Keeping teenagers safe from easy to get pharmaceuticals

Photo: Okko PyykkoWhat can parents do when the "pusher man" has become an easy to access online website selling potent drugs without the need for a prescription?

It’s a scary time to be a parent, and while parents of every generation may have felt the same way, with the incredibly easy access to drugs that today’s teens have, parents often feel a bit overwhelmed at how to protect their impressionable teens from dangerous pharmaceutical abuse. A quick survey of internet pharmacies proves that there is little that cannot be bought through the services of an illegitimate pharmacy located out of the country.

Oxycontin, hydrocone, xanax, and benzodiazepines are just a few of the many drugs that are but a mouse click away.

Pharmaceutical abuse is rising, and while yesterday’s teens may have raided the family liquor cabinet, today’s teens can easily supply their own drug needs through online ordering or even through the misuse of over the counter medications. These drugs are pretty scary too; some of them are very addictive, and some of them are very risky for dangerous overdoses, especially when taken in conjunction with other pills or with alcohol, which research indicates is a very common practice. The misuse or abuse of these pharmaceuticals is misperceived as relatively safe and harmless, and does not carry the stigma associated with the usage of "illicit drugs" such as heroin, marijuana or LSD; but these drugs are just as dangerous as illicit drugs, and are also very addictive, and with an estimated 6 million Americans currently addicted to pills, the danger of a crippling and potential destroying addiction is very real…and very scary.

So what can we as parents do?

Try to monitor your teen’s internet activities, and be very suspicious of any activity at online pharmacy websites, or drug info related sites. Most teens get the information on dosages that they need from the internet, from sources that may or may not be providing credible and safe information. Be aware of any pharmaceutical paraphernalia. Empty bottles of cough syrup, empty pill wrappers, or other such medication related debris are not normally carried around, and probably indicate at the very least some experimentation with pharmaceuticals. Educate your teens as to the risks involved with using pharmaceuticals, and make sure that they are aware of the dangers and the possibility of death. Don’t keep a lot of old and unused medications hanging about in the medicine cabinet. If you’re finished with the pills but have some remaining, dispose of them properly. Also, be aware of the quantities of medicines used regularly, and if you seem to be refilling prescriptions for certain drugs more often than you think that you should…this may indicate a problem.

Be involved and try to be a part of your teen’s life. It can be difficult to determine whether changes in behavior are a normal part of adolescence, are in fact caused by something more sinister, but by staying active in your teen’s life, you are in a better position to spot trouble before things get serious. We as parents can only educate our kids as to the dangers, be on the lookout for trouble, and hope for the best. It is truly a frightening time to be the parent of a teenage kid.

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Photo: Okko PyykkoWhat can parents do when the "pusher man" has become an easy to access online website selling potent drugs without the need for a prescription?

It’s a scary time to be a parent, and while parents of every generation may have felt the same way, with the incredibly easy access to drugs that today’s teens have, parents often feel a bit overwhelmed at how to protect their impressionable teens from dangerous pharmaceutical abuse. A quick survey of internet pharmacies proves that there is little that cannot be bought through the services of an illegitimate pharmacy located out of the country.

Oxycontin, hydrocone, xanax, and benzodiazepines are just a few of the many drugs that are but a mouse click away.

Pharmaceutical abuse is rising, and while yesterday’s teens may have raided the family liquor cabinet, today’s teens can easily supply their own drug needs through online ordering or even through the misuse of over the counter medications. These drugs are pretty scary too; some of them are very addictive, and some of them are very risky for dangerous overdoses, especially when taken in conjunction with other pills or with alcohol, which research indicates is a very common practice. The misuse or abuse of these pharmaceuticals is misperceived as relatively safe and harmless, and does not carry the stigma associated with the usage of "illicit drugs" such as heroin, marijuana or LSD; but these drugs are just as dangerous as illicit drugs, and are also very addictive, and with an estimated 6 million Americans currently addicted to pills, the danger of a crippling and potential destroying addiction is very real…and very scary.

So what can we as parents do?

