Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sue Scheff - Teen Cults


Teen cults claim many victims each year

Every year thousands of teens across the country become ensnared in the dangerous and misunderstood world of cults. These hazardous entities prey on the uncertainty and alienation that many teens feel and use those feelings to attract unsuspecting teens into their cult traps. As a figurehead in the world of parent teen relations, Sue Scheff™ knows the danger of cults and teenagers’ susceptibility to their temptations. Sue Scheff™ believes that like many other teen\ ailments, the best defense against the world of cults is through education.

No teen actually joins a cult, they join a religious movement or a political organization that reaches out to the feelings of angst or isolation that many troubled teen’s experience. Over time, this group gradually reveals its true cultish nature, and before teens know it, they are trapped in a web they can’t untangle.

With the strong rise in teen internet usage, cults have many ways to contact children and brainwash them. Sue Scheff™ knows the dark side of the internet from her experience with teenage internet addiction, and she understands it is also an avenue for cults to infiltrate teenage brains.

Cults have long been represented in the mass media. The supporters of Reverend Jim Jones People’s Temple may be some of the most famous cult members, making global headlines when they died in the hundreds after drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. Almost 300 of the dead Jones supporters were teens and young children. Heavens Gate is another well known cult, which believed ritual suicide would ensure their journey behind the Hale-Bopp comet with Jesus. Heavens Gate lived in a strict communal environment, funding their cult endeavors through web site development. Some male members of the cult even castrated themselves before all 36 committed suicide, wearing matching sweat suits and Nike tennis shoes.

It is clear that despite the ridiculous and bizarre nature of many cults, parents can’t ignore the power and resourcefulness of these groups. Cult ideas may seem to loony to take seriously, but they can have real power when used against troubled teenagers, the exact type of teens that Sue Scheff™ and other parent advocates have been working to keep safe.

Cult influence should not be taken lightly, especially when living with a troubled teen. Parents may not think of cults as a problem because they don’t hear about them a lot, but that’s the key to cult success. The livelihood of teen cults relies on staying out of the public eye and in the shadows. The Heaven’s Gate and People’s Temple cults didn’t truly gain public notice until after their suicides, and by then it was too late to save their followers.

The danger of teen cults is real, but parents can help ensure their teenagers’ safety by staying informed and communicating with their children. Sue Scheff™ presents a site with important information about different types of cults that target teens, warning signs of cult attendance, and ways to help prevent your teen from becoming involved in a cult. Knowledge and communication is always the first line of defense when helping a troubled teen.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sue Scheff: Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Addictions Among Teens





Alcohol. Drugs. Cigarettes. Many kids will experiment with at least one of them, but what happens when experimentation becomes an addiction? And how can you reach your kids before it’s too late? ? “It’s not like parents are bad or they’re missing something,” says Dr. Vincent Ho, psychiatrist. “Kids are just really good at tricking people.”


Drinking, smoking and using drugs are not “just part of growing up.” Studies show that parents can influence the prevention of risky behaviors in their children. Learn what pressures your kids face at school, on the weekends and at parties. Teach them how to say no in a “cool” way – and stick to it. Understand from experts the warning signs of drug and alcohol abuse.


Watch Addicted Kids with your children to hear stories from real teens who have used drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. Learn from experts and parents “who have been there” as they offer solutions that really work.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sue Scheff: What is Inhalant Abuse?


Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of common products found in homes and communities with the purpose of "getting high." Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. Inhalant Abuse is a lesser recognized form of substance abuse, but it is no less dangerous. Inhalants are addictive and are considered to be "gateway" drugs because children often progress from inhalants to illegal drug and alcohol abuse.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.Inhalation is referred to as huffing, sniffing, dusting or bagging and generally occurs through the nose or mouth. Huffing is when a chemically soaked rag is held to the face or stuffed in the mouth and the substance is inhaled. Sniffing can be done directly from containers, plastic bags, clothing or rags saturated with a substance or from the product directly. With Bagging, substances are sprayed or deposited into a plastic or paper bag and the vapors are inhaled. This method can result in suffocation because a bag is placed over the individual's head, cutting off the supply of oxygen.


