November 14 2015


Parents talking to teens

Talking With Teens

Tips for Better Communication

 Parents and teens can bridge the communication gap with a little patience and a healthy measure of


Here are 6 tips for parents and 6 for teenagers.

A parent’s view of speech development: it begins in infancy, blossoms in childhood, and stops dead in its tracks at adolescence.

A teenager’s view of speech development: “My parents don’t understand a word I’m saying.”

You don’t need a degree in communications to know that parents and teenagers seem to spend more time talking at and past one another than to or with one another. Chalk it up to different agendas, the stress of daily life, or familiarity breeding contempt. Whatever the reason, adolescents and their folks are as good at making conversation as the construction crew at the Tower of Babel.

But with a little give and take, a lot of patience, and a healthy measure of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, parents and teens may be able to remove the roadblocks hindering two-way communication.

To help understand talking with teens, WebMD interviewed two experts in adolescent development: Laurence Steinberg, PhD, Distinguished University Professor and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia; and Carol Maxym, PhD, who counsels families in Honolulu and Washington, D.C.

First, says Steinberg, parents need to recognize that “although your child doesn’t have the same level of knowledge, information, wisdom or experience as you do, he or she has essentially the same logical tools and can see through logical fallacies and lapses in what’s sensible.”

In other words, the “do-it-because-I-said-so” approach to talking with teens doesn’t work anymore. “They can’t be bullied around by power-assertive statements by parents that aren’t based on any kind of logical reality,” Steinberg says.

Teenagers have exquisitely sensitive B.S. detectors, agrees Maxym, who counsels families of troubled adolescents in private practice. “Parents need to be emotionally authentic. Don’t try to act as though you are angry when you’re really not. Don’t try to tell your child ‘I’m really hurt when you don’t go to school,’ when what you really are is angry. Kids know their parents really well and pick up on it, and as soon as you as a parent become inauthentic, you’ve lost any chance of real communication,” says Maxym.

Research also shows that “the big barrier is in how parents and teenagers define issues,” If the parent sees a teen’s messy room as a moral issue, and the teen sees it as a matter of choice, they may never reach a mutually satisfactory solution, says Steinberg.

What can you do to communicate better? Our experts offer these tips both parents and teenagers:

For Parents


Don’t lecture your teen, have a conversation. When parents complain “my teenager doesn’t want to talk to me,” what they’re really complaining about is “my teenager doesn’t want to listen to me.” Conversation involves at least two people, Steinberg emphasizes.


Don’t attack. “The conversation between any two people will break down if one of the two is put on the defensive and made to feel he’s being accused of something,” says Steinberg.

Show respect for your teen’s opinions. Teenagers can be surprisingly easy to talk with if the parents make it clear that they’re listening to the teen’s point of view.

Keep it short and simple. Maxym urges parents to remember what she calls the “50% rule”: “Almost every parent says at least 50% more than he or she should. Shut up. Remember when you were a teen and your parents lectured at you? And you thought, ‘Will you please stop; I already got the point!’ Stop before your teen gets there.”

Be yourself. Don’t try to talk like your kids or their friends. “You’re an adult, so be an adult,” Maxym says.

Seize the moment. A spontaneous conversation in the car or at home late at night — any time when you’re not rushed — can make for some of the warmest, most rewarding moments, Steinberg says. “I think for parents, one of the key parts of having good communication with kids is being around enough to capitalize on these moments that invariably don’t come up when you expect them to.”

For Teenagers:

Try to understand the situation from your parents’ point of view. If your goal is to be allowed to stay out later on Saturday night, for example, try to anticipate what they are concerned about, such as your safety and your whereabouts.Address their concerns honestly and directly. Try saying something like, “If I am allowed to stay out later, I will tell you in advance where I’m going to be so you know how to reach me,” or “I’ll call you to let you know what time I’m going to be home, and that way you won’t have to worry about it.”

Don’t go on the defensive. If you feel deeply about the subject of the conversation — clothes, friends, politics, sex, drugs, whatever — stick to your guns, but listen to what your parents have to say.

Don’t criticize or ridicule their viewpoints. Show them and their opinions the respect you want them to give you.

Make requests. Don’t issue a list of demands.

