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College Alcohol Abuse and Injuries

by James Heller 30. September 2009 06:50
When adolescents go back to college after a break, parents should remind them of the dangers of alcohol abuse.  This means that parents need to educate themselves on these dangers so communication can come from the heart.  And caring words from a parent will do much more good than threats from the school they attend.

Parents commonly feel a lack of control over their teens’ behavior when they leave home for college.  That is because there is no control.  They can’t effectively be grounded anymore.  So how do parents minimize the chances their teens will abuse alcohol and risk injury?

By the time they leave home for college, teens have learned values and responsibility.  There is still room to grow, of course, but trying to force rules for life on them at this point will probably fall on deaf ears.  Parents can, however, send their growing youths away with information and possibly some wisdom from personal experience.

Parents can share stories from their young adult days where alcohol caused injury to a “friend”.  Depending on the relationship, personal alcohol abuse stories, where physical injury occurred, could benefit.  The goal is to convey that alcohol is a legal substance that can be fine in small amounts, and can bring serious physical consequences when abused.

It is always a good idea for parents to be educated on trends in alcohol abuse, especially with adolescents and college aged children.  The Addiction Technology Transfer Center has published a study that deals with college drinking and injury.  A portion is below, followed by the link.

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“In the United States, most – as in 70 percent – of college students have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, and 40 percent of students have engaged in heavy drinking in the past two weeks,” said Marlon P. Mundt, assistant scientist in the department of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and corresponding author for the study.

“More than 1,700 U.S. college students aged 18-24 died from alcohol-related injuries in 2001,” he added. “Approximately 2.8 million U.S. college students drove under the influence of alcohol in the past 12 months, and 600,000 U.S. college students were hit or assaulted by a student who was under the influence of alcohol.”

-- http://www.attcnetwork.org/explore/priorityareas/science/tools/asmeDetails.asp?ID=620

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.  If you or a loved one needs help with adolescent alcohol abuse, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Adolescents With Co-occurring Disorders

by James Heller 6. May 2009 14:21
May, 2009 is National Mental Health Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about mental health issues as related to substance abuse, dependence and alcohol and drug treatment.  A growing percentage of alcohol and drug treatment admissions include co-occurring mental health disorders.  Special care is needed to ensure recovery for these patients, as is provided at Tarzana Treatment Centers.

Adolescents with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders have an opportunity to live normal lives in recovery if they seek treatment.  But parents must first know when alcohol or drug treatment is needed and where to get it.  Tarzana Treatment Centers specializes in alcohol and drug treatment, along with integrated behavioral healthcare to treat co-occurring mental health disorders.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides some good information on when a teen is more likely to be using alcohol or drugs.  Below is a section of an informative report that can be helpful for parents of adolescents with behavioral issues.  The full report is more detailed.

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Emotional Problems and Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence

The severity of emotional problems is associated with increased likelihood of adolescent alcohol or illicit drug dependence. Adolescents with significant emotional problems were nearly four times as likely to report dependence as were those with low emotional problem scores. Alcohol or illicit drug dependence was reported by approximately 3 percent of adolescents with low emotional problem scores, by 7 percent of those with intermediate problem scores, and by 13 percent with significant emotional problems. Within specific age groups, the prevalence of dependence was consistently higher for adolescents with more serious emotional problems, with the exception of adolescent males aged 12 to 13. Older adolescents with serious emotional problems had the highest rates of dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs: 23 percent for males 19 percent for females. The corresponding rates for younger adolescents aged 12 to 13 were 3 percent for males and 9 percent for females.

Behavioral Problems and Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence

The severity of behavioral problems is associated with increased likelihood of alcohol or illicit drug dependence. Adolescents with significant behavioral problems were over seven times more likely to report dependence than those with low behavioral problem scores. Alcohol or illicit drug dependence was reported by approximately 2 percent of adolescents with low behavioral problem scores, by 6 percent of those with intermediate problem scores, and by 17 percent of those with significant behavioral problems.

Within specific age groups, dependence increased with the severity of behavioral problems. This pattern was observed among both males and females for very young adolescents aged 12 to 13, for adolescents aged 14 to 15, and for older adolescents aged 16 to 17. Dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs was highest among older adolescents aged 16 to 17 with serious behavioral problems (26 percent). The corresponding rates for very young adolescents aged 12 to 13 were 4 percent for males and 9 percent for females.

-- Source: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NHSDA/A-9/comorb3c-38.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Adolescent Alcohol and Marijuana Abuse

by James Heller 16. April 2009 13:49
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

A lot can be learned using sets of data.  The data below is from a 2007 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  

Trends in adolescent alcohol and marijuana abuse have remained steady for about a decade, and alcohol use rates have always been higher than marijuana.  However, looking at the data below, significantly more teens enter adolescent alcohol and drug treatment claiming marijuana as the problem substance.  

