New Facet of Self Harm

Thursday, December 18, 2008


By Tiffany Sharples, from Time Magazine--link is here, with other links to photographs and x-rays

At a recent medical conference in Chicago, a team of radiologists from Nationwide Children's Hospital presented intriguing X-ray evidence of a psychological phenomenon — what they believed was a new form of self-injury among teens and adolescents. Eleven out of 505 patients whom the team had treated in more than a decade had inserted objects — from chunks of crayons to unfolded paper clips — under their skin in a behavior the Nationwide team labeled "self-embedding."

All of Nationwide's patients were young females, but when the researchers, including Dr. William Shiels II, the hospital's chief of radiology, turned to medical literature for other examples of self-embedding, they found very few — and those were among adults, primarily males. Shiels and his colleagues asked around at the hospital, but not even mental-health specialists had heard of it, nor had many of their colleagues outside the hospital. "As a profession in general, psychologists were not aware that this was happening," Shiels says.

At the time of the conference, however, a Chicago Tribune reporter uncovered two more instances of self-embedding in an Illinois town — two teen girls had deliberately inserted pencils into their skin and broken off the tips — lending credence to the possibility that self-embedding was a growing trend, albeit off the radar. "We know it's elsewhere," says Shiels, who is creating a protected database for medical professionals worldwide to track the behavior. "It just hasn't been discussed and it hasn't been studied."

Shiels' team stumbled on the peculiar practice largely by chance. In 2007, a premed student named Adam Young, then 21, was compiling data during his summer internship at Nationwide. Part of his responsibilities included maintaining a database of patients who had been treated by the hospital's radiology department using Image Guided Foreign Body Removal, a technique that was developed by Shiels during his Army days to help remove foreign objects like shrapnel from soft tissue. Shiels' method was less invasive than surgery, which often requires an incision of 2 to 3 inches and can lead to damage in surrounding tissues or organs; the new method requires a quarter-inch incision and uses a combination of ultrasound and fluoroscopy — live X-ray — to carefully guide forceps to the object, steering clear of the body's vital structures during extraction. The scar is also much smaller, "about the size of a freckle," Shiels says.

While Young was cataloging the hospital's data on procedures involving Shiels' technique, which Shiels first introduced to the hospital in 1995, Young realized that some of the patients hadn't injured themselves accidentally. Unlike the majority of people who came in for treatment — for stepping on a piece of glass or being impaled by a particularly large splinter — these patients' wounds were self-inflicted. "I started to see three or four instances where the foreign-body cases were not accidental," he says. "I started to think it was a little strange and mentioned it to Dr. Shiels."

Young went back to school in the fall, and two or three more patients came to Nationwide with similar wounds. For Shiels and Young, it became clear that they were on to something. The following summer, Shiels, Young (who graduated from Miami University in Ohio) and three others worked their way through the data, unearthing cases of self-embedding going back to 2005. They also discovered that the majority of patients who harmed themselves in this way did so more than once — the average recurrence was three times — and that the materials embedded under the skin varied dramatically in size, from several unfolded staples embedded into a hand to a 6.3-in. unfolded paper clip inserted into a bicep.

Once they were aware of the trend, Shiels and his colleagues analyzed the patients' medical records, finding consistent histories of self-injury and mental-health problems. There are numerous psychological and emotional factors that drive people to self-harm, but according to Harvard psychology professor Matthew Nock, who specializes in the study of self-injurious behavior and edited a book on the subject, Understanding Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (due March 2009), many do it for two broad reasons: to regulate their emotions and to communicate with others. "Self-injurers experience greater physiological arousal in response to stress, show poor ability to tolerate distress, and have greater deficits in social problem-solving skills," Nock explains, meaning that people self-injure to distract themselves from other emotional pain, to counter feelings of numbness or to let people know that they're suffering.

The Nationwide team's findings sparked a frenzy on the Internet, with stories cropping up one after the other and chatter lighting up on blogs. But as the news spread, globally even, some mental-health professionals grew wary. Without discounting the severity of the problem — particularly among adolescent girls — some experts felt the headlines declaring self-embedding a new "disorder" went too far. Characterizing it as a disorder rather than a symptom of one may miss the mark, says Dr. John Campo, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Nationwide Children's and one of the specialists consulted by Shiels. "Young people with a variety of different psychiatric diagnoses may engage in this behavior," says Campo, and proclaiming it as its own condition may deter comprehensive mental-health care to identify the true nature of the problem.

Nock believes self-embedding is a dangerous evolution, but says it is not unique. "I view this as a more severe variation of self-injury," he says. An analysis of the data Nock has compiled in his years of research reveals that some 10% to 20% of adolescents who injure themselves have inserted objects beneath their skin. None of those patients reported leaving the objects there, however, and only two out of 12 patients who reported doing so had to seek medical treatment as a result. "The fact that kids are inserting things under their skin is not necessarily new," Nock says, adding that those who leave the objects embedded are probably in a very small minority.

The dangers of this form of self-injury are obvious, and serious. Creating any wound in the skin can lead to infection, but when foreign objects are inserted deep into tissue, the risk is amplified. "The infections aren't just at the site," Shiels says. "You can get a deep muscle infection or a bone infection," or if you hit arteries, veins, nerves or tendons while driving something into the soft tissue, you can cause tears or other damage. Beyond those risks, there is also the possibility that objects can travel once inside the body, approaching vital organs. "They pose significant risk, not only during insertion, but also if they're not removed," Shiels says.
The other major concern among mental-health specialists is that publicizing the behavior could exacerbate the problem. In a study of self-injury among adolescents conducted earlier this year, Nock found that 38% of teens who injured themselves learned of the practice from friends, while 13% first heard about it through the media. It's a bit of a catch-22, says Nock. "On the one hand, it's very helpful and useful for health professionals to communicate with each other and learn how to proceed when they see [these cases]," he says, "but we know that media coverage of self-injurious behavior influences rates of self-injurious behavior."

As studies show a surge in self-injury in recent years, "we've also seen increased media reports," Nock says. "It could be the media is catching up, but the opposite is also true: as kids hear more about it, it enters into the realm of behaviors in which they can engage."


P.U.R.E Services

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

P.U.R.E. Services

P.U.R.E.™ is a service to parents and families to assist them with Parent Awareness regarding schools and programs. This industry is extremely competitive and can be very confusing. "The Desperate Parent" is at high risk of making wrong decisions that may be detrimental to you and your child. Since we were once in that position, we want you to take comfort in the fact "you are not alone," and give you the opportunity to learn from our experiences and more importantly, gain from our knowledge.

Researching can be time consuming and tedious, yet very important. How do you know if a program or school is right for your child or if they really are who they claim to be? We speak from our hearts & our experiences to give you a feeling of ease. Restricting your search to a geographical area, you are limiting your chances of finding the right placement for your child. We encourage you to review what is best for your child, not what is closest to home.

We believe in finding a positive and encouraging setting for children. Placing a negative child into a negative environment can usually build resentment and anger, especially to the family that placed them there. Today's society with peer pressure is making it very difficult for our children. Let's help them, not punish them. P.U.R.E.™ believes in bringing families back together...

You can contact us or request information by filling out the Free Consultation Form.

Call Toll Free: 1-800-730-7260

Local and International Callers please call us at (954) 349-7260. Our fax number is (954) 349-6540.

Our Mission Statement: We are dedicated as professionals and parents to assist families that are looking for placement for their struggling teens. Our personal motto is "Bringing Families Back Together™."

For additional information about our services please read our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Internet addiction becomes growing concern

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The symptoms of Internet addiction are stark but the causes elusive: a teenager begins gaming on the Internet in the early evening and is still feverishly pecking away when the sun comes up.

Another goes to online chat rooms and e-mail sites for 12 hours at a stretch, or even 24.

A third stops eating or eats in front of the screen. Or stops washing. Their identities become twisted up, like strands of DNA, with computer characters.

"It is clear right now that there are people who really, really struggle with what we can easily define as Internet addiction. What that number is we don't know," said Louise Nadeau, a professor at the University of Montreal's psychology department who is researching the issue.

She is one part of a growing cadre of academics examining the social and psychological problems that have sprung from the explosive growth of the World Wide Web.

But drawing any conclusions or projections is a mug's game, said Nadeau, because researchers have barely delved into the issue.

She estimates that in Quebec one quarter of one per cent of those who seek addictions counselling are hooked on the web -- outnumbered by far by those trying to overcome drug or alcohol problems.

"That's really not a lot," said Nadeau. "But then there was no advertising for (Internet addiction treatment), so the people who did ask for it were really in distress."

The problem, she said, is defining Internet addiction and determining where to draw the line between avid computer user and addict.

A child who spends 12 consecutive hours a day on the web may be addicted or may just lack parental supervision, said Nadeau. And does a compulsive online gambler or porn site surfer have an Internet problem or a gambling/sexual disorder?

"Are we at the step in this province where we can advertise our addiction (treatment) service? I'm not sure we're there," said Nadeau.

