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All the resources you need for sober living and helping your loved ones succeed.

What is Dual Diagnosis? A Review of Examples and Treatment Options

Find out what dual diagnosis is, examples of conditions and modern treatment options available.

What is Adolescence Syndrome?

Adolescence Syndrome, often known as puberty syndrome, is typically caused when a malfunction exists in the glands that produce growth hormones responsible for the maturation process.

Is Alcohol a Gateway Drug?

As Research Continues on The Gateway Drug Hypothesis, More of Them Conclude That Alcohol is the Main Gateway Drug for Adolescents and Teens.

Sobriety is Possible: Tips for Managing Sobriety Around the Holidays

The holidays are a time of year that many people associate with drinking, but sobriety is possible. Sobriety can be difficult during the holidays because there are many social events and temptations to drink, but it's possible to stay sober with the proper support and tools.

Is Substance Use “Normal” Teen Behavior?

Many parents ask themselves this question because they suspect that their child is using drugs or alcohol. They want to understand common teen risk behaviors and their consequences. Why do young adults experiment, and what are the dangers of experimenting with drugs and alcohol while the brain is still developing?

Teen Triple-C or Coricidin Addiction

Before the FDA banned codeine in cough medicine, there were people who abused cough syrup for its narcotic effects. Since the 1970’s the codeine in cough syrup has been replaced with dextromethorphan or DXM

How to Recognize Anxiety in Teens: Understanding Teen Anxiety

Everyone feels anxious from time to time; a feeling of worry, uneasiness, and fear of what may happen in the near future. Depending on the situation or perceived threat, these feelings of anxiety could be mild or intense.

Xanax Use Rising Among Teenagers

Recently, the Southern California – based Institute for Public Strategies put out a warning for parents: Although overall underage prescription misuse is declining, Xanax abuse by teenagers is increasing.

Xanax Candies – the Newest Teenage Drug Trend?

If your teenager has been misusing Xanax or any other benzodiazepine, abruptly quitting “cold turkey” can be dangerous – even life-threatening. For that reason, seeking professional help is ALWAYS RECOMMENDED.

What You Need to Know about Underage Drinking

Alcohol is the most frequently used – and abused – intoxicating substance used by American youth. In fact, every year, underage drinkers consume 11% of all the alcohol drank in the United States.

What Can We Learn from Iceland's Solution to Teen Addiction?

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, teenagers in Iceland drank and used other addictive substances heavier than most of their European peers. Today, Icelandic teens are the cleanest-living on the continent.

Vyvanse: Pure Amphetamine for ADHD

While most people are familiar with ADHD prescription stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin, fewer patients are knowledgeable about Vyvanse, another prescription-only amphetamine.

Volunteering Reduces Risk of Teen Addiction

If you want to protect your children from the dangers of drug addiction, get them involved in community volunteering, researchers say.

Vaporizers Hiding Teenage Marijuana Use

According to a recent study published in the May 2015 edition of Pediatrics, the increased use of electronic vaporizers by American teenagers is allowing them to better disguise their use of marijuana.

Transgender Teens and Substance Abuse

Transgender students face discrimination and prejudice, with 1 in 9 pupils receiving death threats. Coping mechanisms when living in a hostile environment will be many and varied

Top 10 Mistakes Parents Make About Teenage Substance Abuse

Today’s teens face drug hazards that did not exist in the past. Teenage substance abuse has always been a concern for parents, but present dangers include...

The Twelve Steps of Recovery and You, Part 3

For generations of addicts, the Twelve Steps of Recovery are a life-saving “how-to” guide. They guide struggling substance abusers through the process of transforming their lives—from unmanageability and despair to health, hope, and balance.

The Twelve Steps of Recovery and You, Part 2

For a person at any stage of recovery, the Twelve Steps serve as a roadmap. For one thing, they help you find your way from where you are – addiction – to where you want to be – sobriety. Also, the Steps highlight important stops along your journey.

The Twelve Steps of Recovery and You, Part 1

ll over the world, people in recovery follow some version of the Twelve Steps. But what does that mean?For over 80 years, generations of substance abusers have been helped by Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Link between Energy Drinks and Addiction

Can popular energy drinks be “gateway” drugs that lead to harder, more dangerous substances?Recent research conducted by the University of Maryland says “YES”

The Impact of First-Time Marijuana Use

Perhaps reflecting society’s changing attitudes, teen marijuana use is on the rise. Approximately 6% of American 12th-graders admit to smoking marijuana daily –THREE TIMES the rate over the last decade.