Make “I” statements. Explain your concerns by saying things such as “I feel you’re not being fair.” Or, “I feel like you’re not listening to my side.” Avoid “you” statements, such as “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”


By Neil Osterweil
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Charlotte E. Grayson Mathis, MD


November 11 2015


glowing kids

For My Older Children



While many people accept that the whole family is impacted when a young adult struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, most of the resources available are geared towards parents. There is very little discussion about the effect of addiction on siblings, even though they are part of the family system, often know more about the extent of the problem than their parents and often struggle emotionally brothers and sisters of addicts have a range of reactions; three common styles of managing the anxiety associated with this issue are listed below:

Separate: Some siblings withdraw completely when a brother or sister develops a pattern of addictive behaviors for a variety of reasons For example; they may not be able to cope with the turmoil in their sibling’s life or may experience guilt that they don’t have the same genetic predisposition. Siblings may not understand what the addict is facing, or they may want to avoid having to examine their own relationships with substances. This group of siblings avoids talking about the issue, ignores calls or overtures from the addict, and may even remain distant from the whole family system to reduce the chances of being forced to address the topic. One brother described the impact of his sibling’s addiction as having taken all of the “air in the room,” leaving no space for him to talk about his own life challenges. He indicated that this feeling had caused him to avoid any family situations where he suspected the addict would be there and/or the topic of conversation.

Save: Other siblings rush into the problem, convinced they can save their brother or sister from themselves. They try to help the addict with behavior ranging from finding treatment resources to giving the addict money, food, or a place to stay. They often become a support to parents, particularly during a crisis, and may even put themselves in peril by rescuing their sibling unsafe situations. They feel immense sadness and compassion towards their addict sibling, and frequently deny or ignore their sibling’s destructive behaviors (i.e. lying, stealing, manipulation). This group of siblings may temporarily get frustrated with the addict, but their grudges are short-lived, and after a brief period of time, often return to rescuing the addict.

Struggle: The final group includes siblings who struggle with the addict’s behaviors. They express frustration that the addict “can’t get it together” or “just stop using”. They confront their siblings, often using emotional pleas. A common example is “Don’t you see what you are doing to mom?” or “You are destroying our family.” They may not accept that addiction is a disease, but instead view their sibling’s actions as selfish or immoral. At times, they may get angry if someone tries to defend the addict or rescue him or her. Even if a sibling decides to get help, they may even struggle to accept their sibling’s commitment to sobriety.

Siblings can often feel caught in the middle, between the addict and their parents. They play a variety of roles, often vacillating between more than one style listed above. If you are a sibling of an addict, please recognize that this affects you too, and make sure to find your own sources of support. Ala-non, a family program offered across the country ( or a professional counselor may help you find some peace during turbulent times.

January 21, 2014 | Arden O’Connor | Arden O’Connor graduated from Harvard College and started a non-profit called Rediscovery Inc., dedicated to serving adolescents transitioning out of the foster care system (

Your Father & I are so proud of each one of you.

As I read, about siblings of the addicted. I have come to an understanding, that this has not only, effected our Family. You have had the responsibility of dealing with this issue. And I am sure that, there are still feelings that you have inside.

I know that it was hard.

Having to move away from all of you has made it sad for me and Daddy. We are such a close family. You are missed everyday. When I speak with you, I am also Hugging you.

Our conversations always were about, your Brother. You were all so concerned, extremely worried and struggled with his problem. But all of you handled yourselves with dignity.

For that we are very proud! You are so important in our lives. All of you took part in helping your, Brother. I believe, your conversations on the phone. While he was in Rehab, gave him the authority to fight with all of his being, to win this battle. Your words were imbedded in his mind.

“Go the distance Brother, you can do it!”

He takes such pride in knowing that you are by his side. Your lives have been full of up’s and downs. There were times when you also made mistakes. But we all came together to figure it out.

Each and every one of you have the focus to go after your dreams and fulfill your future. Now your Brother, is right beside you.

Working hard on his future, while thanking,

“The Good Lord for making it all possible.”

As a little boy you taught him so many things. He would look at you. Listen to you and learn. When he fell you picked him up. If he cried you made him feel better. And when he was in trouble he ran to every one of you first. Before coming to Me & Daddy. The Love that all of you have for one and other is so heart warming to me. “As your Mother, I am truly Blessed and so Content, knowing that right now. At this time all of you are focused on the same goal.

“Having a happy productive life.

And Living, Life to the Fullest.”

