Do Allergies Increase the Risk for Mental Health Disorders in Children? New Study Says Yes!

Researchers who performed a recent study on allergies and mental health disorders in children saw some surprising results. Although direct causation between the two factors can not be scientifically proven by concrete evidence the findings confirm what many medical professionals have long suspected. Children who have allergies at younger ages are typically more likely to experience mental health disorders like anxiety and depression than children who do not suffer from allergies. The researchers also determined that as the allergies increased the child had higher scores for internalizing behavior. These internalizing behaviors can contribute to mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. According to Children’s Mercy Hospital Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology Division researcher and lead study author Dr. Maya K. Nanda “I think the surprising finding for us was that allergic rhinitis has the strongest association with abnormal anxiety/depression/internalizing scores compared to other allergic diseases.”

The new study results on allergies and mental health disorders could provide earlier monitoring and treatment for these conditions. According to Dr. Nanda “This study can’t prove causation. It only describes a significant association between these disorders, however we have hypotheses on why these diseases are associated. We think this study calls for better screening by pediatricians, allergists, and parents of children with allergic disease. Too often in my clinic I see allergic children with clinical anxiety (or) depressive symptoms; however, they are receiving no care for these conditions. We don’t know how treatment for allergic diseases may effect or change the risk for internalizing disorders and we hope to study this in the future.”

Teens who Witness Substance Abuse More Likely to Engage in Short Term Antisocial Behavior

teens that witness another person engaging in substance abuse at elevated risk for anti-social behavior

A new study by researchers at Duke University shows that teens who witness substance abuse are more likely to engage in short term antisocial behavior, and this antisocial behavior typically occurs on the same day that the substance abuse was witnessed. The risk of this occurring is increased significantly when the teen who witnesses the behavior has a specific gene that makes the teenager more sensitive to the exposure to substance abuse. Duke Center for Child and Family Policy director and Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy associate professor Candice Odgers explained the study results by stating “Past research has shown that children who grow up in families, schools, and neighborhoods where alcohol and drugs are frequently used are at risk for behavioral problems later in life, but our findings demonstrate that these effects are immediate.”

The latest study on teens, substance abuse exposure, and antisocial behavior involved 151 teenagers who were all between the ages of 11 and 15 years old who were growing up in neighborhoods that are classified as high risk. The teens answered survey questions 3 times a day for 30 consecutive days, and more than 90% of the teens involved in the study completed the required study period without any problems. Penn State Methodology Center research associate and lead study author Michael Russell became involved when he was a Duke Center for Child and Family Policy research associate and started collaborating with Odgers. Russell explained “We tried to use tools from adolescents’ worlds to capture their experiences, emotions and behavior in real time. Connecting with kids via their devices provided a unique view into their daily lives and, we hope, more valid data as we were capturing events, experiences, and behaviors as they happened.”

Opioid Abuse and Addiction Treatment in Higher Demand in the USA as More Seek Help

More adolescents and adults in the USA are seeking out opioid abuse and addiction treatment according to a new report by the American government. The abuse and addiction rates for heroin and prescription opioid medications has reached epidemic proportions and the number of overdose deaths caused each year in this single country are staggering. In response the FDA recently approved the use of a drug that can reverse an overdose of opioid drugs before permanent damage can be done if the drug is administered quickly enough after the dose of opioid is taken. Alcohol still holds the #1 spot when it comes to substance abuse treatment services sought, but heroin and other opioid drugs are not far behind.

A news release from Kana Enomoto, the SAMHSA Acting Administrator, details the increase in opioid abuse, and the larger percentage of individuals who are actively seeking addiction treatment. Enomoto stated in the release that “Whether people are struggling with alcohol, prescription drugs, or illicit substances, seeking help is a critical step toward achieving recovery. Time and again, research has demonstrated that treatment helps people with substance-use disorders to regain their lives. As with other life-threatening conditions, this step can be the difference between life and death. We need to encourage people to seek help. Treatment works. People recover.” Anyone who has a problem with heroin, prescription pain medications, alcohol, or other substance types needs to seek help for these problems. Until the issues are addressed and resolved the substance abuse will continue to ruin your life.

