How to set up teens for a healthy relationship with alcohol

By Steve Allsop, Curtin University Young Australians are exposed to a range of risks from alcohol, both from drinking themselves and other people’s use. According to the most recent National Drug Strategy Household Survey: A third of 14- to 19-year-olds drank at levels that put them at risk of injury at least once during the.. Read more

Teen drug users ‘wired that way’

Why do some teenagers start smoking or experimenting with drugs — when others don’t? It seems to be the way their brain is wired. In the largest imaging study of the human brain ever conducted—involving 1,896 14-year-olds—scientists have discovered a number of previously unknown networks that go a long way toward an answer. “Some teenagers.. Read more

It takes a village to keep teens substance free

We know that friends can have a big influence over our teenagers. Now it’s been discovered that peer influence is so powerful, even friends’ parents can influence our own child’s alcohol or drug use. The parenting qualities that count, according to researchers, is consistency in discipline and awareness of teenagers’ whereabouts. “Among friendship groups with.. Read more

When is it time to call the police?

Sometimes parents are put into difficult situations with their teenagers. One scenario in particular seems to run counter to everything you think your role as a parent should be. How would it feel, as a mum or dad, to have to call the police on your teenager? RELATED: Read Janine’s personal account: Rebellious teenager gets.. Read more

TV ads entice kids to drink alcohol – study

Teenage alcohol use may be influenced by television commercials that suggest alcohol is “closely associated with fun, friendship and physical activity, and best bought in bulk”. In a two-month study, researchers from The University of Western Australia found that of  2810 alcohol advertisements worth $15.8 million shown in five capital cities, about half were screened.. Read more

Speed and ecstasy associated with depression in teenagers

Teenagers who used speed or ecstasy at 15 or 16 were significantly more likely to suffer elevated depressive symptoms the following year. This was the finding of a five-year study conducted with thousands of teenagers by University of Montreal researchers. “Our results reveal that recreational MDMA and meth/amphetamine use places typically developing secondary school students.. Read more

Energy drink binge leaves teens with more than a hangover

Manufacturers of energy drinks are coming under pressure from governments and regulatory bodies following concerns about the health impacts of their products on teenagers and other at-risk groups. Typically, drinks such as Red Bull, Monster, Mother and Cocaine contain a cocktail of caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone and sugar. And they are heavily promoted to shift workers,.. Read more

Film about tragic party is changing teen thinking

An award-winning, hard-hitting Australian short film about a teenager’s party with tragic consequences is changing teen viewers’ behaviour around drinking and parties. The Gathering tells the story of a group of friends who organise a spontaneous ‘gathering’ when parents are away for the weekend. Fuelled by an abundance of alcohol and gatecrashers, events spiral out.. Read more

Lighting up the screen – how films influence teen smokers

By Rachel Hynes. I handed a bunch of DVDs to my teenager recently. They were classic 80s/90s films I thought she would enjoy – The Breakfast Club, Footloose, Reality Bites. I told her, “You’ll probably notice lots of smoking”. She came back to me later and said “No wonder you all smoked, it looks cool”. .. Read more

Energy drink ‘overdose’ on the rise

Reports of caffeine poisoning from ‘energy drink’ consumption are increasing in Australia, particularly among adolescents. A new study is calling for greater regulation of the labelling and sale of energy drinks, and for teenagers to be better educated about their hazards. Telephone calls to an Australian poisons information centre about energy drinks ‘overdose’ increased from.. Read more