Tag Archives: drug use

Signs of Drug Use in Your Home

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)How can a parent know if their teen is using drugs? This is a complicated question that is not easily answered as it takes time and the ability to put together pieces of your teen’s behavior puzzle. But if you suspect your child may be using drugs or alcohol, it may be time to start looking for signs of teenage alcohol abuse or drug use. Privacy is important in a family, but not as important as taking the responsibility of parenting your teenager.

The bedroom may look like any teenagers’ room with clothes scattered on the floor, desks and tables cluttered with school supplies, makeup, jewelry, CDs, books, but behind the clutter, may lurk dozens of common items used to hide drugs, alcohol, and other contraband.

Here are a few things to look for:

Appearance of unusual containers or wrappers, or seeds left on surfaces, like Frisbees, used to clean marijuana.

A plastic bag containing white powder hidden inside a trash can.

Loose tobacco hollowed from a cigar or cigarette.

An empty can of the alcoholic drink Four Loko mixed in with similarly brightly colored, oversized ice tea cans.

Pipes, rolling papers, small medicine bottles, eye drops, butane lighters or makeshift smoking devices, like bongs made out of toilet paper rolls and aluminum foil.

Air fresheners, scented candles, or incense

Matches, spoons, small mirror, razor blades, glass or plastic tubes, and steel wool, used to prepare, cook, filter or ingest drugs.

Baking soda, starch or talcum powder used to dilute drugs.

Teens can also use their car to hide things they don’t want you to see, like drug paraphernalia, empty bottles, and more. Unusual smells in the car or bottles, pipes, or bongs on floor or in the glove box should be signs for concern.
It is very important for parents to determine whether or not their teen is using any type of drug as teen drug use can lead to sad consequences.

While the biggest warning signs for parents include slipping grades and changes in their teen’s behavior, the signs of substance abuse aren’t all physical. Talbot Partnership encourages parents to stay on top of dangerous behaviors by paying attention to what their kids’ might have that would indicate alcohol or drug use.

For further information on alcohol and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or info@talbotpartnership.org. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

Substance Abuse Growing Among Adolescent Girls

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)According to Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, women and girls are the fastest growing segment of the population impacted by the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, representing a generally unrecognized serious issue for the women and girls of Talbot County and our country.

A recent study at Columbia University looked at the risk and protective factors surrounding alcohol and drug use by young girls. According to the study, adolescent girls are surpassing boys in their use of alcohol and other drugs.

Analysis of the data suggested that, “where adolescent girls go after school, how they view and think about themselves, who their friends are, what their mothers know about their comings and goings and whether their families articulate non-use messages are all associated with girls use of alcohol, prescription drugs, and inhalants “. The known influence of best friends in choices about substance use is underscored in the findings.

Talbot Partnership advises that this study pointed out that families who expressed appropriate messages about substance use and parents who set rules about non-use were found to be key factors in a girl’s choice regarding substance use.

For further information on the dangers of alcohol and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

Changes in Teen Behavior May Be a Sign of Drugs or Alcohol

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)It’s no secret that adolescents will be presented with the temptations of drugs or alcohol in their young lives. By the age of 15, one out of every two teens will have had at least one drink ; more than 60 percent of teens have said that drugs were sold, used or kept at their school; and one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime.

Knowing what to look for is a huge help in determining whether your child is drinking or using drugs. If you’re familiar with the signs of drug use, that knowledge can aid you in gathering evidence and starting the conversation. Many of these signs of drug use or alcohol use – in isolation – may be just normal teen behavior. Mood swings or changes in behavior are a standard part of growing up as teens make the transition from childhood to adulthood. However, as you start to recognize more and more of these signs and symptoms in your teen, a picture of drug or alcohol use may begin to become clear.

Below are a few signs and symptoms related to adolescent alcohol and/or drug use to consider. Look out for:

Behavioral changes such as being unusually clumsy, stumbling, lack of coordination; hostility or anger; decreased motivation; loud or obnoxious behavior; being deceitful or secretive.

Personal appearance changes such as an unusually messy, careless appearance; red, flushed cheeks or face, poor hygiene; or burns or soot on fingers or lips.

Personal habit changes including smell of smoke on the breath or clothes; avoiding eye contact; secretive phone calls; heavy use of over-the-counter preparations to reduce things like eye reddening (eye drops); nasal irritation; or bad breath.

School or work changes including truancy or loss of interest in schoolwork; a drop in grades; or failure to fulfill responsibilities at work or school.

