Quick Tips for Parents of Young Drivers

This week, October 19th- 25th, is being recognized as the National Teen Driver Safety Week. Communities across the country are using this time to raise awareness on the importance of teen driver safety and shed light on the dangers associated with poor driver and passenger behaviors. Below are a few action steps parents can take to support the NTDSW initiative by helping your teen learn safe driving skills.

Ensure your teen accumulates 50+ hours of supervised driving. To do this, create a schedule each week that has specific lot times for driving practice. Choose various routes to have your teen practice driving on so that they experience different types of roads, speed limits, sharp and wide turns, etc. Log your teen’s driving time so that you can easily keep track of the hours.

Understand the expectations. Too much time together in one car can easily cause some tension between you and your teen. Especially when the purpose is to teach them how to drive.  Make sure that you and your teen understand what each of your expectations are for the driving lessons. Set guidelines on how and when feedback should be given, how it should be received and through it all: remain calm and respectful.

Talk with your teen’s driver education instructors. Be in communication with your teen’s driving instructors so that you can learn of ways to help reinforce effective defensive driving habits. Take their expert advice and begin implementing them in your one-on-one driving lessons with your teen.

Create some “first year” rules.  Monitor your teen’s first year of independent driving by setting household rules such as how late they can be out driving at night or what amount of distance they can drive away from your home. Assuming that your teen follows the set rules, consider increasing their driving privileges over time.

Support National Teen Driver Safety Week and get involved!

Let’s Talk About Medicine

October is being recognized amongst the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) as “Talk About Your Medicines” month.  As the first ever direct access lab testing services company, we strongly believe in the importance of patient education on medicine. Knowing the risks and benefits associated with the medicines you are taking allows you to understand exactly what you are putting into your body, determine what dosage is right for you and ultimately empower you to truly take control of your health.

Time and time again, patients and especially teenagers, hold a belief that if a doctor prescribes a drug or medication it must be safe – even if not prescribed for that person. This common overlook has, unfortunately, factored into this staggering statistic: 1 in 4 teens report to having misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime.

The underlying question now is, “How can we prevent this from happening in the future? And in our child’s future?” For parents with teenagers, the conversation needs to start at home. Sadly, studies show that there is a general disconnect between teenagers and their parents on many topics, including medicine abuse. We challenge you to eliminate the disconnect now. By starting the discussion on medicine misuse and abuse at home, your children can begin to develop a clear understanding of the dangers associated with each. Thus, preparing them to appropriately handle any interaction with prescription drugs in the future that they may be involved in.

Do you need help talking to your teen? Start with the Partnership at Drugfree.Kids’ Parent Toolkit for assistance on how to have that hard conversation or call their Parents Toll-Free Helpline, 855-DRUGFREE. Our Trust, But Verify program can also help with any concerns you may face as a parent. As a local partner to The Medicine Abuse Project, we encourage you to learn more about what you can do in the fight to stop medicine misuse.

Unlock the Secrets of Purposeful Parenting

July is Purposeful Parenting Month, and it promotes building strong, meaningful relationships between parents and children. Goals of Purposeful Parenting Month include children’s habits, growth in their independence and nutritional eating habits. One of the many ways to encourage parenting with a purpose is by modeling the specific behaviors that we want our children to obtain. Another way includes open communication, which has been proven to be a large component for success. Make time in your schedule to have open, honest conversations with your children. Allow times to play with your children, help them with their homework and stimulate their minds. Simple changes such as a family dinner discussion rather than a meal while watching T.V. creates steps in the right direction towards open communication. Game nights are always a fun idea, too!

“Taking the time to provide consistency, structure, accountability, along with unconditional love, support and understanding can increase the likelihood that your children will make healthy decisions.”   – David Niven, Ph.D.

Explore additional ideas to get involved with purposeful parenthood month. You have the power to make a difference in your child’s life.

Heroin’s Typical User Is Not The Same As It Once Was

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 605,000 Americans beginning from age 12 and up, have abused heroin at least once in 2009, when they were surveyed. As such a dangerous and addictive drug, it’s important to be informed of the facts.

