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This Creepy App Isn’t Just Stalking…
Apr 12th, 2012 by bbfaprevention

Beware of apps your kids might be adding to their smart phones. Read this article by clicking here!

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Check Your Kids’ Candy!
Sep 20th, 2011 by bbfaprevention

What’s the latest trend for kids trying to hide alcohol? Gummy Bears.
That’s right – they are soaking gummy candy (any type) in vodka – the candy absorbs and becomes infused with the vodka and kids are able to effectively “drink” out in the open.
Don’t be fooled by the cuteness of these “boozy bears” – they are dangerous. Kids don’t know how much alcohol they’re consuming when they eat the alcohol-infused gummy candy and a couple of handfuls of candy increasing blood alcohol content quickly. If found with the candy in their possession, kids can be issued an MIP (minor in possession) ticket. This is no different that if a child was found drinking a cup of any alcoholic beverage.
So, what should parents do? Be on the lookout for gummy candy – smell it or taste it and make sure your child is just satisfying his/her sweet tooth and nothing else!

Video Link:
http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/29237120/index.html

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“Eyeballing Fad” – Really???
Jun 7th, 2010 by bbfaprevention

I work in education. I teach parents and kids about drug use and abuse and let them know what’s going on, what to look for and try to lead them in the right direction when things go astray. I have taught in urban, surburban and private high schools. I am a parent of teens. In other words, I thought I had pretty much seen and heard it all, or in the very least, it would be tough to surprise me, but low and behold, I’m shocked!
Have you heard about the latest trend called “eyeballing”? If not, sit back and prepare to be amazed at what teens are now trying to get get high. In a nutshell, kids pour vodka directly into their eyes in the hope of getting drunk or if they’re already intoxicated, getting more drunk. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that this can severly damage your vision. I can’t imagine why teens do a lot of things but this one really stands out! There are hundreds of YouTube videos of (mostly college) kids engaging in this behavior.

Parents – as ridiculous as this sounds – talk to your kids and tell them that they should never put anything in their eyes unless it’s prescribed by a physician. Let them know that they can permanently damage their eyesight with a stupid stunt like this. I imagined a lot of conversations with my teens, but I have to say, “don’t pour vodka in your eyes” was never on my list before today!

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Sexting – What parents need to know
Apr 22nd, 2010 by bbfaprevention

I was speaking to a group of parents a couple nights ago about transitioning their kids from middle school to high school and not surprisingly, sexting was one of the topics I covered. What was surprising to me however was that given the media coverage on the topic, quite a few parents in the audience were still in the dark about sexting. While they had an idea about what it is, they were unaware of the potential consequences of the act as well as the need to discuss it with their kids before it happens to them.

    So, what do parents really need to know about sexting?

What is it?
Sexting is the act of sending sexually suggestive written personal texts, emails, IMs, posts, etc. or nude or semi-nude personal pictures taken of oneself or others and not found on the internet or received from a stranger.

Is it common?
Yes. 1 in 5 teens enages in sexting.

What can parents do?
Don’t wait for an incident to happen to talk to your teens.
Remind teens that once an image or text is sent, it can never be retrieved. In addition, once it’s sent, it can be forwarded to anyone.
Talk about pressures to send revealing photos.
Know who your kids communicate with in cyberspace and monitor their online world and social networking sites as well as their cell phone usage.
Talk about pressures to send and receive sext messages and discuss how not to give in to the pressure to participate in this kind of behavior.
Set expectations and be clear about what is appropriate online and what is not. Establish consequences for not following the rules.
Make sure that teens know there can be consequences to sexting that can follow them the rest of their lives. In Michigan, “the act of creating, soliciting, possessing, or distributing sexually explicit photos of a minor under 18 is a felony” (MCL 750.145c). It doesn’t matter how the photos were distributed (cell phone, computer, etc.) or who created, sent, requested or posesses them. Legally, sexting can result in incarceration and registration on the Sex Offender Registry.

Don’t take sexting lightly. Talk to your teens and make them aware of what can happen to them. Let them know that they will ultimately be responsible for their cyber-actions and their behavior can have serious consequences that could follow them throughout their lives.

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SPICE
Mar 17th, 2010 by bbfaprevention

Synthetic Marijuana

As if watching out for regular marijuana use in our kids isn’t enough for parents, now we have to be on the look-out for synthetic marijuana or “spice”. It’s being marketed as a smokeable herb mixture and is apparently legal to sell. While it is classified as a drug/chemical of concern, it is not currently against the law.

Where did it come from??? Dr. John Huffman, a Clemson University organic chemistry professor was researching the effects of cannabinoids on the brain when his work resulted in a 1995 paper that contained the method and ingredients used to make the compound. That recipe found it’s way to marijuana users who replicated Huffman’s work and began spraying it onto dried flowers, herbs and tobacco. “People who use it are idiots” said Huffman, referring to K2 smokers.

So, what is “spice”? Basically, it’s a combination of chemicals and herbs that are marketed as incense. It’s two synthetic cannabinoids, JWH-018 and JWH-073 mimic the brain’s reaction to marijuana. It is sold in head shops around the country (Michigan included). There are a number of names that it’s sold under, the most popular being “K2″ but you can also find it called “Fire and Ice”, “Genie”, “Zohai” and “Tribal Warrior”. It is mostly produced in China and Korea. The mixture of herbs and spices is sprayed with a synthetic compound that is chemically similar to THC (the main active ingredient in marijuana). Users roll it in joints or inhale it from pipes just like real marijuana.