TurnAround is offered to parents who have reached the point where they are concerned that their child may be using drugs but are not able to prove it. The purpose of the program, which is offered by the Talbot County Health Department Addictions Program office, is to provide a confidential drug screening by an experienced adolescent substance abuse counselor. With the increasing risks from drug abuse, it’s important for parents and guardians to know if their child is involved in drugs. Once the drug test and screening are completed, the counselor will contact the parents to evaluate the results and make a recommendation.

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention advises that what many drug users apparently do not comprehend is that continuous, long-term drug abuse quite easily can become drug dependency. It is therefore important for parents to take steps early to protect their children.

For further information, parents can contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or TurnAround direct at 410-819-5600. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

E-cigarette Use More Than Doubles In Teens

According to a new report, teen use of electronic cigarettes more than doubled across the nation from 2011-12. Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention advises that E-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, but instead deliver nicotine through a battery-powered aerosol mist that eliminates all smoke.

Among youths in grades 6 through 12 that were surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control, 6.8 percent acknowledged at least trying an e-cigarette in 2012, an increase from 3.3 percent in 2011. Current use in those surveyed doubled from 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent. Students that smoked regular and electronic cigarettes rose from 0.8 percent to 1.6 percent.

The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes.”

“About 90 percent of all smokers begin smoking as teenagers,” said Tim McAfee, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “We must keep our youth from experimenting or using any tobacco product.”

Although some e-cigarettes have been marketed as smoking cessation aids, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that e-cigarettes promote successful long-term quitting. However, there are proven cessation strategies and treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved cessation medications.

Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of dis­ease, dis­ability, and death in the United States, responsible for an estimated 443,000 deaths each year. And for every one death, there are 20 people living with a smoking-related disease.

For further information on the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

Smoking Alcohol A Growing Issue With Teens

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)According to Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Director Gary Pearce, there seems to be no end of the new and dangerous trends teens devise for getting high. Instead of drinking alcohol, some people are opting to “smoke” it — and it’s making doctors nervous.

After having previously reported on new ways that teens and adults have found for getting high, including alcohol on your eyeballs, up your nose, in your tampons, in your cupcakes, in your gummy bears, and on your pizzas, we have another inexplicable drinking trend afoot.

The user either pours hard liquor over dry ice or heats it, then inhales the vaporized alcohol. Some believe the process affords the inhaler a high without the calories of alcohol. In truth, there are still calories involved when you vaporize alcohol. The alcohol goes to the brain, lungs and blood very quickly, making people less able to figure out their limits or how fast they will become intoxicated.

On the surface, smoked alcohol may seem attractive to users. None of the alcohol is metabolized by the stomach, and it goes directly to the brain and bloodstream. This results in a shorter, but faster feeling of intoxication. Some online videos lure teens into thinking that “smoking” alcohol hides their use from parents and police, but that is not the case.

“Smoking” alcohol is very dangerous. Because the alcohol bypasses the stomach and liver, it is in a more concentrated form when it enters the body. Individuals who smoke alcohol are at a much higher risk of an alcohol overdose, referred to as “alcohol poisoning”. In the normal course of drinking, as people become more intoxicated, they generally vomit. Vomiting is the actually your body’s way of preventing an overdose. However, when alcohol bypasses the stomach and liver– as in “smoking” alcohol– there is no effective way to get rid of it. Once your brain has absorbed the ethanol, there is no way to expel it from your system.

An additional risk centers on the addictive potential of vaporizing alcohol. The rapid and intense effect of vaporizing alcohol–similar to the “quick hit” of cocaine, cigarettes, and methamphetamine—has tremendous potential to reinforce the addictive effects, leading to greater abuse potential.

Talbot Partnership encourages parents to stay on top of dangerous trends by simply searching around online and paying attention to their kids’ conversations with friends. For further information on alcohol and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or info@talbotpartnership.org. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

 

Illicit Drug use Continues to Increase

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention reports that an estimated 22.5 million Americans aged 12 or older—or 8.7 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month, according to a report by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This is up from 8.3 percent in 2002. According to the report, the increase mostly reflects a recent rise in the use of marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug.

Marijuana use has increased since 2007. In 2011, there were 18.1 million current (past-month) users—about 7.0 percent of people aged 12 or older—up from 14.4 million (5.8 percent) in 2007. Cocaine use has gone down in the last few years; from 2006 to 2011, the number of current users aged 12 or older dropped from 2.4 million to 1.4 million. Prescription drug use and more recently, heroin, however have increased.