"But (Internet addiction) is something new that wasn't there 15 years ago."

Cyber addictions have been the subject of a number of recent studies and test cases.

In Britain, psychologist David Lewis recently spearheaded a survey of 2,100 subjects that found close to half experienced stress and anxiety -- detected by measuring heart rates and brainwave activity -- when unable to go online, a phenomenon that has been dubbed "discomgoogolation." It also suggested that half of Britons are on the Net between one and four hours a day and 87 per cent rely on it as their primary source of information.

Karyn Gordon, a Toronto-based teen coach and author of Dr. Karyn's Guide to the Teen Years, says she has counselled some adolescents whose "entire social life is in cyberspace."

Addiction to video games is "a huge problem," particularly with boys, she said in an interview when her book was launched earlier this year.

"I don't think video games are bad and should be banned," but parents need to set limits for their children, Gordon said.

Having games is "a privilege, and with any privilege there needs to be responsibility and boundaries around that."

If it reaches the point of addiction, parents should seek professional help, she said.

"Yes, there are some parents that can handle it (on their own), but really a lot of times I find it almost just gets a lot worse."
source: London Free Press

Video Game Addiction

Friday, September 19, 2008

Studies show that the excitement of video games makes playing them addictive. Parents of preteens hardly find this surprising.
Ask any preteen how they love to spend their spare time, and chances are you'll get an earful about video games. But why do they love them so? Are they addictive? According to some studies it would appear that the excitement of video games causes the brain to release a chemical that is, in essence, addictive. For any parent who has seen the fervor by which some kids play video games, this news is no surprise.

What makes these games so addictive? Media literacy specialist, Dr. Charles Ungerleider explains that "they're very compelling with increasing complexity, so a child becomes more facile, yet wants to know more and apply new skills." While wanting to improve their game isn't a problem in itself, it becomes one if video games are "taking a youngster away too much from other activities," says Ungerleider. "Then the parent has to intervene and limit the amount of time the youngster spends with the video game."

Professor of Computer Science, Maria Klavee feels video games, if not too violent, can "offer some real opportunities for puzzle solving, strategic and critical thinking". But she adds that it's important that video and computer games are played in moderation. Klavee says parents should "provide a selection of activities, not just the ones that have the most action or are addictive. Choose some that involve problem solving or good story lines. Also aim for a balance in your child's life. Sports are important, reading's important. Just think of computer games as one more component in a child's exploration of what's out there in society."

As for addiction? Ungerleider believes that "a parent can prevent youngsters from becoming addicted to too much TV or too many video games by establishing a pattern of selective viewing or by using video game material early in a child's life so that by the time a youngster gets to be an adolescent and there's very little surveillance or control, it's less likely to occur."

Finally, Ungerleider remind parents that "if a youngster becomes addicted to video games it can be a problem and the parent does need to intervene and provide attractive alternatives."

Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service. Source:

Anger Management in Children

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Anger Management in Children

Anger, a normal emotion, can transform into something painful and ugly. First thoughts of anger issues may bring about images of a couple fighting, a parent abusing a child, a teenager lashing out at a teacher or a parent. Rarely will images of angry children come to mind. Unfortunately children, at very young ages, have to deal with feelings of anger and rage. This is a truth which is often difficult to understand or manage.

Children, young children especially, aren't normally aware of how they feel. When a child becomes upset or mad they simply show these emotions through their behavior. A good example of this might be the little boy in the supermarket who throws a tantrum because he's upset. Many parents have had to deal with similar situations. It is unfortunate that often times these occurrences are overlooked or dismissed because they are "just children". Anger management in children is as important, or perhaps even more important than anger management in adults.

A child requires instruction and guidance from their coming into the world to their entry into adulthood. The things they learn throughout their young lives are likely to form the person they become as an adult. For this reason anger management in children with difficulties controlling their temper is extremely important. Finding ways to teach anger management in children might present challenges.

There are programs designed specifically for children with anger management issues. Finding one that works for a particular child might require testing many methods. Not all children will respond to the same treatments for anger management in children. Because a child cannot always relate their feelings surrounding angry outburst, finding the right approach may take some time. Until the issue is resolved or at least controlled, it is imperative to continue the search.

Young children may respond well to worksheets, games and fun activities. All of these can be used effectively to teach anger management in children. Developing programs which incorporate each of these might be the best route to take. A child completing a worksheet, coloring sheet or participating in games and activities with underlying messages regarding anger management, may not even realize they are working on their problem. Making the activity fun doesn't mean that the anger issue has to be left out. Choosing fun activities which teach healthy interaction and decision making might be good for anger management in children. Teaching them to take turns and helping them to learn that they can't always be the best or the winner would definitely make a difference when confrontational situations arise. Little activities which instill values and positive thinking would be beneficial for anger management in children.

If a child is old enough to talk about their anger problem, encouraging them to share their feelings is important. Suggesting they talk to someone who they feel comfortable with and trust is a good idea regarding anger management in children. Asking them to write or draw about their emotions may be able to help disclose their underlying issues, whether fear, hurt or sadness. Teaching them to ask for help when they feel threatened or angry would certainly help the child with a problem. The important detail to realize when considering anger management in children are they are just "children". Their minds are not equipped to handle big people situations and so they will require a more careful approach.

Avoid Alcohol for a Better Body and Mind

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What is alcohol?

Alcohol is nothing but a natural fruit juice. It is a health drink also. There are many types of alcohol. But the one which is useful to human being is ethyl alcohol. It is also known as grain alcohol since it is prepared from starch grains. Ethyl alcohol is the alcohol of wine beer, whisky and similar beverages. It is often simply referred as “alcohol”. Most of the alcohol is prepared when grains, fruits or vegetables are fermented.

What is fermentation?

The process of conversion of sugars into ethyl alcohol under the influence of yeast is known as fermentation. The raw materials of ethyl alcohol are cane juice, beets, dates, molasses, fruit juices which contains sugar, substances which contain starch such as potatoes, rice, barley and maize.

Why should you avoid commercial alcohol?

Denatured Alcohols

It is commercial ethyl alcohol to which small amounts of very poisonous substance have been added. So, commercial alcohol contains methyl alcohol which is poisonous. The manufacture and sale of ethyl alcohol is under strict government control. Heavy excise duty is levied on sale of alcoholic beverages. For industrial purpose ethyl alcohol is duty free in some of the countries.

Alcoholic Beverages

The largest use of ethyl alcohol is considered as a beverage. Wine contains about 12% ethyl alcohol. Beers contain about 4%. Whisky and Brandy contains about 40-50% ethyl alcohol. The alcoholic content of a beverage is indicated by a measure known as proof spirit.

How does it affect your health?

When you drink alcoholic beverages, the ethyl alcohol finds its way in your blood. When you consume 0.8% you will feel steady. If it is 2% you feel giddiness, 3% not able to walk, 4% you may fall down. When it reaches 5% it may leads to death

Why do people like to have it?

Due to some curiosity people like to drink it. They feel that it is good and reduces stress. Some times to people drink to relax themselves.

A Step By Step Method for Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox may be defined as a phase of medically supervised and monitored withdrawal from alcohol at the same time the alcohol is detached from the body.

Alcohol detoxification depends on your age, medical status and alcohol intake history. In the case of a young man who drinks a lot and looks for 7 days treatment after his last consumed alcohol, he may not need detoxification ahead of starting medication for alcoholism. The most common drugs employed for this purpose are the benzodiazepines, which are followed by barbiturates.

What are benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, diazepam, oxazepam or lorazepam are the most common drugs used to minimize symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. There are a number of treatment methods in which it is employed. The choice of benzodiazepine depends upon the situation.

Chlordiazepoxide is preferred in case of uncomplicated withdrawal of alcohol.
Diazepam or Lorazepam are available for persons who are not able to take medicines safely by mouth.
Oxazepam and Lorazepam is considered best for patients who have cirrhosis

What is the proper medication for alcohol detox and withdrawal?

Alcohol detox
can cause suffering and pain and it can be life threatening. Detox from alcohol, otherwise known as withdrawal, may lead to various problems. The symptoms of acute alcohol detox and withdrawal start to emerge within 6 to 48 hours. Proper medication for alcohol detox and withdrawal is to lessen the discomfort of the patient and avoid the development of severe symptoms. Admission in hospital gives the safest situation for alcohol detox and withdrawal.

What is common procedure to detox?

Most doctors are contented to prescribe for alcohol detox. A common procedure for detox is as follows.

Your doctor may prescribe a high dosage medication for the first day so that you discontinue drinking alcohol.
Then the dosage will be reduced gradually over the next five to seven days. Usually this avoids or reduces the nasty withdrawal symptoms.
You should accept not to consume any alcohol in the course of alcohol detoxification. In order to make sure that you are not drinking alcohol, a breathalyzer may be used.
Usually your doctor or nurse will monitor you more often at the time of detox.

