Quiz: Drug & Alcohol Facts You Need to Know

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a health observance linking teens to facts about drugs.

Complete this quiz as a family to see how much you know about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Then, read on for further education on the consequences and potential health effects.

  1. Nicotine and other drugs can harm the developing adolescent brain. At what age does the brain stop developing?  Learn more about understanding the teen brain.
    1. 10 years old
    2. 13 years old
    3. 18 years old
    4. 25 years old
  2. How many emergency room visits are made each year in the U.S. for injuries related to alcohol?
    1. 10,000-25,000
    2. 25,000-50,000
    3. 50,000-100,000
    4. >100,000
  3. True or false: Past-year misuse of Vicodin and OxyContin among 12th graders has increased.
  4. Teens are using vaping devices in record numbers. What exactly are they consuming when they vape?
    1. Nicotine
    2. Marijuana/hash oil
    3. Just flavoring
    4. All of the above
  5. True or false: binge drinking rates among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students has continued a downward trend in recent years.

 Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 Getting help

If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs or alcohol, get help as soon as possible. Talk to an adult you trust― a parent, aunt or uncle, doctor, teacher, school counselor, or clergy member.

Download the answer quiz

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Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Teen Alcohol and Drug Use?

Each year, the National Institutes of Health observes National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week in an effort to dispel myths about alcohol and drug abuse, and educate teens on dangers of use and addition. Take this quiz to test your knowledge of alcohol and drug use among teens, including what may be a warning sign.

    1. Teens may abuse alcohol and drugs for a variety of reasons. Choose all that apply.
      1. Negative peer pressure
      2. Family tensions
      3. Access to cash, alcohol and drugs
      4. Trauma
      5. Pressure to perform at school, in the home, or in extracurricular activities
    2. True or false: One-third of high school students have consumed alcohol in the last 30 days.
    3. Cigarette-like devices have gained popularity in recent years. Which are true about the danger of e-cigarettes? Choose all that apply.
      1. E-cigarettes may sometimes contain less nicotine than conventional cigarettes, but the addictive substance is still present.
      2. Non-users can be affected by emissions through second- and third-hand exposure.
      3. E-cigarette and conventional cigarette use have comparable levels of exposure to formaldehyde (a carcinogen).
      4. Because using e-cigarettes mirrors the dangers of cigarette use, the best way to quit cigarettes is to promote alternatives including gums and patches.
    4. True or false: Over-the-counter medications are harmless since they do not require a physician visit or a prescription.
    5. In 2014, the nonmedical use of prescription drugs was highest among young adults. What can parents due to properly store medication in the home, helping prevent prescription drug abuse?
        1. Throw expired or unused prescription medications in the trash as soon as possible.
        2. Store prescription medications in a purse or nightstand, out of sight of kids and teens.
        3. Include education on the dangers of prescription drug abuse as part of your safe storage practices.

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Alcohol & Drug Abuse in Teens

As adolescents become more independent, parents often worry about their teens making healthy decisions, including staying away from drugs and alcohol. In honor of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, we spoke to Dr. Harvey Triebwasser, director of adolescent medicine at CHOC Children’s about what parents can do to prevent alcohol and drug abuse in teens.

Warning Signs

The most common misconception among parents is the belief that “my kid would never do drugs.”

Parents play a crucial role in identifying possible warning signs of substance abuse in their child. But, outward appearance, school performance, or even extra-curricular activities are not necessarily indicators of drugs and alcohol abuse. Instead, parents should be aware of extreme changes in their teen’s mood, sleep patterns, and eating habits. Since these can also be signs of adolescent development, look for drastic changes, rather than minor shifts in habit.

Teens may abuse alcohol and drugs for a variety of reasons, says Triebwasser, including:

  • Negative peer pressure
  • Family tensions
  • Access to cash, alcohol and drugs
  • Trauma
  • Pressure to perform at school, in the home, or in extra-curricular activities

Parents who are mindful of these potential triggers can be proactive in preventing their teens from turning to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Abuse Prevention

Parents must verbalize rules and expectations, including consequences for breaking rules. Quality communication is the key to building trust in the home, says Triebwasser.

