U.S. Moves Toward Reclassifying Marijuana as a Less Dangerous Drug

Mon, 2024-05-06 06:48
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently announced that it is seeking to downgrade cannabis from its current classification as a Schedule I drug (alongside drugs like heroin, LSD, and ecstasy) to a Schedule III controlled substance (alongside ketamine and some anabolic steroids). This change, recommended by U.S. health regulators, would recognize the medical uses of cannabis and make it easier to conduct research on cannabis products, but wouldn’t legalize marijuana for recreational use at the federal level. It would also lessen or potentially do away with the criminal penalty for possession.
Categories: Teen Health

Exercising Now Can Improve Your Mental Health as an Adult

Mon, 2024-04-22 07:00
A recent study funded by the sportswear brand ASICS found a direct link between exercising in teenage years and improved mental wellbeing in adulthood. The study, which included more than 26,000 people, examines the relationship between exercise and state of mind across the world.

Researchers found that the ages between 15–17 are critical for establishing lifelong exercise habits. Fifty-eight percent of study participants who exercised regularly between those ages still exercised regularly in later life, versus 53 percent of participants who did not. People who stopped exercise before the age of 15 displayed the lowest mental wellbeing later in life, including being less focused, less confident, less calm, and less composed as adults, than those who were regularly active during ages 15–17. The study also found that each additional year a teenager remained engaged in exercise was associated with improved mental health in adulthood.
Categories: Teen Health

Nicotine Pouches Are a Growing Trend with Serious Health Risks

Mon, 2024-04-15 06:58
Nicotine pouches are a type of smokeless tobacco product that has become increasingly popular with teens and young adults. They contain nicotine and other fillers, and come in mint, fruit, and candy flavors. Users place the pouch under their upper lip and the nicotine is absorbed through their gums and saliva. Last year, the CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey estimated that about 1.5 percent of middle and high school students had used nicotine pouches.

Nicotine pouches are often marketed as a healthy alternative to smoking, but they can still be harmful. Nicotine is highly addictive and can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, the pouches contain chemicals and additives that can irritate the mouth and gums, and potentially lead to issues like periodontal disease or even oral cancer. The long-term consequences of using nicotine pouches are not yet fully understood.
Categories: Teen Health

Bird Flu Continues to Spread in Cows in the United States

Mon, 2024-04-08 06:32
The avian flu, also known as bird flu, is a type of influenza virus that typically infects birds, such as chickens, ducks, and geese. This virus can sometimes spread to humans, but it is not easily transmitted from person to person. Last month, highly pathogenic avian flu—a type of influenza A known as H5N1—was identified in at least a dozen cattle herds in Texas, Ohio, New Mexico, Kansas, Michigan, and Idaho on the Canadian border. On April 1, 2024, a person in Texas became ill with bird flu after contact with infected dairy cattle. It’s the first human case of the highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza in Texas, and the second recorded in the United States.
Categories: Teen Health

Teens Are Increasingly Using Social Media to Self-Diagnose Mental Health Issues

Mon, 2024-04-01 06:44
According to a recent EdWeek Research Center survey, 55 percent of students have self-diagnosed mental health issues using social media sites like TikTok and Instagram. Social media has made it easier for people to talk about their mental health, and it may be faster or more affordable to use online resources than to contact a professional. However, false information spreads quickly online and people who give advice may not have the required training or experience. Additionally, it’s not a good idea to share all of your incredibly private details and experiences on the Internet where others can view them and could be influenced to believe they may also be diagnosed with the same conditions.

If you’re struggling, you can take proactive steps by talking to a trusted adult, like a family member, teacher, or school counselor, who can provide support and help you find appropriate resources. Engaging in healthy coping strategies such as making time for hobbies, staying physically active, eating a balanced diet, and connecting with supportive friends and peers can also reduce stress and support your overall well-being.
Categories: Teen Health

A Significant Number of Teens Are Using Delta-8 Products

Mon, 2024-03-18 06:33
According to the latest Monitoring the Future survey, more U.S. teens are experimenting with delta-8, a cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. In 2023, 11 percent of 12th grade students reported using the substance. To put the results into perspective, that’s at least one or two students in every average-sized high school class, according to the National Institutes of Health, which provided funding for the survey. Ninety-one percent of the teens who used delta-8 also acknowledged using marijuana.