While under going detox, support from friends or family may be of great help. The work of receiving the prescription and providing the detox medicine is shared with a friend or family member.

The Risks of Teen Drinking and Drug Use

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Underage Drinkers Get Their Alcohol From Adults, US Survey

Friday, June 27, 2008

A new nationwide survey on underage drinking in the US estimates that 40 per cent of underage drinkers get free alcohol from adults over the age of 21, including more than 5 per cent who receive it from parents and guardians.

The report, dated June 2008 and produced by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is available to download from the SAMHSA website.

Underage drinking is responsible for more than 5,000 deaths a year of Americans under the age of 21, said the SAMHSA.

There are about 11 million underage drinkers in the US, according to the study, which surveyed about 23,000 American teenagers and young adults from 2002 to 2006. The researchers defined underage current drinkers as persons aged from 12 to 20 who had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days.

The nationwide survey was the first to ask detailed questions about underage drinking behaviour and social situations in which young people drink alcohol.

It found that 40 per cent of underage drinkers were given alcohol by adults over the age of 21 in the previous month, and that 650,000, or 6.4 per cent, of underage drinkers were given the alcohol by their parents.

The study also found that:

* 53.9 per cent of all people aged 12 to 20 engaged in underage drinking in their lifetime, ranging from 11.0 per cent of 12 year olds to 85.5 per cent of 20 year olds.

* An average of 3.5 million people aged 12 to 20 each year (about 10 per cent of the US population) meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence.

* About 1 in 5 in this age group, or around 7 million, have engaged in binge drinking where they had five or more drinks on at least one occasion in the previous 30 days.

* Over 80 per cent of underage drinkers said they were with two or more other people when they last had an alcoholic drink, during which time they drank an average of 4.9 drinks, compared with 2.9 drinks when they on their own or 3.1 when with only one other person.

* Over half of underage drinkers were at someone else's home when they last had a drink of alcohol.

* Binge drinking occurs significantly more often among youngsters who live with a parent who engaged in binge drinking in the past year.

Acting Surgeon General Dr Steven K. Galson, a rear admiral in the US Public Health Service said:

"In far too many instances parents directly enable their children's underage drinking - in essence encouraging them to risk their health and wellbeing."

"Proper parental guidance alone may not be the complete solution to this devastating public health problem - but it is a critical part," he added.

SAMHSA Administrator Dr Terry Cline said:

"This report provides unprecedented insight into the social context of this public health problem and shows that it cuts across many different parts of our community."

"Its findings strongly indicate that parents and other adults can play an important role in helping influence -- for better or for worse -- young people's behavior with regard to underage drinking."

Research has shown that one of the reasons people who start drinking at an early age tend to become problem drinkers later in life is they use alcohol to relieve stress.

A survey of 27,000 people by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in the US, and published in the January 2007 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, found that people who reported the most stressful incidents in their lives also drank the most, and those who started to drink alcohol in their teens, and reported at least six "stressors" (pressures that made them feel stressed rather than challenged) drank five times more alcohol than those who started drinking when they were 18 or older.

"Underage Alcohol Use: Findings from the 2002-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health."
Michael R. Pemberton, James D. Colliver, Tania M. Robbins, Joseph C. Gfroerer.
US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Office of Applied Studies.
DHHS Publication No. SMA 08-4333, Analytic Series A-30, June 2008.

Organic Food vs. Childhood Obesity

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Eating organic is such a simple concept that it is deceiving. The idea is to eat fruits and vegetables that have been produced without the use of chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides, meat that is from animals that have not been given antibiotics and growth hormones, and food that does not contain chemical flavor enhancers or preservatives. It sounds simple enough, and it is simple — it just isn't easy to accomplish.

We have an epidemic of childhood obesity in this country. The causes for this epidemic are many, but there are two main causes — lack of exercise, and eating the wrong food.

Food preferences are acquired. Little babies aren't born into this world loving chocolate and hating broccoli. They don't have an opinion, but they form opinions based upon their early experiences with food. If they are given chocolate, they will like chocolate. If they are given apples, they will like apples. So the first thing that we can do to stop this epidemic of childhood obesity is to help kids develop food preferences that are healthy and less fattening.

The second thing that we can do is to systematically begin eliminating the additives and preservatives in food that contribute to childhood obesity — and adult obesity as well. Flavor enhancers like MSG actually excite brain cells to the point that they self-destruct. The additive also increases the tendency for obesity. There's no doubt about it.

There are other food additives that are just as bad. The best policy is to eliminate all prepackaged foods from a child's diet. The weight loss will begin almost immediately when organic apples are substituted for potato chips.

The toxins that are in food that is produced by conventional means are also contributing to childhood obesity. Organic food can help to cure the childhood obesity epidemic!
Sober Teens Online!

Studies link marijuana, schizophrenia

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Last year, Netherlands researchers reviewed five studies and concluded that the use of marijuana (cannabis) approximately doubles the risk of developing schizophrenia. Because the studies excluded anyone with a history of psychosis and controlled for the use of other drugs, they were "able to show the specific effects of cannabis."

Now a new study from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York has shed light on the reason for the link between marijuana and schizophrenia. With several groups of adolescents as their subjects, they used a special type of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging to compare the brains of those with and without schizophrenia, both users and non-users of marijuana. They found that heavy use of marijuana caused the type of abnormalities in certain areas of the brain as were found in the brains of the subjects with schizophrenia, and these abnormalities were the most pronounced in schizophrenic subjects who regularly smoked marijuana. The abnormalities occur in a brain pathway related to language and auditory functions which is still developing during adolescence.

Thus if a young person is genetically at risk for schizophrenia, the research suggests, the use of marijuana can cause the same kind of damage the schizophenia would cause, which could bring on the illness when it might otherwise have not have emerged, cause earlier onset, and/or worsen the condition.

Newsday quoted one of the study's authors, Dr. Manzar Ashtari, as saying, ""Don't put yourself at risk, especially if you have a family history of schizophrenia or severe mental illness -- especially when the brain is still growing."

College Culture: The Way to Addiction

Friday, June 13, 2008

Most college kids, being away from home are sucked up in the pressures of belonging, gaining friends, as well as being popular and invited to the frequent parties that come with college life. College is usually the time where the youth learn about drugs and at the same time experiment on drug use. Being in college also means drinking parties from left to right with no parents watching over or family members reminding the youth about what is right from wrong. This may result to drug abuse or being under the spell of alcoholism.

There are a lot of addicts who started their dependence on drugs and alcohol due to the following situations that are normal in colleges:

*Fraternity pressure – because of the student’s need for being accepted, they join a fraternity and then succumb to the pressures of the organization. It is a reality that a lot of negative and sometimes deadly activities are being performed by fraternity members. One such activity is hazing which would range from being spanked hundreds of times by a paddle to being forced to drink gallons and gallons of water that at one time or another lead to the death of one or a couple of members. Most fraternities also encourage members to drink and do drugs and this commonly result to substance abuse. This is also the main factor for reported fraternity deaths.

*Binge drinking – this activity will never be absent from parties, especially fraternity parties. Some students are being forced to drink in order to be part of the cool crowd; this activity more often than not cause the youth to be inflicted with alcoholism and there were even some reported deaths caused by binge drinking. Most alcoholics under going treatment admit that their drinking habit started with a single or a couple of bottles of alcohol in school parties and that took them to where they are now: a rehabilitation center for alcoholics.

Using alcohol and drugs is viewed as normal activities and at the same time harmless during college. The fact that it is taken for granted leads the students to being addicts and before they know it, their lives are ruined. After all, nobody ever dreamed of becoming an alcoholic or an addict.

Education on alcoholism and substance abuse prevention should be reiterated by college campuses. Programs to fight off college addiction should also be part of the college activities. Remember that the youth headed on the path to college addiction will never admit it and would not want to seek help so it is up to the college to ensure that every student is aware of the signs and symptoms of alcoholism and drug abuse. Preventive Measures on becoming addicts also need to be reminded to the students.

Drinking habits and drug intake habits may also be developed during college, leading to their use even after graduation especially because of the feeling of being freer now that they have graduated and will soon be working. A college addiction is never harmless. It should be stopped as early as possible.
C.King, M.Ed.

Teen Depression Worsened by Marijuana, Government Says

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

By Sarah Baldauf
Posted May 9, 2008

Today the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy sent out a clear message on teen pot use and depression: They're a bad combination. Issuing a report that analyzes around a dozen studies about marijuana use and mental health, the policy office warned that teens who use marijuana to "self-medicate" may worsen their underlying depression or other mental health issues. The intention of the report, says John Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is to "try to correct two misunderstandings: That teen depression is not a problem and that teen marijuana use is not a problem—marijuana use is not safe." He advises parents to talk to their kids' pediatrician if they see signs of depression and suspect drug use.

