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News and information dedicated to helping families avoid the dangers and heartbreak of underage alcohol consumption and drug use in Weld County.
Weld County Prevention Partners
eNews | Vol. 32 | Jan 2019

In This Issue


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Talk to Your Teen About The National Drug Facts IQ Challenge

Do you find it difficult to find time to talk to your teen about sensitive subjects like tobacco use, underage drinking, marijuana and other drugs? This week the National Institute on Drug Abuse is making it easier. During the NIDA’s National Drug Facts Week (January 22-27), the organization challenges teens to take the National Drug Facts IQ Challenge, a quiz the enables teens to test their knowledge about drugs, alcohol and marijuana.

This terrific on-line Drug Facts IQ Challenge presents an opportunity for parents and teens to discuss drug and alcohol use in a factual manner, without drama. Parents are encouraged to take the quiz, as well. Why not see who is more informed with the facts: you or your teen?

Here’s a statistic every parent should know: A study by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) shows that when parents talk to teens about drugs and alcohol, teens are 80% less likely to use them. Studies also show that teens value the opinions of their parents more than those of their peers, movie stars, sports figures and other “pop culture” influencers.

If you’d like your teen to take the National Drug Facts IQ Quiz this week, visit the Weld County Prevention Partners website at wcpp.info. The quiz is on the homepage.

Did You Know?

  • 15.8% of 13-year-olds in Weld County have had a full drink of alcohol.
  • 8.2% of 13-year-olds in Weld County have had marijuana.
  • 9 out of 10 addictions start in the teen years.*
  • Although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.**
*The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 14 April, 2017.
** Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Washington DC 2005

Daily Use of Marijuana Among Non-College Young Adults at All-Time High

Here are the highlights from the 2017 Monitoring The Future survey results on drug use among college students compared to their peers not attending college (ages 19-22).
  • Daily, or near daily, marijuana use among non-college young adults has continued to rise, reaching its highest level (13.2 percent).  As a result, daily, or near daily, marijuana use is now nearly three times as high among non-college young adults as among college students.
  • For the first time, questions about vaping marijuana, were added to the survey in 2017.  Past month use appears to be higher among non-college young adults than among college students (7.8 percent vs. 5.2 percent).
  • With respect to past month use, alcohol use in college students is higher than in non-college peers (62 percent vs. 56.4 percent).
  • Daily smoking of cigarettes for non-college peers is higher than college students (14.4 percent vs. 2 percent). Past month use of vaping nicotine appears to be higher for non-college young adults compared to college students (7.9 percent vs. 6 percent).
  • Past year misuse of Vicodin in both college and non-college peers dropped dramatically since 2009 (8.4 percent in 2009 to 1.1 percent in 2017 and 11.2 percent to 1.8 percent, respectively).
  • Synthetic drug use over the last year is lower in college students than in non-college peers. Synthetic cannabinoids (K2/spice) use is 0.5 percent vs. 2.4 percent and synthetic cathinones (bath salts) is 0.2 percent vs. 1.5 percent, respectively.

How Does Nicotine In e-cigarettes Affect Teen Brains?

We know so much more about teen brain development than we used to. We know now that the brain is still growing up until age 25. Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. When a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, synapses (or connections) are built between brain cells. Addiction is a form of learning, so these synapses are stronger when built in a teen brain. 

Some people have suggested that use of e-cigarettes by young people might "protect" them from using cigarettes. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, some studies show that non-smoking youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try conventional cigarettes in the future than non-smoking youth who do not use e-cigarettes. And among high school students and young adults who use tobacco, more use both e-cigarettes and burned tobacco products than use e-cigarettes alone. 

The aerosol from e-cigarettes is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, including nicotine; ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead. 

Scientists are still working to understand more fully the health effects and harmful doses of e-cigarette contents when they are heated and turned into an aerosol, both for active users who inhale from a device and for those who are exposed to the aerosol secondhand. 

Even if you don’t think your teen is vaping or using e-cigarettes, it’s wise to share this information with them. Who knows? They may share it with a friend who IS vaping.

Youth Who Drink Alcohol Are More Likely to Experience…

  • Problems in school, like higher absence rates and poor or failing grades
  • Social problems, like fighting and lack of participation in youth activities
  • Legal problems, like being arrested for driving while intoxicated or physically hurting someone while drunk
  • Unwanted, unplanned and unprotected sexual activity
  • Physical and sexual assault
  • Higher risk for suicide and homicide
  • Alcohol-related car crashed and unintentional injuries like drowning, burns or falls
  • Memory issues
  • Abuse of other drugs
  • Death by alcohol poisoning
  • Changes in brain development that could have life-long effects***
***Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility, National Research Council and Institute of Medicine

Best Apps For Parents of Teenagers

Yes, there’s an app for just about anything. Here’s a great list of apps that can help keep your teen safe.

Spyzie: This app lets you keep an eye on your teen and know how they use their phones—without having to root or jailbreak it. It traces all the important details of a device like its location, calls, messages, notes, browser history and more. You can also monitor their social media and take screenshots of the device. Spyzie.com

ScreenTime: If you think your kids are addicted to certain gaming apps or social media, ScreenTime is ideal. You can set restriction on the device and monitor its overall use, remotely pause or resume the device function and get in-depth statistics related to the device usage. https://screentimelabs.com.

Qustodio provides insight into your teen’s device in a trouble-free way. It can protect them from online threats and cyber-bullying. You can set filters on device usage and block apps or websites. Plus, you can get daily reports on the device usage. https://www.qustodio.com

Google Calendar is one of the best ways to keep track of your family’s important events, meetings and schedule. Family members can share their calendars with each other. http://calendar.google.com/calendar 

Life 360 Driver Protect: This app provides automatic crash detection and emergency communication, location history, accident assistance for drivers, crime hotspots and alerts and weekly reports. https://www.life360.com/driverprotect

Help Me: This is a must-have for parents who want to keep their teens safe away from home. It allows them to instantly share their location and ask for help, it has an integrated SOS Alert feature and includes helpline numbers and tips. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.danielmorcombe.helpme&hl=en

These are just a few of the apps that are available for parents, and more are being released every day!

Signs That Your Kid Could Be Using Marijuana

Back in the day, it was pretty easy to tell if someone had been using marijuana. You could smell it! With edibles, vaping and other forms of using marijuana, it’s not as easy to tell—unless you know the signs! Here are some common signs that your teen might be using marijuana:
  • They’re hungry and eat more than usual
  • They act nonsensical for no reason
  • Their eyes are red or you find eye drops in their room or backpack
  • They’re more irritable
  • They display a lack of interest or motivation in usual activities
  • They have trouble recalling things that just happened
  • They begin using incense in their room or heavy perfume or cologne
  • There’s money missing from your household
  • They are hanging out with a different crowd than they used to
If you think your teen is using marijuana, it’s not ok. Yes, it’s against the law. But more importantly, young brains are still developing and marijuana use can have long-term negative effects, like not being able to concentrate. To find out more, visit our website at wcpp.info.

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