Heroin use has shifted from the city and has gradually entered suburban and rural territories. JAMA Physciatry conducted an in-depth study on the issue, and the findings are quite surprising. The typical heroin user in the past was an older male living in the city, which is no longer the case. JAMA Psychiatry reports that now, the typical user is a suburban resident in their 20’s. In addition, the number of women who are using has greatly increased.

“Although the “high” produced by heroin was described as a significant factor in its selection, it was often used because it was more readily accessible and much less expensive than prescription opioids.” –JAMA Psychiatry The Changing Face of Heroin Use in the United States This is probably one of the main reasons heroin has caught on in the suburban and rural market with young people. JAMA Physiciatry notes that this doesn’t necessarily mean the use has decreased in urban areas, it has just predominantly made it’s way into other areas. This dangerous drug is something to be cautious of. If you are suspicious of a loved one using, consider drug testing.

You Shouldn’t Drive Drunk or Drugged

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Month

Impaired driving is extremely common around the holidays, which is why the Center for Disease Control (CDC) chose December to be National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month or 3D Month.

Join ANY LAB TEST NOW® as we encourage our community to become aware of all the harm drunk and drugged driving can cause. It becomes more than just a way to get home from a long night out; people lose lives, become seriously injured, their families change forever and a lifetime of guilt can occur for those who choose to drive under the influence.

Did you know that young people, motorcyclists and drivers with prior impaired driving convictions are the most at risk? Learn more FAQ’s and statistics from the CDC.

We offer a plethora of short-term and long-term drug and alcohol related tests, available for you to see here. Designate a sober driver if you plan on celebrating the holidays. You’ll get home safely and so will the rest of the road.

Joining a Cause: Celebrating Red Ribbon Week ®!

To be the parent of a teenager is to worry constantly. Your child is at a stage of his/her life when they are too old for kiddy things and too young for real adult situations. If you feel like you are constantly confused as to what your teen is going through, imagine how your teen feels.

Being a teen these days is nothing like it was 10 or even 5 years ago.  The peer pressure you survived during your teen years cannot begin to compare to the amount of peer pressure teens face today. Not only do they go through what are considered “old school” types of peer pressure, but throw the increased popularity of social media platforms and cyber-bullying as well as the rising issue of prescription abuse in the mix and your teen will need a lot of help with saying NO to drugs.

As the parent of a teen if you have asked yourself, “What can I do to help my child?” “How do I give my teen the proper tools to stand up to today’s peer pressures?” you’re definitely not alone. That’s where organizations such as The Partnership at Drugfree.org, the National Family Partnership (organizers of Red Ribbon Week®) and ANY LAB TEST NOW® come in. Each of these have vast information to help parents get informed about the latest drug and alcohol abuse within today’s youth and how to have that open conversation with your teen about the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.

According to the National Family Partnership, children of parents who talk to their teens on a regular basis about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs. Red Ribbon Week ®  (October 23 – 31) is the perfect time to openly speak to your teens about the dangers of drug use. ANY LAB TEST NOW® has a program specifically designed to help parents arm their teens with the tools to overcome peer pressure. The Trust, But Verify Program combines trust-building with random teen drug testing.

Since prescription medications are the fastest growing type of abused drug among teens, ANY LAB TEST NOW® has joined forces with The Partnership at Drugfree.org in a strategic partnership for the Medicine Abuse Project.  ANY LAB TEST NOW® ‘s Trust, But Verify program can help parents bring across the point that drug testing your teen is not to catch them using drugs, but to deter them from using drugs. To let them know that this is your way of helping them with peer pressure. This way they can let their friends know that they get drug tested at home… so “NO”… they can’t try it just this once.

