Teens have always had issues with self-esteem. The captain of the football team, the head cheerleader, and the “in” crowd were present long before social media came along.
Informed Families Blog
In just over a decade, smartphones have become an essential part of our lives, especially for adolescents. According to the Pew Research Center, while 77 percent of American adults have a smartphone, that number soars to 95 percent among teens.
Oddly, though, a device that is universally thought to better connect people may be having the opposite effect, at least among teenagers. Several recent surveys (taken before the pandemic) seem to show that since 2012 loneliness, depression, and incidents of self-harm increased sharply among adolescents in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
The research is finding a marked correlation between the rise of smartphone use and loneliness, a recognized predictor of depression and mental health issues.
With marijuana being legalized in more and more states, many teens now believe it's safe for them to use. But evidence shows it's not. Make sure you and your kids can separate fact from fiction when it comes to marijuana.
MYTH: It’s safer than alcohol
FACT: Alcohol and marijuana are both associated with serious problems, especially if used by teens and young adults under age 21 – when the brain and body are still rapidly developing.
MYTH: It’s okay to drive while high
FACT: After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often found in the blood of driver’s involved in crashes.
It’s National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, a week focused on connecting teens with science-based facts about drugs and alcohol.
Here are some more fun ways your family can participate in National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week:
- Play Kahoot! E-cigs, Vapes and Mods: What Do You Know About Vaping?
- Take the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge Quiz
- Play the Jeopardy-style interactive game: Drug Facts Challenge
- Print a "Not everyone's doing it" placard or pledge card and tweet, snap or post a photo on social media! Make sure to include #NDAFW in your posts.
- Join a Twitter Trivia Challenge hosted by NIDA and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) on Friday, April 3, at 3 p.m. EDT. Follow the hashtag #NDAFW and answer multiple-choice questions about drugs and alcohol.
Is there a link between vaping and coronavirus? While experts say it’s impossible to say for sure, according the National Institute of Drug Abuse the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who vape or smoke tobacco or marijuana because it attacks the lungs.
Informed Families is partnering with the Lung Love Foundation to help educate parents and teens about the dangers of vaping. Lung Love Foundation founder, Chance Ammirata, was only 18 years old when he almost lost his life to Juuling. After his near death experience he took to social media to spread awareness of the dangers of vaping. Watch this CBS news clip to learn more about Chance’s story.
A small girl at Redland Middle School waited patiently for the other students surrounding filmmaker Erahm Christopher to leave so she could ask one question: What is the time of tonight’s screening? I really want my Mom to come and see the film.
Informed Families partnered with Mr. Christopher to host a screening of his film LISTEN at Redland Middle School on February 6, 2020. Themes covered in the film include bullying, cyber bullying, racism, gang violence and suicide. Following the screening, students had a chance ask Mr. Christopher questions and voice their thoughts and feelings about the issues featured in the film. The response was overwhelming.
According to Soraya Herran, a guidance counselor at Redland Middle School, the next day “the students couldn’t stop talking about the film and discussion they had participated in.”
PARENTS, WHERE DO WE DRAW THE WINE?
Heroin. Meth. Cocaine. Ecstasy. While dangerous and scary, these are not the most popular drugs among our children. So what drugs are the most widely abused?
Drum roll please…the most widely abused drug is Alcohol, a legal drug.
People don’t change alcohol and drug use behaviors based on scare tactics or logic; they change when they start to see and acknowledge the cultural code that is pushing unhealthy behaviors.
People use drugs based on their perception of harm and the availability of the drug. So certainly alcohol is the most available and surely it won’t harm you; the government has legalized it!
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, data from a national survey of high school students shows that teens who receive a message from their parents that underage drinking is completely unacceptable are more than 80 percent less likely to drink than teens who receive other messages.
PARENTS NEED TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER
Helen & John Witty’s 16-year-old daughter, Helen Marie, was rollerblading on a bike path when she was struck and instantly killed by a car full of teenagers who were under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. These kids were celebrating graduation at an unsupervised home prior to getting in the car. The driver’s future now included years of jail time and forever living with the knowledge that she killed someone. Think for a moment. You could be the parent of the victim or the parent of the driver of the car! Safe Homes Smart Parties® is not about someone else’s child.
Son asked father if he could have a party.
Father said, “yes.”
Father asked son if he could help with the planning.
Son said friends were taking care of it.
Two DJs came to set up for party in the back yard.