Try to monitor your teen’s internet activities, and be very suspicious of any activity at online pharmacy websites, or drug info related sites. Most teens get the information on dosages that they need from the internet, from sources that may or may not be providing credible and safe information. Be aware of any pharmaceutical paraphernalia. Empty bottles of cough syrup, empty pill wrappers, or other such medication related debris are not normally carried around, and probably indicate at the very least some experimentation with pharmaceuticals. Educate your teens as to the risks involved with using pharmaceuticals, and make sure that they are aware of the dangers and the possibility of death. Don’t keep a lot of old and unused medications hanging about in the medicine cabinet. If you’re finished with the pills but have some remaining, dispose of them properly. Also, be aware of the quantities of medicines used regularly, and if you seem to be refilling prescriptions for certain drugs more often than you think that you should…this may indicate a problem.

Be involved and try to be a part of your teen’s life. It can be difficult to determine whether changes in behavior are a normal part of adolescence, are in fact caused by something more sinister, but by staying active in your teen’s life, you are in a better position to spot trouble before things get serious. We as parents can only educate our kids as to the dangers, be on the lookout for trouble, and hope for the best. It is truly a frightening time to be the parent of a teenage kid.

Risks of Taking Ecstasy in a Hot Club Environment

Spanish researchers at the University of Navarra have conclusively linked increased ambient air temperatures with an increase in the neural damage done by consumed ecstasy.

Taking ecstasy in a hot club environment increases the risks of neural damage. Heat makes it worse. The ambient temperature at which ecstasy is taken influences the neural damage done by the drug. Using animal model studies in which rats were dosed with ecstasy at temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degrees centigrade, and examining the resultant neural damage, researchers have causally linked the ambient air temperature during consumption with an increased risk for neural damage and deficits.

They explain that if ecstasy were somehow dosed directly into the brain, there would be no risk of neural damage, and the damage caused seems to be induced by the bodily metabolism of the consumed drug. Higher ambient air temperatures increase the speed and extent of the metabolism, and the higher the ambient air temperature, the greater the risk of neural damage. The problem for drug users is that people most often take ecstasy in a club setting, in which many people may share a poorly ventilated and confined space, greatly increasing ambient temperatures. A heated club environment exacerbates the neural damage done by increasing the metabolism of the consumed drug.

The seratonergic systems, those that regulate mood, memory and sleep, seem most affected and damaged by ecstasy; and researchers who have long known that heavy ecstasy consumption can induce serious neural deficits, now also realize that even occasional and minimal consumption does also induce some damage. If you take ecstasy, even once, you do likely suffer some degree of neural consequences, and the more you take it, the greater the permanent damage done.

It now seems that damage can be alternatively minimized or increased depending on the temperature in which the drug is taken. Hard dancing ecstasy consumers, already at risk for fatal hyperthermia through a loss in internal temperature regulating mechanisms, have another reason to fear the heat of the dance club. If you must take ecstasy…do it in the snow!

Spanish researchers at the University of Navarra have conclusively linked increased ambient air temperatures with an increase in the neural damage done by consumed ecstasy.

Taking ecstasy in a hot club environment increases the risks of neural damage. Heat makes it worse. The ambient temperature at which ecstasy is taken influences the neural damage done by the drug. Using animal model studies in which rats were dosed with ecstasy at temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degrees centigrade, and examining the resultant neural damage, researchers have causally linked the ambient air temperature during consumption with an increased risk for neural damage and deficits.

They explain that if ecstasy were somehow dosed directly into the brain, there would be no risk of neural damage, and the damage caused seems to be induced by the bodily metabolism of the consumed drug. Higher ambient air temperatures increase the speed and extent of the metabolism, and the higher the ambient air temperature, the greater the risk of neural damage. The problem for drug users is that people most often take ecstasy in a club setting, in which many people may share a poorly ventilated and confined space, greatly increasing ambient temperatures. A heated club environment exacerbates the neural damage done by increasing the metabolism of the consumed drug.

The seratonergic systems, those that regulate mood, memory and sleep, seem most affected and damaged by ecstasy; and researchers who have long known that heavy ecstasy consumption can induce serious neural deficits, now also realize that even occasional and minimal consumption does also induce some damage. If you take ecstasy, even once, you do likely suffer some degree of neural consequences, and the more you take it, the greater the permanent damage done.

It now seems that damage can be alternatively minimized or increased depending on the temperature in which the drug is taken. Hard dancing ecstasy consumers, already at risk for fatal hyperthermia through a loss in internal temperature regulating mechanisms, have another reason to fear the heat of the dance club. If you must take ecstasy…do it in the snow!