As Red Ribbon Week ®  draws to a close talk to your teen and join the cause to help today’s youth say “A Healthy Me, is Drug Free!” To learn more about how ANY LAB TEST NOW® can help you and your teen establish a plan to stand up to peer pressure, stop by a location near you or visit www.anylabtestnow.com

Teen Drug Abuse: A Rising Epidemic

Today’s teens are bombarded with a great number of illegal and legal drugs that have been dubbed the next new thing to take them to ‘cool’ status amongst their peers. Many times as a parent you believe that your teen will never fall into the habit of doing drugs because you have taught them better than that. But do you know what they do when you’re not around? What about prescription drugs? Do you know if some are missing from your medicine cabinet?

Most of the time your child does respect the values you have taught them, however the power of peer pressure can make your teen throw those out the window and give in. With the new trend of abusing prescription drugs, teen drug abuse has taken a whole new life form. Many teens believe that if the drug has been prescribed then it is not dangerous. They also think that abusing them is safer than abusing illicit drugs.

Teen drug abuse has become a rising epidemic and as a parent there are many things you can do to help your teen not become a statistic. Keeping the lines of communication open with your teen is key, be honest with your teens and have an informed discussion about the pathway drug use can lead to. Don’t confuse your teen’s intelligence with maturity.  Your child is smart, however he/she may not be mature enough to have good judgment about drugs and their consequences.

Knowing that teen drug abuse has steadily risen in the past few years, parents are in a constant state of worry. ANY LAB TEST NOW® can help relieve some of your worry with our Trust, But Verify program. Drug testing your teen is not about invading their privacy or accusing them, it’s about protecting their life and their future.  As their parent, you are establishing a partnership that focuses on standing up against peer pressure by arming them with the greatest shield. Our drug tests are discreet and confidential.

To help educate parents and teens on prescription drug abuse ANY LAB TEST NOW® has joined forces with The Partnership at Drugfree.org in spreading awareness with The Medicine Abuse Project. To find out more about our Trust, But Verify program stop by an ANY LAB TEST NOW® near you or visit www.anylabtestnow.com

Sports & Adderall Abuse

In the world of sports, an athlete deals with a number of pressures besides winning or losing the game. Not only does the athlete have to make sure that he or she is in optimal physical condition in order to perform, but they also feel the pressure from teammates and the expectations of those who follow them. In a day and age when there seems to be a medicine available for just about everything, it is not surprising that people, including athletes, start experimenting and discovering alternative uses for such prescriptions.

An example of this is the infamous prescription drug, Adderall. Known as the “study drug”, for those who actually need it the drug becomes a medicine that helps them focus on the task at hand. For those who don’t need it, the drug becomes a powerful stimulant that can be used as a performance enhancer or a pick-me-up.

Since studies have shown that the drug improves handeye coordination, strength and acceleration, there’s no surprise as to why this specific drug has gained popularity amongst athletes.  To an athlete, Adderall gives them an edge with an energy boost in order to “rock” the game and go for the big win. The drug itself has become so popular in the world of sports that even national leagues like the NFL and the MLB as well as the NCAA have been forced to take action against those who test positive for the drug and have not been prescribed by a physician, resulting in a number of suspensions.

On many occasions, whether it be the desire to hang onto one’s youth or the constant pressure of needing to stay on top of your game, these athletes forget about the long-term side effects that a drug like Adderall could have on their health especially in those who don’t really need this prescription. The long-term side effects include risk of cardiovascular problems and stroke, depression, hostility and paranoia. Since May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, why not take the opportunity to help your athlete Take Control of Their Health and take a peek at their current state of health. ANY LAB TEST NOW® understands that achieving peak performance and optimal results takes more than just physical fitness. It’s a matter of getting the inside facts about your body’s true state of health.  In addition ANY LAB TEST NOW® can be your partner in making sure your athlete stays in tip-top shape without any enhancers through one of our many drug testing options.

During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month Take Control of Your Health® and your athletic career; whether you are an athlete or you manage one, having the opportunity to know what’s going on inside your body, empowers you to Take Control of Your Health® with a well-rounded, drug free, comprehensive health and wellness approach.  For more information visit www.anylabtestnow.com or stop by an ANY LAB TEST NOW® near you. Also, take the time to learn more about The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s Medicine Abuse Project, and help stop the abuse of prescription medications.

