^ Back to Top
954-260-0805

Monthly Archives June 2016

Ecstasy Use Is on the Rise Among Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 28, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Residential Therapy, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

HYTBlogPostTeenDrugImagine letting your teenage son or daughter go out for the night only to find out they have been hospitalized or even died due to an overdose of some illicit pill they were offered at a music festival. If you’re ever put into such a tragic situation, it would be hard not to blame yourself. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to six families in New York just a few weeks ago. Two teenagers died and four others were hospitalized due to an overdose of ecstasy (also known as “Molly”) at the Electronic Zoo music festival. The increasing popularity of this party drug makes it imperative parents recognize, discuss and address the risks their children face every day due to drugs.

Increasing Danger of Ecstasy

Ecstasy is increasingly becoming a risk for teenagers and college students alike. According to a 2011 study by MetLife and DrugFree.org, ecstasy use has been increasing. The rising popularity of raves and music festivals is contributing significantly to the increased use of the drug.

In addition, “safer” alternatives, such as ecstasy in its pure MDMA form, are making teenagers think they are being safe and smart with their drug use. The unfortunate reality is these “safe” alternatives are neither pure nor safe. According to a report by DrugScope.org, some “pure” ecstasy tablets can have as little as zero percent purity. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports even 100 percent pure ecstasy can cause difficulty breathing and a decreased ability of the body to regulate its temperature. With the near certainty adulterants and impurities are mixed into the pills, this risk is multiplied dramatically.

How to Protect Your Child

Don’t pretend these issues don’t exist. This simply will not work. The popularity of ecstasy among today’s youth means you need to take an active role in informing your child of the risks. Speak with your children about the dangers and provide a safe place where they can be honest with you about their thoughts and any experimentation they have done.

According to the non-profit HelpGuide.org, there are a number of warning signs for ecstasy use, including:

  • Sudden and chronic lethargy
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Run-ins with the law
  • Rift in their relationships, parental or otherwise
  • Abandoning activities they used to enjoy

If you think your child has already developed a drug problem, seriously consider seeking treatment. Not all rehabilitation clinics are the same, and you should find a treatment center that incorporates a variety of services and methods. Seek a center that only employs certified professionals who are quick to answer any questions or concerns you have.

Prevention is the best method in ensuring your teen stays safe and healthy, so consider having a discussion about ecstasy as soon as possible.

*****************

If you suspect your teen is using ecstasy, seek help immediately. If your teen refuses local therapy or out-patient help, consider residential therapy. Contact us for more information.

Tags: ,,,

5 Common Driving Myths Young Motorists Swear are True

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 22, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens

TeenDriver555If you want to know anything about driving, ask a new teen driver. While their overall enthusiasm and eagerness to get behind the wheel is heartfelt and genuine, many teens seem to possess a great deal of driving knowledge that’s not always accurate. With that in mind, check out the following commonly held beliefs about driving — and why they’re fiction instead of fact.

Keeping Your Wheels Shiny and Clean

A commonly held opinion among young drivers, notes Cars.com, is the importance of keeping the dashboard and wheels as shiny and clean as possible. The theory behind this myth is that using a protectant compound will protect the wheels and dashboard, keeping them in better shape for a longer period of time. Unfortunately, when it comes to the shiny dash, it can actually be unsafe; a slippery dash with a mirror-like finish will give off a major glare, which can reflect on the windshield and make it hard to see.

And while shiny, clean tires look nice, the best way to take care of them is through proper, regular maintenance. When it comes time to replace two or four tires, be sure to purchase new, name-brand tires from a reputable company, and always put the newer tires on the rear versus the front. This is true of front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive vehicles.

Red Cars Get the Most Speeding Tickets

Another commonly held belief by teen drivers, notes DriveTeam, is that owning a red car means you’re more likely to incur a speeding ticket. The theory behind this myth is that “arrest me red” vehicles more readily catch the eye of traffic cops.

In actuality, red cars are no more likely to get pulled over than any other colored vehicles. This may come as bad news to teens in black, blue or silver cars, but the best way to avoid getting pulled over is to obey the posted speed limit and be a safe, courteous driver.

Keep Your Hands at ’10 and 2′

Many parents of teen drivers were taught to pretend the steering wheel was like a big clock and to keep their hands at the “10 and 2” position. As Defensive Driving notes, this advice was more appropriate back in the day when fewer cars had airbags.

