Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Teenagers–especially heterosexual teens–who are either bullied or who are both bullies and victims of bullying are more likely to exhibit risky sexual behaviors, a new Boston University study has found. More from Reuters:
“Some previous research has found that aggression and sexual risk-taking are related, so it was not entirely surprising that bullies and bully-victims reported more sexual risk-taking than their peers,” Melissa K. Holt said.
What’s more, some research has found that kids and teens cope with being bullied by using drugs or alcohol, for instance. Acting out sexually may be another way young people respond to bullying, Holt told Reuters Health.
She led the research at the Boston University School of Education.
The study included almost 9,000 high school students from 24 schools who completed a survey about bullying and sexual behavior. “Risky sex” was defined as casual sex and sex while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
About 80 percent of the students said they had not bullied other kids or been bullied themselves.
Seven percent of those teens reported ever having casual sex with someone they had just met or didn’t know very well. And 12 percent said they had had sex under the influence.
The numbers were similar for students who said they had been bullied, but hadn’t bullied others.
But among the six percent of kids who claimed to have acted as bullies, one quarter had engaged in casual sex and just over a third said they’d had sex while drunk or high.
Another six percent of students said they had both acted as bullies and been the victims of bulling. Of those teens, 20 percent had had casual sex and 23 percent reported having sex under the influence.
The researchers accounted for other childhood experiences that might lead to sexual risk-taking, but the link to bullying remained.
Image: Bully, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
aggression, alcohol, bullies, bully, bullying, Drugs, sex, sexual behavior, teen sex, teenagers, teens | Categories:
Child Health, New Research, Parenting News
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
A drug that is crucial to helping doctors feed the smallest premature infants is in dwindling supply because of a shortage of the injectable form of the mineral zinc. More from NBC News:
At least 120,000 more fragile babies may be at risk each year from an ongoing shortage of injectable zinc, a trace element added to intravenous nutrition solutions, government and medical officials say.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Dr. Lamia Soghier, medical director of the neonatology unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “What can we do? We’re just short. We don’t have it. We can’t borrow it.”
The crisis is the latest in the nation’s ongoing struggle with drug shortages. After federal intervention in 2012, the number of new shortages has fallen markedly, down to just 26 this year from a record high of 267 in 2011. But the number of active shortages of essential medications — including injectable trace elements, vitamins and electrolytes — is now 323, higher than it’s ever been, according to the University of Utah Drug Information Service, which tracks the problem.
UPDATE 3/28/13: Emily Hartman from Children’s National Medical Center contacted PNN to clarify the following: “While Dr. Soghier is quoted as saying “What can we do? We’re just short. We don’t have it. We can’t borrow it,” she is referring to when the original MMWR article on zinc shortages was written in December 2012. Children’s was able to get an emergency supply soon after that original article was released and we’re actually okay in terms of supply. We don’t want our patients and families to worry that this is still a problem at Children’s.”
Image: Premature baby, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
An article to be published in this Sunday’s New York Times magazine reports on an emerging trend in the study of behavior among teenagers: a decline in “bad behaviors” like smoking marijuana, using alcohol, and becoming pregnant. From the article:
By several noteworthy measures, today’s teenagers are growing increasingly conservative. While marijuana use has recently had an uptick, teenagers are smoking far less pot than their parents did at the same age. In 1980, about 60 percent of high-school seniors had tried marijuana and 9 percent smoked it daily. Among seniors today, according to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey, which has tracked teenage risk behaviors since 1975, 45.5 percent have tried the drug and 6.6 percent are smoking it frequently.
Adolescent use of alcohol, tobacco and most illegal drugs is also far lower than it was 30 years ago. In 1980, about a third of 12th graders had smoked in the past month; today that number has dropped to fewer than 1 in 5. Teenage alcohol use has reached historic lows. In 1980, 72 percent of high-school seniors said they had recently consumed alcohol, compared with just 40 percent in 2011. In 1981, about 43 percent of 12th graders had tried an illegal drug other than pot; in 2011 that number fell to 25 percent.