Shawn Rhoads, a police detective in West Plains, Missouri says “It’s not tobacco, it’s not regulated by anything. It would be like sending my 10-year-old son into Wal-Mart to buy potpourri”.

K2 generally costs between $20 and $50 for 3 grams which is similar to the street price of marijuana. The key advantages though to teens of synthetic marijuana are that it is currently legal and it doesn’t show up in drug tests. In addition, it neither looks or smells like real marijuana making it easier to hide usage.

While human toxicology studies have not yet been done on the drug, studies have been done on mice which have yielded lower body temperatures, partial paralysis and the temporary inability to feel pain.

Have you seen or heard about spice? What should our community be doing to educate our kids about this new drug? Let’s hear your thoughts!!!

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Sniffing Trumps Weed
Mar 16th, 2010 by bbfaprevention

CBS News recently posted a story online about the increased use of inhalants among 12 year olds. A new government report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration reported that “more 12-year-olds get high by sniffing inhalants than by using marijuana, cocaine or hallucinogens combined”.

We have known about the dangers of inhalants for a long time but as a parent community, many of us have been lax in talking to our kids about the dangers of inhalants as well as making sure we keep many of the commonly used inhalants out of reach.

What are kids sniffing? Aerosol cans, glue, paint, lighter fluid, household cleaners – you name it! Teens use inhalants by sniffing fumes directly from containers, spraying a substance into a bag and inhaling the fumes or soaking a rag/piece of cloth in the substance and inhaling it.

Why should we as parents be so concerned? While sniffing can cause pleasurable effects like stimulation and decreased inhibition, there are also a number of unwanted side effects that be attributed to sniffing. Inhalants affect the brain and slow down the body’s systems, especially respiration. They can interfere with the heart’s rhythm and cause heart failure, resulting in death. Some of the less severe, but irreversible results of chronic exposure to inhalants include: brain damage, nerve damage, hearing loss, bone marrow damage, and damage to heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

So why do teens use inhalants to get high? Mostly because they are readily available and inexpensive. Teens also use inhalants because it’s easy to get away with it, since many parents are either unaware of the dangers of inhalants or unaware that their child is abusing these substances.

Parents should be aware of the signs that a teen is using inhalants. These include:

•Unusual breath odor or chemical odor on clothing
•Sores or burns around mouth area
•Nausea or loss of appetite
•Red, runny, glazed eyes or runny nose
•Slurred speech

We need to make sure we as parents are aware of the potential dangers that lurk in our homes even if some of them are things we would never imagine our children abusing!

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Cause for Concern
Mar 11th, 2010 by bbfaprevention

I was recently forwarded this information in an email from The Partnership for a Drug Free America:

National Study Shows Reversal in Decade-Long Declines in Teen Abuse of Drugs and Alcohol

After a decade of consistent declines in teen drug abuse, a new national study released today by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America® and MetLife Foundation points to marked upswings in use of drugs that teens are likely to encounter at parties and in other social situations.

According to the 2009 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), sponsored by MetLife Foundation, the number of teens in grades 9-12 that used alcohol in the past month has grown by 11 percent (from 35 percent in 2008 to 39 percent in 2009), past year Ecstasy use shows a 67 percent increase (from 6 percent in 2008 to 10 percent in 2009) and past year marijuana use shows a 19 percent increase (from 32 percent in 2008 to 38 percent in 2009).
The PATS data mark a reversal in the remarkable, sustained declines in several drugs of abuse among teens: methamphetamine (meth) was down by over 60 percent and past month alcohol and marijuana use had decreased a full 30 percent over the past decade from 1998-2008.

“These new PATS data should put all parents on notice that they have to pay closer attention to their kids’ behavior – especially their social interactions – and they must take action just as soon as they think their child may be using drugs or drinking,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership.

The resurgence in teen drug and alcohol use comes at a time when pro-drug cues in popular culture – in film, television and online – abound, and when funding for federal prevention programs has been declining for several years. This places an even greater burden on parents.

Among the parents surveyed for the PATS study, 20 percent say their child (ages 10-19) has already used drugs or alcohol beyond an “experimental” level. Among parents of teens ages 14-19, that percentage jumps to 31 percent, nearly one third.

Disturbingly, among those parents of teens who have used, nearly half (47 percent) either waited to take action or took no action at all – which studies show put those children at greater risk of continued use and negative consequences.

What does this tell us? It tells us that we need to be vigilant about monitoring our kids. We need to know where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing. We need to take action immediately if we suspect our teens are behaving in a destructive manner. We need to educate ourselves about what’s going on in our communities and schools.

Parents need to know that it’s okay to ask questions and it’s okay to say “no”. Remember that teens need parents to be parents – not their friends.

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BBFA starts blogging!
Mar 11th, 2010 by bbfaprevention

BBFA is all about prevention through parenting.

We know that parents who feel like they’re part of a community have a much easier time combating destructive behaviors and we felt that it was time for us to start blogging to get the word out that we’re here, we care and we’re willing to listen and share our expertise.

We may be a little slow in getting on the blogging bandwagon but we finally made it! We hope that parents and community members will see this blog as an avenue for communication and a way to share information and resources.

We strive to let you know about parenting trends and what’s going on with our kids big and small to better help parents navigate the murky waters that are a big part of parenthood.
We hope that you will join us online and offer your ideas, suggestions and comments.

We want to create a dialogue among parents and community members to ensure that our children grow up safe and happy and parents feel supported and confident that they have somewhere to turn for answers to their questions.

Please look back soon for posts on parenting!

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