Although a moderate amount of marijuana treatment admissions are imposed by law enforcement for illegal possession, they don’t account for the entire difference.  From this, one might conclude that alcohol is being overlooked as a factor in adolescent substance abuse.  

With all that is known about alcohol’s effects on adolescent brain development, there needs to be more attention paid to teen alcohol abuse.  Parents should research adolescent alcohol treatment even if their child engages in occasional binge drinking.

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According to the 2006 NSDUH, more than 8 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 drank alcohol in the past year, nearly 5 million used an illicit drug, and more than 4 million smoked cigarettes. In addition, on an average day during the past year, adolescents aged 12 to 17 used the following substances:

  • 1,245,240 smoked cigarettes;
  • 630,539 drank alcohol;
  • 586,454 used marijuana;
  • 49,263 used inhalants;
  • 26,645 used hallucinogens;
  • 13,125 used cocaine; and
  • 3,753 used heroin.

The 2006 NSDUH also indicates that:

  •  adolescents who used alcohol in the past month drank an average of 4.7 drinks per day on the days they drank; and
  •  adolescents who smoked cigarettes in the past month smoked an average of 4.6 cigarettes per day on the days they smoked.


TEDS reported that in 2005 there were 142,646 admissions for adolescents aged 12 to 17 to substance abuse treatment programs (TEDS data come primarily from facilities that receive some public funding). TEDS also indicates that on an average day in 2005, adolescent admissions to treatment presented with the following substances as the primary substance of abuse:

  • 255 with marijuana;
  • 72 with alcohol;
  • 24 with stimulants;
  • 10 with cocaine;
  • 7 with opiates; and
  • 7 with other drugs.

-- Source: http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/youthFacts/youth.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

The Urgency of Teen Alcohol Treatment

by James Heller 15. April 2009 11:50
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.


Adolescent alcohol abuse does not need to become dependence before alcohol treatment is considered.  The damage can begin with the first time a teen gets drunk, depending on the amount used and if there is a health issue that can be aggravated.  

Some parents seem to accept that their teenager will go to parties and use alcohol.  In many cases there is a sense of relief that “at least he/she isn’t using drugs”.  They consider a hangover punishment enough, and, hopefully, a lesson that will keep the teen from repeating the act of heavy binge drinking.  Many times the lesson is indeed learned, but is it really worth it to risk a child’s future?

These parents will probably gain some insight from the Call to Action issued by the Acting Surgeon General in March, 2007, excerpted below.  At the very least, adolescent alcohol education groups should be considered for teens who occasionally binge drink.  For parents concerned that a real problem exists, outpatient and residential alcohol treatment, like adolescent programs at Tarzana Treatment Centers, can help.

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THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF UNDERAGE ALCOHOL USE

Underage drinking is a significant but often overlooked problem in the United States. Young people between the ages of 12 and 20 are more likely to use alcohol than use tobacco or illicit drugs, including marijuana. Although adolescents tend to drink less frequently than adults, they drink considerably more per occasion—5 drinks on average. Underage alcohol use, and especially binge drinking—a particularly harmful pattern of drinking—puts individuals at risk for a range of problems.

Despite the high prevalence of and the problems associated with underage drinking, many adults do not realize the extent of the problem, or do not view underage drinking as harmful. Many see alcohol use by teens as a “rite of passage” and may even facilitate it. Challenging this culture of acceptance is key to preventing and reducing underage drinking.

Alcohol use is intertwined with growing up in the United States. Both drinking and binge drinking ramp up dramatically during the teen years and into early adulthood. By age 15, approximately 50 percent of boys and girls have had a whole drink of alcohol; by age 21, approximately 90 percent have done so. Even more worrisome is the fact that many youth engage in binge drinking. National surveys indicate an increase in binge drinking days for girls through age 18 and boys through age 20. Among college students, about 80 percent drink alcohol, about 40 percent binge drink, and about 20 percent binge drink three or more times within a 2-week period. Among underage military personnel, 62.3 percent report drinking alcohol at least once a year and 21.3 percent report heavy alcohol use.

The number of young people who drink and the way they drink results in a wide range of negative consequences affecting large numbers of underage drinkers and those around them. These consequences include risky sexual behavior; physical and sexual assaults; potential effects on the developing brain; problems in school, at work, and with the legal system; various types of injury; car crashes; homicide and suicide; and death from alcohol poisoning.

In addition, early initiation of drinking is associated with alcohol dependence both during adolescence and later in life. According to a landmark survey on the drinking habits of Americans, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), the highest prevalence of alcohol dependence is among 18- to 20-year-olds.

-- Source: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA73/AA73.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.