Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood

An online guide about interventions in early childhood that can help prevent drug use and other unhealthy behaviors was launched today by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The guide offers research-based principles that affect a child’s self-control and overall mental health, starting during pregnancy through the eighth year of life. It recognizes that while substance use generally begins during the teen years, it has known biological, psychological, social, and environmental roots that begin even before birth. Click here to view this online guide.

Make sure you’re giving your children the right medicine and the right amount

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests when using nonprescription medicines, here are 10 ways to be sure you’re giving your children the right medicine and the right amount.

  1. Read and follow the label directions every time.  Pay special attention to usage directions and warnings. If you notice any new symptoms or unexpected side effects in your child or the medicine doesn’t appear to be working, talk to your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
  2. Know how much medicine to give and when. Read and follow the label.
  3. Know the abbreviations for tablespoon (tbsp.) and teaspoon (tsp.). You should also know: milligram (mg.), milliliter (mL.), and ounce (oz.).
  4. Use the correct dosing device. If the label says two teaspoons and you’re using a dosing cup with ounces only, don’t guess – get the proper measuring device. Don’t substitute another item, such as a kitchen spoon.
  5. Never play doctor. Twice the recommended dose is not appropriate just because your child seems twice as sick as last time. When in doubt about your child’s condition, call your doctor.
  6. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional before giving two medicines at the same time to avoid a possible overdose or an unwanted interaction.
  7. Follow age and weight limit recommendations. If the label says don’t give to children under a certain age or weight, don’t do it. Call your doctor.
  8. Always use the child-resistant cap and re-lock the cap after each use. Be especially careful with iron-containing vitamins or supplements, which have been a source of accidental poisoning deaths in children under three.
  9. Follow the “KEEP OUT OF REACH” warning. Today’s medicines are often flavored to mask the taste of the medicine, which is all the more reason to keep all drugs out of the sight and reach of children.
  10. Always check the package and the medicine itself for signs of tampering. Don’t buy or use any medicine from a package that shows cuts, tears, slices, or other imperfections. Report anything suspicious to the pharmacist or store manager.

Talking To Teens About Marijuana

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that Pediatricians should provide guidance to adolescents and their parents about what the evidence shows on marijuana use and safety, and the ramifications of marijuana use on teens’ health. Read more about this here.

Study Finds 88% of Teens Who Abuse ADHD Drugs Use Someone Else’s Medication

A study from the University of Florida College of Public Health and and Health Professions and the College of Medicine found almost 90 percent of teens who abuse medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) say they used someone else’s medication.

The study included more than 11,000 American children and teens ages 10 to 18, who were interviewed between 2008 and 2011. This was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Learn more here and read the journal article here.

Student Intervention and Reintegration Program (SIRP)

SIRP is an educational, risk-reduction program for high school aged youth who have had experiences with tobacco, alcohol or drugs, and who may not qualify for treatment. The primary goal of SIRP is to reduce or eliminate use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs and associated problems, such as absenteeism, car crashes, fights, risky sexual behaviors, and health problems. SIRP helps participants plan for and commit to changes in their behavior.

Learn more about the SIRP Program offered in our service area here