Recovery Plus The later a person starts to use substances, the better their chances in life – and parents are essential in preventing life-long consequences. Dr Andrea Grubb Barthwell explains. your library’s essential reference Feb 2016 51 About the author Andrea Grubb Barthwell MD, FASAM, is the founder and CEO of Two Dreams and the CEO of Encounter Medical Group. President George W Bush nominated and the US Senate confirmed her as deputy director for demand reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from January 2002-July 2004. Dr Barthwell was a principal adviser in the Executive Office of the President on policies aimed at reducing the demand for illicit drugs. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr Barthwell is a past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. In 2003, she received the Betty Ford Award, given by the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse. Prescription drugs. In the US, 17.8% of students had taken prescription drugs – such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, codeine, Adderall, Ritalin or Xanax – without a doctor’s prescription one or more times during their life (www.cdc. gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6304.pdf?utm_source=rss&utm_ medium=rss&utm_campaign=youth-risk-behaviorsurveillance united-states-2013-pdf). In the UK, about 1.3million people are estimated to be dependent on prescription drugs (www.publications.parliament. uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmhaff/819/819.pdf); no separate figures for adolescents are available. Illicit drugs. In 2013 in the US, an estimated 2.8million people aged 12 or older used an illicit drug for the first time; this averages to about 7,800 new users per day. Over half of initiates were younger than 18 when they first used, and 70.3% of users reported the drug as marijuana (www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/ NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013. pdf). In 2013 in the UK, 16% of pupils had ever taken drugs, with cannabis the most widely used (www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB15943/drug-misu-eng- 2014-rep.pdf). Alcohol. 18.6% of US students drank alcohol (other than a few sips) for the first time before age 13 (www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6304.pdf). Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among US youth – more than tobacco and illicit drugs. Alcohol is responsible for over 4,300 annual deaths among underage youth (www.cdc. gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm). In 2012 in the UK, 43% of school pupils (aged 11-15) said that they had drunk alcohol at least once (www. hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB14184). As mentioned earlier, adolescence is a period of great change, which should be marked by development and acquisition of competencies essential to fully function as an adult, self sufficient and independent of parents. Perhaps paradoxically, parental supervision and guidance is vital to the growth and development of adolescents along lines that support healthy individuation and separation. Adolescents live and learn in environments where their peers are increasing in importance and expressing earlier onset of substance initiation. Parents have an essential role to play in whether adolescents are to be protected from pressure that promotes, rather than suppresses, initiation. Delaying their age of initiation is important to the prevention of harmful life-long consequences.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above