NIDA Releases New Guide on Treating Teen Substance Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is releasing new resources to help parents, health care providers and substance abuse treatment specialists treat teens who are struggling with drug abuse. The resources also provide advice on identifying and interacting with teens who may be at risk.

The resources are being released in advance of National Drug Facts Week, January 27 to February 2, when communities and schools around the country will host events to allow teens to learn how drugs affect the brain, body and behavior.

Full story of new guide at drugfree.org

More students think marijuana is OK

Most teens may be “Above the Influence” when it comes to cocaine and cigarettes, but marijuana use is growing among students.

Sixty percent of U.S. high school seniors do not see regular marijuana use as harmful to their health, according to this year’s Monitoring the Future survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. More than a third of the seniors surveyed reported smoking marijuana in the past 12 months.

Each year, the Monitoring the Future survey asks eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders about their drug and alcohol use and their attitudes toward illegal substances. For 2013, more than 41,000 students from 389 U.S. public and private schools participated.

Only 2.4% of high school seniors reported using marijuana daily in 1993; this year that percentage nearly tripled  to 6.5 %. And it’s not just the older students  more than 12% of the eighth-graders surveyed said they had used marijuana.

“It is important to remember that over the past two decades, levels of THC  the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana  have gone up a great deal,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a statement. “Daily use today can have stronger effects on a developing teen brain than it did 10 or 20 years ago. … The children whose experimentation leads to regular use are setting themselves up for declines in IQ and diminished ability for success in life.”

Full story of teens being okay with marijuana at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Five Most Effective Parenting Programs to Reduce Problem Behaviors in Teens

All parents want what’s best for their children. But not every parent knows how to provide their child with the tools to be successful, or how to help them avoid the biggest adolescent behavior problems: substance use, delinquency, school dropout, pregnancy and violence.

These problems can affect children for the rest of their lives. University of Washington researchers evaluated about 20 parenting programs and found five that are especially effective at helping parents and children at all risk levels avoid adolescent behavior problems that affect not only individuals, but entire communities.

“With these programs, you see marked decreases in drug use, reduced aggression, reduced depression and anxiety, and better mental health,” said Kevin Haggerty, assistant director of the UW’s Social Development Research Group in the School of Social Work.

“You see the impact of when parents get on the same page and work together to provide an environment that promotes wellbeing. You can make long-term impacts.”

Haggerty said it’s ironic that parents spend hours taking birthing classes to prepare for something that will happen naturally, yet there is no training on how to actually parent a child. He took a parenting workshop years ago and said learning how to deal with conflict changed his family’s dynamic.

Full story of reducing teen behavior problems at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education