I am so delighted that all of you found perfect partners. I am a very lucky Mother In-law. They are all family orientated. Each one having a great family, that all believes as we do. Family is everything, it is Home. The love that has been shared with each of them is truly a Blessing. Their compassion and understanding has, shown me that, they are all special people. I am so Proud to call them, “My Children.” They stood by each one of you. Showing me their concern. They were always positive about your Brother. Telling us that he was going to make it. Made us feel the same way.

I remember an occasion, when we came to N.Y. to visit. Your Brother, was with us. He was in Rehab at this time, all of you welcomed him with open arms. I could see in his eyes that he was frightened of how you would all greet him. And then when you all held out your arms and welcomed him with laughter and hugs. It truly made a big difference, in his life. He was home with you again. Feelings that he missed, for such a long time were rekindled. The feeling of acceptance, put him right where he was supposed to be.

With his Brother and Sister’s and their Spouses. Together Again. I know he longed for this reunion.

All of you made it so special for, Your Brother.

He works hard everyday on his Recovery. He is extremely focused and making plans for his future.

All of you have taken part in each others lives. Making a real difference, needing one and other.

Your Father & I are so proud of all of you.

                   Remember I Love All of You, More Than All The Stars In The



                                                                                                        Mom              stars2


November 6 2015

Law Enforcement Fighting The Battle Against “DRUGS”!


police men

Let’s be proud, they are protecting us in so many ways!

South Florida HIDTA – National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Mission Statement: The mission of the South Florida HIDTA is to measurably reduce drug trafficking, related money laundering, violent crime and drug abuse in South Florida, thereby reducing the impact of illicit drugs in other areas of the country.

Threat Abstract:

The South Florida HIDTA was one of the five original HIDTAs designated in 1990. South Florida is a major international transportation nexus, accounting for 40% of the nation’s trade with Central America, 35% with the Caribbean and 17% with South America. The extensive shoreline of the Florida peninsula and the Florida Keys, combined with 2 major seaports and a close proximity to the Caribbean basin, make South Florida a prime target for maritime smuggling operations, particularly from Haiti. There has also been a dramatic increase in drug seizures on cruise ships using the ports in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Miami International Airport (MIA) is the busiest airport in the United States for international cargo and the second busiest for international passenger traffic. MIA is used extensively as an entry point for narcotics in bulk shipments.

Though use of cocaine and its more potent derivative, crack, remain the primary illicit narcotic of choice. The use of heroin and the so-called “designer drugs” such as MDMA (Ecstasy) is rising dramatically. Columbia is the primary source of heroin, with Miami as the primary point of entry into the United States. Suppliers will front kilos of heroin and are using their extensive cocaine distribution network for heroin distribution. Because of oversupply, the price of heroin has dropped precipitously and average street-level purity in South Florida has reached 80%. Miami is now considered a “high-demand” destination for designer drugs and is a transshipment point between the suppliers in Europe and organizations in South America. Marijuana remains readily available in South Florida. The increasing role of small grow operations and indoor hydroponics operations is adding to the drug’s supply.

Primary money laundering methods include the black market peso exchange, wire transfers to U.S. bank accounts, and bulk smuggling of cash. Structuring of cash (smurfing) via automated teller machines and mortgage flipping are increasingly used. Miami is ranked third, behind New York and Los Angeles, in the number of Suspicious Activity Reports filed by financial institutions. The pervasive illicit narcotics atmosphere has manifested itself in an increase in drug-related violent crimes, while the rates for crime in general have fallen. Drug related violence among Haitian traffickers including armed home invasions, car jackings, gang warfare and homicides, has increased.

These factors combine to make South Florida a transportation and financial center vulnerable for exploitation by criminal organizations. South Florida remains as a significant command and control center for international narcotics trafficking organizations; is an international hub for drug traffickers and money launderers from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean; and has been identified as having the country’s second largest concentration of Russian and Eurasian immigrants and proportionate career criminals and organized crime.

Strategy Abstract:

An Executive Committee comprised of 18 federal, state, and local law enforcement agency heads oversees the South Florida HIDTA. The same Executive Committee evaluates each initiative on a quarterly basis to ensure that fiscal and operational goals and objectives are being met and that the initiative is complying with ONDCP regulations. The South Florida HIDTA Director, Timothy D. Wagner, reports to the Executive Committee but has autonomy over most administrative issues and in ensuring the coordination between the various entities that comprise HIDTA. The Director has instituted a review process which continually analyzes all aspects of budgeting, interagency coordination, and intelligence sharing to respond to changing conditions and needs in a timely manner.

