Rx and OTC Misuse Talking Points for Parents/Caregivers of Youth

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Parents and adult caregivers need to be educated about this problem, as well as their role in preventing it.
Below are important things to consider.
Talking points for parents and adult caregivers when talking to youth about substance use

Preschool to Age 7

Before you get nervous about talking to young kids, take heart. You’ve probably already laid the groundwork for a discussion. For instance, whenever you give a fever medicine or an antibiotic to your child, you can discuss why and when these medicines should be given. This is also a time when your child is likely to pay attention to your behavior and guidance.

Take advantage of “teachable moments” now. If you see a character in a movie or on TV with a cigarette, talk about smoking, nicotine addiction, and what smoking does to a person’s body. This can lead into a discussion about other drugs and how they could cause harm.

Keep the tone of these discussions calm and use terms that your child can understand. Be specific about the effects of the drugs: how they make a person feel, the risk of overdose, and the other long-term damage they can cause. To give your kids these facts, you might have to do a little research.

Ages 8 to 12

As your kids grow older, you can begin talks with them by asking them what they think about drugs. By asking the questions in a nonjudgmental, open-ended way, you’re more likely to get an honest response.

Remember to show your kids that you’re listening and really paying attention to their concerns and questions.

Kids this age usually are still willing to talk openly to their parents about touchy subjects. Starting a dialogue now helps keep the door open as kids get older and are less inclined to share their thoughts and feelings.

Even if your questions don’t immediately result in a discussion, you’ll get your kids thinking about the issue. Show them that you’re willing to discuss the topic and hear what they have to say. Then, they might be more willing to come to you for help in the future.

News, such as steroid use in professional sports, can be springboards for casual conversations about current events. Use these discussions to give your kids information about the risks of drugs.

Ages 13 to 17

Kids this age are likely to know other kids who use alcohol or drugs, and to have friends who drive. Many are still willing to express their thoughts or concerns with parents about it. They may ask you more specific questions about drugs.

Use these conversations not only to understand your child’s thoughts and feelings, but also to talk about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Talk about the legal issues — jail time and fines — and the possibility that they or someone else might be killed or seriously injured.

Consider making a written or verbal contract on the rules about going out or using the car. You can promise to pick your kids up at any time (even 2 a.m.!), no questions asked, if they call you when the person responsible for driving has been drinking or using drugs.

The contract also can detail other situations: For example, if you find out that someone drank or used drugs in your car while your son or daughter was behind the wheel, you may want to suspend driving privileges for 6 months. By discussing all of this with your kids from the start, you eliminate surprises and make your expectations clear.

For any questions or concerns about substance use or mental health please reach out to us and we can direct you to get qualified and accurate information.

Kratom: What Parents and Community Members Should Know

A Comprehensive Look at Kratom

Currently not illegal AND sold in packaging that lists it is not for human consumption, but that isn’t detering some youth from experimenting with kratom.

Example of kratom

There is a new trend of drug experimentation that is impacting the youth in our communities and it’s called kratom.

Information contained below comes directly from National Institute on Drug Abuse and can be considered accurate and verified.

Kratom: What is it?

Kratom is a tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa) native to Southeast Asia, with leaves that contain compounds that can have psychotropic (mind-altering) effects.

Kratom is not currently an illegal substance and has been easy to order on the internet. It is sometimes sold as a green powder in packets labeled “not for human consumption.” It is also sometimes sold as an extract or gum. Kratom sometimes goes by the following names:

  • Biak
  • Ketum
  • Kakuam
  • Ithang
  • Thom

Kratom: How does it affect the brain?

Kratom can cause effects similar to both opioids and stimulants. Two compounds in kratom leaves, mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing sedation, pleasure, and decreased pain, especially when users consume large amounts of the plant. Mitragynine also interacts with other receptor systems in the brain to produce stimulant effects.

When kratom is taken in small amounts, users report increased energy, sociability, and alertness instead of sedation. However, kratom can also cause uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous side effects.

Kratom: What are the health effects?

Reported health effects of kratom use include:

  • nausea
  • itching
  • sweating
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • increased urination
  • loss of appetite
  • seizures
  • hallucinations

Symptoms of psychosis have been reported in some users.

Kratom: Can a person overdose on it?

