Stories about: teenage drinking

Talking to your teen about Four Loko

The alcoholic energy drink Four Loko has been in the news lately because of its high alcohol content and popularity with young drinkers. Here John Knight, MD, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research(CeASAR), comments on how parents can talk to their teens about the potential danger of Four Loko.

John Knight, MD

If you read the papers or watched the news this weekend there’s a good chance you saw media coverage about the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko, which has been making headlines for its role in the hospitalization of college students, prompting local universities to issue warnings about its potency and was even banned by the state of Michigan. According to reports, the product’s high alcohol content has earned nicknames like “blackout in a can” or “liquid cocaine.”

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This week on Thrive: June 28- July 4

From offering advice to exhausted caregivers, to exploring whether or not early school times are endangering the physical well being of teenagers, it’s been a busy week here at Thrive. See what you may have missed and/or what others are saying about some of these issues.

Deciphering epilepsy: Epilepsy is a disease that remains stubbornly bewildering—to the nearly three million Americans who have it and the doctors who treat it. This week 60 Minutes aired a piece on the disease featuring research done by Children’s Frances Jensen, MD, recently named president of the American Epilepsy Society.

Caring for the Caregiver: Dixie Coskie is the mother of a child who lived through both a traumatic brain injury and cancer. In this blog post, Dixie writes about the stress that comes from being the primary caregiver of a sick child and the importance of taking care of yourself. The story really hit home with our readers. Check out some of the comments, and join the conversation.

“Thank you for sharing your story! As a caregiver for my son, I also did not care for my own health and suffered the consequences. I am now back in school to become a medical social worker to use our experiences to assist others with chronic medical conditions adapt to their new lives. Even though I had to learn along the way, I do not want others to have to learn the hard way!”

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Health headlines: non driving car fatalities on the rise, teen girls more likely to drink to cope with stress and cereal may not be so bad after all?

19 kids have died so far this summer, from parents accidentally leaving them in sweltering cars. These stories are tough to read but an important reminder to parents to devise systems, checks and reminders to make sure that even in their most hectic moments this never happens to them.

Eating disorders and addictions are harder to treat in teenagers than in adult patients with similar conditions, according to a new study. Experts aren’t sure why this is, but believe the combination of social, hormonal and physical development– often occurring simultaneously– when coupled with conditions like mental illness or addiction, make them harder to treat.

Though they tend to get a bum rap, breakfast cereals might help kids keep their weight down. A new study shows that kids who ate cereal daily, even some of the more sugary ones, had lower BMI’s than kids who skipped breakfast all together. According to the study, kids who miss breakfast tend to snack earlier, and more often, usually upping their consumption of empty calories and adding to their waist lines.

Partnership for a Drug-Free America released a study this week that showed teenage girls are more likely than their male counterparts to use drugs and alcohol as a form of escapism. According to the report, teen girls are more likely than boys to use drugs and alcohol to cope with stress than for recreational reasons. The study is troubling not only for the ramifications of substance abuse on young bodies and minds, but also the underlying issues that are driving these young women to drink or use drugs.

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Can love fight underage substance abuse?

Study shows young couples less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than single peers.
Study shows young couples less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than single peers.

When reminiscing about our first relationships, many of us tend to romanticize the past: stolen glances, first dates, first kisses and so on. Now, new research shows that young love may account for more than sweet memories; it may make young adults less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol.

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, which followed close to 1,000 people from grade school through young adulthood, people in their late teens and early 20s in committed relationships are almost 40 percent less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than their single or multi-dating peers.

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