Should Teen Athletes Be Prescribed Painkillers?

Young athletes at the peak of their performance are often told to push through the pain of an injury. This usually means popping more and more prescription painkillers every day. Experts believe that the 22,000 Americans dying each year due to painkiller addiction (National Safety Council) are athletes who got hooked after suffering injuries. Continue reading “Should Teen Athletes Be Prescribed Painkillers?” »

How Teens’ Alcohol Use Affects Academics 

Parents would prefer it if their teens completely avoided alcohol and drugs. These habits are associated with poor decision-making and risky behavior.

However, risks to health and safety aren’t the only outcome of teen substance abuse. Recent studies indicate that teen alcohol use negatively impacts academic performance.

Here’s what parents of teens should know about the correlation between grades and alcohol use.

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Adolescent Alcohol Use & Chronic Stress

Adolescent alcohol use and chronic stress go hand in hand. That’s what researchers at Binghamton University discovered during one of their recent studies. The National Institute of Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse funded the research headed by Linda Spear, a psychologist at the University. What she found while testing on rats was alarming.

Read on to find out the connection between stress and alcohol use for adolescents!

Continue reading “Adolescent Alcohol Use & Chronic Stress” »

Watch Out, Parents: Your Teens Face Risks at New Year’s Eve Parties

2015 is just around the corner, parents — and if you haven’t already, it’s time to talk about your teen’s New Year’s Eve plans.

Kansas City area parents may think that they don’t have much to worry about in suburbs like Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, or Liberty, but this isn’t true: New Year’s Eve parties can be dangerous for teens no matter how safe the area seems.

Here’s what parents should chat with their teens about before they ring in 2015!

Continue reading “Watch Out, Parents: Your Teens Face Risks at New Year’s Eve Parties” »

Kansas City Teen Charged in Death Caused by Synthetic Drugs

Worried about your teen using synthetic drugs? It turns out that Kansas City teenagers aren’t just trying synthetic substances — they’ve also been caught supplying them to other teens. And in the case of synthetic drugs, the consequences can be fatal.

On January 15, 2014, Krista Meeks was charged with involuntary manslaughter in addition to a previous charge of distribution of synthetic drugs. The Platte County resident is only 17 years old.

Continue reading “Kansas City Teen Charged in Death Caused by Synthetic Drugs” »

Teens Order Drugs…Sent Straight to Your Mailbox

Do your teens order things online? You might be surprised to learn that some teens are buying more than DVDs, video games or clothes online. Teens are browsing the internet to purchase drugs and have them sent to their home addresses.

Teens are navigating the Dark Net, a group of anonymous websites that can’t be accessed through typical search engines. Users have to download browsers that hide their activity.

What’s on the Dark Net?

The Dark Net is a host for a wide range of hidden sites, including online black markets, porn, access to killers for hire and drugs.

The most recent news about the Dark Net emerged when the FBI shut down Silk Road, a black market dubbed as “the eBay for drugs”, in October 2013. One month later, sources reported that administrators opened up Silk Road 2.0.

drugs sent to mailbox

The original site was online for only two years, yet it had profited millions of dollars through the illegal online sale of drugs.

How do Teens use the Dark Net?

Special browsers are needed to browse the explicit information on the Dark Net. Tor, a network that enables online anonymity, directs internet traffic through thousands of relays to hide a user’s location and usage. Essentially, teens use Tor to browse this group of sites and hide their identity and browsing history.

To buy drugs through these sites, users must use bitcoins. Bitcoins are a currency not operated through a bank, so they are hard to trace. Users have an added layer of anonymity.

Prevent Teens From Purchasing Drugs From the Dark Net

Here are a few ways to prevent your teens from accessing the Dark Net and buying drugs online.

1. Don’t let mail be opened without checking it. If you have concerns, make a rule that you must be present for your teens to open packages and mail.

2. Find out if your teens have a P.O. box. Many teens avoid sending drug purchases to their home address by purchasing a P.O. box and having drugs shipped there.

3. Check the download folder of your computer for any browsers and delete any that are out of the ordinary.

4. Talk to your teens. Open up the discussion about illegal and prescription drugs. Explain the consequences in specific, direct terms.

5. If you’re concerned that your teens are using drugs, find out for sure with a drug test. There’s no simpler way to be completely sure. Contact Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City for drug testing that is reliable and convenient.

Does My Teenager have a Drug Problem?

Unfortunately, parenting doesn’t come with a guidebook. To be the best parent you can, you will need to compile your own style of parenting. Every parent has a different outlook — but all parents face the same issues as their children grow.

Common Challenges: Teen Drug Problems

One common concern rises as children hit the teenage years. Parents across the country are worried about possible drug use. If you’re not currently worried about your teens having a drug problem, you may find this list of signs useful in the future.

Teens are susceptible to falling into consistent drug use.  Natural hormonal changes and peer pressure combine to create a dangerous environment for many teenagers. While many avoid drugs and alcohol completely, many others experiment, and a fraction of those teens may develop a serious drug problem.

Teen Drug Use: What to Look For

Teen drug use is not always easy to detect. All teens will exhibit different behavior if they have a potential drug problem, but there are several common threads. Pay attention to these factors as you try to determine if your teens or other friends and family members have a drug problem.

These are some of the most common symptoms and signs of a teenage drug problem:

Complaints from School Administrationteen talking to parent

You might get reports that your child is skipping classes or skipping school. A child that was once interested in school and involved in activities may suddenly become disinterested or see a drastic drop in grades. Pay attention to your teen’s grades and attitude toward extracurricular activities. Teens with drug problems often lose interest in things they once enjoyed.

Physical Signs of a Drug Problem

Depending on the type of drug, you might notice a decrease in energy, loss of appetite, runny nose, skin discoloration, excessive sweating, vomiting and nausea among many other signs.

