Facts & Trends
Trends within the community can change daily and by the time most parents learn about them, they are old news. We plan to keep you informed by sharing information from new studies and what is trending within the community. We are closely connected to teens and school systems that provide us with the most recent fads and interests. Hopefully this page will provide you with a more sensitive intuition concerning what is ‘trending’ with your teens.
- June and July are the months with the highest rate of teens taking their first drink.
- More than half of college students who drank alcohol reported blacking out at some point in their lives. Many later learned they had participated in actions they didn’t remember including vandalism, drunk driving, and unprotected sex.
- Alcohol can affect brain development, long-term health, and life-expectancy in adolescents.
- Many adolescents who die because of alcohol use were binge drinking and suffered alcohol poisoning.
- Approximately one in five high school students report binge drinking in the last month.
- Teen drivers are three times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash. Drinking any alcohol greatly increases this risk.
- One in five teens claims that he or she has been harassed within the past 12 months, with 16 percent of them tormented online or via text.
- 70 percent of teens actively attempted to conceal their online behavior from their parents.
- Too much screen time (computer, phone, etc.) could be detrimental to the social and emotional development of teen girls, and that the powerful antidote was simply spending more time conducting face-to-face conversations.
- One-fourth of teens have misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime, a 33 percent increase over the last five years.
- One in eight teens say they have taken Ritalin or Adderall when it was not prescribed for them.
- Of teens who said they abused prescription medications, 20 percent did so before age 14.
- One-third of teens say they believe “it’s okay to use prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them to deal with an injury, illness or physical pain.” The study found 27 percent incorrectly believe that misusing and abusing prescription drugs is safer than using street drugs.
***Parents are much more likely to talk to teens about marijuana or alcohol than prescription drugs. Teens reported that during the last conversation they had with their parents about substance abuse, only 16 percent said they discussed the misuse or abuse of prescription painkillers, and 14 percent discussed any type of prescription drug. In contrast, 81 percent said they have discussed marijuana and 80 percent have discussed alcohol.
I-dosing – Downloadable MP3s are being purchased on the internet that are said to have effects similiar to getting high on actual drugs. These 5-30 minute long tracks consist of binaural beats, where two slightly different frequency tones are played in each ear. Researchers say I-dosing is harmless, however it is known that effects can be damaging.
Purple Drank or Sizzurp (also referred to as “lean”)– A trend that has been around for decades is still referred to in rap music, etc. Teens are able to create this concoction in their home by mixing cough syrup with codeine (Robitussin DM, etc.) and a soft drink and candy (usually Sprite and Jolly Ranchers). Teens use this ‘remedy’ to relieve stress, tension, and anxiety. Some cough syrups also contain dextromethorphan, which in large doses can cause hallucinations. A single use can be lethal to an inexperienced user. Other possible side effects include drowsiness, inability to concentrate, slowed physical activity, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and slowed breathing.
Planking – Lying face down on any and every surface is considered ‘planking’ (like a board). Photos of planking are typically uploaded on the internet, typically into a planking group page, etc. Planking can cause injuries and has caused at least one death when a young man tried to plank on a balcony and plummeted seven stories.
Vodka Eyeballing – Instead of taking a shot the ‘traditional’ way, to prevent alcohol-breath, teens are pouring vodka directly into their eyes, containing many blood vessels. The alcohol is quickly absorbed through the mucous membrane, where it enters the bloodstream behind the eye. Even though this prevents alcohol-breath, eye-balling can scar and burn the cornea, and even cause blindness.
The Choking Game – Teens choke each other in order to cut off the flow of blood to the brain. This creates a ‘high’ feeling from restraining blood and oxygen to the brain, killing brain cells, and potentially causing long term brain damage, comas, strokes, and bleeding in the brain (also known as, “silent stroke”). Most players are teens who want to get high without using drugs or alcohol. Although it is estimated that as many as 250 to 1,000 teens die from playing the choking game each year, most are ruled suicides.