Now that most vehicles employ this important safety equipment, the “10 and 2” advice can be admonished, as the practice often leads to broken arms and other injuries during an accident. Teens who believe this myth most likely learned it from their folks, so gently advise them that current best practices call for keeping your hands at the “9 and 3” position.

Only Speeders Get in Accidents

Ah, if this was only the case. If it were true, our insurance rates would drop significantly, and we would all chug along at the speed limit, completely confident that we would never get in a wreck. Sadly, this myth is not true. Remind teens who are cavalier about speeding that driver error is the main cause of crashes — even when they’re traveling at 5 mph in a parking lot.

While it’s commendable teens are aware of the dangers of driving too fast, teach them that they must be vigilant at all times. This means paying close attention to their actions behind the wheel, as well as what other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are doing.

All New Drivers Get in Accidents

Hearing a new teen driver announce this myth will make any parent’s blood run cold. It’s almost as if they are daring the universe to make this untrue statement become reality. In actuality, there are plenty of young drivers who make it through their teen years without a single door ding, let alone a fender bender.

On the flip side, adult drivers who have perfect records could suddenly get rear ended in an intersection. Age is not the key here — other drivers’ bad actions and inattentiveness are much more likely to cause an accident.

Tags: ,,,

Summer Months: Higher Teen Death Rate

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 20, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

GuardrailIf you had to choose for your teen to drive through an icy winter storm or an 80-degree “not-a-cloud-in-the-sky” day, which would you prefer? If you’re like most, you’ll probably put your trust in the warm summer day as opposed to the blistery winter one.

Now, ask yourself the same question after reading the following statistic:

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the summer months of June, July, and August consistently have higher teenage crash deaths than any other month.

It would take a rare parent to send their teenager off for a drive during a winter storm without a few words of warning (if you were to even let them behind the wheel at all!) But do you allow yourself the same pause for reflection before your son hops in the car after summer practice to go to the beach with friends? Or when your daughter pulls out of the driveway on a warm July night to catch a movie?

Here’s to making summer 2015 the safest one yet. Some tips to help ensure your teen always comes back to you in one piece:

1. Buckle Up. Did you know? Compared to other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use and the majority of teens involved in fatal crashes are unbelted. Set an example by always buckling up yourself — whether they’re in the car or not!

2. Limit passengers. I know, I know. Carpooling is all the rage and I’m all for protecting the environment, but make sure your teen knows there is a LIMIT to how many friends he or she may have in the car at any one time. Distracted driving is a real and all too serious thing, and the more friends in the car the more likely a distraction.

3. Speaking of distracted driving . . .think of investing in a nifty little product I happened upon recently called the Drop Stop. Drop Stop has made it their mission not only to catch all your small belongings that INEVITABLY fall in the gap between your seats, but to eliminate distracted driving in doing so. Your teen drops their phone, their jewelry, their credit card etc., while they’re driving. It falls between the gap. They look down, and down, and down, and… crash. With Drop Stop, they won’t have to look down, ever. If anything ever falls, they’ll know right where to find it, and it’ll be there safe and sound once they park.

4. Help your teen maintain their vehicle! Do they tires have enough tread? When was the last time they had an oil change? Does every light work and at what percentage are the breaks? Keep your teen safe by seeing to it these maintenance issues are up-to-date all while teaching your teen very adult responsibilities.

Summer inevitably means more teen drivers on the roads, many who have had minimal experience behind the road. Their lack of experience can lead to dubious decision making which can lead to every parent’s worst nightmare: A car collision.

What are some of your best tips for teen drivers, and parents of teen drivers? Share with me in the comments below, and remember: Drive safe this summer!

Takeaway tips:

• Discuss safe driving with your teen before they get a license.

• Be a role model. Don’t text and drive, even with your years of experience.

• Educate your teen. Sign them up for drivers-ed or online classes.

Tags: ,,

The Stop Medicine Abuse Icon: An Easy Way to Identify Medicines that Contain DXM

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 15, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

By Jessica Belitz

DXM. Ever heard of it? If not, you aren’t alone. However, while DXM may not be a part of your everyday vocabulary, it could very well be a part of your teen’s lexicon.

DXM, or dextromethorphan, is the active ingredient in most over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines, and is the most widely used cough suppressant ingredient in the United States. While millions of Americans rely on OTC cough medicines – and consequently DXM – to safely and effectively relieve their cough, these medicines can also be abused by adolescents. At times, teens take more than 25 times the recommended dose of OTC medicines containing DXM and, when taken is such high doses, DXM can produce dangerous side effects.

