Posts Tagged teen alcohol abuse

Effective Alcohol Intervention For Teens Should Involve Personalized Touch

A team of researchers focused on helping college students stop unhealthy alcohol consumption has just discovered one of the best ways to intervene: a personal touch.

alcohol abuseResearchers led by Lori Scott-Sheldon of The Miriam’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine reveal the importance of early intervention by screening freshmen on the first weeks of school. With a wide spectrum of teenagers entering college, many different patterns and motivations for drinking came up. This became the basis of the group’s recommendation to use a tailor-fit approach to each and every case of alcoholism.

Published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, the study reviewed the effectiveness of several programs of alcohol intervention for teens spread across the U.S. for the past decade. While the intervention techniques were unique to each other, most of the more effective ones tend to share a commonality, and that is a “personalized feedback report” as reported in UPI. The college freshman identified with a drinking problem must realize the repercussions of continuing the habit: financial drain, health risks, or flying past legal blood alcohol limits.

Scott-Sheldon also observed that combining two or more techniques to intervene any case of teenage alcohol abuse is the best method.

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Teen Substance Abuse Linked To Early Maturity

Children cannot wait to become grownups, and parents usually find this adorable. Now, a brand new survey suggests that moms and dads should be concerned about the rapid development of their kids into teenagers because this can lead to substance abuse.

teen addictionAccording to a study by a team of researcher from Austin’s University of Texas links early puberty to a higher risk of deveoplng substance abuse. Team lead Jessica Cance, who works at the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, cites how puberty can result not only to physical body changes but also the teen’s social and psychological health. “Our research has shown that pubertal development is a combination of biological, psychological and social processes that all likely interact to influence risk-taking behavior like substance use,” Cance shared in a news item.

The survey involved 6,500 teenagers between the ages of 11 and 17, monitored their puberty development based on physical changes, and assessed their susceptibility to abuse of cocaine, alcohol and drugs. Results of the study showed that those who enter puberty at an earlier stage in their life are more prone to engage in drug abuse.

Cance relates this to the individual’s biological development and links it to his or her perceived social maturity. She said the first student in class to experience biological maturity “prompts or exacerbates existing psychological and social aspects… that can, in turn, lead to substance use and other risky behaviors early in life.”

Earlier studies showed that society and marketing agencies lure teens into drug and alcohol use because these are “cool”. This breakthrough revelation from Cance’s team shows that the perceived feeling of maturity in children makes them more likely to drug abuse.

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CDC Finds Addiction to Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco as the Most Common Issues Among Teens

Teenagers struggle with so many issues, but the most common of which is addiction to banned substances.

substance abuseThe May 2013 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) showed that drugs, alcohol and tobacco abuse and dependence affect 1.7 million U.S. adolescents aged 12-17 years, two-thirds of this population had reported illicit drug use disorder in 2011.

Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), CDC found that alcohol use and abuse were highest among teens living in the West. During 2010 and 2011, more than 28 percent of adolescents aged 12-17 reported using alcohol during the past year.

Meanwhile, nearly 700,000 12 to 17-year-olds are addicted to tobaaco. Ruth Perou, PhD, CDC’s Child Development Studies Team Leader, told NBC News that this addiction doesn’t pertain to casual user or experimentation, but serious addiction.

“You are looking at something that is debilitating and really impairs their ability to function day to day,” Perou explains.

Aside from alcohol and tobacco products, the most commonly abused substances were marijuana, cocaine, heroin, inhalants, and prescription drugs.

Perou said CDC is working to help come up with more approaches that work in treatment all substance abuse and mental health disorders that are  killing the potentials of today’s youth. She invites parents and teachers to check CDC’s available information which can help in spotting risky behaviors in kids and teens.

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Drinkers Who Mix Alcohol and Diet Soda at Higher Risk of Getting Intoxicated Faster

A new research by a Northern Kentucky University professor found that people who mix alcohol and diet soft drinks are more likely to get drunk faster, The Northerner reports.

soda and alcohol combinationCecile Marczinski, an assistant professor in the university’s department of psychological science, conducted lab-based experiment on 8 male and 8 female social drinking students with an average age of 23. Before the study, all participating students  were asked to answer extensive demographic and medical questionnaires, and required to  “fast two hours, abstain from any form of caffeine eight hours, and abstain from alcohol for 24 hours.”