Delta-8 has comparable effects on the body and brain to delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but there’s no regulatory oversight in the U.S. for how delta-8 is manufactured or tested. Delta-8 users have reported adverse health effects like rapid heart rate, breathing problems, and even seizures. Health officials say teens are at greater risk because they can unintentionally overconsume edibles that contain delta-8 THC.
Categories: Teen Health

Colorado Teens Turn Grief Into Action After Losing Their Friend to Fentanyl Poisoning

Mon, 2024-03-11 10:43
Fifteen-year-old Gavinn McKinney was well-known and warmly regarded by his Durango, Colorado, community. He was part of the Thunder Clan of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and embraced the philosophy “Love is the cure.” Just days before his sixteenth birthday, McKinney tried hard drugs for the first time at a friend’s house and died from fentanyl poisoning.

In response to the devastating loss of McKinney, his friends and classmates are advocating for change. They drafted a bill that, if passed by state lawmakers, would permit Colorado high school students to carry naloxone—a medication capable of temporarily counteracting an opioid overdose and potentially proving lifesaving in such emergencies. In addition to naloxone access, the students also want improved drug education and programs aimed at addressing the overdose epidemic. “We realized we could actually make a change if we put our hearts to it,” said Niko Peterson, a senior at Animas High School in Durango and one of McKinney’s friends who helped write the bill. “Being proactive versus being reactive is going to be the best possible solution. ... We’re making things happen on behalf of him.”
Categories: Teen Health

Experts Warn That Teens May Be Damaging Their Skin with Anti-Aging Products

Mon, 2024-03-04 06:38
Dermatologists are seeing an increase in teen patients who have developed rashes, burning, breakouts, and other skin issues after using products that are intended for adult skin. Dr. Jayden Galamgam, a UCLA dermatologist interviewed by NBC News, says ingredients like exfoliating acids and retinoids are particularly problematic for teens. While these address concerns like wrinkles and acne for adults, they tend to be too harsh for young skin.

It’s tempting to think that products with stronger ingredients will lead to better, faster results. However, using these types of products can cause rapid turnover of young skin cells, resulting in extreme dryness and sensitivity to the sun. Experts say you should stick to gentle cleansers and lightweight moisturizers, and only try stronger methods if a dermatologist or health care provider has recommended them.
Categories: Teen Health

FDA Approves New Medication to Treat Severe Food Allergies

Tue, 2024-02-20 06:34
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first medication that can help protect against multiple severe food allergies, including milk, eggs, and nuts. The drug, called Xolair, is not taken during an allergic reaction. Instead, it is taken at regular intervals, such as every few weeks, to help reduce the risk of allergic reactions over time. Xolair is not a cure, so people taking the drug must continue to avoid foods they are allergic to. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 6 percent of people in the United States have a food allergy that could lead to a potentially life-threatening reaction.
Categories: Teen Health

New CDC Report Says More Teens Are Using Drugs to Deal with Stress and Anxiety

Mon, 2024-02-12 10:29
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new findings on why teens might experiment with drugs and alcohol. The study, the first of its kind, expands on limited research previously done on why teens use drugs. CDC researchers surveyed teens who were receiving treatment for substance abuse. While many participants said they turned to substances to feel calm or relaxed, nearly half said they used drugs or alcohol to stop worrying about their problems, forget bad memories, or to help with depression or anxiety. This aligns with previous reports that teens are currently experiencing unprecedented levels of hopelessness, anxiety, and depression.

The study also found that half of the teens said they frequently used substances by themselves, without others present. Researchers noted that using drugs or alcohol while alone significantly increases the risk of overdose, especially with the rise of counterfeit pills that contain illegal substances but are designed to look like prescription medications. With no one else around, an overdose can easily become fatal.
Categories: Teen Health

February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Mon, 2024-02-05 09:47
Dating abuse is more common than you think. It’s estimated that 1 out of 3 teens will be hurt by someone they date before becoming an adult. Dating violence happens when your partner tries to control you through emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. This could be name calling that puts you down, extreme jealousy or insecurity, isolating you from friends or family, explosive outbursts or mood swings, or physically harming you. It can happen in person or online.

You have the right to be treated with respect in your relationships, and feeling afraid, controlled, or put down is a sign that something is wrong. It’s important to talk to someone you trust, like a parent, teacher, or counselor. There are also resources like loveisrespect.org that provide confidential support and can connect you to services in your community.
Categories: Teen Health

Teens Believe Social Factors Like Social Media and Bullying Are Worsening the Youth Mental Health Crisis

Mon, 2024-01-29 09:55
A recent survey of kids and teens revealed that mental health issues are their biggest concern, with 30 percent listing it as their top problem. The study, conducted by the nonprofit organization Common Sense Media, found that girls are more likely than boys to rank mental health challenges as most important. The majority of teens rate the mental health of youth in their community as just fair or poor. Girls are especially pessimistic, with 69 percent giving these low ratings compared to 59 percent of boys. When asked about causes of the youth mental health crisis, teens cite social media and bullying/discrimination as major contributing factors.
Categories: Teen Health
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