Hundreds of representatives from 62 federal, state, and local agencies are full-time participants in 23 HIDTA initiatives. These initiatives include: eight collocated multi-agency task forces, six containing an array of enforcement programs; one cooperative federal and city drug enforcement task group; one cooperative state and local street enforcement and intelligence initiative targeting known street drug sales areas; two initiatives focusing on criminally active street gangs; one separate county and municipal agencies task force focusing on the apprehension of violent fugitives; one regional intelligence center; a new interagency intelligence-focused maritime working group; a multi-agency, multi-site community empowerment program; an automated drug treatment and judicial access information management system for judges to instantaneously retrieve offender information from multiple information sources.

Investigative Support Center:

The South Florida HIDTA Intelligence Center (formerly the South Florida Investigative Support Center) – a state and local-led collocated center of federal, state and local agencies to facilitate the attack and the dismantling of high-value drug trafficking and related money laundering and violent crime organizations working in and through the South Florida HIDTA region. It actively collects, analyzes and disseminates information to support enforcement initiatives. The composition, scope and dynamics of criminal organizations are made available to law enforcement in support of regional goals and objectives. The SFISC provides records checks from law enforcement and proprietary databases. It also provides asset tracking of criminal organizations and activities on an as-needed basis. It provides case support and ongoing training to all law enforcement agencies. The SFISC maintains a deconfliction clearinghouse and automated NINJAS (Narcotics Information Network Joint Agency System) for reporting field enforcement actions regarding drugs, weapons, money and warrants for investigator safety. It houses the FBI Regional Intelligence Squad (RIC) and Joint Drug Intelligence Group (JDIG), as well as the Blue Lightning Operation Center (BLOC) and Joint Task Force Six and Florida National Guard analysts. The SFISC coordinates with the Florida Intelligence Center (FIC), the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) and the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC).

Initiatives that were approved as part of the 2000 South Florida HIDTA Strategy:

North Broward Drug Enforcement Unit

A locally-led, collocated multi-agency task force dedicated to the dismantling or disruption of the most significant illegal narcotics trafficking and money laundering organizations and armed groups involved in the drug trade. This task force also participates in programs designed to reduce local drug dealing, the use of drugs and the need to depend on illegal drug sales as a means of support.

Southeast Florida Regional Task Force

A federally led, multi-agency drug crimes task force with twenty participating Federal, State and Local agencies. The task force is responsible for conducting multi-agency drug investigations targeting high-level drug trafficking organizations, utilizing the resources of the law enforcement agencies in Southeast Florida by pooling intelligence information and then mounting coordinated, focused investigations to identify and dismantle drug trafficking organizations. It also strives to identify, investigate and destroy local drug trafficking groups, primarily crack cocaine organizations, thereby decreasing drug-related violence in the local community.

South Broward Drug Enforcement Unit—A locally led, collocated multi-agency task force that pursues, disrupts and dismantles narcotics trafficking and related money laundering and violent crime organizations. The strategy is to identify, investigate, arrest and prosecute narcotics traffickers and their organizations. It targets individuals, groups, cells, and pipelines used to conduct money laundering activities orchestrated by the cocaine cartels of Medellin and Cali, Colombia. It also houses a South Florida Organized Fraud Task Force, the Russian/Eurasian Crime Task Force, and the new initiative Transportation Conspiracy Unit.

Russian/Eurasian Crime Task Force

This is collocated multi-agency task force. The two enforcement groups of FY00, Odessa, which was made up of federal, county and city investigators complemented by the National Guard, DOD and city analysts and ROC, the FBI’s Russian Organized Crime squad, have merged and the single group is led by the FBI. The task force continues to target those individuals and criminal organizations whose operations directly or indirectly affect South Florida and other areas of the United States, investigating a broad range of violations including drug trafficking and related crimes, money laundering, counterfeiting, violent crime, weapons, fraud and other crimes related to drug trafficking.

Miami HIDTA Task Force

This is South Florida’s largest law enforcement task force. It occupies three buildings and serves as an umbrella for six federally-coordinated enforcement efforts.. Approximately 276 full-time people from 29 agencies are devoted exclusively to the enforcement areas of narcotics smuggling, trafficking, and related money laundering investigations which primarily target Colombian cartels and other major international criminal organizations and systems. The recently created anti-narcotics smuggling task force addresses the growing problem of cocaine and heroin smuggling through Miami’s ports and the corruption of transportation industry employees, particularly at Miami International Airport.