Getting in the Spirit of National Collegiate Health and Wellness Week

Going to college is a great experience. It is the time when you finally get to study the subjects you are really interested in and when you begin to work towards your future career. You are the one and only responsible for what comes next for Y-O-U, including meeting deadlines, paying bills on time and of course taking care of your health.  Welcome to adulthood!

Now let’s talk about the process to get into college. Yes grades, tests scores and a comprehensive entry essay are a given; but the other side of this process believe it or not comes down to your health. Are your immunizations up to date? Have you been tested for venereal diseases? Some institutions may also require you to take a drug test. All these elements combined and perhaps an interview will determine whether you get in or not.

Next… Congratulations you got accepted! Now the grind begins, you are on a roll and burning the midnight oil has become part of your daily routine. You figured “why not I’m young I’ll catch up on Z’s once I graduate!” Ask yourself do these activities affect my overall health and wellness? The answer to that question is YES! Let’s be honest that midnight oil being burned is not just due to studying and once you graduate the time to catch up on Z’s decreases. It has been reported that some of the main health concerns on campuses across the country include lack of sleep, infectious diseases, alcohol abuse and lack of exercise.

The time to Take Control of Your Health® is now! You might ask yourself, but “how do I do that?” Perhaps doing the good old buddy system could work.  ANY LAB TEST NOW® can be that buddy you need to help you stay on top of things and make sure you’re healthy. We have the tests that you don’t have to study for including titer testing, STD testing and overall wellness checkups. Plus, we have B-12 shots that can help you boost that energy after those all-nighters.  Get in the spirit of National Collegiate Health and Wellness Week, increase your awareness about the importance of staying healthy, fit and get educated on how to do it.  Visit www.anylabtestnow.com to find additional information on how to Take Control of Your Health® and visit a location near you.

Parents – Have You Heard of Molly?

Molly is the new ‘It’ girl on the club scene.  She is the powder or crystalized form of MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), a combination of plant fertilizer and other synthetic drugs.  This new drug has similar ‘high’ effects as ecstasy but, can be even more dangerous because the drug’s chemical makeup is frequently altered. Molly comes in pill and powder form, and can be swallowed or snorted.

Dubbed ‘Molly’, short for molecule, she is considered the purest form of ecstasy. Since there are no additional additives to the drug, it has some users believing it is safe. The promise of ‘purity’ has made her a very popular girl not only among the club scene, but also at concerts and festivals all over the country. It has also become the drug of choice for teens to experiment with and they often mix it with alcohol and other drugs, such as marijuana.

The scariest part of Molly is that her users tend to be young. According to the CEO of Southern California’s Passages rehabilitation centers, users’ ages range from 16 to 24.  They don’t realize they are playing Russian Roulette with their health and their lives. The drug has an innocent name and because suppliers advertise it as the ‘pure’ high it has an innocent girl next-door appeal to users. However, taking Molly is very dangerous with both short-term and long-term effects.

There are a number of dangerous side effects from partying with Molly. Due to the fact that Molly targets the brain, it can become extremely addictive. The short-term effects involve feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, enhanced sensory perception, along with increased physical energy. In addition Molly can cause nausea, chills, sweating, teeth clenching, muscle cramping, blurred vision, and sometimes sudden death. The long-term effects can include Hypertension, muscle rigidity, palpitations, overreactive reflexes and more.

As a parent of a teen, what can I do? There are a number of things you can do as a parent. First and foremost keep the lines of communication open. Warn your child about the short-term and long-term dangers of partying with drugs like ‘Molly’.

Remember, there are a number of constant pressures and temptations for your teen every day. Giving them a reason to say NO next time they are offered to ‘Try’ the new ‘It’ drug can be life-saving. Getting them drug tested can be that defense they need to combat peer pressure.  “I can’t. My parents will know” Raising teenagers is a hard job. Let ANY LAB TEST NOW® make it easier for you with the Trust, But Verify Program. For more information about available teen drug testing options visit www.anylabtestnow.com and find the nearest location to you.