Young Adult Support
Vaping & Nicotine
E-cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to create a water vapor that you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. While we don’t know exactly what chemicals are in e-cigarettes. Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive.. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. What’s worse, says Blaha, many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine than they would from a tobacco product — you can buy extra-strength cartridges, which have a higher concentration of nicotine, or you can increase the e-cigarette voltage to get a greater heat of the substance.
Effects of Vaping:
It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which research suggests may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
Teen Related Facts:
Among youth, e-cigarettes are more popular than any traditional tobacco product. In 2015, the U.S. surgeon general reported that e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 90%, and 40% of young e-cigarette users had never smoked regular tobacco.First, many teens believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Second, e-cigarettes have a lower per-use cost than traditional cigarettes. Finally, vape cartridges are often formulated with flavorings such as apple pie and watermelon that appeal to younger users.
Drug & Alcohol Substance Use
Because teenagers have more synapses—and more synaptic plasticity—they need less exposure to drugs and alcohol to have more of an effect on the brain. So binge drinking will cause more brain injury in the teenager than it will in the adult. Teenagers don’t require as many exposures to an addictive substance to be addicted. It’s basically the same process as learning a fact; it’s just happening in a different part of the brain. A part called the reward system. The science shows that the synapses in the reward system get larger with every exposure to drugs and alcohol, and because teenagers have better synaptic plasticity, their addiction is greater as a result.
Alcohol Effects on the Body:
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination. Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including: Cardiomyopathy, Arrhythmias, Stroke, High blood pressure. Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations. Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
Many teens do not have the mental capacity to fully understand the consequences of drinking or even be aware of them. Teens can face immediate negative consequences, such as brain damage and delayed puberty. Indirect health issues, such as car crashes and sexual assaults, are also common problems from drinking. Underage drinking affects not only the drinker but society in general. This is because intoxicated teens can make impulsive decisions regarding driving under the influence and causing fights, acts that get people hurt or even killed. Researchers believe that heavy drinking in adolescence can impair brain function later in life. Memory, coordination and motor skills may be affected. People who start drinking at a young age are more likely to develop a dependence on alcohol later in life
Description: However, use of illegal opioids and misuse of prescription opioids can lead to addiction and even overdose or death. Misuse can include taking a drug that has been prescribed for someone else, taking a prescribed medicine differently than prescribed (for example, at a higher dose or for a longer period of time), or taking it to get high.
How to Get Help:
Signs of opioid misuse may include : drowsiness, constipation, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, headaches, sweating, and mood changes, among others . If you are concerned about opioid misuse, call Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Contact Trinity Healthy Living Clinic (401) 608-3322 or 1 (888) 344-4045 to seek services locally. When seeking substance use disorder programs, know which questions to ask.
- Skipping meals, making excuses for not eating or eating in secret
- Excessive focus on food
- Persistent worry or complaining about being fat
- Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws
- Misusing laxatives, diuretics or enemas after eating
- Excessive exercise
- Regularly going to the bathroom right after eating or during meals
- Eating much more food in a meal or snack than is considered normal
- Expressing depression, disgust, shame or guilt about eating habits
Encourage healthy-eating habits. Talk to your teen about how diet can affect his or her health, appearance and energy level. Encourage your teen to eat when he or she is hungry. Make a habit of eating together as a family.
Discuss media messages. Television programs, movies, websites and other media might send your teen the message that only a certain body type is acceptable. Encourage your teen to talk about and question what he or she has seen or heard — especially from websites or other sources that promote anorexia as a lifestyle choice, rather than an eating disorder.
Promote a healthy body image. Talk to your teen about his or her self-image and offer reassurance that healthy body shapes vary. Don’t allow hurtful nicknames or jokes based on a person’s physical characteristics. Avoid making comments about another person based on his or her weight or body shape.
Foster self-esteem. Respect your teen’s accomplishments, and support his or her goals. Listen when your teen speaks. Look for positive qualities in your teen, such as curiosity, generosity and a sense of humor. Remind your teen that your love and acceptance is unconditional — not based on his or her weight or appearance.
Share the dangers of dieting and emotional eating. Explain that dieting can compromise your teen’s nutrition, growth and health, as well as lead to the development of binge eating over time. Remind your teen that eating or controlling his or her diet isn’t a healthy way to cope with emotions. Instead, encourage your teen to talk to loved ones, friends or a counselor about problems he or she might be facing.
If you suspect that your teen has an eating disorder, talk to him or her. Encourage your teen to open up about his or her problems and concerns. Also schedule a medical checkup for your teen. The doctor can assess your teen’s risk of an eating disorder, as well as order urine tests, blood tests or other tests to detect complications.
If your teen is diagnosed with an eating disorder, treatment will likely involve a specific type of family therapy that helps you work with your child to improve his or her eating habits, reach a healthy weight, and manage other symptoms. Sometimes medication is prescribed to treat accompanying mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. In severe cases, hospitalization might be needed.
Depression & Anxiety
When symptoms last for a short period of time, it may be a passing case of “the blues.” But if they last for more than two weeks and interfere with regular daily activities and family and school life, your child may have a depressive disorder.
Young adults who suffer from an anxiety disorder may display these symptoms: Fear, nervousness, avoidance, and shyness.
Young adults with depression may display these symptoms: Depressed or irritable mood, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, change in grades, getting into trouble at school, or refusing to go to school, change in eating habits, feeling angry or irritable, mood swings, feeling worthless or restless, frequent sadness or crying, withdrawing from friends and activities, loss of energy, low self-esteem, thoughts of death or suicide.