There are 6 federal prosecutors and 3 legal secretaries assigned full time, as well as a 7-person, full-service language support center. The task force is supported by a staff of 22 analysts, including 1 full-time person from FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), a multi-agency technical support unit coordinated by the US Customs Service, and a systems administration support unit for computer system design, installation, maintenance and custom software development. A full-time forensic specialist, a graphics specialist, and a Florida National Guard supply/logistics unit provide support on site for all agencies.

Transportation Conspiracy Unit

A federally-led, collocated multi-agency task force with Customs, DEA and five police departments targeting narcotics smuggling and money laundering. The primary focus is internal conspiracies at Fort Lauderdale International airport, but the initiative will target the use of all types of common carriers.

Monroe HIDTA Task Force

A locally-led, collocated federal, state and local task force that initiates and shares in investigations aimed at narcotics traffickers (including “mothership” operations) and money launderers. The strategy is to develop complex, long term financial and smuggling investigations to dismantle smuggling systems and identify, investigate, indict, convict and seize the assets of offenders who have profited from illicit activities. Because of the significant mothership activity being seen in Southeast Florida and the Caribbean, this task force has maintained a close working relationship with the US Coast Guard’s Maritime Intelligence Center (MIC) for interdiction investigations .

South Florida Impact/Fincrest

A locally-led, collocated multi-agency task force that combines federal, state and local investigations in support of the HIDTA mission. The strategy is to attack and reduce the number of high value narco-trafficking and related money laundering individuals, organizations and systems. The task force is targeting highly significant money laundering systems employed by Colombian black-market money brokers. It also attacks the illegal transportation of drug proceeds in and out of the US. The component of this task force known as “FINCREST,” consists of federal and municipal law enforcement agencies and constitutes a specialized financial investigations unit focusing on the follow-up of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) generated by local banks and other financial institutions. FINCREST serves as a clearinghouse to evaluate all SARs generated in South Florida; to identify those that justify the initiation of a criminal investigation; and to coordinate with other enforcement groups investigating SARs to deconflict cases and minimize the unknowing overlap of investigations. The focus of this task force is long term investigations to trace the money back to the source and justify federal prosecution and the seizure of illicit drug proceeds.

Violent Crimes/Fugitive Task Force

A federally-led, collocated multi-agency task force designed to significantly reduce the at-large population of high-impact, violent and drug trafficking fugitives. Priority is given to cases involving fugitives associated with violent drug cartels and organizations, to include Colombian and Jamaican-based trafficking organizations.

Cali Cartel Enforcement Group

A collocated, multi-agency group that emphasizes intelligence, surveillance, and electronic intercepts against Cali Cartel and related drug trafficking organizations in South Florida.

Gang Strike Force

A state prosecutor-coordinated, collocated multi-agency task force of state, local and federal investigators. It uses long-term, racketeering-style gang investigations to destroy South Florida’s most criminally active street gangs through prosecution and imprisonment of gang leaders and members. This initiative is being greatly enhanced through the incorporation of a new unit, the “Caribbean Basin Violent Crimes Enforcement Group,” targeting violent gangs of Caribbean Basin heritage.

Street Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force

A collocated, multi-agency task force that focuses on violent domestic street gangs through the use of racketeering style prosecutions with a focus on Broward County.

La Cosa Nostra

A collocated, multi-agency task force that targets five New York City area La Cosa Nostra families involved in drug trafficking (particularly heroin) in the South Florida area.

Operation No Fear

A coalition of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that conduct two enforcement campaigns each month to target locations known for visible drug sales, crime and violence related to the drug trade.

Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (FAST)

A federally-led, collocated task force with state/local participation, 20-member, 5-agency group known as FAST (Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team) that locates and apprehends major narcotics trafficking, money laundering and violent fugitives, especially those classified as career criminals.

Street Terror Offender Program (STOP)

This federally-led, collocated multi-agency enforcement group is devoted to the identification of South Florida’s most violent and prolific drug-involved organizations and individuals. In addition to full-time participation by ATF, MDPD, FDLE and USCG, 4 part-time county Homicide Unit investigators are involved. It also incorporates a focused effort to identify and prosecute criminal aliens involved in drugs and violence.