Other methods used include placing inhalants on sleeves, collars, or other items of clothing that are sniffed over a period of time. Fumes are discharged into soda cans and inhaled from the can or balloons are filled with nitrous oxide and the vapors are inhaled. Heating volatile substances and inhaling the vapors emitted is another form of inhalation. All of these methods are potentially harmful or deadly. Experts estimate that there are several hundred deaths each year from Inhalant Abuse, although under-reporting is still a problem. What Products Can be Abused?


There are more than a 1,400 products which are potentially dangerous when inhaled, such as typewriter correction fluid, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, propane, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, and glue. Most are common products that can be found in the home, garage, office, school or as close as the local convenience store. The best advice for consumers is to read the labels before using a product to ensure the proper method is observed. It is also recommended that parents discuss the product labels with their children at age-appropriate times. The following list represents categories of products that are commonly abused.Click here for a list of abusable products.
http://www.inhalant.org/

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Inhalants A Deadly Drug of Choice


Inhalants a deadly drug of choice

By PATTY PENSA
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Jason Emanuel was a troubled 20-year-old whose drug of choice was keyboard cleaner.

He sucked can after can of products such as Dust-Off until his lips turned blue and the euphoria set in. He came to a Delray Beach, Fla., sober house to get clean.

Instead, he was arrested for "huffing" three times over four weeks and died after his final high set off a seizure.

Jason Emanuel's case reflects the danger of household products in the hands of young people looking for an easy hit. Indeed, Emanuel chose inhalants because there is no middle man, other than a checkout clerk. Compared with other drugs, the number of people who die from inhalants is small, but there is growing concern over the No. 1 drug of middle-schoolers, who studies show see huffing as a low-risk hit.

"Jason was not a criminal," his adoptive father, Chris Emanuel, said. "He wasn't a guy that would stick up the 7-Eleven. He had a problem and eventually it defeated him."

The coroner's report, which determines cause of death, is not complete yet.

Chris Emanuel last saw his son in mid-December, about the same time the North Carolina native was first arrested in Boynton Beach, Fla. Twice police found him in his car huffing outside Wal-Mart. A third time, he was outside SuperTarget. Each time, he appeared unsteady on his feet and was incoherent, according to police reports.

Using Jason Emanuel as an example, police in January called a news conference to warn parents about huffing. They called him the "poster child" for inhalant abuse. More than 2 million kids ages 12-17 chose an inhalant to get high, according to the Alliance for Consumer Education, which operates the Web site inhalant.org.

What they huff is found at home, with more than 1,400 household products as potential hits.

"This is a tragic situation that highlights the dangers of inhalant abuse and should force every parent to have a conversation with their children about the deadly consequences," police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said in a statement.

Inhalants affect the body like alcohol does: slurred speech, lack of coordination and dizziness. Some users experience hallucinations and delusions. More severe are the long-term effects, such as liver and kidney damage, hearing loss, limb spasms and brain damage.

Because the high lasts only a few minutes, users prolong the feeling by huffing for hours. Chemical-induced cardiac arrest can happen any time, said Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein, medical director of the Florida Poison Control covering South Florida.

Even without an autopsy, Jason Emanuel's final encounter with police on Feb. 26 reveals the role inhalants played in his death. Days before, he was kicked out of the Delray Beach halfway house where he came to get sober. For three days he lived in his car, and on the last, sheriff's deputies were called to Wal-Mart west of West Palm Beach, Fla.

Jason Emanuel told the deputies he had been huffing that afternoon, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera. Paramedics took him to the hospital and, on the way, he suffered a seizure and stopped breathing.

On average, 100 to 125 people across the United States die from inhalants annually, said Harvey Weiss, spokesman for the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition. But the numbers may be higher, he said. There is no national clearinghouse on inhalant-related deaths.

An interim report from Florida's medical examiners attributes three deaths to inhalants in 2007. In contrast, cocaine killed 398 people in the state last year. The prescription drug Oxycodone claimed 323 lives. Anti-drug advocates say inhalants are just as dangerous.

