Websites and Resources <
Resources & Websites for
The following websites and resources are
designed to provide information on a variety of topics that you may find
helpful in your work as a parent, guardian, grandparent, educator or youth
Great website with a variety of parenting
information, activities and entertainment for families.
Information on body piercing safety
Information about tattooing safety
Health information on various topics from experts at Children's
Hospital of Boston
Advice for parents, young children and
teens from experts on a variety of topics
Excellent parenting, drug and alcohol information for
parents and teachers. Information available in
U.S. Department of Health
& Human Services website for alcohol & drug
Resource for information about bipolar
disorder, depression and suicide.
American Foundation for suicide prevention
Hopes suicide education and prevention
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
National Institute on Drug Abuse website with lots of information
for parents, students & teachers. Includes stories to read
aloud and a mural that kids can add to, using the computer.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Parental Responsibility Toolkit - featuring strategies to prevent motor-vehicle-related deaths and injuries of teens
Information about internet safety and other
safety issues concerning children.
lends an expert, guiding hand to help kids and their families make it safely
through difficult times.
Focus Adolescent Services -
articles on an extensive list of problems and diagnoses
plaguing children, teens and families.
information on residential programs/schools for troubled teens.
1-800-266-1437 for free
1-800-429-8312 Free Parent Hotline
parents experiencing difficulties with their teen. Pamphlets, a resource directory
and free parent videos can be downloaded.
How to Find Chemical dependency
treatment programs in your area:
in finding a treatment program is just a click of the mouse or a phone call
away. SAMHSA's Substance Abuse Treatment Facility
Locator is an online tool
for finding private and public facilities that are licensed, certified, or
otherwise approved by their State substance abuse agency. In addition, it lists
treatment facilities administered by the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the U.S.
Department of Defense.
Visit the Treatment Facility Locator at
additional assistance, you also may contact the toll-free Referral Helpline
operated by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse
1-800-662-9832 (en español), or 1-800-228-0427 (TDD).
TEENS LATEST HIGH MAY BE
COMING FROM THE MEDICINE CABINET
The statistics on
prescription drug abuse show that every day, more than 2,000 kids age 12 to 17
try a painkiller non medically for the first time, and 71 percent of persons
age 12 and older who abuse these drugs say they get them from a relative or
friend. It appears that many teens don't realize these drugs can be just
as dangerous as street drugs, so kids who would never try street drugs might
feel safe abusing prescription drugs.
It might be medication left over from your last
surgery. Maybe they’re pills you keep on
the dresser or tucked inside your purse.
Teens are finding prescription drugs wherever people they know keep them
- and abusing them to get high. Set
clear rules about not sharing medicines and always following proper dosages,
safeguard all drugs at home, properly dispose of old or unneeded medicines and
ask family members to do the same.
To renew momentum around
parental awareness about this threat, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media
Campaign will run new prescription drug print and TV ads across the country
over the next few months in major newspapers such as The New York Times and
USA Today as well as in 17 national publications such as Parade,
Newsweek, People and Family Circle. You can view and download
the ad "Cocaine" at http://www.TheAntiDrug.com/pdfs/Cocaine_RxPrint.pdf.
To underscore the message that teens need only look as far as the medicine
cabinet at home to get high, two TV ads, which first aired during last year's
Super Bowl, will run nationally on NBC and CBS networks and cable outlets such
as CNN, Bravo, the History Channel and others; and on Web sites such as
CNN.com, RevolutionHealth.com, Drugs.com and Yahoo.com. These ads,
"Drug Dealer" and "All My Pills," can be viewed at http://www.TheAntiDrug.com/drug_info/prescription_ads.asp.
Since the problem of
prescription drug abuse is predominantly one of access and awareness, Family
Circle magazine and the Media Campaign have joined forces to highlight the
danger zones in each room of the home, producing a printed "house
tour" that will run in the magazine's June issue (on newsstands May
12). Additional copies of this new resource - a supplement to the popular
online version that can be found by visiting www.TheAntiDrug.com/dangerzones
- are available now at the Media Campaign's clearinghouse and can be ordered,
FREE of charge, by calling 1-800-788-2800.
Parenting for Prevention
The most effective drug and alcohol use prevention
efforts are done right at home. A survey
by the National Parent Teacher Association found that the majority of children
want to talk to their parents about drugs, but don’t know how.