There have been multiple reports of deaths in people who had ingested kratom, but most have involved other substances. A 2019 paper analyzing data from the National Poison Data System found that between 2011-2017 there were 11 deaths associated with kratom exposure. Nine of the 11 deaths reported in this study involved kratom plus other drugs and medicines, such as diphenhydramine (an antihistamine), alcohol, caffeine, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, and cocaine. Two deaths were reported following exposure from kratom alone with no other reported substances.

In 2017, the FDA identified at least 44 deaths related to kratom, with at least one case investigated as possible use of pure kratom. The FDA reports note that many of the kratom-associated deaths appeared to have resulted from adulterated products or taking kratom with other potent substances, including illicit drugs, opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol, gabapentin, and over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrup.

Also, there have been some reports of kratom packaged as dietary supplements or dietary ingredients that were laced with other compounds that caused deaths. People should check with their health care providers about the safety of mixing kratom with other medicines.

Kratom: Is it addictive?

Like other drugs with opioid-like effects, kratom might cause dependence, which means users will feel physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. Some users have reported becoming addicted to kratom. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • muscle aches
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • hostility
  • aggression
  • emotional changes
  • runny nose
  • jerky movements

Kratom: How is addiction treated?

There are no specific medical treatments for kratom addiction. Some people seeking treatment have found behavioral therapy to be helpful. Scientists need more research to determine how effective this treatment option is.

Kratom: Does it have any medicinal value?

In recent years, some people have used kratom as an herbal alternative to medical treatment in attempts to control withdrawal symptoms and cravings caused by addiction to opioids or to other addictive substances such as alcohol. There is no scientific evidence that kratom is effective or safe for this purpose; further research is needed.

 

For any questions or concerns about substance use or mental health please reach out to us and we can direct you to get qualified and accurate information.

Review of July 16th Virtual Lunch and Learn: “This Place” Film

Underage Alcohol Use on the Rise Due to COVID19

There is data showing that off-premises retailers in North Carolina are selling record numbers of beer, wine and liquor. How does that translate to youth alcohol use?

Youth are home now more than ever and may be unsupervised.
Adult use rates of alcohol have been increasing state-wide.
The possibility of an increase in youth alcohol use is something that should be considered.
Data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in regards to alcohol use by youth. This is the last Youth Risk Behavior Survey data collection available and can be found here https://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Results.aspx?LID=NC.

Did You Know: Before COVID19…

  • The #1 place youth got alcohol is from their own home.
  • Over 1,800 college students died from alcohol related injuries each year.
  • In the US alcohol kills more than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Teen girls rival teen boys with consumption rates of alcohol.
  • Every day 7,000 kids younger than 16 years old consume their first alcoholic drink.
  • Kids under 15 years old who consume alcohol are four times likely to end up alcohol dependant as an adult than if they waited until they were 21 years old for their first drink.

How can this be changed?

Parents and guardians can make a positive impact in their communities by doing a few things.
  • Monitor and secure alcohol in the home.
    • Purchasing in quantity is more cost effective but it is harder to keep up with 24 beers or a case of wine than it is a 6 pack or bottle.
    • Only purchase what you will consume.
    • Even if it costs a couple dollars more this tactic regarding alcohol storage will make less alcohol available for youth resulting in fewer youth consuming.
    • Storing alcohol in cabinet or unmonitored areas of the home allows youth access.
    • Keeping alcohol stored appropriately, like firearms and dangerous household chemicals, will keep youth from consuming alcohol.
  • How youth see alcohol consumed in their environment determines their perception of alcohol.
    • During events at the home (birthday parties, cookouts, holiday celebrations) make sure alcohol is not the focal point of the event.
    • Don’t glamorize alcohol use.
    • Show youth that a good time can be had without alcohol.
  • Parents rationalizing youth use.
    • Parent provided parties are not the answer.
    • Parent provided parties are dangerous.
    • Parent provided parties normalize alcohol use by youth.
Follow these guidelines to help reduce underage alcohol use in our communities.

On July 16th we hosted a virtual lunch and learn where the film “This Place” was shown.

Following the film was a discussion about underage alcohol use and how it impacts communities in Stokes County.

