Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sue Scheff: Addictions and Inhalants

Daniel Jordan raises some interesting questions in his summary of an addictions presentation byDr. Carlton Erickson, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology, and director of the Addiction Science & Research Center in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin.

What are your perspectives or thoughts on his following two points?

1. Inhalants and Addiction:“Dr. Erickson calls the likelihood that a person will become dependent on a drug its “dependence liability.” Some drugs have a dependence liability while others do not.

The criteria for dependence liability is how it acts on the mesolimbic dopamine system. Caffeine, antidepressants, and newer anti-seizure medications do not have dependence liability. However, some drugs do and the following chart shows that a certain percentage of people (depending on the drug) will become dependent *:

Drug / Percentage of People Who Become DependentNicotine - 32%, Heroin - 23%, Cocaine - 17%, Alcohol - 15%, Stimulants - 11%, Cannabis - 9%, Sedatives - 9%, Psychedelics - 5%, Inhalants - 4%.

Source: Anthony, J.C., Warner, L.A., & Kessler, R.C., (1994). Comparative epidemiology of dependence on tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances, and inhalants: Basic findings from the national comorbidity survey. Experimental & Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2, 244-268.”

2. Use the term “Abuse” in Inhalant Abuse:“I was particularly fascinated by Dr. Erickson’s claim that many of the words, or terminology, that the general public and the treatment field use to describe drinking and drugging are leading to continued prejudice and discrimination in North American culture. This stigmatizing, Dr. Erickson argues, is a big part of why governments are not providing adequate funding for addiction research, prevention, and education

“Abuse” is a Perjorative Term and Should be Retired. In his book, The Science of Addiction, Dr. Erickson calls the term “abuse” the number 1 myth that prevails in the treatment field or in the minds of the public. The word abuse * is an inappropriate term for several reasons, such as:

the term being used, for centuries, as a morally sinful act such as child abuse, sexual abuse, spousal abuse
the implication that alcohol, an object, is being abused by someone just like a child is being abused by someone (a preferred term in Europe is misuse)

the use of the term substance abuse does not distinguish between voluntary use (”misuse”) and uncontrolled use (”dependence”) similar to the generalized use of the term “addiction”

“By continuing to refer to people as drug, alcohol, or substance abusers, according to Bill White *, “misstates the nature of their condition and calls for their social rejection, sequestration, and punishment.”

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Anger and Rage

“I don’t care what you say I am doing what I want to do! I hate you and you just don’t want me to have fun!” “All my friends are allowed to stay out late; you are mean and want to ruin my life!” “You have no idea how I feel and you are only making it worse!”

When a difficult teen is out of control, they only can hear themselves and what they want. It is usually their way or no way!

There are so many factors that can contribute to these feelings. The feelings are very real and should be addressed as soon as you see that your child is starting to run the household.

Teen Anger may lead to Teen Rage and Teen Violence which can soon destroy a family.

Again, local therapist* can help your family diagnosis what is causing the negative behavior patterns. Conduct Disorder is one of the many causes to harmful behavior. Many times you will find a need for a positive and safe program to help the teen realize where these hurtful outbursts are stemming from. Parents tell us constantly, they are looking for a "Boot Camp" to achieve their mission to make their child "pay" for the pain they are putting the family through. In some cases this can create a Violent Teen.

We feel that when you place a negative child into a negative atmosphere, most children only gain resentment and more anger. There are some cases that it has been effective; however we do not refer to any Boot Camps. We believe in a Positive Peer Culture for teen help to build your child back up from the helplessness they feel.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sue Scheff: Defiant Teens, Disrespectful Teens - Frustrated Parents

As the founder of Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.) I have 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.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

National Suicide Prevention Week

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in older children and teens. And statistics show that suicide rates in teenagers are on the rise.

That makes it even more important for everyone to raise awareness of suicide prevention, especially now during National Suicide Prevention Week.

In addition to learning to recognize the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, spread the word about the availability of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Dr. Gary Nelson, Author of “A Relentless Hope” Surviving Teen Depression recently talked about this serious subject of teen suicide -

Learn more about Teen Suicide.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Gangs and Cults

As with many adult cults, most Gangs prey on the weak and the child that yearns the need to fit in. With most Gangs as with Teen Cults, they will convince your child that joining "their Gang" will make them a "cool and popular" teen.

In reality, it is a downward spiral that can result in much damage both emotionally and psychically. We have found Teen Gangs and Teen Cults have cleaned up their act, ever so slightly, to disguise themselves to impress the most intelligent of parents. We have witnessed Gang members who will present themselves as the "good kid from the good family."

If you suspect your child is involved in any Gang Activities, please seek local therapy* and encourage your child to communicate. This is when the lines of communication need to be wide open. Sometimes this is so hard, and that is when an objective person is always beneficial. Teen Gangs and Teen Cults are to be taken very seriously.