The report, entitled "Teen Marijuana Use Worsens Depression: An Analysis of Recent Data Shows 'Self-Medicating' Could Actually Make Thing Worse," cites statistics to support its warning message, but experts are quick to note that it should be interpreted with caution. For example, the report's statement, "One 16-year study showed that individuals who were not depressed and then used marijuana were four times more likely to be depressed at follow-up," suggests marijuana might cause depression. That data from a 2001 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry was only statistically meaningful after the researchers adjusted for variables including age, gender, and antisocial symptoms, suggesting a weaker relationship between depression and marijuana before adjustments were made.The study also showed that those who were not depressed when first surveyed and then used opioids were 228 times more likely to be depressed at follow-up—without any adjustments. That statistic was not mentioned in the Drug Control Policy's report today. "Adolescent marijuana use may be a factor that triggers psychosis, depression, and other mental illness," says Walters, acknowledging that "research about causality is still ongoing."

Policy groups on the other side of the aisle believe the report is misleading. "We agree that kids shouldn't smoke marijuana, but we simply have to be honest to teens and parents. This report [is] deliberately confusing correlation with causation," says Bruce Mirken, director of communications at The Marijuana Project , a Washington-based group that aims to remove criminal penalties for marijuana use and make medical marijuana available to seriously ill patients with doctor's approval. "This very week the British government's official scientific advisors on illegal drugs issued a report saying they are 'unconvinced that there is a causal relationship between the use of cannabis and any affective disorder,' such as depression." Mirken takes issue with the lack of warning about alcohol's relationship to depression. "Data linking alcohol to depression is much stronger and alcohol use by teens is greater than marijuana use," he notes.

To be sure, experts believe marijuana carries risk, especially in the subset of teens who are more susceptible to substance abuse and mental health problems due to genetic makeup or environmental factors. "Among treatment populations [in] youth with substance abuse, there's a pretty high rate of clinical depression," says Oscar Bukstein, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; "many kids get high not to stay low."

Perhaps most important, those people with co-existing substance abuse and a mental health disorder have worse outcomes than those with either problem alone, he adds. For perspective, Bukstein notes that research has shown 1 in 10 kids who smoke marijuana go on to develop dependence, and about 1 in 10 kids who become dependent on marijuana have psychotic symptoms.

The bottom line, says Bukstein, is that mental illness and substance abuse very often go hand-in-hand. Parents who spot signs of depression should have their child professionally assessed for mental health issues, he says, and also for substance abuse—and the reverse is also true. As part of their development, kids are curious (see our previous story on teens' questions about drugs, addiction, alcohol and the like). To lower the likelihood of experimentation with pot, he advises parents to:

Always monitor and supervise. Know where your kids are going and with whom.

Set limits. Be sure they're not hanging out in homes where no adults are present.

Be consistent. Discipline works only when it's reinforced.

Seek professional help. If you have a hunch something's wrong, you're probably right.

Take care of your own problems. The biggest risk factor for substance abuse and mental health problems is family history.

A new National Directory of addiction and alcoholism treatment centers, therapists and specialists.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Most addicted people need help to find a way to live clean, sober lives. Treatment Centers, therapists and specialists are often the last stop in the vicious cycle that is substance addiction.

Maryland 6/03/2008 07:29 PM GMT (TransWorldNews) is a national directory for treatment centers, therapists and specialists. We offer a free, simple and comprehensive index that provides assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders, cancer and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul. We also offer a wide variety of addiction and illness treatment centers, as well as individual counselors that can address your specific needs. We include peer support and detoxification programs. In addition, we can provide you with many resources for outpatient and residential programs.

Making the choice to seek treatment for an illness or addiction can be challenging. Our goal at is to make that job easier for you. We provide a bridge between people seeking treatment and the centers, physicians and counselors who provide that treatment. Keeping in mind that any disorder can affect the entire family, we provide resources and information for friends and family members as well. If you are a person seeking treatment, you will find a vast number of resources on our site.

If you are a professional offering services, we provide a first class showcase for what you have to offer. Our site consists of an easy to use search center that will match your needs to the services provided by professionals in your area. We also offer discussion forums where you can dialogue with others about various relevant topics. We provide cutting edge news on a variety of treatment related topics and offer a blog section in which you can journal about your personal experience.

Many individuals will not seek treatment for various reasons. It has been our experience that 'active' addicts and alcoholics, as well as people afflicted with different addictions or physical conditions can sometimes lose the ability to reason. A therapist or specialist for a specific illness or addiction issue, or a full-fledged residential treatment center can and will help. You, and/or your loved one, can find it at

We appreciate input to further refine and maintain the efficiency of this website.
Please contact us with your thoughts. Thank You.

"Turn over a new leaf with"

Our motto "Hope, Help, Heal, and Happiness" shows the path.
You provide the hope. We provide the help is a national directory for treatment centers, therapists and specialists. We offer a free, simple and comprehensive index that provides assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders, cancer and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.

For further information, please contact us at 713.992.2828.
source: TransWorld News

How To Live Without Drugs And Alcohol

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Addicts and alcoholics that are still drinking and using can be overwhelmed at the prospect of getting clean and sober. The problem is not sobering up, because that happens every once in a while anyway. The problem is not even "how do I stay clean?", because most people understand the basics of such an idea--you avoid drugs and alcohol. The real question then becomes: "how do I live without self-medicating? How do I cope with life?"

Recovery programs as a guide for living

This is what recovery programs are for, such as the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. The program itself doesn't really address the mechanics of putting down the booze or even how to avoid slippery places (such as a bar) that might get you in trouble. Instead, the program is a guide for living; a set of guidelines to keep a person on an upward path of spiritual growth.

Do I need a program in order to enjoy the benefits of recovery?

Probably, but not necessarily. There are many paths to recovery. For example, some addicts find recovery and meaningful growth simply by going to counseling each week. Others might find salvation in a church community. The program itself is probably much less important than the level of conviction with which you pursue it. So it might be useful to start out in a program of recovery, something with some guidelines about how to live. The reason a program is useful is because most of us don't really know how to live when we first get clean and sober. Our lives are a mess and we are out of control. So you might do well to seek out some guidance and ask for help.

So how can I live without drugs and alcohol?

So the real secret to finding a successful life in sobriety is through a replacement strategy. You need to find passion and excitement about living again without drugs and alcohol. Some people will find this passion through church, some through a 12 step program and working with other recovering addicts and alcoholics, and some might find it through a personal path of spiritual growth and development. What's critical is that you have a strong commitment to sobriety and pursue your own growth and development with enthusiasm--regardless of which "program" you are practicing.

Still struggling to make recovery work for you? Are you clean and sober, but find that you're not really happy? If so, then learn more about how to live without drugs and alcohol.

Patrick Meninga is a recovering addict and alcoholic who authors the Spiritual River

WHO Slams Tobacco Marketing to Youth

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The tobacco industry deliberately targets children with advertising, warranting a complete ban on tobacco ads worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Fox News reported May 30 that the United Nations agency marked World No Tobacco Day by excoriating the marketing practices of multinational tobacco firms.

"The bombardment of messages through billboards, newspapers, magazines, radio and television ads, as well as sports and fashion sponsorships and other ploys, are meant to deceive young people into trying their first stick," said Shigeru Omi, the WHO regional director for the Western Pacific.

The WHO called on member nations to implement the advertising ban spelled out in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, noting that only total ad bans are effective because the industry takes advantage of partial bans by shifting their resources to alternative types of promotions.

Spillover Effects Of Family And School Stress Linger In Adolescents' Daily Lives

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ScienceDaily (May 15, 2008) — Teenagers today face increasing pressures and demands from school and home. New research has found that stress at home affects adolescents' school life, and vice versa. What's more, that stress lasts for two days and affects academic performance across the high school years.

The research, carried out at the University of California, Los Angeles, examined the implications of stress in adolescents' daily lives, looked at the spillover between daily family stressors and school problems among an ethically diverse group of 589 9th-grade students in the Los Angeles area. The teenagers reported their daily family and school experiences in a diary every day for two weeks, completing a checklist that assessed conflict with parents, family demands, learning difficulties, school attendance, and other experiences.

The study found that when adolescents experienced family stress, they had more problems with attendance and learning at school the next day. And when they had attendance and learning problems, they experienced more family stress the following day. These spillover effects continued for two days after the initial stressor occurred: Teenagers who experienced family stress had school adjustment problems not only the next day, but two days later. Similarly, teens with academic problems reported family stress for the next two days.

Stress also affected academic performance across the high school years, the researchers found. Adolescents who had higher levels of family stress and school problems at the start of high school, in 9th grade, saw declining academic achievement four years later, at the end of 12th grade.

"The findings from this study indicate that there are indeed short- and long-term consequences of daily stress that should not be overlooked," according to Lisa Flook, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the study's lead author. "By the same token, the two-directional process of spillover between family and school identified here suggests that reducing stress in the family may have benefits for adolescents' school adjustment and vice versa."

