Study Finds Excessive Pot Smoking Leads to Verbal Memory Loss

Another study has raised concerns amid the ongoing debate over marijuana legalization, particularly among those at adolescent residential rehab centers that see the effects of this drug firsthand. The new study indicates daily, long-term marijuana use may contribute to impairment of short-term memory. When combined with the results of other studies, opponents of marijuana legalization point out that these findings support the idea that marijuana use can lead to some type of cognitive decline over time.

Does Medical Marijuana Lead to Teen Marijuana Use?

As the debate about legalizing marijuana continues across the country, questions have arisen about how legalization for medical reasons has impacted marijuana use among the younger population. While some organizations are asserting the rise in medical marijuana has had no effect on marijuana use among teens, there is evidence to the contrary. Since studies have also shown marijuana use at an earlier age can lead to impaired brain function and even a drop in intelligence, it is important to weigh all the facts when determining whether medical marijuana is a viable option in the U.S.

Opioid Prescriptions Can Lead to Abuse, Dependency in Teens

The narcotic OxyContin was recently approved by the FDA for use in children between the ages of 11 and 16. The approval comes at the same time a University of Michigan study found teens that use prescription drugs legally during adolescence have a higher risk for substance abuse when they become adults. In fact, kids that use prescription opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin during high school increase their risk for drug abuse by one-third by the time they reach the age of 23.

Important Facts about Teens and Depression

The teen years are typically filled with a wide range of moods and behaviors. However, if your teen appears locked into negative feelings like sadness, anger or withdrawal from family and friends, a more serious problem may be the culprit. Depression is a widespread problem among teens, affecting as many as one in five adolescents. It is important for parents to learn to recognize symptoms of teen depression and seek out professional help their child may need.

Substance Abuse and Adolescent Brain Development

The teen years are a common time for experimentation with drugs and alcohol. This trend can be attributed in part to the way the adolescent brain develops. Unfortunately, that development can also be affected by substance abuse, which can lead to long-term and even permanent impairment in brain function. It is important for parents to understand the link between brain development and substance use to get an accurate picture of how one might affect the other in their children.

The Connection between Omega-3s and Mental Illness

Mental health disorders and addiction often go hand-in-hand, resulting in what is known as a co- occurring disorder or a dual diagnosis. Treating the mental health illness is an important factor in keeping a recovering addict on the path of sobriety. Now, new evidence is suggesting that treatment of mental health disorders may be about more than psychotherapy and medication. While these components are usually necessary for promoting positive mental health, another component may prove equally valuable – supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids.

Common Anxiety Disorders in Teens

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness among children and teens today. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, the lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders may be as high as 25 percent, while severe disorders occur in nearly six percent of the population. Although treatment of anxiety disorders has a relatively high success rate, only a small number of these disorders are properly addressed. It is important for parents to learn to recognize the symptoms of anxiety disorders, since these conditions can lead to additional mental health or substance use disorders if left untreated.

When You Have a Mental Health Disorder

It is not unusual for a teen to suffer from a mental health disorder. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, one in five teens and young adults live with some type of mental illness. Half of those will develop their condition by the age of 14.

Discovering you have a mental health disorder can be frightening and confusing. However, you are not alone in your diagnosis. In addition to friends and family members that are ready to support you, there are a wealth of resources and treatment opportunities for young people struggling with mental illness today. The earlier you seek treatment, the more effective the treatment will likely be. Don’t wait to talk to someone about your illness and seek the help you need.

Teen Musicians Win GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares® Teens Make Music Contest and a 58th Annual GRAMMY® Experience

~Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares® Recognize Winners~

NEW YORK (Jan. 25, 2016) – Teen musical artist Lee Reh has been chosen as the winner of the sixth annual GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares® Teens Make Music Contest for his original interpretation of the importance of living above the influence of drug and alcohol use. Second- and third-place winners have also been chosen. The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, the two nonprofit organizations of The Recording Academy®, in collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’ Above the Influence campaign, will honor all the winners in late January and early February with exclusive GRAMMY® experiences and prizes. The GRAMMY Foundation offers a range of GRAMMY in the Schools music education programs for high school students, teachers, and schools along with archiving and preservation initiatives; and MusiCares provides emergency financial assistance and addiction recovery resources to members of the music industry in need.

Predicting Adolescent Recovery

A new study has identified a factor that can help to predict the success of adolescent recovery after substance addiction. Researchers have discovered that mastery of one’s thinking could help to predict reduced use of substances like marijuana and cocaine over time. This new study could shed light on how brain function might impact addiction treatment and recovery. It might also provide clues in how utilizing a reward system could improve the outcome of the recovery process for some teens and adults.