Saturday, June 30, 2012

Teen Prescription Drug Use and Fake Internet Pharmacies

You know how important and life-saving prescription drugs can be for yourself, and also for your children. There is nothing you want more than to keep your children safe from harm. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foundation and their AWARxE Consumer Protection Program want you to become AWARxE of the growing amount of fake Internet pharmacies that are selling dangerous counterfeit drugs.
Founded in 1904, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is the impartial professional organization that supports the state boards of pharmacy in protecting public health.

Many Internet sites hawking prescription drugs are actually fake and their products could cause more harm than good. There are documented cases of adults in the US harmed by counterfeit drugs and the effects of such products could be potentially be much worse for a child. We must do everything we can to keep our children and families safe and healthy.

Counterfeit pills sold online often contain too little or too much of the requested medication, the wrong medication altogether or harmful substances. Toxins such as glue, chalk, and rat poison are used by counterfeiters to make these pills. Drug counterfeiters do not care about your child’s health; their goal is to make a profit. Some fake online pharmacies may even falsely claim to be Canadian to seem like a safe source for medicine. By some estimates, as much as 90% of the medication bought online may be fake.

AWARXE wants consumers to know about the safest way to purchase prescription medications online. When ordering prescription medication online, look for the VIPPS (Verified Internet Practice Pharmacy Sites) seal, and check the VIPPS list on to make sure the site is listed there. VIPPS-accredited sites are in agreement with all federal and state regulations and NABP safety standards. Some VIPPS-accredited sites may even offer discount prescription programs to help offset the cost of medications.

More about VIPPS: 

· AWARXE advises patients to use VIPPS-accredited Internet pharmacies when they opt to order medications online, and to learn how to avoid fake Internet pharmacies selling dangerous counterfeit drugs.
· NABP has reviewed more than 9,600 websites selling prescription drugs.
· Only 3%, or 291, of these sites appear to be in compliance with state and federal laws and NABP patient safety and pharmacy practice standards.
· The other 97% of these sites are considered rogue sites and are listed as Not Recommended on the AWARxE website, www.AWARERX.ORG.

The best and most effective way to help fight this problem is by spreading awareness. To learn more about where to properly buy prescription medications online, please visit www.AWARERX.ORG.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Teens and Summer Spare Time

What plans do you have for your teen this summer?

Will they have a job? Will they be hanging out in the neighborhood?  Maybe catching up on some community service hours and volunteering.

Whatever you decide it is a fact to keep your teens busy so that they don't find themselves busy in a way that may not be what you want.  Like a trip to the local sheriff's office!

Do you know your teen's friends?
Do you know where your teen surfs online?
Do you know where your teen hangs out?
Do you know what your teen does in their spare time?

If you answered no to any of these questions, now it the time to find out.  Summer has a lot of down time.  There is nothing wrong with vegging a little and taking some time to relax from their studies, but be sure they are playing it safe and keeping within boundaries you approve of.

Do you suspect your teen is using drugs? Drinking?
Are you skeptical of the kids they are hanging out with?
Is your teen being secretive about where they are going or what they are doing?

Communication is key to a parent/teen relationship.  Start it now.  Talk, talk and more talk.  Start the conversation and before it leads to a confrontation.

If you find yourself at your wit's end and realize your teen has spiraled out-of-control, you are being held hostage in your own home (not literally, but figuratively) please visit and learn about getting your that extra help.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Peer Pressure and Your Teen

I hear many times that parents say that their teen is hanging with a negative peer group, however you have to remember, it is your teenager that is choosing to be with them.

There is no denying how awkward the teenage years are. Surging hormones, increasing responsibility, and feeling a lack of control over their lives have long caused stress among teens. Parents might struggle to find sympathy when their teenager moans how hard their life is but it is true more than ever for today's teens. A parent's job is to help guide their child through this time, hopefully having them emerge from the chrysalis as a competent adult.

One problem teens struggle to deal with is pressure. Non-stop access to social media has made it difficult for them to learn to switch off. As their parent, you can help them develop the skills they need to manage pressure in a positive way, without turning to damaging alternatives like alcohol or drugs.

1. Switching Off

Put your teen in an environment where there are no distractions like television, computers or phones. A weekend's camping, or even a short hike, can help them to learn that there won't be a disaster if they don't reply to that text straight away. Living in a world where immediate responses are possible, doesn't mean they are always necessary. Time away will help your teen develop confidence in the knowledge that they can step back now and then, without losing social status.

2. Taking Control

So many aspects of a teen's life are outside of their control. They may be nearly adults, but they are still dependent on their parents for basic needs. It is important that they still have restrictions and guidelines around their activities - most teens have not yet developed the emotional maturity to always act in their best interests. Work with your teen to help them learn to make the right decisions. Just as you would have done when they were toddlers, give them several suitable options and let them choose, such as about curfew punishments. Give them a safe environment for them to feel the repercussions of being irresponsible. If you always make the right decision for them, they won't learn to make decisions for themselves.

3. Keeping Healthy

Teaching your teens the benefits of eating well and being active will benefit them all their lives. A good diet, regular exercise, and enough sleep all help prevent depression and mood swings. Likewise, food stuffed with additives and chemicals, and poor sleeping habits can exacerbate a bad mood. Get your teen involved with planning and cooking family meals. Encourage them to be active by walking to school if it is close enough, and not taking the car or bus everywhere. For some teens, just being outside is a step in the right direction.