"You see kids on YouTube joking around, laughing and having fun, and the risk really isn't conveyed," said Colleen Creighton, the consumer alliance's executive director. "The frightening thing for us is how young the kids are who are using."

A government study released last month showed inhalants are the drug of choice for 12- and 13-year-olds. As they get older, many teens switch to marijuana.

Jason Emanuel was the opposite. His father said he smoked marijuana in high school but took up huffing about a year ago.

"He got off marijuana because he didn't like finding dealers," he said. "You can go to any place and find an inhalant."

Jason Emanuel grew up in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Charlotte, N.C. The product of private schools, he was a bright kid who had big ambitions. Ultimately, he dropped out after his first semester at Appalachian State University to go into rehab.

His parents sent him to rehabilitation centers around the United States, but he veiled his troubles to his friends.

"He just didn't act like someone who was a drug addict," Elliot Engstrom, 19, a childhood friend, said.

"With my generation, people get so concerned with drugs you hear about in pop culture. That's really not the problem. It's the prescription drugs and the stuff you buy at Wal-Mart."


www.inhalant.org

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teen Defiance and Rebellious Teens



Parent's Universal Resource Experts has found that children that have ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) are very confrontational and need to have life their own way. A child does not have to be diagnosed ODD to be defiant. It is a trait that some teens experience through their puberty years.


Defiant teens, disrespectful teens, angry teens and rebellious teens can affect the entire family.An effective way to work with defiant teens is through anger and stress management classes. If you have a local therapist*, ask them if they offer these classes. Most will have them along with support groups and other beneficial classes.


In today's teens we are seeing that defiant teens have taken it to a new level. Especially if your child is also ADD/ADHD, the ODD combination can literally pull a family apart.
You will find yourself wondering what you ever did to deserve the way your child is treating you. It is very sad, yet very real. Please know that many families are experiencing this feeling of destruction within their home. Many wonder "why" and unfortunately each child is different with a variety of issues they are dealing with. Once a child is placed into proper treatment, the healing process can begin.


If you feel your teen is in need of further Boarding School, Military School or Program Options, please complete our Information Request Form.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Mischief and Vandalism


Teens and Vandalism


The US Department of Justice defines vandalism as “willful or malicious destruction, injury, disfigurement, or defacement of any public or private property.” Vandalism can encompass many different acts, including graffiti, public unrest, rioting, and other types of criminal mischief, like breaking windows or arson.


Even seemingly harmless pranks like egging and toilet papering homes are considered vandalism in most states.Unfortunately, many acts of vandalism may go unnoticed in the home, because teens can easily avoid bringing any evidence back with them.


This is why it is of particular importance that parents make an effort to know where their teens are at all times. Keeping an open dialogue with your teen about his schedule and friends can help you to better keep tabs on him. A teen that knows his parents care is more likely to avoid criminally mischievous behaviors in the first place.


If you suspect your teen is engaging in vandalism, don’t be afraid to discuss your fears with your teen. While again, it is important to not be accusatory, you should leave no doubt in your teen’s mind that you believe any act of vandalism- big or small- is wrong.


Often, teens think vandalism is a ‘victimless crime’; in other words, they don’t believe they’re hurting anyone by spray painting graffiti on a brick building, or tossing a few eggs at a neighbor’s car.


This kind of thinking is your perfect segue into teaching your teen just how wrong vandalism can be. When your teen defiantly tells you that “nobody got hurt,” explain to them that by spray-painting the fa├žade of his high school, they costs the taxpayers (including you) money to have the graffiti covered and the crime investigated.


Remind them that the money for these repairs has to come from somewhere, and that every dollar wasted to fix vandalism is a dollar that must now be cut from somewhere else.Maybe the school will have one less dance, or will be forced to cut out arts programs or programs for under privileged students.


If your teen has been egging homes, point out the waste of food that some families cannot even afford. Remind them that someone will have to scrape the dried egg off your neighbor’s windshield, possibly making him late for work, costing him time and money.