Journal reference:

1. Family and School Spillover in Adolescents' Daily Lives. Flook, L, and Fuligni, AJ (University of California, Los Angeles. Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 3. (May/June 2008).

Adapted from materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Program Works On Body Image Of Young Women To Reduce Onset Of Obesity And Eating Disorders

Saturday, May 24, 2008

In their research on eating disorders, Oregon Research Institute (ORI) scientists help young women reduce the influence of the "thin ideal," which is described as associating success and happiness with being thin.

ORI scientist Eric Stice, Ph.D. and his colleagues have found that their obesity prevention program reduced the risk for onset of eating disorders by 61% and obesity by 55% in young women. These effects continued for as long as 3 years after the program ended. Results of this study are published in the April issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

These results are noteworthy because, to date, the idea that we can reduce risk for future onset of eating disorders and obesity has been an unrealized goal: over 80 prevention programs have been evaluated, but no previous program had been found to significantly reduce risk for onset of these serious health problems.

Stice notes that, "One reason these programs might be more effective is that they require youth to take a more healthy perspective, which leads them to internalize the more healthy attitudes. In addition, these programs have simple take-home messages, which may be easier to remember in the future than messages from more complex prevention programs."

Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Stice has been studying eating disorders for 18 years. He has conducted this line of research at Stanford University and the University of Texas, and now continues at the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene, Oregon. He is presently funded by NIH to conduct two research studies to further test these programs with young women in Eugene/Springfield.

The obesity prevention program, called Healthy Weight, helps adolescents adopt a healthier lifestyle, wherein they gradually reduce intake of the least healthy portion of their diet and increase physical activity. This program simply teaches youth to balance their energy intake with their energy needs, and to do so on a permanent basis, rather than on the transient basis which is more typical of diets. College-age women in Eugene/Springfield are participating in this study.

The eating disorder prevention program, called the Body Project, consists of four one-hour weekly sessions in which participants critique the thin ideal espoused for women in our culture and learn how to challenge current and future pressures to be thin. The program has also produced reductions in other important outcomes such as body dissatisfaction and eating disorder symptoms. Stice has partnered with area high schools on this study and has trained high school counselors to facilitate the weekly sessions.

"It is our hope that other institutions and communities will adopt this program for delivery in their schools," notes Stice; "If this program is delivered to enough youth, it should be possible to reduce the prevalence of these serious health problems."

Given that eating disorders are one of the most common problems faced by young women and that obesity is presently credited with 111,000 deaths per year in the US, it is vital to develop brief prevention programs for these pernicious conditions. At least seven other institutions have begun delivering these interventions in the US and in other countries.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.

Problems Facing Teens Today

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Teen problems are growing. If you think that being a teen today is the same as it was when you were in their shoes, you are probably mistaken. Now, listen to yourself say how strict and how hard life was when you where young. But, you need to realize that teens today face huge, life threatening decisions just about ever day. What they face has a lot to do with where they grow up. Yet do not be fooled into thinking that your child is safe.

In the normal course of your teen's day, he or she may face any of these things; one or more of them.

Drugs. Think that drugs are simple like they used to be? They are not. Kids today are not just smoking the easy stuff. They are into crack or other strong and deadly drugs.

Sex. Not only are they exposed to it on the television, but they are encouraged by others. They may be engaging in sexual acts that you have never heard of. They may be doing it unprotected as well. At school, after school, on the car ride home - there are many opportunities you do not realize. Teens get pregnant and have babies.

Violence. Today's teen problems often revolve around violence. They see friends with guns at school or after school. They witness huge fights. They hear threats. They see anger and deal with it daily.

Depression. With all that they see and do, teens face depression today at an alarming rate as compared to just a decade ago. Depression is not something that just goes away, but can cause them harm and threaten their lives.

Driving. Teens drive drunk. Teens drive under the influence of drugs. Teens get in cars that others are driving under the influence. Teens may also be responsible drivers, but share the road with those that are not.

Teen problems that are at a lower level can be just as deadly. They face lying, cheating, emotional trauma, learning disabilities and divorce. All of these things a child will face daily in some cases. In those cases, it is no wonder that they have low self esteems, high drop out rates and some of the students will break under the pressure. Teen problems should be addressed and noticed by their parents first.

Therapy for Teens and FamiliesHelp with Parenting Teens

Article Source:

Teenagers and their Invincibility-Complex

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Teenagers often think they are invincible. They are in the stage where they perceive themselves as all high and mighty. They think they can always get away with any trouble that they may encounter in their teenage escapades. But nothing could be further from the truth.

One major cause of teenage addiction is young people’s tendency to underestimate the risk of dependence associated with drug, alcohol or tobacco experimentation. These potentially harmful habits may seem to young people the mature thing to do, yet they do not really understand that those habits can post detrimental threats to their health and well-being.

Also adding insult to injury to the teenager’s underestimation of the danger of addiction is the harsh truth that they have not been educated enough about the risks of addiction. Today’s young generation tend to underrate addiction because they have not received proper drug, alcohol and tobacco resistance lessons in school, or heard much of it from the media. If the absence of effective anti-addiction messages continues to grow, teenage drug and alcohol abuse will, consequently, continue to rise.

The risk of addiction is overwhelmingly strong for teenagers who try experimenting with harmful substances for fun. The younger they are when they had their first taste of drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, the higher their chances of addiction become. Teens most likely do not intend to become addicted on their first puff or their first bottle. But frequent use could lead to abuse and before they realize it, they are now unable to get themselves out of the web they have spun themselves into.

With all of these disturbing trends, it is also helpful to note that the media has not been doing anything to help curb the development of teenage addiction. Movies, music videos and TV portray celebrities that teenagers look up to and idolize get themselves into drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Exposure to this could mislead teenagers into thinking that it’s cool. Another thing to worry about is how the parents do not set a good example to their children. The lack of parental guidance greatly contributes to the rising population of teenage addicts.

It is of utmost importance to identify the common causes of how teenagers get hooked. Though undeniably, there are many overlapping causes, it would greatly help that the society tackles each cause once and start the change from there. Big things come from small beginnings – this applies well to addiction as much as it does to the process of stopping it.
C.King, M.Ed.
Sober Sources Network


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Drunkorexia. It's not a real word, but describes an emerging, confounding, and self-destructive behavior engaged in primarily by young women of college-age to twenty-somethings. They avoid food as much as possible, saving the calories for alcohol. Without food, of course, these young women may unwittingly get drunk quite quickly.

The Pop Culture influence on thin and sexy

In our celebrity-crazed society, maybe we can blame this practice in part on omnipresent images of super skinny celebs. These images are difficult to avoid, from the tabloid at the supermarket checkout, to television and movies. A number of stars and other high profile luminaries also seem to be going to rehab almost as if it was summer camp - a retreat from partying, a little therapy and back to hanging out with the same pals.

A frightening aspect of the recent rise of "drunkorexia" is that the young women who suffer from it don't view this as a disorder, for the most part. They thought they'd live a fun lifestyle, but for many it has spun out of control. When it does, the dual occurrence of eating disorders and drinking is threatening their health and their lives.

How does this happen? Some influence are rooted in pop culture: look at a video of Sex and the City and you'll see how sexy and smart it seems for young women friends to meet each other in hip settings for cocktails after work. And these are cool cocktails that taste sweet, like appletinis or every kind of Margarita imaginable. Drinking regularly and to excess while remaining thin has become fashionable.

Elevating the risk for "Drunkorexia"

Actually, the fact is, no one really knows all the causes for this phenomena in America today. Academic studies pose different theories but these dual disorders may have some common causes in a range of contributing factors. Does an eating disorder lead to alcohol abuse and vice versa? Bulimia is much more commonly associated with alcohol and substance abuse than anorexia, because while bulimia is associated with binging followed by purging, anorexia centers on continual and severely controlled restriction of food.

It could be that the attitude towards compulsive substance and alcohol abuse can lead to compulsivity and lack of control over drinking. Both behaviors can be self-soothing, although drinking on an empty stomach often leads to vomiting. And dehydration may require hospitalization. Some women suffered from eating disorders first, and even after purging, would drink because it self- medicated the guilt and tension they felt. Those suffering from anorexia who try to cope with the challenge of eating with other people may use alcohol to ease the stress.

Of course, a young woman may come into the wretched state of "drunkorexia" without an eating disorder, but only with the idea of having fun, being attractive and living the good life. But drinking repeatedly without food can be both humiliating and dangerous, and ongoing habits can eventually become addictive both biologically and psychologically. The brain pathways are actually altered.

Hope for recovery fro m"Drunkorexia"

Left untreated and unabated, the "drunkorexic" suffers serious consequences to her health, job or school status, and relationships. Medical stabilization is part of a treatment process that should address both the chemical dependency and the eating disorder. The Hanley Center's Center of Women's Recovery,, has increasingly treated young women with the dual diagnoses of eating disorders and alcohol and/or substance abuse. Earlier treatment methods for co-occurring eating disorders and alcohol abuse sought to treat the alcohol problems first, with the idea that this was the more serious problem. Eating disorders are deadly as well.

