Archive for August, 2015

Children Exposed To E-Cigarette Hazards Due To Lack of Parental Awareness

As the world continues to debate on the benefits and dangers of e-cigarette use, a recent study sheds light into the importance of parental intervention in the issue.

teen e-cigarette useAccording to researchers from St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine, many children are exposed to the potential risks of electronic cigarettes because parents are unaware of the possible health problems. “These are largely avoidable risks, but because e-cigarettes are relatively new, many people – including pediatricians – aren’t aware of the dangers or the steps that should be taken to protect children from them,” according to study first author Jane Garbutt in a news release.

In their research published in the journal Academic Pediatrics, close to 660 parents and legal guardians were asked to answer a survey to determine their e-cigarette use and know-how. Results showed that majority of them are aware of electronic cigarettes, with about 20 percent having experienced using it, and 1 out of 8 declared that it’s being used by a family member on a regular basis.

Results revealed further that 36 percent of respondents who use e-cigarette do not deliberately keep the products away from children. This lack of security may be in the form of failure in keeping e-liquid refill bottles or childproofing them. In fact, 34 percent of respondents said that they store e-liquid containers in a cupboard, while 22 percent keep their liquids in a bag.

In addition, only 15 percent of the population were able to tell their children’s pediatrician about e-cigarette use in the household. The researchers believe that parents should inform their kids’ doctors from the get-go. “We strongly encourage pediatricians to ask parents about nicotine use, including e-cigarettes, and to discuss the risks of exposure,” Garbutt added.

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Young Girls Who Drink Alcohol Have Higher Risk of Engaging in Unexpected Sexual Encounters

A large number of cases related to sexually transmitted diseases (STD) can be traced to unplanned sexual encounters, which many young females have unknowingly contracted. In light of this, a new study warns women against consuming alcohol, as this may increase the risk of them getting into unexpected sexual situations.

women drinking alcohol exposed to unexpected sexual encountersResearchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine based their study findings on interviews with young females who attended a clinic that specializes in STD cases. “The idea behind our study was to first unveil what women expect to happen, and then uncover what consequences really occur so that we can challenge unrealistic expectations and develop better interventions that lead to safer experiences,” said study co-author Dr. Geetanjali Chander in a news release.

The study, which was released in last month’s edition of Women’s Health Issues, involved in-depth interviews with 20 African-American females between the period of December 2009 and August 2010. The women admitted to either having sexual intercourse while being under the influence of alcohol or engaging in binge drinking sessions at one point in their life. Most of the women reported to have experienced the following sexual encounters:

  • Having intercourse with new partners
  • Trying out new things (i.e. rough sex, anal sex)
  • Having sex without protection
  • Having sex while unconscious or under the influence of alcohol
  • Being raped

When asked what could be done to protect themselves during a public drinking spree, many of the women find security in being with female friends. “Women feel safer when they travel in packs, and one way participants suggested staying safe is to never let anyone get separated from the pack,” said Dr. Heidi Hutton, who works at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as psychiatry and behavioral sciences associate professor.

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Teen Marijuana Use Has No Effect On Adult Health

This may sound like good news to the younger generation of marijuana users: A recent study discovered that there is no link between teen marijuana use and the overall health of a person later in life.

teen marijuana useThe study, conducted by a research team from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, ran for more than 2 decades to monitor the health of more than 400 teenagers in relation to their use of marijuana. The respondents were divided into four groups distinguished by their level of marijuana use, as reported in a news item. Roughly 46 percent were low to none users, 22 percent were chronic marijuana users in their early years, 11 percent smoked only during their teen years, and 21 percent smoked continuously since adolescence.

Results of the study showed that the four groups did not exhibit any significant difference in physical and mental well-being when they reached their mid-30s. Other factors such as ethnicity or race also did not affect the results. Researchers were surprised with the results, considering that many previous studies point to the harmful effects of chronic use of cannabis.

However, the researchers were quick to point out some limitations that may have affected the results. First, the evaluation was conducted on men only, and so another set of investigations should be conducted on women as well. The assessment period may be too short to conclude that the effects of marijuana use are not significant. The evaluation of health conditions of the respondents were based on interviews, which could have resulted to a failure in determining any real health hazards.

The study was recently published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

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Here’s What You May Look Like After Drug Overdose, Says Teen Survivor

Music festivals may sound fun, but these events may be exposing your teenagers to drugs of all sorts. A recent drug overdose survivor recently shared his experience and released a photo to discourage teenagers to engage in substance abuse.

Jordan Blackburn, 20, spent three days at Cumberland Infirmary in the U.K. — and was in a medically-induced coma for some time — after taking unknown drugs at the Kendal Calling Music Festival on July 31. He recalled that he was able to take more than three kinds of drugs during the event together with his friends, including 18-year-old Christian Pay who was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

coma patient drug overdose

The photo above was released by Blackburn as a warning for teenagers to be vigilant when it comes to substance abuse in events like this. “I think at festivals especially, teenagers just want to have a good time with all their friends and they initially forget the dangers they can put themselves in by doing something stupid like we did,” Blackburn shared via BBC. “I don’t have much recollection, I think because it was such a traumatic event. It was really awful” he added.

Blackburn has already realized his mistake, and is now ready to pick up the pieces. “You never realise until it’s too late. You never think at that moment it is ever going to happen to you, but unfortunately you learn the hard way… You can never change the past, but you can always change the future. It’s just trying to make a positive thing out of something really really negative,” Blackburn expressed.

Alison Turnbull, the young man’s mother, said that Blackburn may have physically survived the ordeal, but he feels some sense of guilt over what happened. “Physically he’s fine. He’s still really tired; his body has been through quite a trauma. Mentally he’s coping OK, but I think he’s got what I would term as survivor’s guilt,” Turnbull said.

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