Sue Scheff: Journey to Recovery

The Road to Recovery Update keeps you informed about activities leading up to National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) in September. Feel free to forward this information to friends and colleagues, include it in newsletters or listservs, or link  to it from your Web site.

Last Call for Questions for May’s Ask the Expert: Thomas A. Kirk, Jr., Ph.D., Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

Questions for the May Road to Recovery Webcast, Providing a Continuum of Care: Improving Collaboration Among Services, are due by Friday, May 22, 2009.

Submit your questions to Dr. Kirk by contacting us. Answers from Dr. Kirk will be posted on the Recovery Month Web site in early June. Contact information for questions will be kept confidential.

Mark Your Calendars for the June 3, 2009, Road to Recovery Webcast: Recovery and the Health Care/Insurance Systems: Improving Treatment and Increasing AccessOn June 3, join host, Ivette Torres, Associate Director for Consumer Affairs, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for the June 2009 Road to Recovery Webcast.

 

When the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act of 2008 becomes effective in 2010, additional options will become available to those seeking addiction and mental health services. The Act will require group health plans to offer coverage for addiction and mental illness and provide benefits on par with those for all other medical and surgical conditions.

This program will examine what impact the Act will have on health care and insurance systems and what it means for individuals and families battling addiction. The show will also explore other issues related to health care’s role in recovery, such as proper screening and intervention, prescription drug abuse prevention, and treating co-occurring disorders.

Advertisements

Sue Scheff Parenting Teens and Substance Abuse

inhalant3As the new year has started, parents need to become more educated and informed about today’s teens and the issues they face.
Many parents know about substance abuse, and teach our kids to say no to drugs – but do you know about Inhalants? Ordinary household items that can be lethal to teens looking for a quick and inexpensive high? More importantly, sometimes deadly high.
Parent learn more about Inhalant Abuse.

 

Here is a great “talking tips” page from The Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) – take the time to learn more today. You could save a child’s life.

Sue Scheff 2008 Great Parenting Books and Websites

Well, 2008 is finally behind us! Many would say it was not the best year economically, with stress of finances, the frustrations of getting our kids/teens to comprehend the serious of it all. Personally I am very excited about 2009 – especially this fall, my second book will be released and it is going to be HOT! It is hush hush for now, but it will be explosive for sure!

Let’s take a look at 2008 and some of the great parenting sites and books we have:

ADDitude Magazine – All about ADD/ADHD!
PE4Life – Teaching our Kids the Importance of Physical Education
Connect with Kids – Great Articles and DVD’s for Parenting of all ages
Inhalant Abuse – Learn more about this growing problem among teens.
Love Our Children USA – Great information on keeping our kids safe today.
iKeepSafe – Promoting Parenting Education on Keeping Kids Safe in Cyberspace
Feingold Program – Fantastic information on alternative ways to treating ADD/ADHD
Education.com – It’s all about kids of all ages!
Safe Teen Driving ClubLearn how to keep your teens safe on the road.
Next Generation Parenting – What’s next?
OnTeensToday – Vanessa Van Petten has great insights on teens today.
Thinking Forward – A parent’s guide to middle school years.
Break Free Beauty – Teen Body Image by Sarah Maria

Beautiful Boy by David Scheff
It All Started with Pop-Tarts by Lori Hanson
A Relentless Hope – Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression by Gary Nelson
You’re Grounded by Vanessa Van Petten
Parent Survival TrainingDr. David Lustig
SOS – Students Guide for Saying NO to Cheating – by Lisa Medoff
SOS – Students Guide for Peer Pressure – by Lisa Medoff
Preventing Addiction by Dr. John Fleming

Oh, don’t forget my own book release in July 2008 – Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-Of-Control Teen published by Health Communications, Inc. Watch for fall 2009 as they release my second book!

Sue Scheff: Drug Free America

drugfreeamericaParenting today has become more challenging than ever. Social Networking is expanding a new area of concern for parents – and today more than ever, parents need to be informed and keep updated about substance abuse, teen drug use, huffing, drinking, inhalant use and other harmful habits. Peer pressure, the need to fit in – combined with kids suffering with low self esteem can lead to negative behavior.

Stay informed – visit http://www.drugfree.org/ to keep yourself educated.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America is a nonprofit organization that unites parents, renowned scientists and communications professionals to help families raise healthy children. Best known for its research-based national public education programs, the Partnership motivates and equips parents to prevent their children from using drugs and alcohol, and to find help and treatment for family and friends in trouble. The centerpiece of this effort is an online resource center at drugfree.org, featuring interactive tools that translate the latest science and research on teen behavior, addiction and treatment into easy to understand tips and tools. Research conducted by AP and MTV recently showed that kids see their parents as heroes— at drugfree.org, parents can connect with each other, tap into expert advice for children of all ages, and find the support they want and need in their role as hero to their kids. The Partnership depends on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other contributors. The Partnership thanks SAG/AFTRA, the advertising industry and our media partners for their ongoing generosity.