Treating both disorders concurrently, in a medically based, holistic program that is rooted in the Twelve Step philosophy has been shown to be effective, and therapists who treat eating disorders must also have received related training. Depression is usually associated with dual diagnoses like this, and there may underlying conditions such as bi-polar disorders. Recovery is a process that may entail longer treatment, a combination of pharmacology and interactive therapies such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, based on mindfulness and mood regulation, and expressive therapies that help to address and safely express deep-seated emotions. Hormonal Shift Assessment and care plans also help women understand and address mood swings, anxiety and cravings. Continuing care and support group participation are associated with more successful recovery.

The role of culture, environment, genetics and biochemistry

Studies now have shown that young girls who start to diet at about sixth grade are more likely to abuse alcohol and other chemicals as teenagers or young adults. Besides the pop culture images we're bombarded with, family history of substance abuse, and genetic factors can be factors along with other environmental markers, such as history of abuse or abandonment or family instability.

Neurochemical changes that affect opiod peptides in the body, regulators of food intake, may also modulate intake of alcohol or cocaine, say some studies. Personality characteristics may hold clues too, such as extreme impulsiveness and difficulty in controlling behavior. Borderline Personality Disorder causes rapidly cycling mood swings and impulsively as well. Another behavioral profile is what has been called the Novelty Seeker, who continually pursues new stimuli and "more" of it. The young woman suffering from bulimia often fits a profile of the "Novelty Seeker" and one with mood wings and impulsivity.

"Drunkorexics" don't share all the same behavioral or personality types, genetic background, hormonal makeup or family histories. By understanding some underlying causes, though, treatment can be more effective, and the individual more readily engages in the recovery process. Sustained support of Twelve Step groups, for example, can provide the stability to continue, and tools learned in such therapies as Dialectical Behavior Therapy can offer help in self-regulating moods without addictive and destructive behaviors.

How to find gender-specific treatment for recovery from addiction and dual diagnosis for women: for the Center for Women's Recovery at Hanley Center, has developed a medically-based, holistic program for women that is rooted in the Twelve Step philosophyHttp:// Jeannie Provost, program director, is a distinguished professional with broad experience in the treatment of women who suffer from addictions.

Article Source:

Addiction Award

Friday, May 9, 2008

First Addiction Science Award to be Given to Students at International Science Fair
NIDA Teams with Scholastic to Create Award at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

This year, for the first time, three students will receive awards for exemplary projects in Addiction Science at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest science competition for high school students. The Addiction Science award is co-sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company.

"We want talented young scientists to know that the science of addiction is fascinating and complex, encompassing a wide array of research areas," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "We are hoping as their careers develop, they will consider contributing to this diverse and growing field."

Every year, nearly 1500 students from more than 40 countries compete in the ISEF competition, which is coordinated by the Society for Science & the Public. This year the 59th annual Intel ISEF will be held in Atlanta beginning May 11. NIDA scientists will participate as judges and the winners of the Addiction Science Awards will be announced at the awards ceremony on May 15; winners will receive cash awards.

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing yet treatable brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. The science of addiction includes any research that contributes to our understanding, the prevention, and treatment of addiction, and its health consequences.

Addiction science projects can involve a variety of scientific disciplines, including biology, neurology, psychology and medicine. Addiction scientists research the role of genetics and what makes people vulnerable to addiction, as well as the structure and function of the brain and how it is changed by drug use. They also study the behaviors that can lead to addiction; strategies that can prevent it; counseling and medication to treat it; and how our health system can get the best treatments to those who need it. Projects that focus on these scientific questions will be considered for the 2008 Addiction Science Award.

Scholastic will co-sponsor the award as part of its ongoing collaboration with NIDA. Scholastic provides age-appropriate educational information on substance abuse and the effects that drugs have on the brain for select Scholastic classroom magazines, including Science World and Super Science.

"Scholastic applauds NIDA’s ongoing efforts to bring relevant educational materials on the science of addiction and its impact on the developing brain and body to schools across the country," said David Lange, general manager, Scholastic InSchool Solutions. "Our work together in this endeavor draws consistent accolades from classroom teachers who do their best each day to educate and inspire the nation’s 50 million students."

The Intel ISEF is the world’s premiere science competition exclusively for students in grades 9–12, and annually provides a forum for more than 1,500 high school students to showcase their independent research. Each year, millions of students worldwide compete in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in Intel ISEF-affiliated regional and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend the Intel ISEF.

The nonprofit organization Society for Science & the Public partners with Intel — along with dozens of other corporate, academic, government and science-focused sponsors — provide support and awards for the Intel ISEF each year. This is the first series of awards given exclusively for projects that advance addiction science. NIDA has developed a special section on its Web site to help science fair entrants understand the criteria for the awards, which includes other resources on addiction science

Scholastic Corporation is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, television networks and the Company’s Internet Site,

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Double Damage: Teenage Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A seventy-three-page report that was released by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University revealed that half of individuals who suffer from eating disorders also abuse alcohol and illicit drugs. The study, aptly titled Food for Thought: Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders, is the first research of its kind that was aiming to find any significant correlation between eating disorders and substance abuse.

Eating disorders are gaining grounds as a common problem for teenagers today. Ranging from teen bulimia, to teen anorexia, to teen obesity, these disorders are becoming detrimental to young people’s health and over-all well-being. Though some of these disorders stem from hormonal imbalance, some are products of mental disorders associated with depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. Some of these disorders can cause serious health problems in teens that would require long-term treatment.

Compounding the damage done by weight issues is alcohol and drug abuse. Going back to the research findings of the study aforementioned, up to thirty-five percent of alcohol or drug abusers also have eating disorders. This is a significant statistic that we should be concerned about. With the already damaging health effects that eating disorders can cause, added effects that are caused by alcoholism and drug abuse is therefore considerably destructive.

Some of the risk factors of these dual disorders are unhealthy peer norms and social pressure. With the way looks and personalities are packaged by the media, young people are often misled into pushing themselves to the limits, often resulting to eating disorders. Susceptibility to messages from advertising and entertainment media has also been known to cause unfavorable effects to the minds of teens. Unhealthy parental behaviors coupled with an ongoing battle against depression and anxiety is also a factor that could be blamed.

When ignored or overlooked, these problems could be life-threatening to young people. Teenagers can become socially isolated, difficult to handle and show self-destructive signs like self-harm and possibly even suicide. They could suffer short or long term effects like chronic diseases with high relapse rates as a result to these prolonged and untreated disorders.

Dual disorders in teenagers are serious issues that need full attention today. It is very important not to overlook the significant link between eating disorders and substance abuse, so treatment options can be geared into solving these co-existing conditions.

Teen Drug Abuse

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

As a teenager, the likelihood that you will be exposed to drugs and alcohol is very high, and there is a good chance that you will try drugs and alcohol. Even though you tell yourself that you will only try drugs once, you do it one more time, and then one more time after that, and before you know it you are developing a drug problem. Most teens don't start using drugs expecting to develop a substance abuse problem, and while most teens probably see their drug use as a casual way to have fun, there are negative effects that are a result of this use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

One of the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse is addiction. Most teens don't think that they will become addicted, and simply use drug and alcohol to have a good time. However, the reality of addiction to drugs and alcohol can result in some pretty undesirable consequences, such as loss of friendships, health problems, behavioral problems, alienation of family, and a loss of interest in sports, academics, hobbies, etc.

Substance abuse and addiction can greatly alter behavior, and a new preoccupation with drugs can crowd out activities that were previously important, like sports or academics. Abuse of drugs and alcohol can also change friendships, as teens begin to move away from old friends who don't approve of their drug use and begin to associate with fellow drug users who will encourage and support one other's drug use. Most teens who are addicted won't see a problem with their behavior or their drug use. Drugs make them feel good, and are a way to relieve the stress of school, problems at home, disagreements with friends, etc.

Because it is unlikely that teens will want to stop using drugs, it is important for friends and parents to look for the signs of drug use in their loved ones. The sooner you can recognize that your child or your friend is abusing alcohol or other drugs, the sooner you can seek help. If you notice changes in behavior, changes in friends, lying about after school or weekend activities, changes in mood, or depression your teen might have a problem with substance abuse.

If you or someone you care about has a drug problem, talk to them about it and encourage them to get help. For teens, your parents are probably the last people you want to ask for help, but they can help you to find the treatment program that will support and guide you through recovery. If you are a parent or friend of a teen who has a substance abuse problem, talk to them about their problem and encourage them to get help. The sooner you or someone you love gets help, the more likely they are to be successful in their recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.
Home | Articles | Get Help | Drugs | About Us | Resources
© 2008 Teen Drug Abuse | Terms & C

Understanding Teen Addictions

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Closer Look at Teen Addictions

You may never know that your kids are involved in substance abuse, drug addiction, as well as experiencing personality disorders in terms of eating, self cutting that may be due to depression and a feeling of helplessness, etc. These disorders may normally result from substance abuse because of the mind of the user not being able to think as clearly as before. It is a reality nowadays that teens need to be handled with care especially since experimentation with drugs in the adolescent stage is common and something that will be hard to avoid.