Operation Top Heavy

A locally-led, collocated multi-agency task force with multiple federal agencies participating with the Broward Sheriff’s Office targeting smuggling organizations within Port Everglades . The focus will be on large international conspiracies utilizing corrupt longshoremen to further narcotics smuggling.

Public Corruption Task Force

A federally-led collocated task force focusing on corruption of public officials primarily in furtherance of narcotics trafficking conspiracies.

Key West Task Force

A federally-led task force consisting of federal and local agency personnel targeting mid- level drug trafficking organizations smuggling narcotics into Key West via cruise ships.

Rapid Deployment Operation

Located at the South Florida Investigative Support Center, the Blue Lightening Operation Center (BLOC) acts as the command and control facility for dissemination of intelligence, targeting information, and case analysis for the rapid deployment operations conducted by the Blue Lightening Strike Force. The strike force of over 40 federal, state, and local agencies draws from a resource of over 1,000 police officers, who are cross designated with U.S. Customs border search authority, to support drug interdiction missions off the Florida coast. The U.S. Coast Guard provides 24-hour watch and tactical/analytical support to operations through their Maritime Intelligence Center.

South Florida HIDTA Joint Training Initiative

Housed at the South Florida Investigative Support Center, this initiative identifies training needs that are not being met by existing resources but essential to the success of the South Florida law enforcement counterdrug, money laundering and violent crime operations. Emphasis is placed on investigative, analytical and computer skills.

Community Empowerment Crime and Drug Demand Reduction Program

The Crime and Drug Demand Reduction Program (CDDRP) targets high-risk communities having expected levels of crime, victimization, substance abuse, unemployment and violence. The fundamental strategy is to identify criminally-active individuals and groups who tear down the fabric of the community and target them for arrest and prosecution. Resources are then brought into the community to promote employment, education, youth leadership and community involvement to harden the community against the return of drugs, crime and violence. Because of the dramatic increase in violent crime among juveniles in this country, this program has a prevention focus to target the 13 to 17 year-old age group and their families. It reduced part one crimes by an average of 23%; reduced truancy, and reduced community factors that perpetuate a “drug climate”. It prepared a successful grant with Youth Co-op and obtained over 100 part or full-time jobs for youth in CDDRP sites. Part of the summer job program requirement is for the involved youth to identify the most pressing needs of their community that they can affect. They are then to develop and implement corrective action strategies in cooperation with community members and law enforcement. In FY01, the program will continue to focus on only five communities with efforts ranging from focused enforcement to the development of leadership, coalitions, self-determination and self-sufficiency.

Drug Treatment Program

Assists with the evaluation, placement, and treatment of criminal justice system-involved substance abusers with providing connectivity between treatment providers in the region with ‘TARS’ (Treatment Automated Referral System). TARS tracks the intake, placement, treatment, case management and outcome of individuals in need of substance abuse treatment. It also automates billing for services and reporting to federal and state funding sources. This program led to the development of the ‘JAMS’ (Judicial Access Management System)- an automated system for drug court judges to retrieve treatment and criminal justice system information related to offenders. We are continuing the transition from 100% HIDTA funding of the TARS and JAMS programs to alternate sources. Our Executive Committee has established 50% of the FY99 funding level as a maximum level of support for FY01. In FY00, funding was at 75% of the FY99 funding level.


Through constant budget analysis and cost savings measures, the South Florida HIDTA has been able to add three new task forces while maintaining a static budget for three years. Two of the new initiatives concentrate on stemming an endemic and pervasive narcotics trafficking problem at seaports in South Florida, while the other task force focuses on public corruption with a narcotics nexus. Major inroads have been made at Miami International Airport with a major task force investigation disabling “internal smuggling conspiracies” through arrest of over seventy persons employed by airlines or related service industries. Further cost savings measures will enable the South Florida HIDTA to initiate a task force focused on a growing designer drug problem in Miami Dade County and Miami Beach.

The South Florida Investigative Support Center, now called the South Florida HIDTA Intelligence Center (SFLHIC), is undergoing a complete “reinvention” to enhance effectiveness and bring South Florida HIDTA into better compliance with the guidelines set forth in the General Counter-Drug Intelligence Plan (GCIP). Intensive strategic planning has set a clear direction for the SFLHIC to better coordinate the intelligence gathering and dissemination within the South Florida HIDTA and to other HIDTA’s with common interests to South Florida.