Parents, here are some tips for talking with your
Create a family atmosphere that encourages
discussion about alcohol and drug use
Provide a positive role model regarding the use
of alcohol and drugs
Ban alcohol and other drugs at parties held in
Prohibit parties when adults are not present
Set a time when children are expected to be home,
and follow through with consequences if those rules are broken
Know your children’s friends
Know the parents of your children’s friends
Know who your child is going out with and where
they are going
Become knowledgeable about the signs of alcohol
and drug use
Become acquainted with resources for help
According to a recent study done at Brigham Young
University (BYU), while
the influence of peers is an important factor in whether or not a teen will
decide to use drugs, the influence of parents may be just as significant. "Much of the previous research in this area shows that
adolescents make their decisions about drugs based on influence from their
friends," said Stephen Bahr, professor of sociology at BYU and the study's
lead author. "But those studies neglect the notion we found here, that
some of the family characteristics help determine who
teens associate with. We also found that some steps taken by parents had a
direct effect on lowering drug abuse, even in the face of peer
influences." The study's findings appear in the Journal of Primary Prevention.
Here is the link to the study:
Alcohol & Drugs
Increased accidents, tardiness or truancy
drop in grades,
withdrawal, loss of interest in normal activities, use of mouthwash/mints/eye
drops, alcohol or marijuana odor, dazed or confused, memory problems, pupils
dilated or constricted
Depression and Suicide
Withdrawal, loss of
interest in normal activities and appearance, moodiness, irritability,
expressions of hopelessness, self-harm, extreme interest in music and media
with themes of death
May lose up to 25% of body
weight, unrealistic body image, obsession with exercise, binge eating, hiding
food, swollen glands and sore throat from repeated vomiting, wearing clothes
that hide figure
Disrespect for authority,
rebellion, withdrawal, argumentative, change in activities, friends,
interests or behavior
Anxiety related to
relationships, change in appearance, birth control items
Matches, lighters, use of
breath mints, tardiness in coming home, smoke smell
Changes in eating or
sleeping patterns, nervousness, irritability, depression, withdrawal
Anxiety, not wanting to go
to school, change in eating or sleeping habits, withdrawal, depression,
In an Abusive Relationship
Anxiety, increased worry, perfectionism, unexplained bruises or
marks, excessive guilt or shame for no apparent reason, secrecy or withdrawal
from friends and family, avoidance of school or social events with excuses
that don't seem to make any sense, boyfriend or girlfriend very jealous and
Spends lots of time on
computer, becomes secretive about computer activities, uses lots of chat room
shorthand or acronyms when chatting, leaving the house to meet a “friend” you
do not know
Detachment, lack of
bonding to others, withdrawal, feelings of hopelessness, threats of violence
and efforts to establish the means to carry them out, disciplinary problems
in school or community, unusual interest or preoccupation with weapons and
violent entertainment, abuse of animals, self-harm, suicide threats or
Guidelines for Understanding & Caring
For a Person
Who Engages in Self Injurious Behavior
that self injury is not the same as a suicide attempt. While it is true
that people who are suicidal also may engage in self injurious behavior,
the behavior itself is not an attempt to end one’s life. People generally
engage in self injury not because they want to die, but because they want
to feel better.
the significant degree of relief that the person obtains from engaging in
self injurious behavior. At some level, the behavior “works.” It always
“makes sense.” Those who engage in it are not “crazy,” but are attempting
to alter an intolerable internal mood state. Self injury is an attempt at
take it personally. People do not generally self-injure to be dramatic, to
annoy you, or to make you feel guilty. Educate yourself as much as
possible about self injury so that you can learn to respond appropriately.
- Try to
suspend your good intentions to stop or fix the problem in favor of moving
closer to the person with compassion and understanding. A frontal assault
on symptoms alone is rarely effective, and may drive the problem deeper.
The better you are able to connect with the person “behind the self
injury,” the better you will be able to help the person make the decision
to stay safe. People heal as they learn to rely on safe relationships with
other human beings rather than relying on self injury to meet their needs.