You may be thinking, how widespread is this issue? Studies have shown that one out of three teens knows someone who has abused OTC cough medicine to get “high” and approximately one out of 30 teens reports abusing it themselves.

So, how can you help prevent abuse? The first step is making yourself aware. DXM is found in more than 100 OTC medicines today. These medicines come in the form of liquids, capsules, gelcaps, lozenges, and tablets. You can find a list of products that contain DXM here, but the easiest and best ways to identify medicines that contain DXM are to:

  1. Look for the Stop Medicine Abuse icon on boxes and bottles of your medicines, and
  2. Read the Drug Facts label to see if dextromethorphan is included in the list of Active Ingredients

DXMIconOnce you know how to identify products that contain DXM, you can take additional steps to prevent medicine abuse. Want to learn more? Visit StopMedicineAbuse.org for additional resources and information.

JessicaBelitz

About Jessica Belitz:

Jessica is a community outreach coordinator for the Blount Memorial Foundation. As the manager of the Foundation’s Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant, Jessica’s passion for substance abuse prevention has grown. Now that she is the mother of her young daughter, Rory Bay, she is even more passionate about the issue, which is one of the reasons why she joined The Five Moms to support the Stop Medicine Abuse campaign. Join the conversation by following Stop Medicine Abuse on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: ,,,,

5 Steps to Take When Your Friend is Suicidal

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 07, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

As a teenager, navigating a depressed friend can be tricky. Maybe your friend doesn’t have understanding parents, perhaps the administration doesn’t preserve privacy, or maybe your friend is simply in a very delicate situation. However, you should not be the sole support for a depressed friend. Here are a few steps to get your friend the help they need.

  1. Be Open and Talk

FriendshipOne of the best things you can do for a depressed friend is to acknowledge how they feel. Express concern but be sure to avoid sounding selfish. Phrases like “How could you do this to me?” make the scenario seem as though it is about you rather than them. When you recognize their feelings and their situation, ask them how you can help and what they need from you. Don’t beat around the bush; be upfront about your concerns.

  1. Speak to an Adult

Find an adult that can be trusted. Many teens struggle with confidentiality and prefer to suffer in silence than have their parents be told what is going on. Whether it be a school counselor, a teacher, or your own parent, you need to find someone who has access to professional help and advice. Be sure this person will not break your trust. A trustworthy adult will not go straight to the parents. They will take the time to understand the entirety of the situation and find the help your friend needs.

  1. Refer Friend to Support Groups

Given the teen suicide rate, a number of teen suicide support groups exist both in reality and online. Whichever option works best for the friend should be taken advantage of. They need to speak with people who understand and have overcome the position they are currently in.

Another good source of support is the Suicide Hotline. The National Suicide Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. The people on the other end are trained in crisis prevention and can be anonymously reached 24 hours a day. You may want to provide this number to your friend or keep the number for yourself in the event your friend has a crisis.

  1. Know the Warning Signs

Though your friend may be depressed, you should only begin to truly worry if they start to exhibit the warning signs of suicide. Some of these signs can include outlining plans for suicide, talking about feelings of hopeless or feeling trapped, giving away possessions, withdrawing from loved ones, or an increase in addictive behavior.

Addiction is very strongly linked to suicidal tendencies and anyone with an addiction should be closely monitored. This can include a self-harm addiction though most people who self-harm are often found not to be suicidal. However, any addiction should be treated as soon as it has been identified.

  1. Contact Necessary Authorities

It can be extremely daunting to call the emergency line when you are afraid for your friend’s well-being. They may have told you they will hate you if you call the police or maybe you’re worried about outing them to their parents. However, your friend’s safety is the top priority. If you genuinely feel your friend is at risk of taking their own life, call 911 and send them to your friend’s home. An angry friend who is still alive is better than a dead friend.

Learning that a friend is suicidal, particularly in your teenage years, can be overwhelming and alarming. Too many teens internalize that they need to be the supporter and that using outside help is off limits. Most teens are not equipped to handle a suicidal person. You need to reach out and use whatever resources you have available. Don’t be afraid to call a hotline, call the police, or speak to a reliable adult.

Contributor: Steve Johnson has always been dedicated to promoting health and wellness in all aspects of life. Studying in the medical field has shown him how important it is for reputable health-related facts, figures, tips, and other guidance to be readily available to the public. He created PublicHealthLibrary.org with a fellow student to act as a resource for people’s overall health inquiries and as an accurate and extensive source of health information. When he isn’t hard at work in his studies, Steve enjoys playing tennis and listening to his vintage record collection.