4. Building Confidence

Pressure usually comes from the fear of failure. Help your teen build their confidence so that they not only learn to trust themselves and their ability; they learn that it is ok to make mistakes. Encourage them to try new things. Show them by example that the learning process doesn't stop once you leave school. Don't hide your own mistakes, but talk to them about what you have tried and what you have learned. In a world of instant gratification, it may seem to them success should be immediate too. Help them see alternative ways of achieving their goals.

The teenage years are the last phase of intensive parenting before your child heads into the world as an adult. Pressure in life is inevitable, but giving your teen the tools to manage it will help them cope without feeling overwhelmed.

Special contributor: Kirsty Smith is a parent of 3 teenage boys. She is an experienced writer and blogger, covering a wide range of subjects including food, parenting, travel, and education. She also contributes to Degree Jungle a resource for students.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Teen Help Programs and the Internet Search

School is about over, the grades are in and you realize that your teen has failed some courses.

You also have realized they really don't care much about their education at all!

Unfortunately I hear this more and more from parents today.  We have extremely intelligent children capable of getting A's and not working up to their academic potential.  What is going on?

Teens that would rather either just get a GED or some that want to quit school all together!  Years ago that wouldn't even cross our minds -but today these kids don't recognize the importance of an education.

Especially in today's financial world.

Some parents are also dealing with their smoking marijuana.  Some just brush it under the table and say that it is the same as when the were kids.  Well, it isn't.  Pot today can be far more lethal than it was generations prior.

Whether you are  parent that is feeling hostage in their own home or a parent that feels their teen is heading down a dark path, you now have determined you need outside help there are steps that every parents needs to take.

I always tell parents that they need to exhaust all local avenues.  Short of your teen being 17+ years old, (since at that age you only have 12 months to do something - and do it quickly) - you have options to start with.

Local therapy, support groups, community centers, youth groups and youth pastors, sometimes sending your teens to live with a relative, changing schools.... these are all options that may work.  Sadly - many times they don't - which is when you have to face it is time for residential therapy.

As you get online you have to be so careful of all these wonderful, colorful websites - tearful testimonials - slick sales reps and toll free numbers to God knows where.  Remember, this is your child you are searching for, not a car.

I created Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc (P.U.R.E.) exactly for parents in need - parents that have reached their wit's end and don't know where to turn.   On my site you will even find helpful hints in researching schools and programs and questions to ask.

I urge parents to read my story - when I struggled with my own teen daughter and the mistakes I made.

Remember, this is a major financial and emotional decision - take  your time and make an educated decision.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Diamond Ranch Academy - Teen Help Programs

Stressed out about your at-risk teen?
As a parent advocate I am always receiving emails and phone calls on a variety of schools and programs from parents and students that have first hand experiences.

My personal experiences are with Carolina Springs Academy that is now closed, however was under the WWASPS umbrella that still has programs operating in the United States such as Cross Creek, Red River Academy, Horizon Academy and most recently I am hearing about River View located in La Verkin, Utah.

Diamond Ranch Academy, sadly, though I don't have first hand experiences, I am receiving more negative feedback about them.

This week I receive another negative call.  Usually after 3 complaints, that run similar, I raise a red flag.  They asked me to listen to Bipolar Nation Radio. It reminds me of the days when we were fighting against WWASPS - and I can hear the frustrations and the pain in the mother and know the pain the parents are going through when you feel your hands are tied and no one understands that you are your child's advocate.

Though I am not against youth transports that are "licensed and insured" - I am against people that are labeled "kidnappers" or are simply just thugs picking up kids in an inhumane way.  As a parent that had a troubled teen, I know the feeling of being at my wit's end and unfortunately some parents will get sucked into some of this slick marketing - and I am someone that says - stop, listen to your gut - and do your homework!  Learn from my mistakes - gain from my knowledge.

I am also not against quality residential therapy - programs that instill positive and nurturing environments to help build a teen back up to make better decisions.   I am against punitive and primitive programs as well as Wilderness programs that are simply band-aids that will fall off and cost parents a small fortune.

This radio show starts out like a legal dispute about custody battle - but continues more into the teen help industry.  It is very much like what I went through years ago when we went up against the industry giant (at the time) WWASPS.

I wish they had more people on the show that gave firsthand experiences of Diamond Ranch Academy.  The one disturbing discussion was the death of a boy at Diamond Ranch Academy that a parent believes was due to negligence. The discussion is more detailed on the radio show on March 18, 2012.

Fortunately - I have personally spoken with a parent that had a daughter there for 6 month and told me of her horrible experiences.  I won't speak for a third party - but I feel that with story and others that I have heard within the past year - it gives me reservations about this particular program.

Another red flag that was for me in this radio show was when the parent stated it was 10 weeks before they could speak with their child?  I believe that it is too long.  Of course that is my opinion.  I usually tell parents 21-30 days is the normal cooling off period.  Again, I will share, I don't have first hand experiences with Diamond Ranch Academy.

For me, I know there are many excellent programs in our country.  I am not of the mindset that all programs are bad.  This type of information only solidifies that parents need to take their time and do their due diligence before selecting a program.

This is one of the reasons I created Parents Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.) - with helpful hints to guide parents through the big business of teen help.

I don't own, operate or manage any schools or programs - I help educate parents on researching schools and programs.  I also have no connection with Diamond Ranch Academy - - however it seems they are marketing very similar to WWASPS - and that alone scares me.  However that is only my opinion.

I just caution all parents to do your homework - take your time - this is a major financial and emotional decision.  I firmly believe you can't ignore getting your teen help, but take trust your gut.

The moral of this Blog is - if you are considering Diamond Ranch Academy or any program - just be sure you are doing your homework.  Don't ignore getting your teen the help they need, just be sure you are getting them safe and quality help.