Menstuff® has compiled the following information on the Teen
Pure caffeine powder is killing young
Troubled Teens - The teen drug problem
Drug Use - Quick Facts
Innovative Ways to Help Teens Struggling with Drugs, Alcohol and Crime
How to Implement a Model to Get Youth off Drugs and Out of Crime
Myth: Drug Abuse Won't Happen to My Teen
The call to legalize all illicit drugs
Pure caffeine powder is killing young
A deadly powdered drug is catching the attention of U.S. lawmakers, and it isn't heroin or cocaine.
It's pure caffeine powder.
A single teaspoon of pure caffeine powder is equal to around 28 cups of coffee, and "very small amounts may cause accidental overdose," according to the Food and Drug Administration. Overdose symptoms "can include rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures and death."
The powder is sold in bulk bags over the internet, and it's nearly impossible to measure out safe doses using everyday kitchen tools. "Volume measures, such as teaspoons, are not precise enough to calculate how many milligrams of caffeine are in the serving size," according to the FDA.
Senators want to ban it: In a letter sent to the FDA on Tuesday, Democratic senators campaigned for a federal ban on the sale of pure caffeine powder, the Hill reported. The senators reportedly said the FDA has been a "bitter disappointment" in dealing with the dangerous product.
The lawmakers' concern stems from two overdose deaths from pure caffeine powder in 2014.
The first was Logan Stiner, a high school senior who died after using caffeine powder to boost his energy -- but misjudged the dosage, according to the New York Times. The second was James Wade Sweatt, a 24-year-old recent college graduate who reportedly died after consuming a blended drink containing caffeine powder.
What the FDA has done so far: In a statement following Stiner and Sweatt's deaths, the FDA recommended that people avoid pure caffeine powder. And in 2015, the agency sent "warning letters" to five distributors of the powder, "because these products are dangerous and present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury to consumers," according to a statement.
But it hasn't been enough, the senators argued.
"It is disturbing that despite two unintended and untimely deaths associated with powdered caffeine, the FDA has done little to regulate these products or adequately enforce the standards in place to protect Americans," their letter read, according to the Hill.
"These products do not provide a way to measure a safe dosage per FDA recommendations, and are sold in quantities that could easily kill hundreds of individuals if ingested incorrectly," the letter also stated.
Caffeine kills in other ways, too: We're talking about energy drinks, like Rockstar and Red Bull. A November study found that consuming just one energy drink causes a significant spike in blood pressure -- a risk factor for stroke and heart attacks, Mic reported at the time.
The FDA has also investigated a number of deaths in recent years linked to Monster and 5-Hour Energy shots.
"I bet a lot of people don't realize how much caffeine they're
getting," Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist and director of the Joan
H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU Langone Medical Center,
said at the time.
Troubled Teens - The teen drug
Statistics for 2002 reflect a slight drop in teenage drug usage to 8.3 percent for overall consumption of all illicit drugs. Still heading the list as most commonly used drug for troubled teens was marijuana (75% of all teen users) followed by cocaine (0.9%) and marijuana combined with one or more other drugs (20%). Cigarettes were found to be a strong precursor for troubled teens to who used illicit drugs, representing about eight times the number to those teens who smoked (48.1%) and those teens who did not (6.2%). Gender differences play a role as well amongst teenagers, with a greater majority of male teens using illegal drugs (12.3%) than their female teenage counterparts (10.9%) (SAMHSA, 2002).
Alcohol, a legal drug restricted to teens only by age, proves both plentiful, available and popular among teens aged twelve through seventeen, with both casual and binge drinking reflecting a higher percentage of usage in college-age teens (GDCADA, 2004).
Research indicates there are a number of social and environmental
factors that are related to the teen drug problem in America, with a
significant number of teenagers engaging in some form of drug and/or
alcohol testing period at some time during their adolescence without
falling into the unending cycle of teen drug abuse and substance
abuse. When teens are brought together under a foundation of negative
influences broken home, developmental problems, emotional
issues, familial problems, etc. the underlying risk factors
inherent to structural functionalism can in many instances act as the
agitator for substance abuse.
