Teens and Drug Abuse - Information to make healthier decisions

Teen Drug Abuse Help At Your Fingertips

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) statistics show a decrease in teen drug use. Despite this good news, there will be kids who will get sucked into abusing drugs. Steering clear of these dangers can be a difficult thing.

NIDA's Teen web site, teens.drugabuse.gov, is a very good resource. It delivers science-based facts about how drugs affect the brain and body to arm kids with better information to make healthy decisions.

One helpful feature is their Sara Bellum Blog. It shares the latest research and news with teens in a non-preachy manner. It gives teens a way to communicate their thoughts about drugs. Visitors can leave their own comments. A glossary on the web site is available to look up unfamiliar terms.

The theme this year for the National Drug Facts Week is "Shatter The Myths", November 8-14, 2010. Find out more details about it on the NIDA Teen web site.

Teens need to be educated about the dangers of drugs in order to make good decisions. The NIDA web site is just one more tool in the arsenal to fight drug abuse.

Information has been provided by Your U.S. Government Blog, GovGab, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Featured Condtion/Disease: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) makes it difficult for children to control their behavior and stay focused. ADHD is usually diagnosed when children first go to school, a time when they must sit for longer periods and pay attention in class. Parents are often aware years earlier that their child has a problem.
Having ADHD doesn't mean your child has a problem with intelligence or ability to reason. Children with ADHD usually have normal or above-normal intelligence, and many are gifted.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) used to be called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), but that term isn't really used any more. Today the term ADHD is used with an add-on comment of "with the hyperactivity" or "without hyperactivity." The differences are related to the fidgety behavior or �hyperactivity� some children have. Hyperactivity is more than just being "active." It is activity much greater than children typically have. Below are the types of ADHD.
  • Inattentive type: Many children with ADHD have problems paying attention. Children with the inattentive type of ADHD often:

    • Don't pay close attention to details and make careless mistakes.
    • Cannot focus on the same task for long.
    • Don't follow through on instructions or finish schoolwork or chores.
    • Cannot organize tasks and activities well.
    • Get distracted easily.
    • Often lose things such as toys, school work and books.
  • Hyperactive-impulsive type: Being more active than other children is probably the most visible sign of ADHD. The hyperactive child is "always on the go." As he or she gets older, the activity level may go down. These children are also impulsive, meaning they often act before thinking, like running across the street without looking. Hyperactivity and impulsivity tend to go together. Children with the hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD often may:

    • Fidget and squirm more than other children.
    • Have a hard time staying in their seats.
    • Run around or climb constantly or when they are told not to.
    • Have trouble playing quietly.
    • Talk too much.
    • Blurt out answers before questions have been completed.
    • Have trouble waiting their turn.
    • Interrupt others when they're talking.
    • Butt in on the games others are playing.
  • Combined type: Children with the combined type of ADHD have symptoms of both these types described above. They have problems with paying attention, with hyperactivity and with controlling their impulses. Of course, from time to time, all children are inattentive, impulsive and too active. With children who have ADHD though, these behaviors are the rule, not the exception. 

  • Inattention:

    This includes children who have trouble keeping their minds on what they are doing and often skip from one activity to the next without completing anything. They don't pay attention to details and often make mistakes. They have problems organizing and planning and often lose or misplace their schoolwork, pens, toys or other things.

  • Hyperactivity:

    Hyperactive children always seem to be in motion. Sitting still seems nearly impossible. They may dash around, wriggle in their seats, roam around the room or talk without stopping. They wiggle their feet or tap their pencils. They are often restless, bouncing around from one activity to the next or trying to do several things at once.

  • Impulsivity:

    These children often blurt out answers before questions have been completed. They have difficulty waiting for their turn. They often butt into conversations or games. They get into fights for little or no reason. 

  • More Information

    To get more information about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), click here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Cystic Fibrosis

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Cystic Fibrosis.

    Cystic fibrosis affects the cells that produce your body's secretions (body fluids other than blood) such mucus, sweat, saliva and digestive juices (stomach acid). Normally, these secretions are thin and slippery, but in children with cystic fibrosis, a defective gene causes the secretions to become thick and sticky. The thick mucus can clog the lungs and cause breathing problems. Mucus also can create a block in the pancreas (organ in the body) and other parts of the body causing stomach problems and difficulty digesting food.

    Cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disease, can cause severe lung damage and malnutrition (lack of necessary minerals and vitamins from foods). It is not contagious. Each child with cystic fibrosis is affected differently. Some children with cystic fibrosis are in good or even excellent health. Others are so severely limited by the disease that they may need to be hospitalized or cannot attend school regularly. Exercise is very good for these children, helping to loosen the mucus that clogs the lungs and increasing the ability to breathe deeply. Some children may tire more easily than other children.

    In hot weather or when exercising, your child should be encouraged to eat salty snacks and drink extra fluids -- about 6-12 ounces of fluid every 20-30 minutes. Avoid caffeinated drinks such as colas because they can increase fluid loss (www.cff.org). Early identification is important in helping your child to maintain good health. The "sweat test" is the one most often used to determine if a child has cystic fibrosis. This simple and painless procedure measures the salt in a child's sweat. A high salt level indicates cystic fibrosis. 

    Common Signs

    Children with cystic fibrosis can have any of these symptoms:
    • Frequent pneumonia.
    • Diarrhea

      and/or greasy, bulky stools.
    • Poor weight gain.
    • Cough lasting more than a month.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Constant upset stomach.
    • Very salty-tasting skin, often noticed by parents when they kiss their child.
    Keep in mind that symptoms are very different from child to child. There are more than 1,000 different types of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis.

    More Information

    To get more information about Cystic Fibrosis, click here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

    Low-Cost Dental Healthcare


    The Florida Dental Association has organized 213 dental practices which will provide free or low cost care. To find more information about this program, visit the Smile Florida Organization web site*.

    If you meet certain requirements and fall below a certain level of income, you may be eligible for these low cost dental services.  To locate a low cost provider that meets your needs, click here to access the 2010 Dental Care Resource Guide and dental providers by county.

    The links below will refer qualified applicants with specific needs to providers of free dental work:

    * Provided by the Florida Department of Children and Families.