Stories about: drugs

Teen drug survey is a sign marijuana use could rise

Teenage girl in trouble with parentsThe federal government’s annual report monitoring kids’ alcohol and drug abuse has been released. The 2009 Monitoring the Future Survey reports that while use of cigarettes, methamphetamines, cocaine and binge drinking is down the use of prescription drugs and smokeless tobacco is up. Marijuana use is holding steady.

John Knight, MD, director of The Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASER) at Children’s says those findings aren’t particularly surprising. What we do need to worry about, he says, is that the survey also reports that adolescents’ perceived harm of marijuana is way down.

What exactly does that mean? Knight says that when adolescents think a drug has little or no harm, they are much more likely to use it. So, be ready for marijuana use to jump along with other drugs. “Marijuana is a gateway drug that leads kids towards all kinds of other drugs,” Knight says.

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This week on Thrive: Nov. 30 – Dec. 4

Here’s a quick look at what Thrive was up to last week.

Yoga is thought to have many healing powers, but is fighting eating disorders one of them? One patient tells her story of how brain stimulation helps keep her epileptic seizures at bay. Children’s professionalism and ethical practice expert talks about the changing mammography guidelines and gives insight into the health care reform. Children’s Dr. Sharon Levy discusses whether or not home-based drug kits are useful on the MSNBC show “Dr. Nancy.” The National Institute of Health announced 13 new government-approved embryonic stem cell lines, 11 of which were developed at Children’s. The HealthMap team gave us our weekly H1N1 update. Did you know that children with RSV are more likely to be hospitalized than those with seasonal flu? Our Mediatrician sings his praises of Guitar Hero but adds a warning about appropriate lyrics. Good Morning America features Children’s research on autism and facial recognition.

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More and more teens infected with STDs

Teenage girl in trouble with parentsThe CDC just released its annual report on sexually transmitted diseases and the results for teens are pretty disturbing. Although 15- to 24-year-olds represent only 25% of the sexually experienced population, they acquire nearly half of all new STDs.

The report notes that sexually active teens are at a higher risk of contracting an STD because of a combination of behavioral, biological and cultural reasons. Barriers to accessing quality STD prevention services– like lack of insurance and transportation, or concerns about confidentiality, may also play a big role, the study concludes.

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