Behavioral Changes

Teens like privacy, but extra effort to keep their privacy is one behavior to watch. Teens with a drug problem may keep their plans with friends a secret, block family members from entering their room, or be vague when describing what they’ve been doing.

Excessive Spending

Most teens occasionally ask for money. However, teens who are desperate to fund their addiction may ask for money with no real reason. Some teens may even resort to stealing money or selling items for the cash.

What to do

These are just a few common behaviors of teens that have drug problems. Teens who do not use drugs may display these habits, while other teens may use drugs without showing these signs. One of the most accurate ways to detect a drug problem is drug testing.

Identifying the problem early can help you take the right action. The longer the problem persists, the more dangerous the addiction becomes for you and your teenager. Drug testing is a reliable way to detect abuse and help your teen overcome the battle soon. For reliable drug testing in the Kansas City area, contact Test Smartly Labs.

Keep Them Busy: Help Teens Find Hobbies

Idle children can be hard to handle. You never know if what you are doing is right, and sometimes trying to please them can feel like climbing Everest — impossible! If you have felt like this, you are probably the parent of a teenager.

Moodiness is the name of the game, isn’t it? No two teens are alike, but many of them experience a turbulent stage when anger and stubborn attitudes are the norm. You can help teens navigate this stage by encouraging them to try a new hobby.

A hobby can keep them busy and give teens an outlet for emotions and energy. Helping your teens find hobbies may seem daunting, but some simple tips can prepare you.

Listen to your teen

True, they change their minds every five minutes and something they liked last week will be lame next week. This is because teenagers are easily influenced by things outside of your control. However, as their parent you have known them for the longest time and you know their likes, dislikes and skills. You are in a great position to suggest a hobby that will seem interesting. Ask questions, pay attention to what they read, watch and follow. You may discover a link between their habits and a new hobby.

Make it fun

The one thing teenagers hate more than anything is feeling as if they are being forced to do something. As the parent of a teen, you need to be open minded as you approach new hobbies. If you require a teen to visit the theater or start taking tennis lessons, he or she may backlash and grow to detest the activity.

teen new hobby guitar

To encourage your teen, make the activities fun. Ask your teen what he or she thinks of a few new hobbies. If one is a clear winner, give it a try together.

Be firm but gentle

Teenagers lose interest easily. They will start going for martial arts classes but once they realize how hard the classes are, they maywant to bail. You have an obligation to keep them interested. It is important that they stick to something and see it through, but if they begin to really dislike the idea and act out, you may want to consider allowing them to change hobbies. It is, after all, a hobby and not a lifetime commitment.

Praise your teenager

If your child picks up art, take the time to watch them paint. Encourage them and take time to admire their projects. Teens know when you’re being honest. Be sure to make the time to listen to their stories and discuss their new hobbies together.

New hobbies – Great for you and your teen

Helping your teen explore new hobbies can do wonders for your relationship. Your teen may find a new love for drama or a passion for poetry. You never know what will click for your teen, so encourage him or her to try new things and be open-minded.

Helping teens find new hobbies is a healthy way to encourage them to take care of their health, broaden their interests and stay busy. Encourage your teens in this way as you keep an open discussion about drug use,

Myths About Molly: Truths About the Drug

Ecstasy is back with a new name

party drugs

The drug called “molly” is not new. The term molly has been popping up in songs and talked about by celebrities lately, but the drug is not a new substance. Molly refers to ecstasy, the drug popularized by clubbers for decades.

Recent deaths at concerts have been connected to the drug. Since there seems to be some confusion surrounding the drug that’s being blasted through pop culture right now, let’s take a minute to point out the myths and identify the true facts about molly.

Myths about Street Drug Molly

1) Molly is a new drug

Molly is simply a new name for Ecstasy, or MDMA. Top songs by Kanye West and Miley Cyrus talk about molly. This drug produces a feeling of euphoria, bonding and social closeness. It’s popular among club-goers and partiers.

Continue reading “Myths About Molly: Truths About the Drug” »

New Dangerous Fad in Drinking

The term “drunkorexia” has been floating around for years now. It refers to teens and college students who restrict food intake before a night of binge drinking. “Saving” calories for alcohol can be extremely dangerous, and now there is a new way drinkers are finding a way to help keep weight off while still feeling the full effects (and more) of alcohol. Smoking alcohol is a disturbing new and very dangerous trend being promoted as a good alternative to those who are dieting.

teen alcohol useSmoking/Inhaling Alcohol

The combination of dry ice and liquor create alcoholic vapors. By pouring the alcohol over dry ice, users are able to inhale the fumes that are produced. Users say it gives them the full effect of chugging a beverage without any calories or sugars. Another product called the Vaportini is being marketed in which users heat alcohol in a glass ball and inhale the vapors through a straw. Both methods are very dangerous because users don’t know how much alcohol they are really consuming since the liquor stays in the container.


By smoking alcohol, the vapors go directly to your lungs rather than passing through the stomach and liver. The liver metabolizes liquor and makes it less potent. By circumventing these organs and entering the bloodstream directly from the lungs, the consequences could be deadly. Vomiting is a common bodily reaction to rid the body of toxins when you’ve had too much to drink and is a sign of alcohol poisoning. However, when alcohol enters the body directly into the bloodstream, users feel the effects much more quickly and intensely. The body is then unable to expel excess alcohol, leaving everyone unaware of alcohol poisoning.

This growing trend is just one of many new ways people are abusing alcohol. Take a look at our previous blog post to educate yourself on more creative ways teens and others are getting high and drunk. Be aware of the negative effects alcohol and drugs can have on your body, and let Test Smartly Labs help point you in the right direction if you’re struggling with addiction.