“This Place” is an award-winning, 15-minute film that dramatically captures today’s youth drinking culture. This film shows the alcohol-saturated environment kids are exposed to and the impact of underage drinking. It also offers an important glimpse into communities that are taking action to reduce alcohol problems.

If you are a parent/guardian, caregiver to youth, coach, teacher, community member, faith leader or are interested in creating positive change in your community this film will allow you to be better informed about underage alcohol use and introduce concepts to help decrease alcohol misuse in your community.

A local parent of three students who are in the Stokes County School System viewed the film and had this commentary to provide.
A local provider specializing in substance use disorder and mental health had this commentary after viewing the film.

These national statistics provided by the Monitoring the Future Survey show the bigger picture of underage alcohol use. This may be a snapshot of the nationwide average but this is an issue that impacts Stokes County communities.

Monitoring the Future Survey from 2019 highlights the youth alcohol use rates for lifetime consumption.
Monitoring the Future Survey from 2019 highlights the youth alcohol use rates for past year consumption
Monitoring the Future Survey from 2019 highlights the youth alcohol use rates for past month consumption.
If you would like more information please reach out to us.

For more information on how you can make a positive impact in your community, reduce underage alcohol use or reduce adult alcohol misuse reach out to us. dvickers@insightnc.org or 336-287-2411

Operation Parent Webinar: Shedding Light on Youth Alcohol Usage and Binge Drinking

Underage alcohol use can have many short-term and long-term impacts that youth may not realize. Listen to Mary Beth Uberti explain the dangers of alcohol use among teens and how parents can intervene to help keep their children healthy and safe.

 

More information about Operation Parent and their free resources for parents and guardians can be found at https://operationparent.org/resource-manager/

Operation Parent Webinar: Teens, E-cigarettes and Vaping

Dr. Patricia Purcell shares information and talking points about vaping and e-cigarette use by teens that parents and guardians can reference. She is clear and uses language that we can call understand. The webinar below is an hour long but well worth a listen for any parent, guardian, grandparent or caregiver of youth.

More information about Operation Parent and their free resources for parents and guardians can be found at https://operationparent.org/resource-manager/

Operation Parent Webinar: When Alcohol, Summer, COVID and Teens Intersect

Parents and guardians can click here to register for the FREE webinar from Operation Parent

This free webinar from Operation Parent will be held on Monday June 15th from 2:00pm-3:00pm.

Since Operation Parent’s webinar on alcohol in March, communities across the country have seen instore and online sales of alcohol skyrocket, and some parents relaxing abstinence rules at home to placate and bond with teens.

Additionally, easing of social distancing orders in many parts of the country are coinciding with the start of summer, which is already a time of risk for alcohol abuse and drinking and driving with teens. Cooped up teens might be looking forward to blowing off steam…in unhealthy ways.

Let’s discuss how we can be prepared to parent during these times of transition and uncertainty to keep our teens safe.

Presenters are Christine Storm and Kate Appleman of Caron Treatment Center. The Caron Treatment Center is an inpatient treatment facility with location in Florida and Pennsylvania. They have been providing innovative, specialized addiction & behavioral health treatment for over 60 years.

More information about Operation Parent and their free resources for parents and guardians can be found at https://operationparent.org/resource-manager/

For Parents/Caregivers of Youth: Underage Alcohol

Underage alcohol consumption is an issue that parents and caregivers of youth should address.

According to the last Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) 26.5% of NC High School youth reported consuming alcohol in the last 30 days.

The following video will give parents and caregivers of youth ways they can talk to their teen to discourage alcohol use. There are tips for effective communication between parents and child as well as peer pressure avoidance techniques that youth can use.

Vaping 101: Information for Parents/Guardians and Educators

We will post information on the ever-changing landscape of electronic cigarettes and dangers associated with vape use by our youth. We will share information and articles from trusted, verified sources that you will be able to review to be better informed. Youth who have parents/guardians who talk with them about substance use are 50% less likely to use substances. Talk, they hear you.

For Quick facts on the Risks of E-Cigarettes for Kids, Teens and Young Adults Click here.

 

Video added 2/21/20 at 5:00pm

We already know from a 2019 national survey of over 42,000 youth that 24.3% of 8th graders, 41% of 10th graders and 45.6% of 12th graders have tried vaping at some point in their lifetime, but why is this important? Why is it dangerous for them to experiment with vaping products?

