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Fri. Morning Zone:More Teenagers Try Drugs and Alcohol During the Summer

Seb Oliver, Getty Images
Seb Oliver, Getty Images

Friday at 7:07AM MDT, on our KIDS-AT-RISK series in The Morning Zone, we will explore this further with our co-hosts LPC, Renee’ Hanson and Child Advocate, John Frentheway.

While the summer months are supposed to fun and a much needed break from the previous school year, a new survey finds that many teens are using their summer vacation to try drugs and alcohol.

The survey, conducted by the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, finds that nearly 11,000 teens will drink alcohol for the first time this summer, 5,000 will start smoking cigarettes and about 4,500 will try marijuana.

According to Dr. H. Westley Clark, director of the administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, more teens are experimenting with drugs and alcohol during these months because they have more idle time on their hands.

During the course of the rest of the year, these numbers appear to drop significantly. The survey finds the number of teens experimenting with alcohol for the first time dips somewhere in between 5,000 to 8,000, with nearly 4,000 teens reporting first time use of cigarettes and marijuana.

These findings are based on the administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health between the years of 2002 and 2012, which included interviews with more than 230,000 teens.

The good news is that there does not appear to be any relative increase in the abuse of prescription drugs and cocaine, although research suggests that more teens are using the summer to experiment more with things like hallucinogens and inhalants.

Experts recommend that parents work with their children to plan some type of structured daily activities, as well as have an open dialogue about what they are doing and about drugs and alcohol – and that by prolonging a teen’s experimentation with these types of things will help better their chances of not developing problems as adults.

We’ll also explore Spanking or slapping your children may increase the odds that they will develop mental health issues that plague them in adulthood, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Canada found that up to 7 percent of a range of mental health disorders were associated with physical punishment, including spanking, shoving, grabbing or hitting, during childhood.

“We’re not talking about just a tap on the bum,” said study author Tracie Afifi, an assistant professor in the department of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg. “We were looking at people who used physical punishment as a regular means to discipline their children.”

At 8:07, we’ll talk about an open meeting coming up here in Cheyenne on Monday, July 9th at The Laramie County Library on The Best Ways to Recognize and Respond to Bullying by Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker, Phsychologist, EMDR I&II.

9:07AM MDT Open Lines: Your chance to be our guest in The Morning Zone

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