Is Your Teenager Abusing Opioids?

As the opioid epidemic rages on teens remain at a higher risk. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), seven out of ten teens who abuse prescription opiates will mix them with other drugs and alcohol at one point. Besides the obvious danger, each substance enhances the effects of the other, including the liver’s ability to manage the process of detoxification.  Continue reading “Is Your Teenager Abusing Opioids?” »

Parents: Talk to Your Teens About Opiates

From a very young age, it is drilled into our heads that heroin is bad. However, we are also taught to trust professional adults like doctors and to listen to what they say. If a teen gets an injury and is prescribed an opiate painkiller or they just hear that taking them can get them high, they are more likely to believe it is safe. If your child found heroin in your medicine cabinet, they would be terrified, but because the feeling towards opiates is not as worrisome is causing a deadly crisis. Continue reading “Parents: Talk to Your Teens About Opiates” »

Teen Athletes at High Risk For Developing Opiate Addiction

Parents of teen athletes are typically focused on their child’s performance and fun-level in their chosen sports. They want to see their teens excel towards winning games and matches as well as catching the eye of scouts and earning scholarships. However, stress and injuries go hand in hand with both athletics and addiction. Painkillers are a highly expensive addiction and it’s only a matter of time before the students move on to a much cheaper opioid — heroin. Continue reading “Teen Athletes at High Risk For Developing Opiate Addiction” »

Prescription Drug Parties and Overdoses

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We all know drugs are bad for you; typically a student will be taught about the dangers of illegal drugs and alcohol from about age 11. Sadly, most of the warnings are about hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, not prescription pain medications. Continue reading “Prescription Drug Parties and Overdoses” »

Attention Baby Boomers & Generation X: Drug Use Has Changed Since You Were a Teen

As drug testing experts, we hear a lot of excuses as to why testing (in general, or for specific drugs) isn’t needed. Among parents, these might include:

“My teen doesn’t hang out with a bad crowd.”

“There’s no way my kid can get drugs.”

“We live in the suburbs, so drugs aren’t an issue.”

“My child’s too young for drugs to be a concern.”

Unfortunately, many of these are outdated beliefs that stem from a parents’ knowledge of how drug use was in their teenage years. Since the Baby Boomers and Generation X grew up in a different time, their thoughts about how teens use drugs are usually not accurate.

Here are some of the ways teen drug use has changed since then — and why parents need to be aware of these changes!

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Prevent Teen Drug Abuse With Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

We have written much about the prescription drug epidemic facing our nation as well as our local community. Both Missouri and Kansas are affected by the misuse of prescription medications, and though some lawmakers are striving to make changes to combat abuse, the road has been difficult.

As an individual, it might be hard for you to see your place in the fight against prescription drug abuse. One thing you can do involves properly disposing of your prescription medication.

Since 62% of all teens say that they abuse prescription drugs because of easy access to medications in their home, it’s clear that parents need to know how to safely clear the medicine cabinet.

Continue reading “Prevent Teen Drug Abuse With Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” »

Student Athletes Moving from Painkillers to Heroin

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Most parents of student athletes are focused on their teen’s performance and enjoyment of the sports they’re involved in. Their main concerns are the number of touchdowns scored and college scholarships offered.

But when parents and student athletes get hyper-focused on performance, stress and injuries can contribute to a dangerous habit that destroys changes of major league success: addiction.

Sports Illustrated recently profiled one student athlete’s drug abuse that began with prescription painkillers and spiraled into heroin addiction. Here are the details KC parents should pay attention to.

Continue reading “Student Athletes Moving from Painkillers to Heroin” »

Trends in Teen Drug Use

As a parent, you may spend a lot of time worrying.

Worrying your child will stay safe.

Worrying your child will stay happy.

Worrying your child will stay healthy.

While there is no way to predict the future and quiet these fears, parents can be proactive about their teens’ wellness by being aware of teen drug use — including warning signs and current trends in usage.

The recently released results of a 2014 survey show promising signs relating to teen drug use. In some respects, the survey demonstrated a drop in overall teen drug use. Other aspects were more troubling, such as the greater perceived tolerance for marijuana. Much can be learned about teen drug use by highlighting the more significant findings, as we’ve done below!

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What Over-the-Counter Drugs are Contributing to Teen Drug Abuse?

Most parents would say their child’s health and wellbeing is their #1 concern. That’s why when children or teens have anxiety issues or difficulty sleeping, most parents will ask the child’s health care provider about treatment options.

It’s common for doctors to prescribe anti-anxiety and sleeping medications to address these issues — but a new study has found that though parents’ and physicians’ intentions are good, when these medications are provided to teens, their risk of illegal prescription drug abuse increases.

With the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration estimating prescription drug abuse among teens at 3%, these findings should concern any parent. Here’s what Kansas City parents should know about how these medications contribute to prescription drug abuse by teens.

Continue reading “What Over-the-Counter Drugs are Contributing to Teen Drug Abuse?” »

Why Teens Turn to Drug Abuse

It’ s easy for parents to grow frustrated and blame themselves when it comes to teen drug abuse. As a guardian for your child, you are tasked with teaching them what’s healthy and what’s harmful.

Of course, any parent of a teen knows that rebellion happens — and even if you’ve done your best to educate your kids on the dangers of drugs, they still might experiment. Experimentation can spiral out of control into drug abuse.

Why are today’s teens so at-risk for drug abuse? We’re exploring some factors that contribute to substance use among this generation.

Continue reading “Why Teens Turn to Drug Abuse” »