Should parents be drug testing their kids?

Cheap, reliable and accurate – drug tests give you peace of mind, and also let you get them the help needed quickly, should a test come back positive.

There is nothing an adolescent hates more than an intrusion into their privacy, and drug tests are certainly intrusive, but they are also very accurate, and can be a very useful tool for parents concerned about substance use and abuse. I don’t think that drug testing is necessarily appropriate as a preventative measure for kids without a history of abuse, and if they have acted responsibly they should be rewarded for that behavior with increasing levels of trust; but for kids with a history of abuse, I feel that they are a valid parental tool.

About half of all kids who enter a residential treatment program will relapse back to some degree of drug or alcohol abuse at some point, and the earlier this use is detected, the earlier help can be arranged and the greater ultimate probability of success. Kids who have a history of drug and alcohol abuse should be informed that drug testing is to become a regular part of the family life, and there should be no exceptions made once this announcement is made.

Today’s testing kits, particularly urine testing kits, are inexpensive, very reliable and accurate; and provide an easy way for parents to be sure of their kid’s use or non use. The fact is that all kids will lie to their parents at some point, and kids with drug or alcohol abuse problems are even more prone to lying to cover their abusive behaviors; but a drug test does not lie, and teens will also know in advance that if they use, their parents will know. The ideal result for the introduction of family drug testing is not to catch teens in the act as such, but to keep them from indulging, knowing that if they do they will certainly be caught.

The consequences for a positive test result should be made clear in advance, and if a test does come back positive, parents must have the strength to implement whatever treatment or consequences had been pre agreed to. If a kid knows that a positive drug test means another session at a drug rehab facility, that may be enough to keep them from using. Kids are pretty clever though, so you have to be sure that the test you are using is reliable, and as well be aware of any possible ways to "fool" the test.

Kids get the information they need to beat drug tests from the internet, but that info is there for you too. Speak with an addictions specialist on the best way to implement reliable and accurate drug testing into your family’s routine. Your kids will hate it, but it might just be enough of a deterrent to use that it will keep them safe…and they’ll thank you for it later. Parenting an adolescent is never easy, and when your teen is using or abusing drugs or alcohol, this transitional period is especially complex. Drug testing can help.

Cheap, reliable and accurate – drug tests give you peace of mind, and also let you get them the help needed quickly, should a test come back positive.

There is nothing an adolescent hates more than an intrusion into their privacy, and drug tests are certainly intrusive, but they are also very accurate, and can be a very useful tool for parents concerned about substance use and abuse. I don’t think that drug testing is necessarily appropriate as a preventative measure for kids without a history of abuse, and if they have acted responsibly they should be rewarded for that behavior with increasing levels of trust; but for kids with a history of abuse, I feel that they are a valid parental tool.

About half of all kids who enter a residential treatment program will relapse back to some degree of drug or alcohol abuse at some point, and the earlier this use is detected, the earlier help can be arranged and the greater ultimate probability of success. Kids who have a history of drug and alcohol abuse should be informed that drug testing is to become a regular part of the family life, and there should be no exceptions made once this announcement is made.

Today’s testing kits, particularly urine testing kits, are inexpensive, very reliable and accurate; and provide an easy way for parents to be sure of their kid’s use or non use. The fact is that all kids will lie to their parents at some point, and kids with drug or alcohol abuse problems are even more prone to lying to cover their abusive behaviors; but a drug test does not lie, and teens will also know in advance that if they use, their parents will know. The ideal result for the introduction of family drug testing is not to catch teens in the act as such, but to keep them from indulging, knowing that if they do they will certainly be caught.

The consequences for a positive test result should be made clear in advance, and if a test does come back positive, parents must have the strength to implement whatever treatment or consequences had been pre agreed to. If a kid knows that a positive drug test means another session at a drug rehab facility, that may be enough to keep them from using. Kids are pretty clever though, so you have to be sure that the test you are using is reliable, and as well be aware of any possible ways to "fool" the test.

Kids get the information they need to beat drug tests from the internet, but that info is there for you too. Speak with an addictions specialist on the best way to implement reliable and accurate drug testing into your family’s routine. Your kids will hate it, but it might just be enough of a deterrent to use that it will keep them safe…and they’ll thank you for it later. Parenting an adolescent is never easy, and when your teen is using or abusing drugs or alcohol, this transitional period is especially complex. Drug testing can help.