Sue Scheff: New Inhalant Abuse Report from SAMHSA – (The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration)

I have been very vocal in bringing awareness to Inhalant Use among teens and tweens since a wonderful parent shared her story of losing her son to this.  Parents need to understand this is a growing and major concern – like drug use, kids are turning to huffing as a form of getting high.  Unlike many street drugs, inhalants can be found in many homes today.  Learn more at www.inhalant.org.

 

The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) just released a new National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH) Report.

The report is entitled,” Inhalant Abuse and Major Depressive Episode Among Youth Aged 12 to 17: 2004-2006. “The 2006 NSDUH Report surveys youth 12-17 years old to assess “co-occurrence of inhalant use and Major Depressive Episode (MDE) in the past year.”

Some of the findings include:

Inhalant Use:

  • Past year inhalant use was almost 4 times higher among persons aged 12 to 17 than among young adults aged 18 to 25 (1.3 vs. 0.4 percent).
  • In 2004 to 2006, 1.1 million youths aged 12 to 17 (4.5 percent) used inhalants in the past year
  • Females in this age range were more likely than males to use inhalants in the past year (4.8 vs. 4.2 percent)
  • Youth aged 14 or 15 (5.3 percent) were more likely than youths aged 12 or 13 (4.3 percent) & those aged 16 or 17 (3.9 percent) to have used inhalants in the past year.

Inhalant Abuse & Major Depressive Episode (MDE)

  • The rate of past year inhalant use was higher among youths aged 12 to 17 who had MDE in the past year than among those who did not (10.2 vs. 4.0 percent)
  • Males with past year MDE were about twice as likely as those without past year MDE to have used inhalants (9.6 vs. 4.0 percent)
  • Females with past year MDE were about 3 times as likely as those without past year MDE to have used inhalants (10.5 vs. 3.9 percent)
  • In each age group, youths with past year MDE were more likely than youths without past year MDE to have used an inhalant in the past year.

Which comes first: MDE or Inhalant Abuse:

  • An estimated 218,000 (.9 percent) youths aged 12 to 17 used inhalants and experienced MDE in the past year.
  • 43.1 percent experienced their first episode of MDE before initiating inhalant use.
  • 28.3 percent used inhalants before they experienced their first episode of MDE
  • 28.5 percent started using inhalants and experienced their first episode of MDE at about the same time.

Inhalant Abuse – Parents Need to Learn More

Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of common products found in homes and communities with the purpose of “getting high.” Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. Inhalant Abuse is a lesser recognized form of substance abuse, but it is no less dangerous. Inhalants are addictive and are considered to be “gateway” drugs because children often progress from inhalants to illegal drug and alcohol abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.

Inhalation is referred to as huffing, sniffing, dusting or bagging and generally occurs through the nose or mouth. Huffing is when a chemically soaked rag is held to the face or stuffed in the mouth and the substance is inhaled. Sniffing can be done directly from containers, plastic bags, clothing or rags saturated with a substance or from the product directly. With Bagging, substances are sprayed or deposited into a plastic or paper bag and the vapors are inhaled. This method can result in suffocation because a bag is placed over the individual’s head, cutting off the supply of oxygen.

Other methods used include placing inhalants on sleeves, collars, or other items of clothing that are sniffed over a period of time. Fumes are discharged into soda cans and inhaled from the can or balloons are filled with nitrous oxide and the vapors are inhaled. Heating volatile substances and inhaling the vapors emitted is another form of inhalation. All of these methods are potentially harmful or deadly. Experts estimate that there are several hundred deaths each year from Inhalant Abuse, although under-reporting is still a problem.

What Products Can be Abused?

There are more than a 1,400 products which are potentially dangerous when inhaled, such as typewriter correction fluid, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, propane, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, and glue. Most are common products that can be found in the home, garage, office, school or as close as the local convenience store. The best advice for consumers is to read the labels before using a product to ensure the proper method is observed. It is also recommended that parents discuss the product labels with their children at age-appropriate times. The following list represents categories of products that are commonly abused.

Visit http://www.inhalant.org/ for more information.

11 Strategedies If You Suspect Your Teen is Smoking Pot

Source: OnTeensToday.com  by Vanessa Van Petten Author of “You’re Grounded!”
This is a tricky subject and different for every family, but I truly believe that every kid who wants to get pot, can.

Therefore, I always tell parents, it is extremely difficult to try to shield a kid today from being exposed to pot because it is so prominent. I believe parents, and what I do with many of my clients, need to spend their efforts trying to equip kids to make the right choices, so when they are exposed to it, they will choose not to smoke.

To be very honest, no matter how strict a curfew you have, how often you drug test your kids, or whether they are an athlete, a scholar or a jock (see Teens Dealing Urine Post), your kid will always find a way to smoke marijuana if they want to. They key is making sure they do not want to.

