Teens Who See Others Drink, Use Drugs More Likely to Engage in Antisocial Behavior

Teens who see others drink or use drugs are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior on that same day, a new study suggests. The risk is greatest for young teens who have a “risk-taking” gene linked with sensitivity to substance use exposure.

The 151 teens enrolled in the study used their phones to respond to survey questions three times daily for a month, to allow for real-time reports of what they were experiencing, according to MedicalXpress. The teens in the study were 11 to 15 years old.

The study compared teens’ behavior on days when they were around people using drugs or alcohol to their behavior on days when they did not witness substance use. They determined whether witnessing substance use was linked with antisocial behavior such as stealing, damaging property or hitting or hurting someone.

Full story of teens influence on others to drinks and do drugs at drugfree.org

Teens Abusing Prescription Drugs May Not Just Want to Get High, Research Suggests

Many teens who use abuse prescription drugs are not trying to get high, but are using them to help them deal with an underlying problem such as anxiety, a newly published survey suggests.

“We think of teens as using drugs to party and to experiment,” says study co-author Barbara Delaney. “But because prescription drugs are designed to help with physical or emotional conditions, many teenagers are using them to help them with a specific problem, such as lessening anxiety, staying awake to study, or losing weight.”

The findings suggest the need for parents to understand physical or emotional problems their teen may be facing, which need to be addressed. “It’s not enough to simply tell them not to use drugs,” says Delaney, former Director of Research at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Parents need to understand what’s going on in their teens’ minds—what kind of stresses they feel.”

Full story of teens abusing prescription drugs at drugfree.org

Flavored Tobacco Products Popular With Teens: Study

Among middle and high school students who have used tobacco products in the last month, 70 percent have used at least one flavored product during that time, a new government study finds.

“Flavored tobacco products are enticing a new generation of America’s youth into nicotine addiction, condemning many of them to tobacco-related disease and early death,” Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a news release.

The CDC found 63 percent of students who used tobacco products (almost 1.6 million young people) had used a flavored e-cigarette. Among students who used tobacco, almost 61 percent used a flavored water pipe tobacco, 63 percent smoked a flavored cigar, 59 percent used flavored smokeless tobacco, 54 percent smoked menthol cigarettes, and 42 percent used flavored tobacco in pipes.

Full story of flavored tobacco products popular with teens at drugfree.org

Teens Who Misuse ADHD Drugs Most Likely to Start Between Ages of 16 and 19

The peak ages for starting to misuse prescription stimulants, such as drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are between 16 and 19, a new study finds. The researchers say education programs should start in middle school to keep more young people from starting to misuse prescription stimulants.

Misusing these drugs can have risky side effects, such as dependency, hallucinations, suicide or sudden death, according to the University of Michigan Medical School researchers. They analyzed data from more than 240,000 teens and young adults. The findings are published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

They found each year between the ages of 16 and 19, just under 1 percent of teens start misusing using prescription stimulants, such as Ritalin or prescription diet drugs, MedicalXpress reports. Prescription diet pills were the most popular stimulant drug misused by females, while males preferred Adderall. At age 18, the rate of starting stimulant misuse was twice as high among females as among males.

Full story of teens misusing ADHD at drugfree.org

Daily Marijuana Use in Teens Linked to Lower High School Graduation Rate

Teens under age 17 who use marijuana every day are 60 percent less likely to graduate from high school, compared with their peers who have never used the drug, a new study finds.

Teen marijuana users are 18 times more likely to become dependent on the drug, seven times more likely to attempt suicide, and eight times more likely to use other illicit drugs later in life, the researchers report in The Lancet Psychiatry.

The researchers analyzed date from three previous studies that included almost 4,000 participants, according to CNN. The teens in the study were followed until they were 30. The more frequently teens used marijuana, the greater the risks of the drug, the study found.

Full story of teen marijuana use and graduate rate at drugfree.org