Bath Salts – State government officials are unable to make bath salts illegal in most states because they take different forms and combinations of different ingredients, making defining the substance difficult. bath salts are a newer fad with very dangerous consequences. The bath salts can contain mephedrone and MDPV, drugs that cause severe hallucinations and psychosis. A single use causes intense cravings that results in three to four day binges and can end in suicide.
Overdosing on Supplements – Studies show that about 40 percent of younger athletes take protein enhancements. These enhancers come in the form of bars, shakes, or powders. Harmful effects of supplements include weight gain, muscle cramping, high blood pressure, and heart problems. Overuse can lead to declining bone strength and kidney stones formed due to excess calcium.
Smoking Alcohol – Teens are pouring alcohol over dry-ice to release a vapor that is inhaled, causing them to be intoxicated. Teens often do this intending to not ingest calories while drinking. Calories are still ingested through this method, and may cause damage to the lungs, pneumonia, or pneumonitis. There is also no accurate way to measure the amount inhaled. This may lead to alcohol poisoning or unintentional black-outs.
Cinnamon Challenge – The cinnamon challenge is swallowing a tablespoon of the spice in 60 seconds without drinking any liquid. More than 50,000 YouTube clips were available last year of teens attempting the challenge, according to USA Today. The immediate effects of the challenge include coughing, choking and burning of the mouth, nose and throat. Swallowing cinnamon may cause long-lasting lesions, scarring and inflammation of the airway, or lung damage, doctors from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine write in the journal Pediatrics. Report author Steven Lipshultz said teens with asthma are particularly at risk from ingesting large amounts of dry cinnamon.
Snapchat – Snapchat’s primary demographic is 13- to 23-year-olds, and sends 400 million messages and pictures through its system each day. Snapchat is a program that allows someone to send a mobile picture to someone else, however it automatically gets deleted seconds later. However, recipients can take a screen shot immediately of the photo, without having to get permission from or notifying the sender. This program is used mostly by teens, but also by pedophiles with intent to lure young victims. Searching the Web for Snapchat screenshots can reveal many photos that were not meant to be seen by the public.
Online whispers – Vine, Instagram, WhatsApp, Frankly, Skim, Ansa and Whisper, are mobile apps that entice users to “share secrets, express themselves, and meet new people,” allowing them post and react to others’ posts.
Parents: Check out this Drug Guide
Phone Apps & Social Media
Which Ones are Safe for Your Kids?
ConnectSafely.org: has basic guidelines for teens and parents about cyber bullying, sexting, social networking, and more.
GetGameSmart.com: provides information and resources to help families make smart choices about what they play, browse, and watch.
GetNetWise.org: is a useful resource for families to learn how to protect themselves from online danger and create the safest online experience possible.
iKeepSafe.org: seeks to give parents, educators, and policymakers the information and tools which power them to teach children the safe and healthy use of technology and the Internet.
NetSmartz.org: is a safety resource from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for children aged 5 to 17, parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement that uses activities to teach Internet safety.
Lookout Mobile Security & The Online Mom’s Generation Smartphone: A Guide for Parents of Teens & Tweens: has resources to help families talk to their kids about mobile security and safe smartphone use.
OnGuardOnline.gov: is the FTC’s main consumer facing website to educate everyone on staying safe and secure online.
NQ Mobile & National Cyber Security Alliance’s Kids and Smartphones: a Guide to Mobile Safety: has resources for families who are considering giving their kids a smartphone.
WebWiseKids.org: is a unique organization that offers fun, challenging and interactive simulations based on real-life criminal cases. Each program has been designed specifically for use with young people in classrooms and computer labs and is guaranteed to be easy to use and flexible with your classroom schedule.
WiredSafety.org: provides help, information and education to Internet and mobile devise users of all ages. They help victims of cyber abuse ranging from online fraud, cyber stalking.
Resources for Information on Internet Safety for Kids