Substance Abuse Prevention Tips for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time when many people eat and eat, and then eat some more. This is also a time when many people find substance abuse prevention tips especially helpful. Since this holiday is seen as one of indulgence many people will end up drinking excessively or using drugs as a result. There are some steps you can take to help avoid this outcome, whether the issue is with you or those you care about. One way to avoid temptation is to make your Thanksgiving celebration alcohol free. Instead of serving several kinds of beer and wine or offering mixed drinks with spirits why not make festive drinks and mocktails which are delicious but that have no alcohol in them. If there is no alcohol then everyone can relax and have a great time without worrying whether someone is going to drink too much or cause a scene when they get drunk.

There are many other great substance abuse prevention tips for Thanksgiving and the other year end holidays, all you have to do is look for them. Why not have everyone who attends the feast volunteer at a local shelter or other charitable organization? This volunteer work can take place before dinner or after it, and it will give everyone the opportunity to realize what they should be grateful for. Support groups and therapy meetings can also be scheduled more frequently around this holiday for those who feel the urge to give in to temptation. It is possible to get through the holidays without engaging in substance abuse when you have an effective and reliable plan in place.

New Application Shows What Crystal Methamphetamine Addiction Will Do to You


what Methamphetamine Addiction will do to youIce Effex is a new application that shows how crystal methamphetamine addiction can affect you. The app details how you would look after abusing meth for a single year. The difference that 12 months can make can be very dramatic when methamphetamine is being used, and many who have used the app were shocked by how drastic their looks and beauty changed in such a short period. Trinity Lionel and Hadyn Cook, a couple from Australia, used $40,000 of their life savings in order to develop Ice Effex and the motivation came from the time they spend working at a local rehab facility. The new application uses digital technology to alter a photo of the individual. The program allows the image to be altered to reflect 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months of methamphetamine addiction.

The new application for methamphetamine addiction was designed to help prevent this type of addiction n the first place. Cook explained the reasoning behind Ice Effex to journalists and said “To sit with my son and say ‘eat your veggies, it’s good for your insides,’ they don’t give a stuff about that. They care about what they look like. It’s a really big deal to them at that age. The devastation and cost that one user can have on a family and community is huge. Even if [the app] saves one kids or a couple of kids, it will have been worth it.” In addition to the digitally altered image the new application also provides important medical information about how meth affects the body underneath the skin. The app creators are hoping that it will be used as a teaching tool in schools as well.

The Risk of Future Prescription Drug Abuse is Higher Even When Adolescent Painkiller Use is Necessary

Even when adolescent painkiller use is necessary prescription drug abuse is high
happy young teen boy in school on chemistry classes and library

Investigators and researchers from the University of Michigan have determined that the risk of future prescription drug abuse is higher even when adolescent painkiller use is necessary, showing that even the legitimate use of these drugs in this age group can have consequences. In fact teens who are given these drugs are one third more likely to go on to abuse opioid drugs in the future. The study showed that these drugs were used in order to feel good, get high, or even relax once they were no longer n high school. There are situations where pain management is truly needed, and proper medical care and treatment is important. The USFDA has recently announced plans to approve Oxycontin for children as young as 11 years old and this has caused some concern in the medical community.

No one is advocating that adolescent painkiller use should be avoided even if this is medically necessary, but it is important for parents and medical care providers t fully understand the risks that these drugs pose when it comes to future prescription drug abuse. According to University of Michigan Institute for Social Research research professor and the lead author of the study Dr. Richard Miech “Most likely, the initial experience of pain relief is pleasurable and this safe experience may reduce perceived danger. A pleasurable and safe initial experience with a drug is a central factor in theories of who goes on to misuse drugs.” Parents and medical care providers may want to try non narcotic pain management medications and methods first before using opioid drugs to treat pain in children and adolescents.