They should also model the behavior they expect from their children. If a teen sees adults in their home abusing alcohol or drugs, they are more likely to experiment with substances themselves, he says.

Adults should also properly store and dispose of prescription medications. Behind alcohol and marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans ages 14 and older, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Getting Help

A wide range of health services are available to teens at CHOC, provided my male and female physicians who specialize in adolescents.

Psychologists can also be part of the healthcare team, and address the needs of the whole family.

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Kids and Alcohol – Tips for Parents

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, providing teachers and parents with yet another opportunity to talk to kids about alcohol.  As much as adults may not like to think about it, many kids try alcohol long before it’s legal for them to drink it.  Never underestimate the positive impact of proactive discussions with your kids.  Below are some helpful tips.
Everyone is familiar with the effects of peer pressure.  Arm your child with some tactics for dealing with offers of alcohol:

_MG_9330_pv• Encourage them to ask questions. If a drink of any kind is offered, they should ask, “What is it?” and “Where did you get it?”
• Teach them to say “no, thanks” when the drink offered is an alcoholic one.
• Remind them to leave any uncomfortable situation. Make sure they have money for transportation or a phone number where you or another responsible adult can be reached.
• Teach kids never to accept a ride from someone who has been drinking. Some parents find that offering to pick up their kids from an uncomfortable situation — no questions asked — helps encourage kids to be honest and call when they need help.

Risk Factors
Times of transition, such as the onset of puberty, can lead kids to alcohol use. Teach your kids that even when life is upsetting or stressful, drinking alcohol as an escape can make a bad situation much worse.

Kids who have problems with self-control or low self-esteem are also more likely to abuse alcohol. They may not believe that they can handle their problems and frustrations without using something to make them feel better.  Help to strengthen your child’s self-esteem, including acknowledging positive behavior.  Make sure your child knows they can always turn to you for support.

Be a Positive Role Model
Fortunately, parents can do much to protect their kids from using and abusing alcohol:

• Be a good role model. Consider how your use of alcohol or medications may influence your kids. Consider offering only nonalcoholic beverages at parties and other social events to show your kids that you don’t need to drink to have fun.
• Educate yourself about alcohol so you can be a better teacher. Read and collect information that you can share with your children.
• Try to be conscious of how you can help build your child’s self-esteem. For example, kids are more likely to feel good about themselves if you emphasize their strengths and positively reinforce healthy behaviors.
• Teach kids to manage stress in healthy ways, such as by seeking help from a trusted adult or engaging in a favorite activity.

Although experimentation with alcohol can be common among kids, it’s not safe or legal. It’s important to start discussing alcohol use and abuse with your kids at an early age –  and keep talking about it as they grow up.

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Talk to Your Teens About the Consequences of Binge Drinking

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), new estimates show that binge drinking is a bigger problem than previously thought. More than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink, about 4 times a month, and the largest number of drinks per binge is on average 8. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on an occasion. Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes more than 80,000 deaths in the United States each year, making it the third leading preventable cause of death.

Furthermore, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States – more than tobacco and illicit drugs. 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.

Make sure you talk to your kids openly about the consequences of this critical issue. Some of these consequences include poor or failing grades, legal problems, such as arrest for driving, unplanned and unprotected sexual activity, higher risk for suicide, alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, abuse of other drugs, and death from alcohol poisoning. In addition, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  • Help your child or teen build their self-esteem. Emphasize and reinforce their strengths and healthy behaviors. They are more likely to say no to peer pressure when they feel good about themselves and proud about their healthy habits.
  • Be a good role model. Consider how your use of alcohol may influence your kids. Consider offering non-alcoholic beverages at parties and social events to show your kids that you don’t need to drink to have fun.
  • Teach kids to manage stress in healthy ways, such as by seeking help from a trusted adult or participating in a sport or hobby they like.
  • Look for signs, such as alcohol odor or alcohol disappearing from your home. Be mindful of a sudden change in mood or attitude in your child. This includes a change in attendance or performance at school, loss of interest in sports or other activities, and withdrawal from family and friends.

To learn more about binge drinking, click here for the report from the CDC:

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