The primary reason for the growth in heroin use is the increase in the number of people who have switched from abusing prescription drugs to heroin. Adults and teenagers who became addicted to prescription drugs are now buying heroin from drug dealers.

In Talbot County, statistics from the Talbot Health Department show that alcohol abuse continues to be the primary reason for treatment for our adults, however 50% or more of those treated use 2 or more drugs and 30% use 3 or more. In our adult (18 and over) population, we are seeing an increase in heroin use, particularly intravenous use.

Talbot County has had 21 unintentional intoxication deaths in the time period from 2007 – 2012. Fourteen of these deaths were related to opoid use; 6 of them heroin. Our rates had declined in 2008 through 2011 but increased sharply in 2012.

Most people use drugs for the first time when they are teenagers. There were just over 3.0 million new users (initiates) of illicit drugs in 2011, or about 8,400 new users per day. Half (51 percent) were under 18. More than half of new illicit drug users begin with marijuana. Next most common are prescription pain relievers, followed by inhalants (which is most common among younger teens).

After alcohol, marijuana has the highest rate of dependence or abuse among all drugs. In 2011, 4.2 million Americans met clinical criteria for dependence or abuse of marijuana in the past year—more than twice the number for dependence/abuse of prescription pain relievers (1.8 million) and four times the number for dependence/abuse of cocaine (821,000).

For further information on illicit drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or info@talbotpartnership.org. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Is Using Drugs

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)Parents are often concerned about whether their children will start or are already using drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and others, like prescription drugs, and how to respond in such a situation.

According to Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, the first thing you can do is be proactive. If you drink or use substances, lock it up. Or better yet, get it completely out of the house. If you have prescription medications, lock those up too. Don’t assume that just because your teen is using one substance, he’s not open to getting high in a different way.

Know the warning signs, including decline in school work or youth activities, blood shot eyes, having friends who use drugs, and more. However, here is no substitute for talking and listening to your child. If you think they are behaving oddly and you are worried about the possibility of drug use, say so. Listen carefully to what they have to say. Communication is the key with your children

When you suspect your teen is using drugs, contact TurnAround, a free confidential service provided to parents and guardians who are trying to determine if their child is involved in drugs. 410-819-5600

If you’ve just discovered that your child is drinking or using drugs, the first thing you need to do is sit down, relax, and take time to breathe. Discuss what you have found and decide together what to do, which should include your child immediately disposing of the drug. One way you can take immediate action is by using the new Talbot County Drug Drop Box for the collection and disposal of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as vitamins and pet medicines. This secured box is located in the lobby of the Talbot County Public Safety Center at 115 West Dover Street in Easton and is available daily from 5:00am until 9:00pm for residents to dispose of unwanted, unused or outdated medications.

Parents often wonder where to draw the line with privacy when a teen may be using substances. Remember, this is your home. Privacy is a privilege. If you suspect your teen is using substances, privacy goes out the window. It’s your home, and your right and responsibility to make sure illegal substances are not in your house, because you will be held responsible.

The difference between caring and caretaking comes down to clear, consistent boundaries.

For additional information on what parents can do to help their children avoid the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

Parents – Talk With Your Kids About Beach Week

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)With Senior Week approaching for high school students, Talbot Partnership is looking to educate parents of high school juniors and seniors concerned about the dangers of underage drinking and the safety of their teenage children during Beach Week.

For many years, Beach Week has been the traditional celebratory trip for graduating seniors in the area. Students rent houses; stay in hotels or at family vacation homes in nearby Delaware and Maryland beach towns. Every June, thousands of recent high school graduates from Talbot County as well as Baltimore and Washington suburbs flock to the shore for a week of sand, sun, and new freedom.

But celebratory fun is not all that awaits the teens during the much anticipated Beach Week. Alcohol poisoning, sexual assault, robberies, and criminal records are among the pitfalls. According to Gary Pearce, Executive Director of Talbot Partnership, parents may think, “What’s the big deal? We’re sending them to college soon anyway,” But a beach town is nothing like a school campus where there are resident assistants, campus security, and class schedules to keep teens in check.

The beach is an “uncontrolled environment” with a large concentration of kids. Each year, hundreds of students make bad choices or are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Given the risks, if you are a parent with a child planning to attend Beach Week, it is imperative that you sit down and have an honest talk about it. Follow these tips to ensure that the trip can be both safe AND fun for your teen.