Participating Agencies:

Federal: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Internal Revenue Service, National Parks Service, United States Attorney’s Office, United States Border Patrol, United States Coast Guard, United States Customs Service, United States Department of State, United States Marshal Service, United States Postal Service, United States Probation Office, United States Secret Service, Department of Defense JIATF-E, and Department of Defense Joint Task Force Six


Florida Department of Banking and Finance, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Department of Revenue, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Marine Patrol, Florida National Guard

Local: Aventura Police Department, Bal Harbour Police Department, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Coconut Creek Police Department, Cooper City Police Department, Coral Gables Police Department, Coral Springs Police Department, Dade State Attorney’s Office, Davie Police Department, Delray Beach Police Department, Florida City Police Department, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Hallandale Police Department, Hialeah Police Department, Hollywood Police Department, Homestead Police Department, Indian Creek Police Department, Key West Police Department, Lauderhill Police Department, Lighthouse Police Department, Margate Police Department, Miami Dade Police Department, Miami Police Department, Miami Beach Police Department, Miami Springs Police Department, Miramar Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, North Lauderdale Police Department, North Lauderhill Police Department, North Miami Beach Police Department, Oakland Park Police Department, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, Pembroke Pines Police Department, Plantation Police Department, Pompano Beach Police Department, Sunrise Police Department, Wilton Manors Police Department

Information is provided by the South Florida HIDTA.


November 3 2015


silouette family 1

Talking To Your Children About


Just as you protect your kids against illnesses like measles, you can help “immunize” them against drug use by giving them the facts before they’re in a risky situation.

When kids don’t feel comfortable talking to parents, they’ll seek answers elsewhere, even if their sources are unreliable. And kids who aren’t properly informed are at greater risk of engaging in unsafe behaviors and experimenting with drugs.

Parents who are educated about the effects of drug use and learn the facts can give their kids correct information and clear up any misconceptions. You’re a role models for your kids, and your views on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs can strongly influence how they think about them. So make talking about drugs a part of your general health and safety conversations.

Preschool to Age 7

Before you get nervous about talking to young kids, take heart. You’ve probably already laid the groundwork for a discussion. For instance, whenever you give a fever medicine or an antibiotic to your child, you can discuss why and when these medicines should be given. This is also a time when your child is likely to pay attention to your behavior and guidance.

Take advantage of “teachable moments” now. If you see a character in a movie or on TV with a cigarette, talk about smoking, nicotine addiction, and what smoking does to a person’s body. This can lead into a discussion about other drugs and how they could cause harm.

Keep the tone of these discussions calm and use terms that your child can understand. Be specific about the effects of the drugs: how they make a person feel, the risk of overdose, and the other long-term damage they can cause. To give your kids these facts, you might have to do a little research.

Ages 8 to 12

As your kids grow older, you can begin talks with them by asking them what they think about drugs. By asking the questions in a nonjudgmental, open-ended way, you’re more likely to get an honest response.

Remember to show your kids that you’re listening and really paying attention to their concerns and questions.

Kids this age usually are still willing to talk openly to their parents about touchy subjects. Starting a dialogue now helps keep the door open as kids get older and are less inclined to share their thoughts and feelings.

Even if your questions don’t immediately result in a discussion, you’ll get your kids thinking about the issue. Show them that you’re willing to discuss the topic and hear what they have to say. Then, they might be more willing to come to you for help in the future.

News, such as steroid use in professional sports, can be springboards for casual conversations about current events. Use these discussions to give your kids information about the risks of drugs.

Ages 13 to 17

Kids this age are likely to know other kids who use alcohol or drugs, and to have friends who drive. Many are still willing to express their thoughts or concerns with parents about it. They may ask you more specific questions about drugs.

Use these conversations not only to understand your child’s thoughts and feelings, but also to talk about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Talk about the legal issues — jail time and fines — and the possibility that they or someone else might be killed or seriously injured.

Consider making a written or verbal contract on the rules about going out or using the car. You can promise to pick your kids up at any time (even 2 a.m.!), no questions asked, if they call you when the person responsible for driving has been drinking or using drugs.

The contract also can detail other situations: For example, if you find out that someone drank or used drugs in your car while your son or daughter was behind the wheel, you may want to suspend driving privileges for 6 months. By discussing all of this with your kids from the start, you eliminate surprises and make your expectations clear.