Can Teen Sleep Problems Accurately Predict Teen Substance Abuse?

Can teen sleep problems predict substance abuse

A recent study on teen sleep problems and teen substance abuse show that there is a link between these two factors. Though there is a proven relationship between teen sleep problems and teen substance abuse this relationship is one that is highly complex and very complicated. Studies have shown that many problems associated with substance abuse among teens are connected to sleep patterns. Idaho State University scientists decided to look further into this connection between these factors to see whether sleep patterns could be used as a prediction factor for teen substance abuse. The research included data on more than 6,500 adolescents. The researchers found that sleep problems among teens could be used to predict numerous substance abuse issues, including binge drinking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and driving under the influence among other behaviors.

Teen sleep problems that may be used to predict teen substance abuse includes getting to sleep, staying asleep, and getting enough sleep each night. The data used for the study was compiled over a period of several years, and sleep patterns from the earlier waves were compared to substance abuse in the later waves. The study also showed that as adolescents aged they tended to get less sleep each night, with many being sleep deprived on a regular basis by the age of 17 or 18. Some studies have shown that the sleep patterns of children as young as 2 or 3 may predict substance abuse and other dangerous behaviors in adolescence. This makes it essential that parents ensure good sleeping patterns throughout childhood.

Is Synthetic Marijuana Safer Than the Real Thing?

synthetic marijuan is featuring more and more heavily in teen drug use

Synthetic marijuana is gaining in popularity in spite of all the warnings about dangers and teen drug use, and some people wonder if this popularity shows that the synthetic version of the drug is safer and less risky that actual weed. The truth is that synthetic marijuana is like playing Russian roulette, you never know what you will end up with and you could lose everything because of a single decision that you make. Synthetic products are herbs and other plant material that has been sprayed with chemicals and compounds which are intended to mimic the THC in real marijuana. These chemicals can be different from one product to the next, and the formulations change as laws and law enforcement play catch up and ban certain analogs.

Teen drug use is a big concern today, and teens are one of the groups where synthetic marijuana has grown in popularity. Emergency Rooms across North America have seen more patients come in under the influence of synthetic marijuana, and treating these patients can be very problematic. Since there is no single drug the emergency room staff can not run a single test to determine whether the patient took this type of product, and most patients will not admit to substance abuse when things go bad. Synthetic marijuana is also often much more powerful than the natural plant version, so the user has a higher risk of an overdose. There have even been deaths reported from these products, and serious side effects like aggression and catatonia.

5 Things Parents and Teens Need to Know About Synthetic Marijuana

synthetic marijuana is featuring more and more heavily in teen drug use

1. Teen drug use is on the rise, and many teens believe that synthetic marijuana is safe. These drugs are sold in many stores and available at local retailers in most populated areas, and many teens view them as a safer alternative to street drugs even though this is not true.

2. Unlike many other drugs synthetic marijuana is not a single drug. Instead a wide variety of chemicals may be used on plant materials in order to activate THC receptors in the brain of the user. Sometimes these receptors may be activated too much by the chemicals involved, and that can lead to serious medical problems or even death in some cases.

3. Law enforcement and the laws are not highly effective at eliminating synthetic marijuana because every time a law is passed banning a chemical the manufacturers of these products simply change the chemical compounds used so that it is not one which is currently banned.

4. The side effects of synthetic marijuana can vary widely. Some who have used one of these products have become extremely aggressive, confused, or even ended up in a catatonic state. During adolescence when the brain is still maturing and developing the use of these drugs can have very serious consequences.

5. In spite of all the risks and dangers of synthetic marijuana these products are still very popular for teen drug use. One appeal for some people is that many drug screens can not catch these drugs, but the outcome may still be disastrous for the user.