It is said that the use of cigarettes and alcohol at a young age will increase the possibility of the teen being involved in substance abuse and alcoholism at the latter part of life increase the risk of using other drugs later. There are teens that would just have a taste to satisfy their curiosity and eventually stop while some become dependent on the drugs and the booze, causing harm not only to themselves but to the people around them.

The relationship between substance abuse and personality disorders have not really been proven or understood well but there sure are instances wherein substance abuse either leads or develops more the disorder that was observed in the user. The most common so called co-occurring disorder would be bipolar disorder which is defined as a manic-depressive ailment that is characterized by frequent changes in the person’s mood and feelings. These people, more often than not use drugs as a tool for balancing their mood swings. Once a person is addicted to drugs, smoking or alcohol and at the same time has developed a disorder, both the addiction and the disorder must be treated distinctively.

Cutting is also a form of disorder that is a coping mechanism for the cutters. Substance abuse and cutting have a correlation because they are both “survival tools,” enabling teens to be comforted in difficult times as well as from the harsh realities of life. Self-injury or cutting your own skin might be something you will never ever do because of the pain that comes with it. For teens that resort to cutting, however, the method is effective in a strange kind of way in helping them cope with the pain they feel inside that they wouldn’t really be affected with the external pain of cutting one’s self.

Substance abuse may also be connected with the teens with the latchkey syndrome, wherein most of them would feel alone and unnoticed by their parents or other family members. Because these teens are given independence at an early age, they might feel neglected and may resort to substance abuse, alcoholism, and other harmful activities without the knowledge of their loved ones.

What parents, siblings, as well as relatives should do would be to keep a close watch over the teens in their homes. Make sure that you would have an open relationship wherein these teens would be able to trust you enough to tell you anything or better yet, everything. If your teens have been acting strangely for some reason you do not know, never ever let that pass. Do your own “research,” have a meaningful talk and make them feel that you are there to care for them.

Copyright 2008 C.King, M.Ed., Sober Sources Network may be reproduced with proper acknowledgments.

Impulse Control Log

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The impulse control log is taken from S.A.F.E and is geared specifically for self-injury but can be used for many types of compulsions.
With the impulse control log it is required that you log down every thought or feeling associated with a particular urge to self injure, whether or not you actually go through with the act or not. In the beginning the goal is that the writing will become a diversion from the act itself. The long-term goal is to understand the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Self-injury itself is a thought, not a feeling. Once you can fully grasp and understand that internally, you can begin to understand that self-injury is a behavior and behaviors can be changed.

Self-injury keeps us from dealing with uncomfortable feelings. Feelings or thoughts we find unacceptable are disguised through self-harming in some way although only a temporary relief is felt. If you feel the need to self-harm there is a feeling behind that, something you need to express.

Using the impulse control log is a good way to make you slow down, think before you act and remind you that you are in control.

Below is a generic example


1.SELF-INJURY THOUGHTS: Burning, Cutting

2.TIME AND DATE: 3/9/07


4.SITUATION: A Friend and I aren't speaking, my boyfriend and I got into a fight, a relative is sick, and I lost my wallet.

5.FEELING: Angry, Upset, Lonely, Frustrated, Alone, And Disappointed

6.WHAT WOULD BE THE RESULT OF SELF-INJURY? If I cut/burn, Then I don’t have to get angry, then I don’t have to cry, then I don’t have to care,
then it won’t matter what they say or do, I can act and appear like I don't care.

That I do have feelings, that I think no ones cares, that I think I don't matter, that it hurts less if I cut/burn myself, that I'm scared.

8.ACTION TAKEN: Ended up running, doing some artwork, and writing in my journal.

9.COMMENTS: My desire to cut or act out is still w/me but I’m challenging the thoughts. Tonight I plan on going to the gym and then to a friends house.

Your Natural Feelings

What every eight-year-old should know
and most adults have never been taught
about the emotions that run our lives.


Feelings that start in our senses are natural responses to the real world.

When we notice real anger, or sadness, or scare,
we notice that something is wrong in our lives.

When we notice real joy or excitement
we notice that something is right in our lives.

Natural feelings are always trustable.
Learn what they are saying to you.
Use them well.


There are five natural and necessary feelings:
Sad, Mad, Glad, Scared and Excited.

There are many other unnatural and unnecessary feelings
- and all of them cause problems.
Guilt, shame, and imagined fear
are by far the most common and troublesome of these.
("The Basics #3" is about these.)


When any feeling starts we are immediately faced with three huge questions
- and we tend to automatically answer them in less than a second:

1) Will you admit to yourself what you are feeling?
If you don't, you'll feel "out of touch" or "crazy" or uncentered.

2) Will you express the feeling either alone or with someone else?
If you don't, you are giving up the chance for relief.

3) Will you take action to improve things?
If you don't, you are giving up the chance to improve your future.

When we are having problems,
we need to slow down this automatic process
so that it takes longer than a second or two.
This will allow us to think through each step
instead of relying on old habits.

Use this information so you will always know what you want and feel.
SADNESS When you've LOST something,
or when something important is MISSING from your life. Feel it through thoroughly, to notice how important the loss was. Work to replace what you've lost or what is missing.
ANGER / "MAD" When there is a BLOCK between you and what you want. Feel it through thoroughly, to notice how powerful you are. Work toward getting past the block powerfully, wisely, and safely.
FEAR / SCARED When your EXISTENCE is threatened.
Feel it immediately - in a second or less - and notice the danger. Tune into your senses (what you see, hear, smell, taste or feel in your body) and protect yourself!
EXCITEMENT When you are
ON YOUR WAY to something you want.
Feel it through thoroughly, to notice how good you feel about what's coming. Enjoy it for the fun of it!
JOY When You've GOT What You Want. Feel it through thoroughly, so you notice how happy you are and how good you are at getting what you want. Enjoy it for the fun of it!


1st Remember a time when you felt each feeling very strongly.
2nd Recall what was going on when you felt the feeling so strongly. Remember it in enough detail so that you actually start to feel the feeling again.
3rd Notice where, in your body, you feel each emotion. (Find your "sad spot," your "angry spot," etc.)
4th Describe what you feel in your body. Use adjectives like tight, weak, empty, heavy, light, etc.
5th REMEMBER what you learn by doing this. Do this exercise over a few times if needed.

यौर नातुरल फीलिंग्स

Heavy Drinking, Conduct Disorder Linked To High-risk Sexual Behavior

Monday, April 28, 2008

ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2007) — Previous studies have linked heavy drinking and conduct disorder to high-risk sexual behaviors that can, in turn, lead to unintended pregnancies, infection, and damage to reproductive health. A new study has linked the clinical diagnoses of alcohol dependence and conduct disorder among 18-to-25-year-olds to the risk of having a high number of sexual partners.

"Our study is the first of its kind to link problematic drinking and alcohol dependence with a high number of sex partners," said Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, research instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine and corresponding author for the study. "We have moved beyond self-reports of heavy and/or frequent drinking to utilizing a clinical diagnosis of alcohol dependence in order to improve understanding of how alcohol use influences risky sexual behaviors."

"The relationship between risky sexual behavior and conduct disorder has been well documented, especially among young women," added Denise Hallfors, senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. "What was not known was whether alcohol dependence and conduct disorder independently contribute to the number of sexual partners. Previous studies tended to look at either alcohol dependence and conduct disorder, or conduct disorder and sexual risk, or heavy drinking and sexual risk, but not at all three behaviors together."

Researchers gathered data through personal interviews from 601 unmarried relatives, 18 to 25 years of age, of alcohol-dependent individuals who participated in the Collaborative Study on The Genetics of Alcoholism. Variables examined included: problem drinking, alcohol dependence, conduct problems, conduct disorder, family status, educational attainment, gender, race, age at first intercourse, age at time of interview, and number of sexual partners.

"A significant number of participants with alcohol dependence, 45 percent, had 10 or more sexual partners," said Cavazos-Rehg. "Moreover, we categorized individuals into three levels of alcohol involvement -- non-dependent, problem drinking, alcohol dependent -- and demonstrated how a stepwise increase from non-dependence to problematic alcohol use to alcohol dependence was associated with a higher rate of sexual partners. We also found a risk for high number of sexual partners among persons with conduct disorder independent of level of alcohol involvement. In addition, individuals with co-occurring alcohol dependence and conduct disorder are at even greater risk of multiple sex partnerships."

"These young adults with alcohol dependence and conduct problems are likely to have many sexual partners," said Hallfors. "This suggests that they are not only at greater risk for STDs and HIV, but if infected, they are likely to infect many others."

