What is "binge drinking"?
What are the dangers of "binge drinking"?
Binge drinking is defined as five standard drinks in a row for men and four for women. A "standard drink" is 12 grams of pure ethanol, which equals:
12 ounces of beer or wine cooler
8 ounces of malt liquor
5 ounces of wine
1 1/2 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (whiskey, etc.)
When is someone really drunk?
Heavy, fast drinking is terribly risky, because it can spiral out of control. A hangover is a given: headache, thirst, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, blurry vision, shakiness, and exhaustion. Alcohol poisoning and respiratory arrest, which can progress to coma or death, are major risks. Injuries or death from falls, drowning, and other accidents are common. Bingers are more likely to have unsafe and/or unwanted sex, leading to pregnancy and STDs. Being drunk reduces ones reasoning ability, movement control, and reactive speed.
What are the long-term health consequences of using alcohol?
There are several different ways to measure if a person is drunk. The noticeable signs include:
Slurred, too-loud, or too-fast speech
Loose muscle tone
Staggering walk or inability to walk
Glossy appearance to eyes
Skin cool to the touch
Slower pupil response
Loss of consciousness
What is a "wide awake drunk"?
Heavy or long-term drinking causes irreversible, often fatal damage to the body. Effects include:
Heart disease and stroke
Brain cell death
Cancer of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, breast, pancreas, liver, colon and rectum
Limited normal growth in young people
Damage to eyes and skin
Malnutrition and gastric illnesses
Sexual problems in men and women
Why do young people use marijuana?
With all the caffeine and ingredients that metabolize into more caffeine, energy drinks are known as stimulants. These large doses of caffeine block the effect of adenosine, a brain chemical involved in sleep. When this occurs, brain neurons work overtime in a state of emergency, more adrenaline is released making the heart beat faster, and the drinker feels as though he or she has more energy. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant. It slows the function of the brain, releases the level of opioid peptides, numbs pain, and makes the drinker sleepy. Combining the two together, the stimulating effects of the energy drink masks the depressant effects of alcohol. In other words, the drinker does not even realize he or she is drunk. This occurrence is known as "wide awake drunk" and its effects can last up to 12 hours.
When should I start talking to my teen about marijuana?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that children and teens start using marijuana for many reasons. Curiosity and the desire to fit into a social group are common ones. Some teens have a network of friends who use drugs and urge them to do the same (peer pressure). Those who have already begun to smoke cigarettes or use alcohol—or both—are at heightened risk for marijuana use as well. And children and teens who have untreated mental disorders (such as ADHD, conduct disorder, or anxiety) or who were physically or sexually abused are at heightened risk of using marijuana and other drugs at an early age.
Does marijuana really affect adolescent brain development?
Before they become teens! The Marijuana Talk Kit for Parents
reports that 41 percent of teen marijuana smokers started before they were 15. The mean age in Rhode Island for first use is 14 years. The conversation should start before kids enter Middle School, when the risk of use starts to rise dramatically. For elementary school kids, focusing on how to make healthy, safe decisions lays a strong foundation for preventing the use of marijuana and other drugs.
Can marijuana can be addictive?
Yes. Frequent marijuana use can have a significant negative effect on the brains of teenagers and young adults, including cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and decreased IQ, according to the American Psychological Association
. Imaging scans found alterations in the frontal cortex of the brain that is associated with increased impulsiveness, in youth that begin using marijuana at an earlier age.
Is "Spice" (or "synthetic marijuana") as harmful as real marijuana?
Repeated marijuana use can lead to addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that marijuana is estimated to produce addiction in approximately 9 percent of those who use it at least once. This rate increases to about 17 percent for users who start in their teens, and 25–50 percent among daily users. In 2012, among youth receiving substance abuse treatment, marijuana accounts for the largest percentage of admissions: 74 percent among those 12–14, and 76 percent among those 15–17.
What is Social Hosting?
Yes. Spice, which is sometimes also called K2 or Fake Weed, consists of shredded dried plant materials that have been sprayed with chemicals designed to act on the same brain-cell receptors as THC, but are often much more powerful and unpredictable. Spice products are labeled “not fit for human consumption” and many are now illegal, but their manufacturers are constantly creating new chemical compounds to evade legal restrictions. Their side effects, like the ingredients, often vary, but emergency rooms report large numbers of young people appearing with rapid heart rates, vomiting, agitation, and hallucinations after using these substances. Source: NIDA
What's So Wrong with Social Hosting?