Red Bull cocktails…you don’t feel drunk but you are!

Energy cocktail drinkers don’t feel drunk, but they are, and they may very well be the people piloting the car home after a night of drinking.

Two recent studies, one Canadian, and one Brazilian, when taken together paint a slightly ominous picture of current club culture, and its implications for impaired driving.

Brazil

The first study, out of the Federal University of Sao Paulo, investigated the effects both perceived and actual of mixing alcohol with energy drinks (such as red bull)…which are popular cocktails throughout the world’s bars and clubs. The stimulant nature of the energy drinks seem to reduce perceptions of some of the alcohol’s depressive effects, and people consuming red bull cocktails reported feeling less tired, less un coordinated, and stronger than those people who had consumed normal alcoholic cocktails. Popular for inducing an ability to dance all night, these cocktails seem to mask some of the perceived symptoms of intoxication, and people drinking energy drink cocktails underreport their level of intoxication as compared to people drinking conventional alcoholic drinks.

But when university researchers compared the reflexive and physio motor reactions of both the energy drink consuming and regular cocktail consuming groups, they found that although the energy drink group reported feeling less intoxicated, they performed equally poorly on measures of coordination and reactions times.

Canada

The second study, out of the University of Alberta, examined designated driver practices and compliance amongst young bar going people in the province. The study found that although many people do use designated drivers responsibly (rotating between members of a group) a significant percentage of bar goers do not; and fail to plan for the drive home before entering the bar to drink. The strategy employed by almost 1 in 5 is to simply select the seemingly least impaired person to perform the driving duties, whether actually impaired or not.

When you combine the results of the two studies, you seem to have a group of people drinking alcoholic energy drink cocktails, who do not realize how drunk they truly are, and these same people too often simply selecting a designated driver who appears most competent at the moment…a recipe for disaster to be sure.

But what’s to be done?

I don’t think that anything but enforcement carried much impact over drinking and driving behaviors, and to that effect law enforcement need to continue policing the late night roads, on the lookout for people who may be a lot drunker than they think they are. If you drink red bull or other energy drink cocktails, be aware that the stimulant effects of the energy drinks mask some of the depressive effects of the alcohol…but they do not lessen the physical effects of consumed alcohol, and you may be in worse shape than you think you are. Use a designated driver, call a cab, walk…don’t take foolish chances that can end a night of fun in tragedy.

Energy cocktail drinkers don’t feel drunk, but they are, and they may very well be the people piloting the car home after a night of drinking.

Two recent studies, one Canadian, and one Brazilian, when taken together paint a slightly ominous picture of current club culture, and its implications for impaired driving.

Brazil

The first study, out of the Federal University of Sao Paulo, investigated the effects both perceived and actual of mixing alcohol with energy drinks (such as red bull)…which are popular cocktails throughout the world’s bars and clubs. The stimulant nature of the energy drinks seem to reduce perceptions of some of the alcohol’s depressive effects, and people consuming red bull cocktails reported feeling less tired, less un coordinated, and stronger than those people who had consumed normal alcoholic cocktails. Popular for inducing an ability to dance all night, these cocktails seem to mask some of the perceived symptoms of intoxication, and people drinking energy drink cocktails underreport their level of intoxication as compared to people drinking conventional alcoholic drinks.

But when university researchers compared the reflexive and physio motor reactions of both the energy drink consuming and regular cocktail consuming groups, they found that although the energy drink group reported feeling less intoxicated, they performed equally poorly on measures of coordination and reactions times.

Canada

The second study, out of the University of Alberta, examined designated driver practices and compliance amongst young bar going people in the province. The study found that although many people do use designated drivers responsibly (rotating between members of a group) a significant percentage of bar goers do not; and fail to plan for the drive home before entering the bar to drink. The strategy employed by almost 1 in 5 is to simply select the seemingly least impaired person to perform the driving duties, whether actually impaired or not.

When you combine the results of the two studies, you seem to have a group of people drinking alcoholic energy drink cocktails, who do not realize how drunk they truly are, and these same people too often simply selecting a designated driver who appears most competent at the moment…a recipe for disaster to be sure.

But what’s to be done?

