Tag: safety

What to Do if a Friend or Family Member Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem

In 2014, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration concluded that approximately 22 million people suffered from a substance abuse disorder. In 2016, that number dropped by only 1 million. The same study found that 8.2 million of those people also suffer from a mental health disorder for both years. While living with addiction is hard, knowing someone with that addiction can be even harder. You want to help them, but feel that your voice will fall on deaf ears; especially, if they are your peers or family members. The right strategy will not only give you the confidence you need to speak up but will also save their life.

Be Well Informed

Before taking the plunge into a deep conversation, you should thoroughly know your topic. Many websites will give you in-depth information on the causes and effects of addiction. For example, the SAMHSA.gov website offers yearly data reports on substance abuse. The site also provides material on how to get help for someone who suffers from substance abuse and mental health disorders. In most cases, the addiction is used to hide depression, self-esteem disorders, and other mental health issues that are being suppressed by your friend or family member. You can also call a rehab facility and discuss your concerns with a professional without having to commit to anything. After you have studied on the subject, approach your loved one when they are not under the influence of their addiction. Explain to them how you feel and reassure them that they are not alone in the journey.

Be a Positive Support System

While the urge to take your friend or family member straight to a rehab center or AA/NA meeting is strong, sometimes the best therapy is knowing that you are there for them in their darkest hour. The most frustrating part of addiction for both you and your loved one is understanding the addiction recovery process. Recovering from addiction is different for each person. There will be times of anger, resentment, and withdrawal from your loved one. There will be times where they will mess up. Be patient with them and remember each day is a new day. Of course, if you do have to take them to a rehab center, be sure and maintain that same positivity. Their quality of life in the rehab center is just as important to their treatment as the therapy. Remember, addiction is just a disease, and you are just visiting a sick friend or family member.

When someone has an addiction, that person is not the only person who is affected by the habit. You have suffered the emotional rollercoaster of their addiction. While they are in a rehab center or meeting, take that time to go to Al-Anon meetings. These meetings are structured to help you understand their sufferings and help you learn how to deal with the recovery. Furthermore, plan events to distract your friend or family member during these hard times you know they are weak. The road to recovery might be a long journey, but in the end, their life is worth the trip.

Resources:

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/

https://www.samhsa.gov/

http://www.midwestinstituteforaddiction.org/

Fatal Mistake: 5 Driving Mistakes that Could Get You Killed

Every day, there are millions of people driving on our roads. While driving seems to be a normal part of life, the fact is that it actually fairly dangerous if done irresponsibly and an accident can cause severe consequences. As a teenager, you don’t have as much experience driving, which means you are more vulnerable to make mistakes that could get you killed or seriously hurt. So what do you need to avoid while driving?

Drowsy Driving

Did you know that, according to the National Sleep Foundation, there are similarities between driving drowsy and driving drunk? If you are drowsy, your reaction time will be slowed and you might not notice things you would normally see. If you think you are too tired to drive, ask a friend for a ride, call your parents, or take a nap before you go.

Being Distracted

There are a lot of distractions you might experience while driving, but all of them can put you at risk for an accident. Eating, drinking, changing the music, adjusting the heating/cooling, messing around with your friends, and texting or talking on your cell are just some of the many distractions you might be faced with. You might feel you’ve been driving so long now that you can deal with one or more of those things without a problem, but your life isn’t worth making the mistake and taking a chance.

Speeding Up at a Yellow Light

The yellow light does not mean “speed up to beat the red.” It means stop if you can in a safe manner. You don’t want to risk it and zoom through only to get t-boned in the process, especially when the situation could have been avoided. There are usually people waiting to turn left, and they may not see you coming, or you may leave them stranded in the middle of the intersection when the light changes. Just stop. You can wait a few extra minutes.

Driving while impaired

According to Alpert Schreyer, approximately every 30 minutes, someone dies in an alcohol-related crash. Drinking and driving is no joke, especially as a teenager. You aren’t legal to drink and you can seriously hurt or kill someone while you are impaired. Don’t ever put yourself in a situation where you will be tempted to drink and drive. You may feel invincible, but you definitely aren’t.

Speeding

Speeding, in general, isn’t a good idea, and it’s even worse if you’re speeding during bad driving conditions such as if it’s raining or snowing outside. Driving at an unsafe speed isn’t going to do you any good, especially if you get into an accident. We all have places to go, but the goal is to get there safely.

