Tag Archives: teens

Not my kid: Most parents unaware teen is using study drugs

Many parents are not aware that their teenage children abuse “study drugs,” a new poll suggests. In the poll, just 1 percent of parents said their teenage children had taken drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin without a prescription. That is much lower than the percentage of teens that surveys suggest are using the drugs. For example, a 2012 study of high schoolers found that about 10 percent of sophomores and 12 percent of seniors said they had used the drugs without a prescription. The new finding highlights the growing issue of stimulant drug abuse, or when teens take stimulant medication (or “study drugs”) to help them study for a test or stay awake to do homework. Such medications are prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Teens without the condition may fake symptoms in order to get a prescription, or obtain the drugs from friends. The new findings, from the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, examined parents' awareness of the issue, surveying parents of U.S. children ages 13 to 17. About 11 percent of parents said their teens had been prescribed stimulant medication for ADHD. Among parents of children who were not prescribed ADHD medications, 1 percent said their teens had used these drugs for study purposes. About 4 percent said they didn't know if their teen had abused these drugs, and 95 percent said their teens had never abused the drugs. This disconnect between teen drug abuse and parents' awareness of drug abuse may be in part due to the fact that study drugs have more subtle effects than drugs such as heroin and cocaine, allowing teens to more easily hide their drug use, the researchers said. About half of parents polled said they were very concerned about teens in their communities abusing study drugs. And more than three-quarters supported school policies aimed at stopping this type of drug abuse, such as rules that would require children with prescription ADHD medications to keep the pills in a secure place like the school nurse's office. The findings “underscore the need for greater communication among public health officials, schools, parents, and teens regarding this issue,” the researchers said. Follow Rachael Rettner @RachaelRettner. Follow MyHealthNewsDaily @MyHealth_MHND, Facebook & Google+. Originally published on LiveScience.Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/20/not-my-kid-most-parents-unaware-teen-is-using-study-drugs/

Teens who text and drive also likelier to take other risks in car

Teenagers who text while driving are also more likely to engage in other risky activities, such as riding with an intoxicated driver or not wearing a seatbelt, a new study suggests. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found four in every nine high school students had sent or received texts while driving in the past month. “Considering it's against the law for teens to be texting while driving in 45 states, it's a little concerning,” said Emily Olsen, a health statistician in the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health and the report's lead author. Past studies conducted in single states have found anywhere from one quarter to almost three quarters of teenagers text while driving, the study team wrote Monday in Pediatrics. To get a more nationally representative picture, Olsen and her colleagues analyzed responses to the CDC's annual youth risk survey. On the 2011 survey, conducted in public and private schools across the country, 8,505 high school students ages 16 and older were asked about potentially dangerous driving behaviors they had engaged in over the past month. Just under 45 percent had texted while driving at least once during that span, and close to 12 percent of teens said they texted behind the wheel every day. Although the study team didn't measure how cell phone use may have affected safety in the car, past research shows that texting while driving can slow reaction times and impair a driver's ability to stay in one lane. The more frequently students reported texting and driving, the more likely they were to also answer “yes” to other risky behaviors, the researchers found. For example, 3 percent of teens who didn't text at the wheel had recently driven after drinking alcohol. That compared to 19 percent who reported texting and driving at least once in the past month and 34 percent who said they texted in the car daily. Likewise, 19 percent of non-texters had ridden in a car with another driver who had been drinking, versus 33 percent of high school students who reported texting and driving themselves. “It's concerning that kids are participating in these multiple behaviors, either while they're driving or while they're a passenger,” Olsen said. “Each one of these things is quite dangerous (on its own).” Jessica Mirman, who has studied teen motor vehicle cell phone use at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention, agreed. “That just really highlighted that as far as prevention goes, we really need something comprehensive,” Mirman, who wasn't involved in the new research, said. “It's not just about texting. It's not just about drinking.” Olsen said parents have the best chance of being able to curb unsafe activities in the car by continuing to talk with their children about safe driving even after they have their license. Teens, she pointed out, are already more likely to get into - and have trouble getting out of - dangerous situations on the road, due to their inexperience. “Anything that takes their attention away from the task of driving, it can wait,” she said. Parents who are worried about their teens' driving behavior should reach out to their pediatrician or a school counselor, Mirman advised, as that risk-taking might reflect other underlying problems.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/13/teen-texting-at-wheel-tied-to-more-driving-risks/