I don’t think that anything but enforcement carried much impact over drinking and driving behaviors, and to that effect law enforcement need to continue policing the late night roads, on the lookout for people who may be a lot drunker than they think they are. If you drink red bull or other energy drink cocktails, be aware that the stimulant effects of the energy drinks mask some of the depressive effects of the alcohol…but they do not lessen the physical effects of consumed alcohol, and you may be in worse shape than you think you are. Use a designated driver, call a cab, walk…don’t take foolish chances that can end a night of fun in tragedy.

A remarkable new way to detect drug use within a community… from our sewage?

Big Brother may soon be watching you…well, your sewage anyway.

Remarkably, scientists at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society presented a prototype of a technique that will soon be used to detect the level of drug metabolites passing through a certain area’s sewage in real time. The testing will reveal levels of meth amphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and even legal opiates such as oxycontin or ephedrine.

Although people lie…urine is apparently quite truthful, and researchers explain that this new methodology, once employed, will give both law enforcement and public health groups much better information about the true levels of substance abuse as it is occurring within our communities, and in real time.

Currently drug taking estimates are conjured from a mixture of self reporting (people may be reluctant to admit to an illegal activity) medical records information and police reports, which together give us a somewhat vague notion of drug use as it’s happening in particular areas. The information may be used to help allocate public health, education and prevention dollars into the communities suffering the highest rates of drug use and abuse, and the information could also be used as information by law enforcement officials looking for evidence of illegal activity within an area or even a residence.

Rights to privacy…after a flush?

I’m no lawyer, but I’d wager that once you flush the toilet you lose any claim to privacy over the contents of the bowl, and this could be a boon to police looking to cobble together cases with a new and scientific form of drug taking evidence.

As always, science is neutral, but what we chose to make of it never is. I’m not a fan of the criminalization of the consumption of drugs, and even though I loathe drugs for what they’ve taken from me and my family, I do not believe that someone harming only themselves deserves imprisonment for this offence. Our Nation’s prisons are already absurdly full of non violent drug offenders, and with ever greater methods of ensnaring these users, will we need to continue our frantic prison building?

On the other hand though, if this technology is used as a means of gathering better data for use by public health officials towards better treatment initiatives and targeted community intervention, then I welcome this remarkable and astonishing new science into the public arena. No doubt it will occur within both the spheres of justice and health, and we’ll have to take a bit of the good with the bad.

I confess to finding it a bit disturbing, even though I no longer have anything I need to hide.

Big Brother may soon be watching you…well, your sewage anyway.

Remarkably, scientists at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society presented a prototype of a technique that will soon be used to detect the level of drug metabolites passing through a certain area’s sewage in real time. The testing will reveal levels of meth amphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and even legal opiates such as oxycontin or ephedrine.

Although people lie…urine is apparently quite truthful, and researchers explain that this new methodology, once employed, will give both law enforcement and public health groups much better information about the true levels of substance abuse as it is occurring within our communities, and in real time.

Currently drug taking estimates are conjured from a mixture of self reporting (people may be reluctant to admit to an illegal activity) medical records information and police reports, which together give us a somewhat vague notion of drug use as it’s happening in particular areas. The information may be used to help allocate public health, education and prevention dollars into the communities suffering the highest rates of drug use and abuse, and the information could also be used as information by law enforcement officials looking for evidence of illegal activity within an area or even a residence.

Rights to privacy…after a flush?

I’m no lawyer, but I’d wager that once you flush the toilet you lose any claim to privacy over the contents of the bowl, and this could be a boon to police looking to cobble together cases with a new and scientific form of drug taking evidence.

As always, science is neutral, but what we chose to make of it never is. I’m not a fan of the criminalization of the consumption of drugs, and even though I loathe drugs for what they’ve taken from me and my family, I do not believe that someone harming only themselves deserves imprisonment for this offence. Our Nation’s prisons are already absurdly full of non violent drug offenders, and with ever greater methods of ensnaring these users, will we need to continue our frantic prison building?

On the other hand though, if this technology is used as a means of gathering better data for use by public health officials towards better treatment initiatives and targeted community intervention, then I welcome this remarkable and astonishing new science into the public arena. No doubt it will occur within both the spheres of justice and health, and we’ll have to take a bit of the good with the bad.

I confess to finding it a bit disturbing, even though I no longer have anything I need to hide.

