Archive for January, 2010

Teenage Depression May Lead to Drug Abuse

Teenage Depression is one of the common reasons teens resort to drug abuse. To help them manage the pressures of adolescence, they may turn to marijuana, alcohol, prescription drugs and even street drugs. As parents, we need to ensure that our teens do not succumb to the pressures and are away from the dangers of drug abuse.

teen depressionFirst, it is important to determine the early signs of teenage depression. We need to be able to intervene early enough to avoid unpleasant consequences.

Common signs of teenage depression include frequent sadness or frequent crying. We need to understand, though, that there is a difference between sadness and depression. Everyone may experience sadness in a healthy way, as a normal reaction to an unfortunate event. Depression is the persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, fear, anger and many other negative emotions.

Decrease in energy, boredom, apathy and low interest in activities that used to be fun are other common signs. If your teen used to display a great passion for swimming but now finds it boring or tiresome, consider it as a warning sign. Most depressed teens no longer want to be with company, even with close friends whose presence they used to enjoy so much in the past.

Changes in sleeping and eating patterns as well as deteriorating school performance can be signs of depression. If your children are either oversleeping or not having enough sleep, or are eating too little or too much now, you need to check if something is bothering them. They may be undergoing teenage depression and may urgently need your help.

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4 Quick Ways to Improve Memory Without Study Drugs!

While ‘study drugs’ have grown in popularity in recent years, this does not mean that it has become an accepted strategy to help improve memory and studying. ‘Study drugs’ are used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and are supposedly obtained only with a medical prescription.  The risks of improper use of these drugs include paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, nervousness, dizziness, and rapid heart rates.

studyTo help you study for that long test in school, you must adopt good study habits that will allow you to acquire skills and values that would assist you at work after school. Here are basic study tips that can help you improve your memory without resorting to the abuse of ‘study drugs’:

1. Pay attention and involve as many senses as you can. It is difficult to keep something in memory when you have barely grasped the information discussed. You need to focus and process the information carefully. When you read, you can read it aloud so you can hear it. Seeing and hearing will be better than seeing alone or hearing alone. It will also be more effective if you can feel it. That is why schools require laboratory work – to help learners retain information better.

2. Relate new information to old ones. Create connections between the information you recently learned to the ones you have long known. This will help you connect dots later on, when you need to remember something.

3. Take quick naps or quick breaks.  You can either take a power nap or simply take a short stroll around the corner. Studies have shown that while naps help the brain to restore full function, taking a break while awake could also boost memory.

4. Eat natural memory enhancers, like salmon, dark leafy vegetables, peanuts, onions, berries, beans, whole grains and milk. Eating the right foods will help you sharpen your memory and ace future school exams!

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7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Date Rape Drugs

Date rape drugs render the victim weak or unconscious, without the ability to defend one’s self from attempts of assault. It is why it is extremely crucial that you are able to identify the dangers of date rape drugs and to avoid the intake of any spiked food or drinks.

As parents, you need to educate your teens on how to protect themselves from date rape even before they are put into the position when they can no longer defend themselves. Here are some important things to remember:

date rape1. Before going to the party or the club, agree with a trusted friend to watch each other’s drinks.

2. Don’t accept drinks from other people. More importantly, NEVER accept drinks offered by strangers.

3. Always get your drinks from the bartender. If someone offers to buy you a drink, watch it being prepared at the bar and carry it to your table yourself. Remember that many date rape cases involve someone the victim knows.

4. NEVER leave your drinks unattended. If you realized you left your drinks unattended for some time, discard it and get another one.

5. Open bottles or containers yourself. Do not drink from punch bowls or other open containers. These may be easily spiked.

6. If a drink smells or tastes strange, do not continue drinking. While many date rape drugs are colorless, odorless and tasteless, some common drugs do give out a strange color, odor or taste.

7. If you feel dizzy or drunk, and you have not consumed alcohol or have consumed only very little, seek help immediately.