You can’t control what other people are doing, but you can protect yourself to the best of your ability. It may seem cool to show off for your friends, but it is much better to get to wherever you are going alive.

How to Be Safe and Healthy as a Sexually Active Teen

If you’re a teenager and have decided to enter into a sexual relationship, you have to make sure you and your partner are safe. The consequences of unprotected sex are lifelong and can be devastating. There are several steps you can take to prevent unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and other incidences. Keep reading for some important information on how to say as safe as possible as a sexually active teen.

You Can Say No

One of the most important things to remember is never to let someone force you to do anything you don’t want to. All sexual acts should be consensual. If your partner is pressuring or forcing you to do anything against your will, remember you have the right to say no. Talk things out, and see if you can’t reach a compromise. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, speak up. It might be the only way they’ll know.

Be Honest

Talk to your partner before you engage in any sexual activity. Ask them if they have ever had unprotected sex, or if they have any sexually transmitted diseases you should know about. Be open and honest. Even if one of you has an STD, there are steps you can take to prevent it from spreading.

Know the Risks

First, you both need to understand that there is no method of protection that is 100% effective. You still take on the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases no matter which method of protection you choose. If you are not willing to talk about this with your partner, it is an indication that you may not be ready for a sexual relationship.

Using Birth Control

If you do decide to become sexually active, females may want to consider using oral contraceptives. They are highly effective against pregnancy when used correctly, and can be obtained from a doctor or clinic. Even with oral contraceptives, the male partner should always use a condom to prevent the spread of disease. Make sure both partners know how to use a condom properly. Incorrect use can cause the condom to fail. A counselor can explain proper use. You can also visit an STD testing service for information on how to use condoms effectively.

Plan B

In the event that your birth control fails, you can get emergency contraceptives without a prescription and also without parental consent. These also must be taken properly and within 72 hours of sexual activity to be effective.

Don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor, school counselor, or any other trusted adult for advice prior to becoming sexually active. You can enjoy safe sex as a teen if you know the proper precautions to take. Be responsible, and use the proper resources at your disposal to stay safe and healthy.

So You Want to Ride a Motorcycle? What Teens Should Know

You’re a teen who wants a motorcycle license. How cool! It’s entirely possible for you to get your license, but first you should be aware of the fees, law,  and safety procedures involved in riding a motorcycle. Knowing what to expect can keep you safe and prevent surprise expenses from throwing you off your goal. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Classes Save Lives

According to Esurance, 90% of motorcycle accidents involve drivers who never took a motorcycle safety class. While taking a class doesn’t guarantee you’ll never be in a crash, or that other drivers will be safe, it can provide you with the knowledge that can keep you safe as possible. If you’re a minor, you may be required to take these classes. Taking safety courses has another bonus: you can save money on your insurance!

Crashes Are More Dangerous Than Car Crashes

You’re 35 times as likely to die from a motorcycle crash than a car accident. We’re not trying to scare anyone away from enjoying riding a motorcycle, but it’s the truth. You can seriously mitigate this risk by being knowledgeable and safe, which includes wearing a helmet at all times. Oh yeah, and take a class like we just mentioned : )

And Speed is a Factor

Super sport and sport motorcycles are popular because they’re sporty and speedy, but they’re also the type you’re most likely to crash on because of their light frames. It’s best to practice and own a motorcycle that’s more beginner-friendly until you’re more experienced.

But Protective Clothing Helps

If you’ve ever looked at a biker covered in leather on a hot summer day, you might have wondered “Why?”. While the thick layers might seem warm, they also add protection should you get into an accident. That gear might be the only thing that comes between you and the asphalt. At the very least, you should wear boots that go over your ankles, shatter-proof goggles, and gloves.

Not All Helmets Are the Same

Some helmets are more form than function. They’re small and light and don’t offer as much protection as helmets that are approved by the DOT. You’re only required to wear a helmet in 19 states, but you’re 40% more likely to die from a head injury if you don’t wear one, so you definitely don’t want to skimp here!

Owning a motorcycle seems fun, but it might be more dangerous than you realize. Knowing the rules and safety measures can prevent tragedy, but it’s also important to remember to ride safe and have fun.