Executive rehab… Continuing to work as you work at better health

For recovering addicts like myself, the thought of maintaining access to work colleagues and fulfilling necessary business requirements while sequestered in a rehab facility is perplexing, and a bit concerning as well. A residential drug rehab treatment program should be intensive to the point of the exclusion of anything extraneous but the focus on recovery and sobriety…and contact to the outside world should be as minimal as possible to heighten the focus on an internal recovery.

An executive rehab runs a little bit differently.

Firstly, an executive rehab offers complete confidentiality, and strives through elaborate means to respect the need for secrecy of its sometime powerful and well known alumni. While all rehabs are medical facilities, and are by nature confidential to outside inquiries, an executive rehab will go so far as to never telephone or even mail information to the recovering addict’s residence or workplace without prior consent, to minimize the risk of unwanted discovery of treatment.

The costs of an executive rehab will generally exceed that of a conventional private rehab, and for those additional fees the programming and therapeutic attention as offered are intensive and of the highest quality; all done to speed the process of recovery allowing busy and powerful executives to resume their stations as soon as possible. With high fees also come luxurious accommodations and facilities, and executive rehabs are generally located within peaceful and secluded grounds, both to encourage quiet and meditative contemplation, and also to further minimize the risk of unwanted attention.

Staying Connected

But where an executive rehab truly differs from a conventional rehab is in the amount of contact to the workplace and outside world allowed. The patients at an executive rehab facility will be allowed to maintain necessary work communications with their colleagues, and although professional staff encourage a minimization of work during the treatment period, executives are permitted to work as much as they need to to ensure that their responsibilities are adequately covered.

When you think about this last allowance, it at first seems contrary to the ideals of a residential rehab, and if work continues unabated during treatment, how can there be room left for the needed focus on recovery? But when I consider an executive rehab further, I realize that these programs are designed to remove barriers to entry and obstacles to treatment. No one will initiate needed therapy if the personal and professional costs are too high; and for many executives, the admission of a need for rehab is perceived to be too damaging to a hard earned career. By allowing executives to recover in very private surroundings, with continued communications access to the work place, you allow them to maintain the secrecy of their treatment, and act as if they were only on an extended holiday.

Ideally addicts enter a rehab facility and forget about their outside responsibilities for the time needed to get better, but if by refusing to grant access to work responsibilities you inhibit the ability of certain people to participate in drug or alcohol abuse treatment, then the needed concessions do I think make sense. It’s too bad that these executives feel that an admission of normal human weakness would cost them so much that they are fearful to get the treatment they need; but we can’t ignore reality, and although I can’t see how engaging in anything other than the work of recovery while in a rehab can be helpful, if that’s what’s needed to get these people the help they deserve, then it is a positive step to better health.

For recovering addicts like myself, the thought of maintaining access to work colleagues and fulfilling necessary business requirements while sequestered in a rehab facility is perplexing, and a bit concerning as well. A residential drug rehab treatment program should be intensive to the point of the exclusion of anything extraneous but the focus on recovery and sobriety…and contact to the outside world should be as minimal as possible to heighten the focus on an internal recovery.

An executive rehab runs a little bit differently.

Firstly, an executive rehab offers complete confidentiality, and strives through elaborate means to respect the need for secrecy of its sometime powerful and well known alumni. While all rehabs are medical facilities, and are by nature confidential to outside inquiries, an executive rehab will go so far as to never telephone or even mail information to the recovering addict’s residence or workplace without prior consent, to minimize the risk of unwanted discovery of treatment.

The costs of an executive rehab will generally exceed that of a conventional private rehab, and for those additional fees the programming and therapeutic attention as offered are intensive and of the highest quality; all done to speed the process of recovery allowing busy and powerful executives to resume their stations as soon as possible. With high fees also come luxurious accommodations and facilities, and executive rehabs are generally located within peaceful and secluded grounds, both to encourage quiet and meditative contemplation, and also to further minimize the risk of unwanted attention.

Staying Connected

But where an executive rehab truly differs from a conventional rehab is in the amount of contact to the workplace and outside world allowed. The patients at an executive rehab facility will be allowed to maintain necessary work communications with their colleagues, and although professional staff encourage a minimization of work during the treatment period, executives are permitted to work as much as they need to to ensure that their responsibilities are adequately covered.

