5 Things Teachers Need to Know About Teens, and Drugs and Alcohol

5 things teachers need to know

5 Things Teachers Need to Know About Teens, and Drugs and Alcohol

It can be hard speaking to teens about drugs and alcohol in a way that isn’t met with eyes roles. It’s even harder as a teacher to understand when it’s your place to speak up. Educators play a huge role in developing teenage students. We can also play a pivotal role in helping these teens stay drug and alcohol-free. Since the world of drugs and alcohol in this country is shifting by the day, we thought we would offer a few tips. In conclusion, here are 5 things teachers need to know about teens, drugs, alcohol, and how you can make a difference.

 

1. The Drug and Alcohol Landscape Is Always Changing

The drugs available to teens today are stronger, and much more accessible than they were a few decades ago. In most cases, the drugs being used today are several times more potent than those that were being used 30 years ago. Compile that with the recent wave of recreational marijuana legalization across the country, and that has only added to the complexity of the situation. Most noteworthy, is that heroin and prescription drug abuse among teens has been on the rise for several years now. We officially have an opioid epidemic sweeping this country.

 

2. Drugs and Alcohol Don’t Discriminate

It’s easy to miss the drug or alcohol problems that a student may be struggling with. We can assume that good students can’t possibly be abusing drugs and/or alcohol. In reality, it’s just not that simple. Drug and alcohol abuse doesn’t discriminate and it can’t be predicted based on an individual’s background, income level, family success, or race.

 

3. Talk About Prevention Early and Often

Due to the ease of consuming digital content via mobile device technology, kids are developing positive ideas about drugs and alcohol at early ages. Especially through access to adult music and television shows. This is definitely one of the 5 things teachers need to know. It is critical that educators begin having preventative conversations with their students before they get to middle school age. Understand that this is not a one-and-done type of conversation. Education should be ongoing because teens will face pressures throughout the rest of their adolescent journey. Research encourages engaging with teens in regular ongoing talks about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. It can reduce the chance of them abusing drugs and/or alcohol by more than 40% (The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 2011).

 

4. Educate, Don’t Judge

In the past, educational programs geared towards teens primarily focused on the moral and legal consequences of their drug and alcohol use. However, arguments about how drugs will ruin their lives, or how they’ll end up in jail for smoking pot, just don’t resonate and are more likely to be ignored than received by today’s teens. We should focus our efforts on teaching the science behind drug and alcohol abuse. We need to talk to teens about the lasting impact that drugs and alcohol can have on their ability to learn, and the effects that it has on their developing bodies.

 

5. A Little Bit of Effort Can Make A BIG Difference

If you see something, say something. It’s important that as a teacher, you are not afraid to share your concerns because it can mean life or death. Your role as an educator is to listen, inform, and provide a good example for your students to follow. Creating and/or sponsoring after school programs and clubs are a great way to help. It’s a great way for your teen students to find healthy alternatives to wasting time abusing drugs and/or alcohol.

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Dangerous Teen Vaping Trends

Dangerous teen vaping

Dangerous Teen Vaping Trends

Dangerous teen vaping trends are up and while teens smoke cigarettes at a lower rate than years past, another product that has taken its place. E-cigarette use is on the rise. Mostly due to the ability to flavor tobacco with an array of fruity flavors and the type of smoke released. In addition to the flavors, teens also like vaping because it emits a lot of smoke. There are actually competitions on who can exhale better or more smoke. As teens do, they have now begun to push vaping limits and are practicing dangerous new vaping methods. As a result, new vaping trends are increasing the dangers linked with vaping and toxic exposures.

Dripping Vape Method Dangerous?

Through experimentation, there’s now new ways to vape. One method called “dripping” is gaining popularity among teens. Studies have found that one out of every four high school teens who has vaped has also tried “dripping”. “Dripping” is a dangerous new way of vaping and teens like it. Vape liquid is dropped directly onto the hot coils within the vaping device, hence, making thicker smoke. According to a recent study by www.Pediatrics.org . Sixty four percent of teens say that they use “dripping” to get a thicker smoke. Almost forty percent said that they “drip” for better taste.

What makes “dripping” so dangerous? Normally, when using an e-cig, liquid is slowly released from a wick onto a hot atomizer. As a result, vapor is expelled rather than smoke. Through “dripping”, users are exposed to higher nicotine levels and can be exposed to several toxins. Additional toxins may include carcinogens like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.

E- Cig Popularity Grows Among Teens

E-cigarette products are becoming popular among teens. Most teenage e-cigarette users say that they don’t use other tobacco products. Consequently, some teens have taken advantage of this trend using vaping devices to smoke marijuana oils and waxes undetected. Since marijuana derivatives can be used in vape devices and pens, parents need to be vigilant. What your teen says is non-nicotine vape juice, may be THC liquid used for getting high. In conclusion, if you allow your teen to use vape devices, be sure to know what is being used in the device. Flavored vape liquid have a strong smell. Flavors and smell range from fruity, like gum or candy smell to things like cake flavors. Marijuana derivatives, or oil, doesn’t have a sweet smell at all. It has little to no smell and will give off an earthy odor.

Speak candidly and without judgement to your teens about dangerous teen vaping. Most of all, be prepared to listen. Avoid the  feeling to overreact. If you suspect that your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, please know that there is help available. You can start right here on our site.

Take the pledge to be drinking and drug free