The Effect of Ketamine on the Teenage Brain and Body

“Our biggest concern is the use of ketamine among adolescents, whose brains are still developing. The toxin may inflict more damage to the brain, and without early intervention, we are afraid it may result in permanent brain damage.”

The Dangers of Huffing—What Every Parent Should Know about Inhalants

If your teenager is abusing inhalants or any other substance, your family needs professional intervention and treatment. Only a certified addiction specialist has the training and experience needed to help your teen regain their sobriety and learn how to make healthier choices.‍

The 12 Steps of Recovery and You, Part 4

Since 1935, the Twelve Steps of Recovery have guided struggling substance abusers to a new way of life. In this installment, we examine the Sixth Step:

Teenagers and Weed – Why it IS a Big Deal

If your teen is abusing marijuana, it important that you get them professional help, before the consequences become too great and the damage becomes permanent.

Teenage Suicide, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and mental illness are closely connected. Each causes, is caused by, worsens, and is worsened by the other. One of the most serious dangers associated with addictive disorders is a greater risk of suicide

Teenage Substance Abuse by the Numbers

Today’s teenagers face drug and alcohol dangers that did not exist in generations past – synthetic drugs, powerful prescription opioids, and marijuana that is stronger than ever before.

Teen Substance Abuse in South Orange County

We tend to see higher rates of substance abuse in South Orange County and along the beach communities.

Teen Substance Abuse 2018, Part 2

This is the second of a 3-part series about teenage substance abuse trends for 2018, as released by the Monitoring the Future project.

Teen Substance Abuse 2018, Part 1

Right now, teen substance abuse is a bigger concern than ever. Moving into 2018, teenagers are faced with a variety of challenges that simply didn’t exist for previous generations. For concerned parents, keeping a watchful eye is no longer enough.

Teen Drug Testing - Is It Right for Your Family?

re there advantages to teen drug testing? We all want to trust our children and the that they are acting in a safe and responsible manner.

Teen Drug Slang 101 - Prescription Benzodiazepines

When most people picture “prescription medication overdoses”, they probably think of opioid painkillers. They don’t realize that 3 out of every 10 fatal prescription overdoses involve benzodiazepine medications. This is the class of sedating medications that are typically prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and several other conditions.

Teen Drug Slang 101 - Prescription Stimulants

According to the Center on Young Adult Health and Development, two out of every three college students will be offered a prescription stimulant and some point. Worse, one out of three will use them.

Teen Drug Slang 101 – Prescription Opioids

In 2015, over 55,000 Americans died because of fatal drug overdoses. The American Society of Addiction Medicine reports that 20,101 of those deaths are because of prescription opioid painkillers.

Teen Drug Slang 101 - Heroin

heap, powerful heroin – most of it flowing in over the Mexican border – is a major cause for concern in Orange County. According to the 2017 Drug & Alcohol Morbidity & Mortality in Orange County report, which is put out jointly by the OC Sheriff’s Office and the county’s Health Care Agency, almost 67% of all alcohol or drug-related deaths are due to opioids.

Teen Alcoholism – Just like Any Other Addiction

Alcohol is the most-used addictive substance in the world. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, over 86% of American adults drink alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Of special relevance, 66% are current drinkers, averaging 4 drinks per week.

Synthetic Marijuana Increases the Risk of Further Drug Use

They are sold online or out in the open, misleadingly labeled as other products – herbal incense, “all-natural” smoking blends, potpourri, etc. – but what they are in reality are synthetic cannabinoids – potent and dangerous designer drugs.

Stoned Behind the Wheel: Teens Troubling Views on Marijuana and Driving

After a new survey conducted jointly by Students against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual Insurance, the findings concerning a significant percentage of teenagers’ opinions on marijuana and driving are, to say the least, disturbing. What’s worse, many of their parents share the same mistaken beliefs.

Social Media and Teen Substance Abuse

Can social media harm your teen or adolescent? Smart parents know that if they want to help protect their teenagers from the dangers of alcohol and drugs, they have to stay involved with the “4 W’s” of their children’s lives:

Sober Dorms for College Students in Recovery

Sober dorms may just be the newest “best” thing going on right now on college campusesAlcohol abuse is a major problem at universities across the country.

Schizophrenia Risk Rises in Teens Who Smoke Marijuana

Smoking marijuana may put some teenagers at increased risk of developing schizophrenia, according to a new study published in Human Molecular Genetics. Significantly, the 2016 Monitoring the Future Study reported that nearly half of American 12th-graders have tried the drug at least once.

