The Opioid Epidemic's Effect on Children

Posted by MST Services

addiction-antibiotic-capsules-159211Elizabeth’s baby was due in June, and that’s exactly when she came— on the very morning of her due date, a new little girl entered the world. Elizabeth was ecstatic to become a mother, sharing the special moment with her partner, but as the newborn was examined, doctors came back with bad news: the baby was unnaturally stiff and had difficulty breathing. Elizabeth’s heart sank as she heard the diagnosis: neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. After years of opioid addiction, beginning with prescription painkillers like Percocet and culminating with heroin usage, her worst fears had come to fruition: Elizabeth’s baby girl had been born with an opioid addiction.

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Topics: Child Welfare, Substance Abuse

Four Programs That Treat Teen Substance Abuse

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_143649277_PreviewThe effectiveness of teen substance abuse programs relies on a collaborative effort between the program, the parents or family, and the adolescent. Successful programs must have the agreement and participation of the adolescent involved in substance abuse. Treating drug abuse is not an easy task, but there are a mix of programs out there determined to address the issue.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

Alcohol, Drugs, Youth, and Arrests.

Posted by MST Services

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Drug and alcohol use can cause tragedy across all members of society. Perhaps one of the most vulnerable groups is that of juveniles.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

Are Juvenile Drug Courts a Good Alternative to Incarceration?

Posted by MST Services

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Life can just be plain tough sometimes. But for some adolescents who feel anxious, angry, depressed, oppressed, stressed or even bored, drugs are a glamorous escape. Drugs represent a way to avoid life and offer relief from the pain of abuse, a “bad day,” or poor self-esteem.

Natalie*, just 15 years old, snuck out and was inclined to take just one “hit” to forget the disappointment of being denied a night out by her parents. She quickly learned that drugs made it possible for her to forget that she had homework, housework, and a commitment to her family she felt was unwarranted. She had a feeling of pure escape that transcended the circumstances Natalie felt were wrong in her life. She wasn’t a bad kid, just susceptible—which eventually led her to a local juvenile drug court.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

The Opioid Epidemic: A National Emergency Infographic

Posted by Dr. Scott Henggeler

Are we in danger of losing a generation of children from the opioid crisis

Our family lives on a picturesque island off the coast of Maine. Yet, painkillers prescribed by physicians resulting in opioid addiction and the ready availability of heroin have damaged the lives of many families in our extended social network – children of our friends, friends of our friends, work colleagues of our friends, families of our children’s friends, and acquaintances in our community.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

Opioid Epidemic Hits Pennsylvania Hard

Posted by L Moore and LA Cook

EPISCenter responds to the growing opioid epidemic in the state of Pennsylvania

Imagine an 18-year-old former high-school football star, now a shell of his previous self. His decline started when a knee injury left him in a lot of pain. No one knew it, but he became addicted to the pills that were prescribed by his doctor to help him recover. He says he later started using heroin because it is cheaper and easier to get on his college campus than painkillers. 

Or consider the young teen who was suspended from school because she was found "under the influence of something." Later, her parents found out their daughter bought pills from one of her classmates who took the pills from his mother’s medicine cabinet.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

Do Girls in the Juvenile Justice System Commit More Drug Crimes?

Posted by Sue Dee

Proportion of females arrested for drug crimes higher than males

There has been some good news and statistics in the juvenile-justice world recently. One is that juvenile-drug arrests fell to about 112,100 in 2014, down from 200,000 14 years earlier.

However, examining this stat more closely finds something disturbing. Call them girls, young women, females, whatever you prefer, they are now accounting for a larger percentage of juvenile drug arrests than their male counterparts. Also worrisome is, writes Jeffrey A. Butts of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in a recent brief, “the growing proportion of females among juvenile drug arrests was seen among arrests for drug manufacturing and sales as well as arrests for simple drug possession.”

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Topics: Substance Abuse

MST as a Successful Treatment for Teen Drug Abuse

Posted by Williams & Alexander

Multisystemic Therapy helps teen beat drug abuse 

Grace is a 15-year-old who was referred to Multisystemic Therapy (MST) after her truancy led to a Family With Service Needs (FWSN) petition. An FWSN petition allows the state of Connecticut to address the needs of children younger than 16 who have committed what’s considered unlawful behavior. MST was the program of choice because of its proven effectiveness with teen drug abuse and delinquent youth.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

6 Ways to Protect Your Child from Social-Media

Posted by Diane Kooser

Harmful social-media and drug trends incredibly accessible to youth

Do you know what the “Put ’Em in a Coffin” challenge is? Ever heard of flakka? Chances are the teens in your life know about these and more, or are about to find out. While parents, caregivers, therapists and school staff catch up on each other’s milestones on Facebook, the current social-media and drug trends are passing by well-intentioned adults. In the meantime, our youth are at risk.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

The Pros and Cons of Home Drug Tests For Teenagers

Posted by Laurie Spivey

Should I home drug test my teenager?

Teenagers. Even ones who don’t get into trouble can raise their parents’ blood pressure to the level of an ER visit. But what about the ones who are skirting the line, maybe taking illegal drugs, in danger of getting in trouble with the law? What's a parent to do?

For those who think their children are abusing drugs, there is the option of readily available in-home drug screens. They have become much less expensive in recent years. A marijuana screen may cost as little as $1. There is a lot of controversy over resorting to drug screening. But having worked for nearly 11 years in Multisystemic Therapy (MST), I see drug tests as a huge parenting “win.” Knowledge is power. If you believe there is a problem, you can act.drugin_testing_smaller

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Topics: Substance Abuse