Image via Pixabay by cherylholt

Tags: ,,,,

How to Keep Teen Drivers Safe

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 03, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

TeenDriver55If you’re a parent with children old enough to drive, you’ve probably worried about their safety behind the wheel more than once. The fact that many teens are now using their smartphones while driving doesn’t help the situation, either.

And the scary truth is that drivers who text while operating a vehicle are 23 times more likely to become involved in a car accident. While this statistic may be unnerving to you as a parent, you have the power to influence how your teen drives. Lead by example as a safe driver, while also being vocal about your expectations of your children as they drive.

Unless you speak up, your child will be more prone to bad driving habits that can lead to an otherwise preventable accident.

Face the Cold, Hard Facts

According to driving-tests.org, motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death amongst teens. This means every time your teen gets in a car, they are at risk of becoming involved in an accident, caused either by themselves or by other teen drivers. If your teen didn’t know this simple fact already, share it with them to raise awareness of the general dangers they face on the road.

Remind them the months of July, August and September are among the most dangerous months to drive. Even just being aware of the potential dangers of driving can do much to prevent accidents. As your teens learn more about the risks of driving, they will feel a greater sense of responsibility as well.

No Do-Overs: Speak Up Now

On average, more than 75 percent of teen driver-related crashes are due to “critical errors,” including driving at unsafe speeds, distracted driving and lack of scanning. Teens are more susceptible to drive at high speeds and text. As a result, they are often unaware of important traffic signs and signals. These are among the reasons why more than 35 percent of the leading causes of death for 15- to 20-year-olds in the U.S. are car-related.

As a parent, it’s your duty to teach your teen about how they can be safer drivers. Encourage them to pay close attention to their mirrors and blind spots as they drive, put their phones on silent, and arrive home at a reasonable time. If they complain about having a curfew, remind them of the sobering fact that more than 40 percent of teen auto deaths occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Even beyond just the scope of driving, you will be teaching them a valuable life lesson: their actions not only affect themselves, but those around them.

Don’t be timid in openly communicating with your teen the expectations you have for them when they are behind the wheel. Have an honest and open conversation with them without the tone of lecturing and nagging. Express their safety is your highest priority and that they should have the same perspective when driving.

As you continually remind your children to be careful while driving, it will dawn on their minds that driving is not just a matter of fun, but also a matter of responsibility. While they may not become model drivers overnight, with consistent reminders from you and time to mature, your children will become safer, more responsible drivers on the streets.

Tags: ,,,,

As Featured On

DrPhil_Season_7_title_card1-250x139oprah-logo-250x1091PLATFORMforgoodParentingTodaysKidssunsentinelGaltimeFoxNews1Forbes-Magazine-Logo-Fonthuffington-post-logo
family online safetyTodayMomsusatodaywashpostabcnewsCNN-living1anderson-cooper-360-logo-250x107cbs_eve_logobostonglobe-250x250nbc6newsweek

..and many more.

  • Facebook

    Unable to display Facebook posts.
    Show error

    Error: (#4) Application request limit reached
    Type: OAuthException
    Code: 4
    Please refer to our Error Message Reference.
  • Follow @SueScheff

  • RSS Sue Scheff Blog

    • Digital Parenting Tips: Rise In Teen’s Screen Time June 19, 2019
      Parenting on the tech-battle field as teens spend more time online. The technology is becoming more acceptable among the masses. Billions of people use smartphones and have internet access. Those who were not digitally connected are now getting connections for internet. Various companies are providing free internet to the people living in far off and […]
    • Best Parenting Books In A Digital Age June 7, 2019
      As we live in a digital world, let's review some parenting books that are helping us navigate today's online life of teens and kids. The post Best Parenting Books In A Digital Age appeared first on Sue Scheff Blog.
    • Teens and Social Media Behavior May 20, 2019
      Colleges and businesses are watching you – digitally speaking. Many teens are tired of hearing parents and teachers reminding them to pause before you post or think before you send a text. They may be tired of hearing it, but that doesn’t mean we are going to stop preaching it, since it is imperative that not only youth […]

To get help, CLICK HERE or call us at 954-260-0805
P.U.R.E. does not provide legal advice and does not have an attorney on staff.
^ Back to Top
Copyright © 2001-2019 Help Your Teens. Optimized Web Design by SEO Web Mechanics Site Map