Social hosting is providing and/or serving alcohol to a young person who is under the age of 21 whether in a party-like atmosphere or by any adult simply providing alcohol to underage persons or their peers for them to drink. We may have links to the Narragansett law and/or RI Gen. Law
What's So Wrong with Underage Drinking?
Hosting parties for underage drinkers sends the message that it's okay to break the law. The mistaken idea is that you are providing a safe environment for teens to drink. There is no way to predict how teens will behave while drinking. Injuries, assault, rape or alcohol poisoning may occur on your property and you can be held criminally liable.
What are the consequences of Social Hosting?
The brain continues to develop from birth through the teen years and into the mid-20's. Using or abusing alcohol at a young age impairs brain growth. Underage drinking increases the chances of alcohol addiction later in life. Teenagers who drink are more likely to be involved in other risky behaviors, including sexual activity. Teenage drinkers have impaired memory and learning skills.
What should I do if considering hosting a party in my home?
There are many consequences to hosting a party where underage drinking occurs:
You may have your driver's license suspended, pay a fine, and/or serve jail time.
Homeowner's Insurance rates can increase.
You may be held civilly liable. Any accidents or injuries that may result could end in lawsuits.
You could be responsible for medical bills, property damage, or have to pay damages for pain and emotional suffering.
You may suffer from negative press in local radio, TV and newspapers.
Someone could be seriously injured or killed under your watch.
What should I do if my teenager is attending a party?
If hosting a party in your home, consider these tips:
Limit the number of people invited to the party and assist your teen in making the party plan.
Send limited, personalized invitations.
Avoid sending out mass invitations via email, text message, or the Internet.
Include your contact information and encourage other parents to call.
Have firm starting and ending times for the party.
Let everyone know up front that the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs will not be tolerated.
If a teen guest arrives drunk, or brings alcohol along, call his or her parents.
Secure or remove from your home all dangerous items, such as alcohol and firearms.
Notify the neighbors that a parent supervised party is being planned.
What are the Dangers of OTC (Over the Counter) Drug Abuse?
Try these suggestions before your teenagers go to their next party:
Remind them that their actions have consequences and that one doesn't have to drink to have fun.
Make sure you know how they are getting to and from the party.
Verify that a responsible adult is supervising the party and know where it is being held.
Make certain that alcohol will not be served.
If your teen plans on leaving the party for some other destination, insist that they call you first.
Remind them of the dangers of riding in a car driven by a person under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Tell your teen they can phone you to pick them up anytime, anywhere.
Set a curfew and have serious consequences for breaking it.
What are the long and short term effects of OTC drug abuse?
OTC drug abuse can be just as dangerous as taking illegal drugs. Though they come in lower doses, OTC drugs are being taken in larger quantities in order to get the same high that more expensive prescriptions and illegal drugs produce. Some OTC painkillers, though weak, have an ingredient called opioids, which are found in heroin and is a derivative of opium. When taken in large quantities, the opioid receptors in the brain catch these chemicals, block pain, and turn the pleasure system on. While the user is feeling a content and dreamy rush, their body may go into total shock. When mixed with alcohol, or allergy meds, OTC painkillers can shut down the lungs. More heavily used than OTC painkillers is OTC cough medicines, which include Dextromethorphan (DXM). DXM is a cough suppressant and is also a hallucinogenic narcotic that can be found in more than 120 OTC medications.
What are some signs and symptoms that my child may be using drugs?
OTC drug abuse can lead to serious short and long term side effects:
Short Term Effects
Steady mood changes
Inability to think clearly
Lack of interest in usual activities
Poor performance at work and school
Sense of calm when things are not
Long Term Effects
Ruptured blood vessels
Heart palpitations and failure
Harm to the brain
High blood pressure
It is often difficult to tell if your child is using drugs because changes in mood or attitudes, unusual temper outbursts, changes in sleeping habits, changes in hobbies or other interests are common in teens. These changes often signal that something troubling is going on and may involve alcohol or drugs. Here are some signs and symptoms you should look for:
Negative changes in schoolwork; missing school or declining grades
Increased secrecy about possessions or activities
Use of incense, room deodorant or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odors
Subtle changes in conversations with friends, e.g., more secretive, using "coded" language
Change in clothing choices — new fascination with clothes that highlight drug use
Increase in borrowing money
Evidence of drug paraphernalia, such as pipes, rolling papers
Evidence of inhaling products and accessories, such as paper bags and rags, common household products
Bottles of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils
New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol
Missing prescription drugs — especially narcotics and mood stabilizers
Lack of interest in personal appearance