When you think about this last allowance, it at first seems contrary to the ideals of a residential rehab, and if work continues unabated during treatment, how can there be room left for the needed focus on recovery? But when I consider an executive rehab further, I realize that these programs are designed to remove barriers to entry and obstacles to treatment. No one will initiate needed therapy if the personal and professional costs are too high; and for many executives, the admission of a need for rehab is perceived to be too damaging to a hard earned career. By allowing executives to recover in very private surroundings, with continued communications access to the work place, you allow them to maintain the secrecy of their treatment, and act as if they were only on an extended holiday.

Ideally addicts enter a rehab facility and forget about their outside responsibilities for the time needed to get better, but if by refusing to grant access to work responsibilities you inhibit the ability of certain people to participate in drug or alcohol abuse treatment, then the needed concessions do I think make sense. It’s too bad that these executives feel that an admission of normal human weakness would cost them so much that they are fearful to get the treatment they need; but we can’t ignore reality, and although I can’t see how engaging in anything other than the work of recovery while in a rehab can be helpful, if that’s what’s needed to get these people the help they deserve, then it is a positive step to better health.

D.A.R.E. drug education programs don’t work and they cost millions – Why do we still use them?

Long term studies of the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. drug education and drug resistance training programs offered in junior highs across the country have proven that the program offers almost no benefit to kids who receive it.

We need to stop funding that which doesn’t help our kids, and try to find something better. For now, parents cannot rely on the school system and need to take personal responsibility for drug education in the home.

A whole lot of kids have passed through D.A.R.E. drug education and drug use resistance training during junior high, and the evidence seems pretty conclusive at this point that these programs have offered our kids very little of value. I don’t dismiss the intentions of the school board officials and professionals involved in the DARE program, and others like it, and drug prevention training is a very difficult and problematic subject (especially when dealing with impressionable teens very prone to experimentation) but now that the evidence is in, and the program has been pretty conclusively proven ineffective, we need to stop wasting out tax dollars on it!

Although a number of school districts have disallowed funding for the program in response to studies that have questioned its effectiveness, the program is still being offered in most American schools, and the financial costs of the program are high. When the damage done by drugs, especially when used by kids, is so tragic, we cannot let inertia and a reluctance to change dampen our motivation to eliminate that which has been proven ineffective, and strive to replace it with something better.

The only thing that really seems to help kids stay off of drugs is the involvement and concern of parents, and kids whose parents stay active in their teens lives are much less likely to use, and ultimately abuse, drugs. Hopefully addictions professionals and educators will find something that works, but for now, parents cannot rely on the school system to educate about the dangers of drugs, and cannot assume that kids are getting what they need to stay off of drugs from the schools.

Talk to your kids about drugs, do it now and do it often, and stay involved even as they try to separate, it’s not always easy, but it’s the single best thing that we as parents can do to keep our children safe from drugs.

Long term studies of the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. drug education and drug resistance training programs offered in junior highs across the country have proven that the program offers almost no benefit to kids who receive it.

We need to stop funding that which doesn’t help our kids, and try to find something better. For now, parents cannot rely on the school system and need to take personal responsibility for drug education in the home.

A whole lot of kids have passed through D.A.R.E. drug education and drug use resistance training during junior high, and the evidence seems pretty conclusive at this point that these programs have offered our kids very little of value. I don’t dismiss the intentions of the school board officials and professionals involved in the DARE program, and others like it, and drug prevention training is a very difficult and problematic subject (especially when dealing with impressionable teens very prone to experimentation) but now that the evidence is in, and the program has been pretty conclusively proven ineffective, we need to stop wasting out tax dollars on it!

Although a number of school districts have disallowed funding for the program in response to studies that have questioned its effectiveness, the program is still being offered in most American schools, and the financial costs of the program are high. When the damage done by drugs, especially when used by kids, is so tragic, we cannot let inertia and a reluctance to change dampen our motivation to eliminate that which has been proven ineffective, and strive to replace it with something better.

The only thing that really seems to help kids stay off of drugs is the involvement and concern of parents, and kids whose parents stay active in their teens lives are much less likely to use, and ultimately abuse, drugs. Hopefully addictions professionals and educators will find something that works, but for now, parents cannot rely on the school system to educate about the dangers of drugs, and cannot assume that kids are getting what they need to stay off of drugs from the schools.

Talk to your kids about drugs, do it now and do it often, and stay involved even as they try to separate, it’s not always easy, but it’s the single best thing that we as parents can do to keep our children safe from drugs.