- At the
same time, acknowledge your own emotional reaction to self injury, and
discuss your feelings with others who can understand and support you. Many
people find self injury frightening and repulsive. It is likely to evoke
feelings of disgust and anger. While these feelings are understandable and
normal, they can interfere with your ability to be helpful if they lead to
distancing, judgmental or controlling behaviors on your part. Common
control strategies on the part of caregivers include appeals to logic,
threats, groundings, lectures, withdrawing love
and support and guilt. Remember that ultimatums do not ever work.
that limit setting is different than control. For example, saying, “We may
need to consider short-term hospitalization to stabilize your pattern of
self injury,” or “You will be grounded for coming home an hour after
curfew,” are reasonable limits. Saying, “You’ll be grounded if you hurt
yourself again” is counterproductive and unreasonable. You can continue to
set reasonable limits without crossing the line into trying to control the
person’s pattern of self injury.
being drawn into a power struggle around the issue of safety in which the
person advocates for self injury and you become the spokesperson for
safety. The person who self injures must struggle with his or her own
ambivalence about wanting to stop versus wanting to continue with the
you cannot stop another person from engaging in self injury, you can help
the person make the decision to stay safe by such things as offering love
and support, providing distractions (e.g., taking a walk, going to a
movie), making time to listen, providing transportation to therapy or
support groups, and letting the person know that you love them
independently of their behavior. Give the message, “I don’t approve of the
behavior, but I always love you.” Make it clear that the person doesn’t
need to engage in self injury in order to get displays of caring from you.
self injurers to use words to express their pain. Validate their pain.
Statements like “You don’t have to hurt yourself to tell me how bad you
feel,” can be helpful. Don’t try to talk the person out of his or her
painful feelings. For example, instead of saying, “You shouldn’t feel this
way,” ask, “What makes you think you are worthless or deserve to be
punished?,” or “Tell me more about
how you are feeling.”
your own beliefs and values with regards to conflict, feelings and
boundaries. Is conflict dealt with openly and respectfully in your family?
Are there certain feelings that you are uncomfortable with or do not
allow? Are people allowed privacy and space in your family? How are
decisions made? Be open to the possibility of working with a family
therapist to help you and your family members establish flexible and
respectful ways of communicating and being together.
out with the person the best way to approach the subject of self injury
and how you can be the most helpful. Let the person know that you are
willing to talk. Some persons who self injure prefer that you bring the
subject up from time to time because it is hard for them to initiate a
conversation about how they are doing. Others want space, and prefer to
talk with you when they are ready to do so. In any case, find out the
things that you can do that are helpful, and then do them.
entails putting the self injury “out of a job,” identifying the rewards
that the self injury provides, and then finding ways to achieve these
rewards in safe ways. Rather than seeing yourself as the “self injury
police,” looking for ways to “catch” and “stop” the person from engaging
in the behavior, imagine yourself as a facilitator, someone who can help
the person explore ways that he or she might be able to “act out” in safe
ways. The message is, “You’ve found a way to try to take care of yourself
by hurting yourself. Let’s see if there are other ways you can meet your
needs. Let’s see if we can add to your repertoire of coping responses.”
is about the gradual surrender of self injurious behavior in favor of a
life worth living. It is not an “all-or-nothing” event, but a process that
involves the gradual shifting of trust away from the self injurious
behavior toward ever-deepening connections with self, other people and the
to any physical/medical needs a person may have after self injury has
occurred, but don’t inadvertently reinforce the behavior by becoming
overly concerned. Remain matter-of-fact.
- Use relapse
episodes as an opportunity for learning, rather than evidence of
inevitable failure. Help the person discover what went wrong, what
triggered their self injury, and what they can do differently the next
time to stay safe.
with the person about times they thought about hurting themselves, but
didn’t. Ask, “What was different?” “How did you stay safe?” “Do you think
you could do this again in the future?”
are much more likely to recover from self injury when they are able to
find something that makes them “light up,” something that they excel at or
feel passionate about, something that makes them want to get up in the
morning. Encourage your loved one to take small steps toward strengthening
and/or pursuing his or her unique gifts and interests to promote a sense
of mastery, recognition and connection to the larger community.
that there is hope. People can and do recover from self injury.
This information is reprinted with permission from (2006) Shiltz, Thomas J. Self Injury Support Group Curriculum,
Call 1-800-767-4411, ext. 566 for information on obtaining the entire