Today’s teenagers are also far less likely to have sex or get pregnant compared with their parent’s generation. In 1988, half of boys 15 to 17 had experienced sex; by 2010 that number fell to just 28 percent. The percentage of teenage girls having sex dropped to 27 percent from 37.2 percent, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Image: A group of teenagers, via Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
Thursday, December 15th, 2011
A national drug survey released this week has found that teenagers are using marijuana at record levels, with one in 15 high school seniors reporting smoking pot daily or almost daily. The study found that alcohol use among teens, by contrast, is at an all-time low, with 40 percent of high school seniors admitting to drinking alcohol during the past 30 days (54 percent said the same in 1991).
The Associated Press reports on the rise in marijuana use, as well as a heightened use of synthetic marijuana products with names like “Spice” and “K2, saying that one explanation for is that teenagers do not see the drug as a health risk:
The percentage of teens saying they see “great risk” in using marijuana generally has dropped in recent years.
“One thing we’ve learned over the years is that when young people come to see a drug as dangerous, they’re less likely to use it,” Lloyd Johnston, the study’s principal investigator, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “That helps to explain why marijuana right now is rising, because the proportion of kids who see it as dangerous has been declining.”
The study said marijuana use among teens rose in 2011 for the fourth straight year after considerable decline in the preceding decade.
The survey found 36.4 percent of 12th-graders reported using marijuana in the past year, compared to 31.7 percent in the 2007 survey. Usage was at 28.8 percent for 10th-graders and 12.5 percent for eighth-graders within the previous 12 months, according to the 2011 survey.
The synthetic drug survey question was asked for the first time this year. Fake marijuana, sometimes sold in drug paraphernalia shops and on the Internet as incense, contains organic leaves coated with chemicals that provide a marijuana-like high when smoked.
Add a Comment
A Drug Enforcement Administration emergency order banning the sale of five chemicals used in herbal blends to make synthetic marijuana took effect March 1. The synthetics are among the many that would be banned under a bill passed in the U.S. House earlier this month. Many states also have their own laws banning the sale of synthetic marijuana.
Image: Cigarette smoke, via Shutterstock.
Monday, August 15th, 2011
The non-profit organization Partnership for Safe Medicines has released a report chronicling how opening U.S. markets to foreign drug importation could exacerbate the problem of fake online pharmacies selling counterfeit medication, specifically to children.
According to the report, “A Risky Proposition,” more than one-quarter of all American children and teens take regular prescription medications for conditions ranging from asthma to ADHD to depression to diabetes.
Counterfeit drugs are a common problem internationally, the report says, including counterfeit flu vaccines discovered in the United Kingdom the the Netherlands in 2006, the 2009 deaths of 84 children in Nigeria because of tainted teething medication, and 12 million fake medicines including antibiotics, anti-tetanus medication, and aspirin uncovered in a 2009 raid in several Southeast Asian countries.
The report cautions that parents who might be tempted by lower prices through online pharmacies could be putting their children at risk. Parents should, therefore, always buy medications from accredited and licensed pharmacies. From the report:
America’s closed and secure system covering the supply chain and sale of medications is much stronger than those in many other countries. State and federal agencies closely regulate the flow of source material for medicine, its manufacturer, distribution and sale, and ultimately its dispensation at licensed pharmacies…. This combination of a closed and secure system, along with aggressive law enforcement efforts explains why there are fewer incidents of counterfeit drugs in the U.S. medicine supply than in many other countries.
Some Americans are circumventing the protected closed system by buying medicines from fake “online pharmacies” that they may not know are scams. Buying online from entities that are not legal, accredited pharmacies is a high-risk activity for loved ones.
Hence, the anonymity of the Internet means anyone can claim anything about themselves online including sham businesses. This means that “Canada” doesn’t always mean “Canadian” and labels or postmarks from “trusted” countries do not mean the contents are from these countries. Drugs from Canada, UK, and other western countries are viewed as safe, inexpensive and, particularly with the increased popularity of the Internet, easily accessible — all reasons why proponents of importation reference Canadian and European drugs so often. Unfortunately, many Americans – as well as Members of Congress – are unaware of the actual personal and public health dangers. But these dangers are more and more prevalent as a result of fake medicines and pharmacies, and the open and largely unregulated trade policies that
make it possible to infiltrate the global drug supply.
(image via: http://www.legaljuice.com/)
Add a Comment