Hallfors suggested that college campuses help address this problem. "Students are frequently referred to the campus health clinic for alcohol-related problems," she said. "Young adults who are running into problems because of their heavy drinking and who present for treatment should be screened for sexually transmitted diseases and treated if infected. Furthermore, college health care staff could greatly improve care by asking about sexual risk behaviors and screening for STDs."

Hallfors also suggested two other possibilities for public-health intervention. "Young adults who present in emergency rooms for drinking-related injuries or illnesses could be screened for HIV and STDs," she said. "Similarly, a majority of prison inmates have been incarcerated for substance-abuse related crimes, including alcohol problems. Prison populations are known to have higher rates of STDs and HIV, but few prisons screen inmates at admission for these diseases. These data provide additional support for screening young adults in jail or prison for HIV and STDs."

"At the alcohol-treatment level, clients could be targeted by health professionals to receive education, screening, and treatment for STDs," added Cavazos-Rehg. "Furthermore, STD prevention programs and clinics can better understand the role of alcohol dependence and conduct disorder as part of a comprehensive strategy for reducing STD transmission."

Results are published in the December issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Co-authors of the ACER paper, "The Relationship between Alcohol Problems and Dependence, Conduct Problems and Diagnosis, and Number of Sex Partners in a Sample of Young Adults," were: Edward L. Spitznagel, Kathleen K. Bucholz, Karen Norberg, Wendy Reich and Laura Jean Bierut of Washington University in St. Louis; John Nurnberger, Jr. of Indiana University School of Medicine; Victor Hesselbrock of the University of Connecticut Health Center; and John Kramer and Sam Kuperman of the University of Iowa College of Medicine. The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Adapted from materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

U.S. Urges H.I.V. Tests for Adults and Teenagers

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended yesterday that all adults and teenagers have H.I.V. tests as part of routine medical care. The agency also urged the removal of two major testing barriers: separate signed consent forms and lengthy counseling before each test.

Some civil liberties organizations and those representing people with AIDS, while favoring more testing, have objected to removing the consent forms and pretest counseling for fear that such changes will make testing less voluntary.

Where should the line be drawn between such concerns and the desirability of broader testing?

Meth Production

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New York, NY (1888PressRelease) April 23, 2008 - It’s been said that drug use is a “victimless crime,” but for methamphetamine addicts, it’s certainly not true—especially for those with children in their homes.

Many users of methamphetamine—a.k.a. “meth”—manufacture the drug in makeshift, homemade “labs,” using ingredients that can be easily found in household cleaners and over-the-counter allergy medications. When combined, these chemicals pose a deadly threat not only to the meth users but to anyone in the immediate area.

“More and more, children of methamphetamine users are falling victim to chemical burns, respiratory problems and even symptoms of meth addiction itself,” says Stephen Della Valle, author of the new addiction and recovery memoir Rising Above the Influence. “If they live in the house where the drug is being ‘cooked,’ they’re constantly exposed to fumes and residue that can severely compromise their health.”

Some of the symptoms of meth addiction that these children can find themselves experiencing include:
• Weight loss
• Pale complexion
• Excessive sweating
• Dental decay (known as “meth mouth”)
• Body odor
• Dry skin and “meth mites”—the feeling that they have bugs on their skin, leading to picking and sores, which can then become infected

Often, children of meth addicts even go through withdrawal when they are removed from their homes.

“But the ultimate problem,” notes Mr. Della Valle, “is that with meth production, you have an impaired person messing with chemicals and fire. Meth labs sometimes explode, causing damage to the user’s property—and possible death to any children who may be nearby.”

Although new laws are helping to curb the meth epidemic that has swept the US in recent years, there’s no telling what the long-term effects will be for its youngest and most unwilling victims. “Even if they’re taken out of that situation,” says Mr. Della Valle, “who knows what sort of permanent damage has been done to their health? Unfortunately, only time will tell on that one.”

Stephen Della Valle is president of the board of directors at Turning Point rehabilitation center in Verona, New Jersey. Currently celebrating twenty years of sobriety, he lives in Oak Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife, Donna. He has three children.

Understanding Your Teen

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Looking back, most of us would probably say that parenting a newborn was easy – tiring of course, often stressful, sometimes worrisome – but easy in comparison with parenting a teenager. You held your baby, knowing that this little person depended on you for everything he or she needed to survive – nourishment, shelter, protection from the dangers of the world outside your arms – and initially your child readily accepted what you had to give and what you had to teach. Now, 13 or 14 years later, that same child retreats into silence, resists your advice and guidance, and sometimes even your attempts to participate in or share his or her life. He/she may react with anger or sullen resentment when you make these attempts. What happened?

What happened is that your child reached the point we all must eventually reach, where we need to step out of the shade of our parents’ lives and begin to forge our own lives and our own identities.

Understanding Your Teen
Does raising your teen mean you must step aside and accept that you are no longer needed as a parent? Of course not. But this is an important time of transition for you and your child. What she or he needs from you, and how you will parent is going to change over the next few years as your child completes the metamorphosis from infant to adult. In effect, what you are doing during this time is defining the kind of relationship you will eventually have for the rest of your lives – as parent and adult child.

What Teenagers Think They Need

· Independence and Autonomy

· Privacy and Respect for individuality

· Freedom in decision-making and to make mistakes

· More time with and closer links to friends

· Less time with parents and siblings

What Parents Think Teenagers Need

· Advice and Guidance

· Rules, Structure, Limits, Restrictions

· Goals and Direction

· Protection, both from external dangers and from their own mistakes

· Responsibility

· Strong ties to immediate and extended family

The reality is that your teen does need to move away from you and out into the world beyond your guidance and protection. But he or she also still needs you to be there to provide a foundation that permits the teen to do this with confidence and minimal fear.

Visualize a preschooler in a grocery store – the child runs off, down the aisle, around the corner... freedom! And a second or two later, the child runs back to make sure that you are still there, and, reassured that you haven’t left, disappears into the next aisle again. You provide the security that allows the child to venture away, independently, knowing that if anything happens you are there as a safe haven.

This is the prototype for parenting a teenager!

Changing Your Parenting Style
To successfully parent a teenager requires a major evolution of your parenting style. It means letting go – trusting that your teen, even if he or she makes some mistakes along the way, will eventually make good choices – and conveying that message to your teen. It means understanding that the way any of us learns to make good choices is by making some bad ones along the way and experiencing the consequences.

“Remember when your teen was a baby just learning to walk?… You would take her little hands in yours and start walking along with her – but you knew you had to let go in order for her to walk by herself. You also knew that she might fall when you let go, but you had faith that this was just part of the process… Now you have a teen who is learning to be an adult… Do you know you have to let go before she can ever master adulthood? Do you know that when you do let go, she will stumble and fall? When she falls or makes a mistake, do you understand that this is just part of the growing up process?” (Nelsen & Lott, Positive Discipline for Teenagers, 2000)

However, it doesn’t mean letting go completely. Remember the image of the preschooler in the shopping mall? What we try to do as parents in that situation is encourage a sense of independence and self-confidence in the child while simultaneously ensuring that the child is safe. I call this “monitoring from a distance”, because it means we continue to be aware of what the child is doing and to head off potential dangers that the child is probably not even aware of without needing to be right there hanging over the child’s shoulder. This is exactly what we need to do to assist our teenagers in their striving toward adult status.

In order to develop the confidence he or she needs to fully enter the world of adults, your teen needs to push you far enough away to explore his or her capabilities as an individual. Try not to take this personally – it doesn’t mean that your teen hates you or that you are a bad parent. It happens to all parents. And, sometimes, the closer the relationship you have had with your child before adolescence, the harder the push away must be. Understand that this distance is temporary and your teen will eventually find a way to establish the individual identity he or she requires and to recreate a close relationship with you.

Go back in your memory to when you were a teen. You may be able to remember what it is that you were attempting to do when you individuated from your parents. Now take the next step: Remember that your teen isn’t you. You were an individual, with your own specific history and your own insecurities and your own individual needs. So is your teenage child. Don’t try to stamp your experiences or history on your teenager. It really is a much different world for teens today than it was when you were that age. Learn about what the world is like for your teen and how to look at that world through his or her eyes. There are stresses and pressures that today’s teens face daily that we never dreamed of.

Understand that your teen will ultimately live up to the level of trust and the degree of faith that you have in her or him. Convey to your teen that you have confidence in who he or she is and you will encourage the teen to live up to that confidence.

Finally, keep in mind that what is happening now between you and your teen is a process of building toward an adult relationship with her or him. What kind of relationship do you imagine you will have with your teen when he or she is 25, or 30, or 40? What kind of relationship would you like that to be? You are laying the foundation for that relationship today so trust the process of the teen years. Appreciate that you are the cheerleader, the guide, the coach and the mirror as your child takes on the task of moving toward being an adult life.

Author: Dr. Baxter is a Registered Psychologist in private practice in Ottawa. His practice includes individual therapy with adolescents and adults, relationship or couples counselling, and working with families with teens.