Risk and Protective Factors for Teenage Substance Abuse

“For young children already exhibiting serious risk factors, delaying intervention until adolescence will likely make it more difficult to overcome risks. By adolescence, children’s attitudes and behaviors are well-established and not easily changed.”

Questions Parents Ask about Teenage Addiction and Recovery

Learning that your teenager is abusing drugs or alcohol is a stressful and confusing time. Stressful, because of the inherent dangers of teen addiction. And confusing, because you don’t know what you’re supposed to do about it. Teenage addiction is TERRIFYING for parents.

Prescription Drug Abuse Among Teens

According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, prescription drug abuse by American teenagers is a major problem. A solid 24% of teens – more than 1 in 4 – abuse prescription drugs at some point in their lifetime.

Peer Pressure, Drugs, and Your Teenager

Past Drug Use Predicts Ecstasy Use Among Teens

Parents and Teens: Observing Dry January Together

Every New Year millions of people work on improving themselves – losing weight, saving more money, exercising, etc. But for those people who are struggling with a drinking problem, there is another annual tradition worth observing, and it could be life-changing –“Dry January”.

October 28 Is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in Southern California

“A lot of these drugs are not obtained by the end-user through prescription, but someone is obtaining a prescription for way more than they need and maybe doing so on a regular basis and selling the drug and that’s where we see a lot of addiction start.”

FDA – Don’t Give Codeine or Tramadol to Kids

Codeine and Tramadol, two popular opioid medications, have now been identified as potentially life-threatening to children. On April 20, the FDA issued its strongest warning and requires manufactures to immediately change labels to warn parents of the possible danger.

Marijuana More Dangerous to Teenage Brains Than Alcohol

A brand-new study just released October 2018 has determined that marijuana is even more dangerous to still-maturing teenage brains than alcohol. These results come as a major surprise, even to the researchers, who admitted, “We initially suspected alcohol would have a bigger effect.”

Marijuana and Violence: The Connection You Didnt Know about

“People may think of hashish and marijuana as tranquilizers, but according to some studies, cannabis users may be more likely to act violently.”

It's OKAY to Ask for Help!

If your teenager is abusing alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medications, you are probably in a desperate state of mind. As their parent, you of course want to do everything you can to protect them, but this time, you don’t know how.

It's Complicated - Trauma and Substance Abuse

“While psychological trauma is characterized by disruptions in a person’s sense of control, addiction can also be viewed as a disorder of control, or more accurately, an inability to control. The loss of control is insidious, often unrecognized by the addict until, in Alcoholics Anonymous terms, life becomes unmanageable.”

Intervention: 4 Reasons to Use a Professional

When your teenager is of using alcohol or drugs, you need not go through it alone. Because addiction-fueled dysfunctional isolates you, you may not recognize your available resources...

How Boredom Drives Teenage Drug Use

As children become teenagers and further transition to young adulthood, the chemistry in their brains changes dramatically, making them more likely to seek out new experiences and sensations. Their increased hormones produce a natural urge that causes them to pursue sensory pleasure and excitement.

Heavy Drinking Causes Lasting Brain Changes in Teens

Scientists have long known that drinking during adolescence creates lasting changes in the still-developing brain. Now, new research has found that some of these are the result of chemical changes within the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with emotion regulation, fear, and anxiety.

For the Parents: Don’t Let Your Kids Sip Alcohol

“I would say that it is advisable not to offer your child a sip of your beverage, as it may send the wrong message — younger teens and tweens may be unable to understand the difference between drinking a sip and drinking one or more drinks.”

Family Income Affects Teenage Drinking

Can how much YOU make influence how much teenage drinking goes on in your family?

Everything You Need to Know about Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid medication prescribed to relieve severe short-term pain. Fentanyl does not “block” pain. Rather, it alters the person’s perception of that pain. Use can also result in a euphoric “high”, making popular as a recreational drug.

Even A Little Pot Changes the Volume of Teenage Brains

Because marijuana is now legal in California and use is so common, many parents view it as a minor vice, very much like alcohol. If they smoked pot when they were younger—or do now—they may even believe that experimentation by teenagers is just a rite of passage.

E-Cigarettes and Teenagers: How Dangerous is Vaping?

The most recent Monitoring the Future survey reports that the number 12th-graders who admit to vaping nicotine within the past month almost doubled this year.

Dual Diagnosis - Statistics about Teen Addiction and Mental Disorders

Substance abuse is now classified as a mental disorder, and it often co-occurs with some other type of mental illness in what is known as a dual diagnosis. Scientists have discovered that those people who are genetically or environmentally susceptible to one kind of disorder are at increased vulnerability to the other.

