Everything from old LISD SitePosted by Gregory Davis on 6/30/2015
Blog of the Week - Red Ribbon Week reflections
Last week was Red Ribbon week. Red Ribbon week is a drug awareness program adopted by school districts to help educate young people about drug awareness. Drug education is very important, and according to National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIH) drug use among youth 12-17 has slightly declined from 2011-2013. For example alcohol use has declined from 34.5% -30.8% in those same years. Sadly, illicit drugs and alcohol is still affecting our youth. According to the Innovation in Clinical Neuroscience, in their article “Early Detection of Illicit Drug Use in teenagers” (Shahid,A., Mouton, C.P., Jabeen, S., Ofoemezie, E.K.,Bailey, R.K., Zeng,Q. 2011.) there are early warning signs that parents can observe that could signify drug use. They are:
• Changes in behavior: A lot times violent, angry, or destructive. Increase in phone activity and walks out of the room when on a phone call.
• Change in friends: usually ones that parents do not approve of
• Withdrawal from family activities
• Isolating themselves in their room
• Troubles with the law
• Excuses: These are used to cover up their drug use, and youths can make up some incredibly believable stories that are told with great conviction.
• Stealing: examples include you notice money or valuables missing. You notice your car is parked in a different condition when you had it last. (ex. Seat in a different position.)
• Curfew violations: where once the teen came home on time, now there is an argument and they are late to come home.
• Running away
• Changes in appearance and poor hygiene
• Sudden weight loss or gain
• Possession of drug paraphernalia: This can take on many forms such as tin foil or you notice your aluminum foil box always disappearing. Zip lock bags of all sizes, pipes, bongs, lighters, and scales can also be considered drug paraphernalia.
• Late or truant from school. This also includes work.
• Depending on the drug, blood shot eyes or dilated pupils. Starting to use eye drops.
Knowing the signs of drug use is very important, and there are also certain factors that can increase the risk of drug use. Drugs can be used to fill a void in their life. Also varying factors such as family conflicts, divorce, and a family history of drug abuse can be early causes of drug use. According to Helpguide.org, the amount of drug use is not as important as the consequences of the drug use. That is why it is important to know the early warning signs.
Although drug use does not necessarily mean a drug problem, early detection of drug use is beneficial to determine treatment. If you suspect that your teen is using drugs, it is a good idea to get an assessment from a licensed health care provider. It is better to be proactive to rule out a drug problem than to be reactive.