During one visit at the lab, the students drank vodka with diet soda. At another time, they drank vodka mixed with a regular soft drink. The student consumed their drinks within ten minutes.

According to Marczinski, the group that consumed a combination of vodka and diet soda had nearly 20 percent higher risk of getting inebriated faster.

“You get an 18 percent higher BrAC [breath alcohol level] when you mix alcohol with diet drinks,” Marczinski said. “The presence of food can be so important that reductions in peak BrAC have been reported to be as much as 20 – 57 percent when food is present in the stomach as compared with when alcohol is consumed alone.”

Marczinski hopes that her findings would help improve alcohol intervention programs.

“I am trying to provide information to consumers, so they can enjoy these products without causing themselves harm,” Marczinski added.

Marczinski’s research will be published in the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research journal.

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Why Do Teenagers Turn to Alcohol?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused substance among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs. Even though the legal drinking age in the country is 21, the 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey found that 70 percent of 12th graders had tried alcohol, and 13 percent of 8th graders and 40 percent of 12th graders drank during the past month. The survey result backs previous studies that more and more teens are turning to alcohol and peer pressure isn’t the only one to blame.

alcohol drinkingFor parents, it is important to understand the different reasons that drive teens to use and abuse alcohol. That’s because teens’ behaviors are often influenced not only by the people around them, but also by the events that happen to them.

School-related Stress: Children and adolescents experience school-related stress in the form of class bullies, exam week,  homework, and extra-curricular activities. Additionally, many students feel the need to excel academically in order to get into college and land a decent job afterwards.  While a bit of stress can be a motivational factor, too much of it can eventually put emotional strain to your teenager. A 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report indicate that for children and teens, too much work and too little play could backfire down the road. And so when teenagers are burdened by the pressure, they have a tendency to resort into something that would make them feel good, such as alcohol and drugs.

Transition: This include moving to a new city or state, changing school, moving from middle school to high school, obtaining a driver’s license, and graduating from high school. While some of these are exciting for certain teenagers, others can feel stressed with the change they are about to go through.

Family Troubles: Several studies suggest that teens find solace in alcohol and drugs when faced with conflicts at home or when their parents are into substance abuse themselves. Initially, teens would drink for fun or to relax but this can become habitual to cope with feelings and situations they don’t know how to handle.

Mental Health Conditions: Being a teenager is full of challenges and this can sometimes lead to feelings of sadness and confusion, or worse, depression and anxiety. And because they are still unfamiliar with various coping tactics, they could regard the feeling as something that would simply go away without seeking professional help or telling their parents.  To numb the feeling, a teenager might drink or experiment with drugs.

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More Teens Experiment on Drugs and Alcohol During the Summer

A study conducted by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) suggests that more teens begin their alcohol and drug activities during the summer season. In fact, first-time use of cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs by kids peak during the months of June and July.

teen drinkingResearchers noted that the number of adolescents that get entangled with these substances for the first time in their young lives are significantly higher compared to other months of the year. It’s only during the month of December that the same trend can be observed.

SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde says that the huge amount of free time in the summer can make kids vulnerable to substance abuse. “More free time and less adult supervision can make the summertime an exciting time for many young people, but it can also increase the likelihood of exposure to the dangers of substance abuse.”

Results of the study were obtained by analyzing data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from the year 2002 up to 2010. Students 12 to 17 years old were given survey questions with regards to their alcohol, drugs, and tobacco activities.

After gathering information from the respondents, it was found out that the number of teenagers’ first time cigarette use reach 5,000 on the average during any given day in the months of June and July. Other months only reach an average of 3,000 to 4,000.

Marijuana use is also much higher for beginners during the summer with a daily average of 4,800 while inhalant misuse and abuse is being done by about 1,500 kids daily. If it were during the other months of the year, these figures only peak by 4,000 and 1,100, respectively.

Hyde once again emphasizes the importance of communication between parents and children especially on substance abuse issues. “That is why it is critically important to take every opportunity we can throughout the year to talk to our young people about the real risks of substance abuse and effective measures for avoiding it.”

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