We have partnered with Chris Herren and the Herren Project on the new film, The First Day. Presented by Center on Addiction and Cigna, the film takes an innovative approach to addressing teen substance use, while helping refocus the conversation around addiction from the last day to the first. In addition to speaking directly to teens, the film empowers parents, educators and community members to share information, provide support and identify resources to foster healthy life decisions.
TEENS AND FAMILIES
Parents of adolescents can play a valuable role in protecting their teens from substance use, a new national survey by Center on Addiction finds.
Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or other caregiver — these resources can provide valuable help and support to you or anyone else playing a supportive role in the life of a young person struggling with substance use and addiction .
For many parents, regularly talking to their children about addictive substances can be challenging. With this in mind, we asked our readers, “How often do you talk to your children about drugs and alcohol?”
While nearly one-third of respondents said they talk to their kids about this important topic every week, the most common response was never, which received 40 percent of the votes.
Over the past decade, the number of children who have had gotten sick from touching or eating poisonous, addictive substances has gone up. Fortunately, there are things parents can do to stop these incidents from ever taking place. It is never too early for parents to begin protecting their children from the potentially life-threatening harms of addiction and addictive substances.
In addition to making the headlines of major newspapers from across the country, addiction is also gaining traction on the silver screen. This season, many of our favorite TV shows are addressing substance use disorders and risky drinking or drug use. However, they often sacrifice precision for plot points. Here, we’ve provided some suggested reading to accompany This Is Us, Grown-ish and 13 Reasons Why -- three of television’s most talked about shows -- to help set the record straight.
Thinking back to your middle school or high school health classes, you may recall photographs of lungs blackened by cigarette tar or videos of teenagers dropping out of school, fighting with friends and family, or even dying because of their errant drug and alcohol use. Exposing children and teenagers to the most damaging consequences of these behaviors has long been a mainstay in America’s addiction prevention strategy – but that poses the question: do scare tactics work?
While scanning the latest news, it’s easy to feel as if we’ve traveled back in time to the 1980s. “Just say no?” “The war on drugs?” After nearly three decades, there’s still little evidence to suggest these outdated addiction prevention and treatment strategies work, and some evidence even shows that they are counterproductive. Yet, they continue to influence how we both talk about and treat addiction. And just last month, dialogue about the “gateway drug theory” resurfaced in the New York Times, raising the question: is this highly publicized hypothesis, which also originated in the final quarter of the 20th century, grounded in fact or fiction?
In 2016, U.S. pharmacies dispensed more than 214 million prescriptions for opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin and OxyContin – enough for every adult American to have a full bottle of these pills. However, most people receiving these prescriptions report using only some or none of the pills. As many as 92 percent of people recovering from surgery stop taking their medications before the pills run out. Yet, only about one-quarter properly store or dispose of their unused meds – leaving the highly addictive prescriptions vulnerable to fall into the wrong hands.
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