Drug Use -
From 1986 to 1996, the incarceration rate for youth ages 10-18 due to drug involvement increased 291%. 2
From 1992 to 2001, juvenile arrests for drug abuse violations increased 121%, while adult arrests for similar crimes grew by 33%. 3
Adolescents who were arrested were three times likelier to have used alcohol in the past month than teens in the general population, five and a half times likelier to have used marijuana and 18 times likelier to have used cocaine. 4
About 60% of teens arrested across multiple U.S. cities were under the influence of marijuana at the time of their arrest; 37% were under the influence of alcohol. 5
Adolescents in one study who received substance abuse treatment showed a 37% decrease in weekly marijuana use and a 14% decrease in alcohol use, one year later. 7
Treatment outcomes of adolescent substance users with criminal justice involvement indicate an overall reduction in drug-related crime one year post-treatment admission. 8
Youth participating in the national Adolescent Treatment Models initiative showed reduction in substance abuse three months following treatment, particularly among youth in residential treatment. 9
The Gap in Services
While 2.3 million teens in the U.S. need drug and alcohol treatment, just 8.6 percent receive any treatment. 10
Despite concerted efforts to get substance abuse treatment to the youth who need it, estimates suggest that fewer than 10% of youth who appear to need treatment ever get it. 11
Just 42 percent of all U.S. juvenile justice residential facilities report they provide on-site substance abuse treatment. 12
The cost of outpatient treatment for cocaine use is about $2,722 per year. The cost of residential treatment is $12,467 per year. The cost of incarceration is $39,600 per year, while the cost of untreated addiction is $43,200 per year. 13
In 1999, the estimated cost of one lost youth (evidenced by a juvenile crime career, adult crime career, drug abuse, costs imposed by high school dropout, and others) was between $1.7 million and $2.3 million. 14
1 United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, Results from the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Volume III, Detailed Tables, Tables H.57, G.2 (Rockville, MD, 2002).
2 V. Schiraldi, P. Beatty, and B. Holman, Poor Prescription: The Costs of Imprisoning Drug Offenders in the United States (Washington, D.C: Justice Policy Institute, 2000), in Drug Strategies Juvenile Justice Project, Literature Review (Sept 2004), p. 2
3 Crime in the United States (2001). Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002.
4 National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, 2000 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring: Annual Report (Washington, D.C.: April 2003).
5 National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, 2000 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring: Annual Report (Washington, D.C.: April 2003).
7 Drug Abuse Treatment Outcomes Studies of Adolescents (DATOS-A); Hser, Y.I; Grella, C.E.; Hubbard, R.L; Hsieh, S.C.; Fletcher B.W.; Brown B.S. & Anglin, M.D. 2001. An evaluation of drug treatment for adolescents in four U.S. Cities. Archives of General Psychiatry 58: 689-95.
8 Grella, C.E.; Hser, Y.I; Joshi, V. and Rounds-Bryant, J. 2001. Drug treatment outcomes for adolescents with comorbid mental and substance abuse disorders. Journal of Nervous and Mental Distress 189 (6): 384-92.
9 Dasinger, L, Shane P, Martinovich Z. Assessing the Effectiveness of Community-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 36(1): 85-94, 2004.
10 US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, 2003 National Survey of Drug Use and Health.
11 Dennis, M.L.; Dawud-Noursi, S.; Muck, R.D. & McDermeit, M. 2002. The need for developing and evaluating adolescent treatment models. In: S.J. Stevens & A.A. Morral (Eds.) Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment in the United States: Exemplary Models from a National Evaluation Study. Binghamton, New York: Haworth Press.
12 Juvenile Residential Facility 2000 Census, US Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
13 Substance Abuse, The Nations Number One Health Problem.Schneider Institute for Health Policy, Brandeis University, February 2001, p.75.
14 National Center for Juvenile Justice, an
adaptation of Cohens the Monetary Value of Saving a
High-Risk Youth, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 14 (1),
reprinted from Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 199 National Report
(Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice, 1999), p
How to Implement
a Model to Get Youth off Drugs and Out of Crime
The directors offer specific steps for planning and instigating the changes, provide real-life examples from diverse communities across the nation, and provide a road map for communities to adopt the six-step model all at once or one step at a time.
The report recommends screening each teen for drug and alcohol problems, assessing the severity of his/her drug and alcohol use, providing prompt access to a treatment plan coordinated by a service team; and connecting the teen with employers, mentors, and volunteer service projects.
The report describes how judges, probation officers, treatment specialists, families and community members can take steps right now to improve the future of these youth.
Upon completion of a brief survey, the full 28 page report is
available as a PDF to download at no cost. www.reclaimingfutures.org/?q=judicial_report_survey&reportname=ProjectDirectors
Parents Use Home Drug Tests?