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Common Date Rape Drugs and Their Effects

Date Rape Drugs are drugs that are used to assist in sexual assaults, as well as in robberies. These drugs affect your ability to protect and defend yourself from attempts of assault. They can make you weak or unconscious, or slightly awake yet with distorted sense of judgment.

date rape drugsMost date rape drugs take effect quickly, and they are usually added to alcohol to increase its strength and prolong its effects. Date rape drugs leave the victim without any recollection of what happened; the victim may not remember the assault nor the attacker.

They often come odorless, colorless and tasteless. This ability to conceal itself from the victim makes the drug even more powerful and effective.

Alcohol, sleeping pills, and generic cold medicines can be used to render the victim weak and confused. However, the three main date rape drugs are GHD (Gama Hydroxybutyric Acid), Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam), and Ketamine (Ketamine Hydrochloride).

GHB is also known as easy lay (for obvious reasons), bedtime scoop, cherry meth, liquid E, liquid ecstasy, G-juice, among other names. It can cause intense relaxation, dizziness, impaired vision, unconsciousness, loss of memory, or death.

Rohypnol is the trade name for flunitrazepam. Similar drugs that are also abused are clonazepam (traded as Klonopin in the U.S. and Rivotril in Mexico) and alprazolam (traded as Xanax). It can cause relaxation, drowsiness, impaired motor functions impaired, confusion, and loss of consciousness.

Ketamine is also known as black hole, bump, cat valium, super acid, and K or K-hole. It can cause hallucinations, impaired motor functions, numbness, and aggression.

Date rape drugs are also called ‘club drugs’ as they are often used in club, parties, concerts and raves.

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How To Tell If You Are An Alcoholic

Recognizing that alcohol has been controlling your life is one of the most difficult things to do. It will even be more difficult to admit such condition to others and try to seek help. However, it is extremely important to be honest with yourself and ask the hard questions. Knowing and admitting that you have a problem is perhaps the most significant step towards treatment.

alcoholicWhen your family or friends comment on the amount and frequency of your drinking, do you feel defensive or even annoyed? Do you drink in secret to avoid people seeing you and making comments that you do not want to hear? Do you get irritated when you cannot get a drink? Do you experience nausea or shivering if you do not drink? A ‘yes’ to one of these questions may mean that alcohol has already imposed a certain degree of control in your life.

Frequently drinking alone may be considered a sign of alcohol abuse as most people would usually enjoy a drink or two with company.  Drinking everyday to function or even to sleep is also an indication. Making excuses just to drink, drinking in secret and inability to stop or control drinking are also clear warning signs.

If you feel that alcohol plays a bigger part in your life than you want it to, don’t hesitate to seek help. Several self-tests are available online to assist you in telling if you are an alcoholic. While these may help you identify the problem, this will not offer instant solutions. You may discuss with your physician what would be the best plan of action for you to claim your life back.

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What Happens to Kids of Parents Facing Drug Abuse?

It’s difficult being a parent during a time when things like sex, violence and drugs are just around the corner. Most of us would want to raise our kids right, hoping that they can get through virtually unscathed. Of course, some of us don’t always have the means to do so, and all we can do is to hope for the best for our children. But what if the roles were reversed? What if the parents were the ones who needed help with a drug problem? What would happen then?

drug addiction in the familyThis poses a big problem for both the individual and his children. As if the phenomenon of drug addiction wasn’t bad enough to deal with, the offspring would have to suffer the effects as well. Children generally look up to their parents as their role models in life. They tend to emulate the actions of those older than them, and parents have a considerable amount of influence.  In this case, they will subconsciously believe that it’s okay for them to do drugs since their parents are actually doing it.

This situation can also put a considerable strain on the social life of the children. After all, no one likes to be called the child of a drug addict. This stereotyping by the child’s peers can do great harm to his/her self-esteem, and chances are that they will find it excruciatingly difficult to gain confidence about their own potentials and abilities.

If you are a parent, always think of your children – will the pleasure from drugs really worth losing the love and respect of your children?

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