Dual Diagnosis - Your Questions Answered

One of the biggest challenges facing teenagers with addictive disorders is when their substance abuse problems cooccur with another psychiatric or emotional condition – a dual diagnosis. When a teenager is struggling with both illnesses, it can complicate successful recovery from either.

Drug and Alcohol Use--Talking to Your Teens

It is our responsibility as parents to overcome our fears and talk to our children about what may literally be a matter of life and death for them – drug and alcohol use. Every child is at risk for experimentation, abuse, addiction, and all of the horrific consequences that can ensue.

Drinking as a Teen Causes Liver Problems as an Adult

“Our study showed that how much you drink in your late teens can predict the risk of developing cirrhosis later in life.”

Dopamine and the Teenage Brain

“… it shouldn’t surprise us that behaviors such as eating or sexual behavior are linked with increases in dopamine and in the same areas that drugs do it.”

Do Sports Increase the Risk of Teen Opioid Abuse?

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, participation in high school athletics is more popular than ever. 2015-2016, nearly 7.9 MILLION students played some type of organized sports – the 27th consecutive year of increased participation.

Depression and Teen Substance Abuse

“These afflicted teens are being driven by something that makes them act in ways that hurt themselves and those around them. That “something is what we call “ depression…”

Codependency—The Love That Hurts Your Addicted Teen

When you are the parent of a teenager with a substance abuse disorder, THEIR disease can make YOU just as mentally sick? This is known as codependency.

Cocaine Changes the Brain from the FIRST Use

A recent National Institute on Drug Abuse survey revealed that greater than 1 in 7 Americans over the age of 12 will experiment with cocaine at some point in their lives. That is especially true in Southern California – between 2010 and 2012, cocaine seizures at the US-Mexico border DOUBLED.

Brain Injuries during Childhood May Lead to Alcohol Abuse among Females

A 2015 study found that girls who suffer closed-head brain injuries such as concussions are at a greater risk for alcohol abuse later in life. Of special relevance, they also are more likely to make...

“My Teen is Addicted”— 7 Books That Can Help

One of the most important things you can do to help your teen is to educate yourself about alcohol and other drug abuse and dependence and what treatment for abuse and dependence is.”

April Is National Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for young people, and parents can make a difference. The longer children delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it. That’s why it is so important to help your child connect the dots and make smart decisions about alcohol and drugs.”

April 29 -- Prescription Drug TAKE BACK DAY in Orange County

“Nearly half of all overdose deaths were due to accidental overdose of prescription drugs. This highlights the importance of focusing prevention efforts to address the rising opioid consumption among residents.”

Answering Your Questions about Addiction and Recovery

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that there are almost 24 MILLION Americans struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.

Amphetamines - the #1 Drug Problem for California Teens

Does it surprise you to know that amphetamines are the most-abused drug in California?

Alcohol Detox for Teens: What You Need to Know

When a teenager enters into treatment for alcohol abuse, it sometimes surprises their parents that the first stop on their sober journey is a medically-supervised alcohol detox. This frustrates some families. Because alcohol has made their life unmanageable, they want treatment to start right away.

Addiction Starts Early

“… teenagers often experience a far more rapid progression from experimentation to addiction than is true for adults. Denial manifests differently, too, in that young people are more likely to glorify their use, while adults are more likely to minimize theirs.”

Addiction: A Modern Definition

Not too long ago, addiction to drugs or alcohol was considered a character defect – a moral or spiritual weakness. People who abused either were told that they could quit if they just had enough willpower. And when they couldn’t end their addiction on their own, they and their families continued to be locked in a desperate and downward spiral.

420 - Psychosis and Marijuana

“It’s not sensible to wait for absolute proof that (marijuana) cannabis is a component cause of psychosis. There’s already ample evidence to warrant public education around the risks of heavy use of cannabis, particularly the high-potency varieties. For many reasons, we should have public warnings.”

2019 National Mental Health Month: Dual Diagnosis and Your Teen

Mental illness often presents with other health conditions –both physical and mental – that can negatively impact the person’s quality of life and even their ability to function normally.

10 Tips for Staying Sober in Social Situations

How can you stay sober AND have fun with your friends?

Video Game Addiction is Now a Recognized Mental Health Condition

In the newest edition of its International Classification of Diseases, just released in June 2018, the World Health Organization has for the first time recognized “gaming disorder” as a legitimate mental health condition.

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