Home drug testing kits have become popular in recent years for parents trying to determine if their children are using drugs or to prevent them from abusing substances. But are home tests really effective? And are they helpful? Can they do more harm than good?
Is your child using drugs or alcohol? Are you sure? Answering these 20 questions can help you recognize some of the tell-tell signs.
Why Test Your Kids for Drugs?
There are several reasons that you might consider using home drug tests.
You may have considered it because the suspect your child is drinking or using drugs. The child's appearance, behavior or attitude has changed, and you suspect it may be due to substance abuse.
Or you may want to use the tests as a preventive measure. You don't believe your children have started using drugs yet, but you know drugs are out there and they are available. You believe if your children know they are going to be tested, it will prevent them from drinking or using.
Perhaps you already know your child has used drugs, because they got caught - at home, at school or by the police. You have placed your child on restrictions and have demanded that the drinking or drugging stop. You want to use the test to determine if your child is complying with your demands.
What Kind of Tests Are Available?
There are dozens of companies that offer home testing kits for sale. Home testing kits that produce instant results include breath tests, saliva tests and urine tests.
There are also kits that will test hair and blood samples, but those require a laboratory for screening results.
There are kits that will test for one drug at a time, and there are more expensive kits that will test for several drugs at the same time. Most of the drug testing kits test the child's urine.
The alcohol tests are usually breath or saliva tests.
How Do the Tests Work?
Most home drug testing kits detect the presence of alcohol or drug metabolites in urine, saliva or breath within minutes. Typically, the metabolites react with reagents and antigens on the test strips to cause them to change colors indicating either a positive or negative result.
Does Testing Prevent Drug Use?
The people who claim that home drug testing kits are effective in preventing substance abuse among children are mostly the people who are selling the drug kits. There is apparently little or no scientific evidence that using random drug testing -- either at home or at school -- is effective in preventing kids from initiating alcohol or drug use.
Those who sell the drug testing kits online claim that home testing prevents drug abuse by reducing peer pressure, but there is a void of scientific studies that substantiate those claims.
Are Drug Tests Accurate?
There is research that shows that drug testing is very accurate in verifying self-reports of drug use among children and adults.
In other words, if the person said they have used drugs in the past month, testing can verify that claim most of the time. Likewise, if someone says they have not used drugs, testing can confirm that also.
But the researchers found accurate results were achieved only when the people conducting the drug testing were "knowledgeable concerning the performance characteristics of analytical procedures used for the drug tests," including knowing "the capabilities of the test methods and validation of procedures used by the testing laboratory." In other words, someone who is trained to conduct drug tests.
Are Home Drug Tests Accurate?
The home drug testing kits are "not consistent with the guidelines of professional medical organizations," according to other researchers. If you read the fine print on many home drug testing kits, it says that the kits only provide a "screening" for drugs for preliminary testing only. The sample must be sent to a laboratory for confirmation.
Even for medical professionals, drug testing is technically challenging. One study showed that certified laboratories could have false negatives between 6% and 40% of the time. Testing performed at home by untrained parents would naturally have higher rates of error than tests conducted by healthcare professionals, researchers say.
What Are the Other Drawbacks to Home Tests?
The danger in using home drug testing lies with getting incorrect results. If you get a false negative with a drug test, you may be reassured that your child is not using drugs when in fact they are. On the other hand, if the test produces a false positive, you will mistakenly accuse your child of using drugs when they are not.
There are several other reasons home drug tests can be counterproductive:
Should You Home Test Your Child?
Ultimately, only you can make the decision whether or not to test your children for alcohol or drug use, but the experts say the negatives typically outweigh the positives on using home drug tests. You could get a false result and wrongly accuse your child, causing serious damage to your relationship.
After a 2004 study at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital, the Committee on Substance Abuse of the American Association of Pediatrics amended its policy to include a statement discouraging home drug testing by parents.
They suggest if you suspect that your child is using drugs, seek a professional assessment rather than conduct a drug test at home.
