Monday, August 16, 2010


As we approach the time to return to school, it is prudent for all parents and educators of high school teenagers to recognized risk factors for teens, focusing on “troubled teens”, as the most at risk group of high school teenagers. Teens are a population of people, most at risk for drug use, abuse, and addiction. For troubled teens, the risk that teens will smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs increases sharply if they are highly stressed, frequently bored or have substantial amounts of spending money, according to The National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse VIII: Teens and Parents, an annual back-to-school survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. This survey was the first of its kind for CASA.

Included in CASA's survey findings:
• High stress teens are twice as likely as low stress teens to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs.
• Often bored teens are 50 percent likelier than not often bored teens to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs.
• Teens with $25 or more a week in spending money are nearly twice as likely as teens with less to smoke, drink and use illegal drugs, and more than twice as likely to get drunk.
• Teens exhibiting two or three of these characteristics are at more than three times the risk of substance abuse as those exhibiting none of these characteristics.
• More than half the nation's 12-to-17 year olds (52 percent) are at greater risk of substance abuse because of high stress, frequent boredom, too much spending money, or some Teens who have a history of physical or sexual abuse, a learning disability or eating disorder, or teens suffering from serious depression or another mental health condition are also at a greater risk for teen drug abuse and teen addiction.

Five Ways Parents Can Reduce Troubled Teen Behaviors and At Risk Potential
• Identify mental health issues including attention deficit disorder, depression, oppositional defiance disorder, bipolar, ptsd, and other conditions commonly found in the teenage population.
• Identify the stress in your child's life and help them, offering individual therapy or boarding school, adolescent residential rehab, and alternative solutions.
• Understand when and why your children are bored, upset or triggered to engage in negative behaviors. Engage them in activities, suited for their personality and ability.
• Limit the amount of money your children have to spend and monitor how that money is spent.
• Know who your children's friends are and keep their friend’s and parent’s telephone numbers available for your use.
• Create a rewards-based chore and responsibility schedule. Reward good behavior and goal-oriented chores, tasks, and academics.
• Participate in your children's lives: attend their sports events, musical or theatrical accomplishments, oversee their homework and remain knowledgeable about their grades and academic performance, participate in activities together, and talk with them about drugs.

Written by: K. Corcoran
Source: Sources: CASA News Release, Teens At Risk Updated December 24, 2007

If the information you are looking for is not found here and you need immediate attention for your troubled teen you may contact us:
Addiction Treatment for Teens: 1-888-757-6237

Addiction Treatment for Young Adults and Adults : 1-888-387-6237

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