity to shatter the myths about drug and substance abuse as well as become an educated parent and build a stronger drug-free community.

What is ecstasy?

“Ecstasy” is a slang term for MDMA, short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a name that’s nearly as long as the all-night parties where MDMA is often used. That’s why MDMA has been called a “club drug.” It has effects similar to those of other stimulants, and it often makes the person feel like everyone is his or her friend, even when that’s not the case.

MDMA is man-made—it doesn’t come from a plant like marijuana does. Other chemicals or substances—such as caffeine, dextromethorphan (found in some cough syrups), amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine—are sometimes added to, or substituted for, MDMA in Ecstasy tablets. Makers of MDMA can add anything they want to the drug, so its purity is always in question.

What Are the Common Street Names?

There are a lot of slang words for MDMA. “Ecstasy” is one of the most common. You might also hear “E,” “XTC,” “X,” “Adam,” “hug,” “beans,” “clarity,” “lover’s speed,” and “love drug.”

How Is It Used?

Most people who abuse MDMA take a pill, tablet, or capsule. These pills can be different colors, and sometimes have cartoon-like images on them. Some people take more than one pill at a time, called “bumping.”

How Many Teens Use It?

According to a 2010 NIDA-funded study, over the past 10 years smart young teens have turned their backs on MDMA. Since 2001, the percentage of 8th graders who have ever tried MDMA dropped from 5.2 percent in 2001 to 3.3 percent in 2010. The drop among 10th graders and 12th graders was similar. However, between 2009 and 2010, some increases were seen in the abuse of MDMA by 8th and 10th graders. For example, past-year use of MDMA increased among 10th graders from 3.7 percent in 2009 to 4.7 percent in 2010. Also, fewer 10th graders saw “great risk” in occasionally using MDMA, which means that they may not understand the health risks of using MDMA as well as they should.

Is MDMA Addictive?

Like other drugs, MDMA can be addictive for some people. That is, people continue to take the drug despite experiencing unpleasant physical side effects and other social, behavioral, and health consequences.
No one knows how many times a person can use a drug before becoming addicted or who’s most vulnerable to addiction. A person’s genes, living environment, and other factors play a role in whether they are likely to become addicted to MDMA.

Learn more – click here.

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