Let Your Child Known You Trust Them – Refrain from lecturing your teen. Instead, try to begin by asking what risks they expect to encounter on the trip and finding out how they plan to manage those situations.

Be clear on your expectations – Parents, you have a strong influence on your children’s behavior. Young people who believe their parents disapprove of substance use are less likely to use alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.

Demand to Know the Details – Often, graduating seniors rent large houses with even larger groups of kids. Make it a priority to know with whom your child will be travelling and with whom he/she will be staying. Make sure they will be spending their time with young men and women you trust, and don’t be afraid to voice your concerns about any particular individuals about whom you have concerns.

Set Check-In Times – Teens are notorious for not checking in with parents. Let your child know that doing so on this trip is unacceptable. Instead, work with them to come up with a check-in schedule that works best for both of you.

Offer to Pick Them Up, No Questions Asked – It happens way too often – something goes wrong, and teens don’t know what to do. The only thing they WON’T do is call their parents to ask for help, fearing that they will get in trouble. Invariably, the situation only gets worse. Let your child know that if they ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable that they can call you, and you will be there to pick them up.

Suggest a Parent Driver – Volunteer to drive your son or daughter to the beach along with their friends. Let them know that you have no intention of ruining their trip – instead, you just want to be their personal chauffer for the trip down and back.

For additional information on what parents can do to help their children avoid the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

Early Marijuana Use Related to Later Illicit Drug Abuse

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)According to recent data from the Center for Substance Abuse Research, adults who first started using marijuana at or before the age of 14 are most likely to have abused or been dependent on illicit drugs in the past year. Adults who first used marijuana at age 14 or younger were six times more likely to meet the criteria for past year illicit drug abuse or dependence.

According to Gary Pearce, Director of Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, “this research confirms that marijuana is a gateway drug for most teens that use it. Some will tell you marijuana is a harmless drug, but the Journal of the American Medical Association isn’t one of them. Young people who smoke marijuana are two to five times more likely to move on to harder drugs. That is the formal opinion of researchers, who published their conclusions from a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.”

Parents further need to be aware of the other dangers of marijuana. Despite youth and adult perceptions of marijuana, studies shows that the main chemical present in marijuana, THC, adversely affects human brain and mental health. In addition, regular use of marijuana shows the same respiratory problems as cigarette smoking, increases the risk of heart attack, increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck, and affects the immune system’s ability to fight disease.

Mr. Pearce also advised that studies show parents significantly underestimate their teenagers’ use of drugs. Nearly 35 % of high school seniors use marijuana, while only five percent of parents believed their teens had used marijuana over the past year.

For further information on the dangers of marijuana and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or info@talbotpartnership.org. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

 

Parents and Students Urged to Have a Safe and Sober Prom

Prom night is a memorable night for teens and parents alike. Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention is encouraging parents and teens to be sure that students have fun, but in a safe and alcohol free way.

Statistics show that traffic deaths among teens during typical prom season weekends (March 1 through May 31) are higher than any other time of the year. Alcohol is the number 1 drug problem among youth, killing more young people than all other illicit drugs combined. More than 6,000 young people die each year due to alcohol-related causes including traffic crashes.

Parents are reminded that underage drinking can lead to severe and tragic consequences including car crashes, injuries, rape, teen pregnancies, sexual assault, suicide, alcohol poisoning, alcohol dependency and death. It is illegal for any adult to host an underage drinking party or to purchase or supply alcohol for persons under 21 years or age, even with their parents permission.

Parents can make a difference in keeping their teens safe. Parents can protect themselves and their teens by following these guidelines:

· Encourage young driver safety
· Set a good example
· Lay down the ground rules – Teach your child that alcohol is not an option
· Listen to your children – research shows that one of the best ways to prevent alcohol use and abuse is communication between parent and child
· Teach your teens that actions have consequences
· Keep the lines of communication open
· Don’t be naïve – watch for signs of abuse. If you sense a problem, seek help.
· Refuse to supply alcohol to youth
· Be at home when your teen has a party
· Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol
· Encourage your teen to attend school sponsored after-prom activities
· Know how your child will get home
· Report underage drinking by calling Talbot Tipline at 410-820-4003

Finally, keep tabs on your teens. Encourage them to call you and send text messages to them throughout the night. Let’s ensure that Prom night is a memorable occasion for all the right reasons.

For further information on the dangers of alcohol and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.