Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.

The study led by UW Medicine researchers interviewed 521 students recruited from four Seattle public middle schools. Researchers used data from annual assessments when students were ages 12-15 and then again when they were 18. The results were published in the journal Addiction.

“The findings suggest that if we can prevent or reduce chronic depression during early adolescence, we may reduce the prevalence of cannabis use disorder,” said lead author Isaac Rhew, research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Full story of depression among young teens related to cannabis at Science Daily

Mixing Marijuana and Alcohol Especially Dangerous for Teen Drivers: Study

A new study finds teenagers who use marijuana and alcohol together are more likely to engage in unsafe driving, compared with those who use one of those substances alone.

“Simultaneous use makes a big difference in your risk for unsafe driving,” said lead researcher Yvonne Terry-McElrath of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. “There’s a very clear increase in risk for this group of kids, and for the rest of us on the roads.”

Teens who used alcohol alone were 40 percent more likely to admit they had gotten a traffic ticket and 24 percent more likely to admit involvement in a traffic crash, compared with teens who didn’t smoke marijuana or drink. Teens who smoked marijuana and drank were 90 percent more likely to get a ticket and 50 percent more likely to be in a car crash, compared with their peers who didn’t use either substance.

Full story of teen drivers and dangerous substances at drugfree.org

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