Read more about Criminal Mischief with Teens - Click Here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) ADDitude Magazine Living well with ADD and Learning Differences


Wow - what a great informational website and magazine. ADD/ADHD is widely diagnosed among many children. Learn more about living with ADD/ADHD and learning differences - click here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Inhalant Abuse Among Teens


Inhalant Abuse is not discussed enough - We as parents, all know about talking to our kids about drugs and sex, but remember - huffing is a serious issue among teens today. Learn more about it at http://www.inhalant.org/.


Monitoring your child will make your child much less likely to use Inhalants or other drugs.
Know where your child is at all times, especially after school.
Know your child's friends.


If you find your child unconscious, or you suspect your child is under the influence of an Inhalant, call 911 immediately.


If you suspect your child might be abusing Inhalants, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222; or call the 1-800 number on the label of the product.


According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, if you talk to your kids about the risks of drugs, they are 36% less likely to abuse an Inhalant. Parents can make a tremendous impact on their kids choices by talking to them.


******************************


Monday, April 7, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Youth Gang Statistics

Youth gang activity is a significant problem in the United States. The following are statistics related to youth violence and gang activities:

14 percent of teens are gang members (according to a survey in Denver)
89 percent of serious violent crimes committed by teens were committed by gang members
Gang members are 60 percent more likely to be killed
The average age of a gang member is 17 to 18 years old
25 percent of gang members are between the age of 15 and 17
Police reports indicate that 6 percent of gang members are female and that 39 percent of gangs have female members
Of female gang members:
78 percent have been in a gang fight
65 percent carry a weapon for protection
39 percent have attacked someone with a weapon
Youth gang activity by area type:
72 percent of large cities
33 percent of small cities
56 percent of suburban counties
24 percent of rural counties
51 percent overall
Youth gang activity by region:
74 percent in the West
52 percent in the Midwest
49 percent in the South
31 percent in the Northeast
51 percent overall

For more information on Teen Gangs.

By Sue Scheff, Parents Universal Resource Experts

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Teens and Theft


Teens and Theft: Why it Happens


Too Young to Start


There are almost as many reasons teens steal as there are things for teens to steal. One of the biggest reasons teens steal is peer pressure. Often, teens will steal items as a means of proving' that they are "cool enough" to hang out with a certain group. This is especially dangerous because if your teen can be convinced to break the law for petty theft, there is a strong possibility he or she can be convinced to try other, more dangerous behaviors, like drinking or drugs. It is because of this that it is imperative you correct this behavior before it escalates to something beyond your control. Another common reason teens steal is because they want an item their peers have but they cannot afford to purchase.


Teens are very peer influenced, and may feel that if they don't have the 'it' sneakers or mp3 player, they'll be considered less cool than the kids who do. If your teen cannot afford these items, they may be so desperate to fit in that they simply steal the item. They may also steal money from you or a sibling to buy such an item. If you notice your teen has new electronics or accessories that you know you did not buy them, and your teen does not have a job or source of money, you may want to address whereabouts they came up with these items.


Teens may also steal simply for a thrill. Teens who steal for the 'rush' or the adrenaline boost are often simply bored and/ or testing the limits of authority. They may not even need or want the item they're stealing! In cases like these, teens can act alone or as part of a group. Often, friends accompanying teens who shoplift will act as a 'lookout' for their friend who is committing the theft. Unfortunately, even if the lookout doesn't actually steal anything, the can be prosecuted right along with the actual teen committing the crime, so its important that you make sure your teen is not aiding his or her friends who are shoplifting.


Yet another reason teens steal is for attention. If your teen feels neglected at home, or is jealous of the attention a sibling is getting, he or she may steal in the hopes that he or she is caught and the focus of your attention is diverted to them. If you suspect your teen is stealing or acting out to gain your attention, it is important that you address the problem before it garners more than just your attention, and becomes part of their criminal record. Though unconventional, this is your teen's way of asking for your help- don't let them down!

By Sue Scheff, Parents Universal Resource Experts