Benzoic acid is an ingredient added to the nicotine during manufacturing. It is one of the components used in popular vaping liquirs which can “mellow” the flavor of the nicotine that is inhaled. During the manufacturing process benzoic acid is added to the nicotine to reduce the harshness when inhaled.

If you are reducing the harshness of nicotine, which is highly addictive, and youth are experimenting at a very high rate (12.2% of 8th graders, 25% of 10th graders and 30.9% of 12th graders reporting vaping in the last 30 days), this leads to an increased chance of nicotine addiction.

WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VAPING

In an article published by the Center for Disease Control, with content from the Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

If anyone can speak firsthand about the significant rise in e-cigarette use by kids, teens, and young adults, it’s someone who works with them every day. Lauren W., a high school teacher in Pennsylvania, often hears her students talking about using e-cigarettes. But when it comes to the dangers of nicotine and addiction for young people, she does not believe they really understand how dangerous e-cigarettes are for their health.

“I talk to them about the risks all the time,” she says, “and those talks reveal that they have never really thought about it.”

As someone who can influence young people, Lauren is doing what she can to teach them about the harms e-cigarette use can have on them. “They are always interested when I pull up research and start listing off findings,” she says.

WHAT EDUCATORS AND COACHES NEED TO KNOW

Young people are also more likely to pay attention if the adults in their lives who they trust and respect are willing to talk. Teachers and administrators can use health classes and assemblies this upcoming school year to invite students to ask questions about e-cigarettes. There are many e-cigarette prevention programs teachers can use in their classrooms to let students know about the risks of e-cigarette use.

WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?

  • E-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products.
  • E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.
  • While e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others, scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.
  • If you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, don’t start.
  • Additional research can help understand long-term health effects.

CADCA Breakout Session: Put An End to ENDS- Youth Vaping and How Coalitions Can Fight Back

Using Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), commonly referred to as vaping, is an emerging trend among youth across the country, and community coalitions are working hard to address it. National data suggests that youth past 30-day use of nicotine delivered via vaping devices roughly doubled from 2017 to 2018. This session provided an overview of the strategies in which DFC grant recipients are engaging around vaping prevention, including collecting data on attitudes and use, engaging youth, and building capacity within the community to shed light on this new trend. During this session there an opportunity for participants to share ideas on how to address vaping in their local communities and to discuss emerging findings on the impacts of vaping on youth.

Yearly reports published each February by Drug Free Communities across the nation had an increase of 28% when mentioning youth vape use from 17% of all reports in 2018 to 47% of all reports in 2019. This type of growth is backed by the Monitoring the Future Survey.

Key Strategies to Adress Youth Vape Use

 

 

  • Provide Information: providing information to youth, parents/guardians and adults who engage students at the school level will increase awareness of the dangers and risks associated with use.
  • Enhancing Skills: providing youth with the skills to avoid use is an important step but also providing adults with the ability to inform and educate youth with facts is essential.
  • Changing Policies/Consequences: changing disciplinary actions to match the changing landscape of vape use is key. Adding education components will provide students with the opportunity to be educated and informed regarding the decisions they make.

If you would like more information about ways you can address youth vape use please use the contact us form on the bottom of our homepage

CADCA Breakout Session: Vaping Prevention

#GearUp: Collaborating Around Vape Prevention Efforts Through Media and Policy

Through speaking with community members, school age youth, health providers and service agencies in Stokes we understand that vaping/e-cigarette use by youth is an issue. By attending this session we learned how to inform youth and parents/guardians about the dangers associated with nicotine use by vape devices. We were informed about best practices regarding sharing information to youth to help encourage them to make safer/healthier decisions.

Representatives from Muskegon Drug Free Community shared their success and challenges during their efforts to address vape use by youth in their area. Through their session we were able to gain knowledge on these best practices:

1) Know how to successfully implement coalition activities through social media practices, such as partnership development with local media sectors, and ways to leverage social media platforms.

2) Engage youth in creating messaging, leveraging partnerships and rallying around prevention efforts that result in community change.

3) Collaborate with key stakeholders to develop a universal anti-vape school policy that strives for an alternative to suspension.

For information on how you can talk to your youth about vaping or other issues use the contact us form at the bottom of our main page, through our Facebook page or TalkSooner.org.