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

Rebellious teenager gets a dose of tough love

This is a personal account by The Kids Are All Right reader Janine about the difficult time she has had with her rebellious teenage son, and how they’ve turned things around. A couple of months ago I wrote to ‘The Kids are Alright’ out of sheer desperation.  My then 15-year-old son had run away after.. Read more

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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

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

We’re not all bad

During National Youth Week 2012, we asked teenagers to tell us parents something we need to know. This is what Resi, 14, wrote for us. It’s almost insulting how little you trust my friends and I. You say it’s because it’s just to protect me but if protecting me means not letting me go to.. 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

Do teenagers need a vitamin supplement?

Exam stress, insufficient sleep, poor diet, growth spurts… the teen years can be tough on the body. If your teenager is burning the candle at both ends, you might be wondering if they should be supplementing their diet with a multi-vitamin? The billion-dollar supplement industry has created multi-vitamin products for just about every sub-group of.. Read more

Fatal attraction: young Australians travelling on the edge

By David Beirman, Senior Lecturer Tourism, University of Technology Australians love to travel the world. In 2011 more than 7.5 million Australians (or more than one third of all Australians) travelled outside the country. Of course, most Australian travellers abroad have enjoyable visits free of danger or mishap. But occasionally, they hit the headlines for.. Read more

Mind your kid’s business

In Sydney last night, the police picked up 13 teenagers who were drunk or affected by drugs. The stories in today’s press have an air of ‘parents not caring about their kids’ about them. Nine boys and four girls were picked up, aged around 14 or 15. Phoned by police, one boy’s carer said he.. Read more