1) Ask Questions
Before you dive into trying to equip them with the power to ‘say no,’ try to gauge their level of involvement. Ask the tough questions. I am not saying to grill them before they go out, but showing them you are paying attention and are very involved is important and you can get an idea of how much or how little you know about their social life.

2) Listen to the Answers
Most times, when I hear parents talk to their kids, parents do ask questions, but then answer the questions themselves. A question, and then silence will get you a long way. For some reason, even after we have already given a one-word answer, if we feel you are still waiting for more, we either get nervous (a sign we are hiding something) or splurge and let our mouths go. Also look at your kid’s immediate facial response as soon as you ask a question. We are not as good at hiding our emotions and you might be able to gauge a lot by watching our reaction.

3) Look at Their Friends
I constantly hear the “well, it’s not my kid because…” response when I do speaking engagements on this topic. If you feel your child is either an angel or unreadable, look at their friends behavior. Have they gotten in trouble? Are they the ones who make the decisions where to go on the weekends? Friend’s behavior means everything in the world of pot.

4) Talk to Your Friends and Other Parents
Get informed about the pot culture in general and in your specific community. I post frequently on this topic and what kids are doing right now, so you can stay a step ahead. I highly recommend getting together with parent friends and talking about what your kids are doing and sharing notes about what they think is going on.

5) Don’t Lecture!
If you think we are doing pot, dabbling in pot, seeing it at parties or just want to talk to us about it, please talk, don’t lecture. I promise, we have heard all of the negative sides to smoking weed in health class. As soon as you start lecturing us, we stop listening. So, instead of approaching it like a health teacher, ask questions and let us come to our own conclusion, usually we know what is right or wrong, and if we feel like you are talking to us about it, not at us, at least we will come to you if we have questions or problems down the road.

6) Find Out Why:
This is tricky, it is important to understand that, today, pot is not only for ‘the stoner’ kids. All different kinds of kids are doing it and it has become a sort of social unifier. A drama kid and a jock might not hang out at a party, but if they get to the party and share a joint, they are friends. It is really important to understand this new social aspect and that it permeates all kinds of peer groups.

7) Build their Esteem:
If you cannot prevent them from encountering pot, you can empower them to make the right choices. I do believe there is peer pressure to smoke (see video). It is hard to say no when it feels like everyone is doing it and you know that if you smoke, you have the chance to be friends with that jock, who would never talk to you other wise. So encourage them to do esteem building activities, like running for student council, working out, or doing a hobby and help them be proud of who they are by engaging in their unique qualities.

8) Offer Other Activities:
When you talk to your parent friends, make sure everyone is on the same page with curfews and activities. If there is a semi-formal or prom coming up, offer to host a substance-free after party, host bbqs and movie nights. I think many kids smoke simply because there is nothing better to do.

9) Offer Other Options:
As horrible as it sounds, if your kid wants to smoke, they will find a way. Make sure that they know never to drive high. If you think they are smoking and you cannot do anything about it (sometimes it happens), then at least tell them to call you if they are ever in a situation and they will not get in trouble. Many, many, kids drive high or drunk and this worries me more than anything. If you do not think they would call you, then encourage an aunt, uncle, priest, rabbi, teacher, friend to be their secondary support system if they ever need to be bailed out or get a ride home.

10) Give Other Reasons Not to Smoke:
I constantly talk to teens about smoking and always give them non-health class reasons not to smoke which, I believe, appeal more to their interests. I always stress to girls the aging effects of smoking. I spoke to a group of 16 year-olds about ‘anti-partying’ and gave them my reasons not to smoke (they were shocked, because they were so a-typical)

-At a prestigious internship interview, a friend got offered the job and when they asked for a drug test, he knew couldn’t pass it and they took back the offer.
-Gives you lip wrinkles.
-The smoke makes your teeth yellow
-Lowers your sperm count
-Makes you taste bad when you kiss
-(I know a little crude) makes oral sex for your partner taste bad.
-Make allergies worse
-You never know who is going to take an incriminating picture and post it somewhere, or use it against you later.

11) Give Them Excuses
Ok, so maybe they have the self-esteem to say no, and maybe they agree with the reasons above to say no, but sometimes people will not let up with the “just take one hit!, Just try it!” So, think of excuses for them to use. Here are some that I have given and tell teens to use:

-It makes me really sleepy, and I am no fun when all I want to do is sleep.
-I am on a diet, it gives me uncontrollable munchies and I am not giving up my summer goal for one hit.
-It makes me sneeze.
-My parents/job/school/coach drug test me.
-My parents are waiting for me when I get home, and they will smell it/notice it.
-I have dance class/practice/a run tomorrow and I can never perform as well.
-I hate the taste.

**Offer to be the reason! My parents told me to clearly tell people that they were watching me like hawks and that I would get in big trouble if I smoked. This almost always works, because everyone understands strict parents. So tell them to use you as the reason…after all there is some truth to it!

Stay Informed and don’t give up!