Levy, Sharon. "A Review of Internet-Based Home Drug-Testing Products for Parents. " Pediatrics. April 2004.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "Comparing Drug Testing and Self Report of Drug Use Among Youths and Young Adults in the General Population ." 19 June 2008.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Study Leads Pediatricians to Discourage Home Drug Testing by Parents " 31 July 2008
Innovative Ways to Help Teens Struggling with Drugs, Alcohol and Crime
The project directors oversee Reclaiming Futures initiatives funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Together, they have authored the report, "How to Implement a Model to Get Youth off Drugs and Out of Crime," based on six years of creating and testing new ways to help teens that enter the juvenile justice system and previously received little or no care for their drug or alcohol problems. The report describes how judges, probation officers, treatment specialists, families and community members can take steps right now to improve the future of these youth.
"When communities recognize this dire need and begin to work together to save these young people, real change can occur," said Laura Nissen, Ph.D., Reclaiming Futures national program director. "The authors of this report are the feet on the ground pioneering new approaches to help teens in trouble. It is our hope that the lessons they've learned will assist and motivate others to address this pressing need."
The Reclaiming Futures model recommends screening each teen for drug and alcohol problems, assessing the severity of his/her drug and alcohol use, providing prompt access to a treatment plan coordinated by a service team; and connecting the teen with employers, mentors, and volunteer service projects.
A recent independent evaluation by the Urban Institute and the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall Center for Children shows this model is working. The evaluation found that communities that piloted the Reclaiming Futures model reported significant improvements in juvenile justice and drug and alcohol treatment. It also indicated change in the way juvenile justice and substance abuse agencies communicate and cooperate to serve youth and families.
"We have learned that there are concrete steps that can be taken to bring communities together to change they way they help teens in the system with drug and alcohol issues," said Benjamin Chambers, project director for Reclaiming Futures Multnomah Embrace in Portland, Oregon who helped write the report. "For example, it's important to identify a lead organization and champion, develop a common vision and mission, include community partners and youth, communicate, and measure results to help the changes last."
More recommendations from the project directors can be read at www.reclaimingfutures.org where the report is posted in its entirety.
By 2009, the Reclaiming Futures model will be in up to 25 communities thanks to new investments by RWJF, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.
Reclaiming Futures National Program Office, Portland State
University, 527 SW Hall, Suite 400, Portland, OR 97201 or
503.725.8911 | Fax: (503) 725-8915 or www.reclaimingfutures.org
Myth: Drug Abuse Won't
Happen to My Teen
There are many myths and misunderstandings concerning the increase in recent years of teen prescription drug abuse, and not all of them are held by the teens. One of the biggest myths held by parents concerning drug abuse is: It will not happen to my teen.
Parents simply don't want to believe that their children will become involved in the use of drugs, prescription or illegal, but the truth is more than 43 percent of high school seniors report having used drugs at least once in their lifetime.
Here at the About.com Alcoholism / Substance Abuse site, we have several online self-assessment quizzes for those who are dealing with alcoholism and addiction as well as friends and family members who are or have been affected by the substance abuse of someone else.
One of those quizzes, "Is My Child Using Drugs or Alcohol?," allows parents to determine if some of the tell-tell signs of substance abuse are showing up in their home and their child's behavior. Of all the quizzes on the site, that one is the least utilized. Many parents think it's just not possible that their child is using drugs.
It Can Happen to Your Teen
If you have a teenager, he or she is vulnerable to becoming involved in substance abuse, even the highest achieving, most accomplished teens. You may think your children will always make sound decisions, but their brains are not yet fully developed, so their judgment and decision-making ability may not be what you think.
Even "good" teens who are from good homes and go to good schools can become involved in drug abuse, especially prescription drug abuse, according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education. Parents need to understand the reasons why teens decide to begin using drugs.
Why Teens Use Drugs
According to the Council, understanding why teens turn to drugs can help parents - as well as teachers, coaches and others - ask the right questions and intervene early if their is a problem.
Why Prescription Drugs?
In recent years, teen use of illegal drugs has leveled off or declined, but there has been an alarming increase in the use of prescription drugs. According to the Council's research, these are some of the reasons that teens have turned to prescription drugs:
Parents Can Make a Difference
The good news is parents can do something to prevent teen drug abuse. First, you can secure your medications in your home so that they cannot be easily obtained. Keep up with your pills and properly dispose of unused medications.
Secondly, talk to your children about the risks involved in abusing drugs. Research shows that teens who are educated at home about the risks of drug use are 50% less likely to use drugs than teens who are not taught about the dangers at home.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration "National Survey on Drug Use and Health Accessed 2010.
National Council on Patient Information and Education " A Troubling Trend: Why Teens Turn to Prescription Drugs (PDF)" November 2009.