Laying Good Groundwork

No parent, child, or family is immune to the effects of drugs. Any kid can end up in trouble, even those who have made an effort to avoid it and even when they have been given the proper guidance from their parents.

However, certain groups of kids may be more likely to use drugs than others. Kids who have friends who use drugs are likely to try drugs themselves. Those feeling socially isolated for whatever reason may turn to drugs.

So it’s important to know your child’s friends — and their parents. Be involved in your children’s lives. If your child’s school runs an anti-drug program, get involved. You might learn something! Pay attention to how your kids are feeling and let them know that you’re available and willing to listen in a nonjudgmental way. Recognize when your kids are going through difficult times so that you can provide the support they need or seek additional care if it’s needed.

Role-playing can help your child develop strategies to turn down drugs if they are offered. Act out possible scenarios they may encounter. Helping them construct phrases and responses to say no prepares them to know how to respond before they are even in that situation.

A warm, open family environment — where kids can talk about their feelings, where their achievements are praised, and where their self-esteem is boosted — encourages kids to come forward with their questions and concerns. When censored in their own homes, kids go elsewhere to find support and answers to their most important questions.

Make talking and having conversations with your kids a regular part of your day. Finding time to do things you enjoy together as a family helps everyone stay connected and maintain open communication.

If you are looking for more resources for yourself or your child, be sure to also talk to your doctor.

Reviewed by: Rupal Christine Gupta, MD
Date reviewed: November 2014

Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2015 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.


October 28 2015



5 Mistakes Parents Make With Teens and Tweens

Here are the top mistakes parents make with their teens and tweens, and how to avoid them.

Your child isn’t a little kid anymore. They’re a teen, or a tween — and it’s time to tweak your parenting skills to keep up with them.

Yes, they’re probably moodier now than when they were young. And you have new things to think about, like curfews, dating, new drivers, and friends who make you raise your eyebrows.

No doubt about it: Your teen, or tween, will test your limits, and your patience. But they’re still your child. And, though they won’t admit it, they still need you!

The key is knowing what efforts are worth it, and which ones backfire.

1. Expecting the Worst

Teenagers get a bad rap, says Richard Lerner, PhD, director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University. Many parents approach raising teenagers as an ordeal, believing they can only watch helplessly as their lovable children transform into unpredictable monsters.

But that sets you — and your teen — up for several unhappy, unsatisfying years together.

“The message we give teenagers is that they’re only ‘good’ if they’re not doing ‘bad’ things, such as doing drugs, hanging around with the wrong crowd, or having sex,” Lerner says.

It could become a self-fulfilling prophecy: Negative expectations can actually promote the behavior you fear most. A Wake Forest University study showed that tee ns whose parents expected them to get involved in risky behaviors reported higher levels of these behaviors one year later.

Lerner’s advise: Focus on your child’s interests and hobbies, even if you don’t understand them. You could open a new path of communication, reconnect with the child you love, and learn something new.

2. Reading Too Many Parenting Books

Rather than trusting their instincts, many parents turn to outside experts for advice on how to raise teens. “Parents can tie themselves into knots trying to follow the advice they read in books,” says Robert Evans, EdD, author of Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with the Crisis in Child Rearing.

It’s not that parenting books are bad.

“Books become a problem when parents use them to replace their own innate skills,” Evans says. “If the recommendations and their personal style don’t fit, parents wind up more anxious and less confident with their own children.”

Use books to get perspective on confusing behavior — and then put the book down and trust that you’ve learned what you need to learn. Get clear about what matters most to you and your family.

3. Sweating the Small Stuff

Maybe you don’t like your tween daughter’s haircut or choice of clothes. Or perhaps she didn’t get the part in the play you know she deserves.

But before you step in, look at the big picture.

If it’s not putting your child at risk, give her the leeway to make age-appropriate decisions and learn from the consequences of her choices.

“A lot of parents don’t want growing up to involve any pain, disappointment, or failure,” Evans says. But protecting your child from the realities of life takes away valuable learning opportunities — before they’re out on their own.

Of course, you’ll still be there for guidance and comfort — you’re still the parent. But challenge yourself to step back and let your child know you’re there for them.

4. Ignoring the Big Stuff

If you suspect your child is using alcohol or drugs, do not look the other way. Even if it’s “just” alcohol or marijuana — or even if it reminds you of your own youth — you must take action now, before it becomes a bigger problem.

“The years when kids are between 13 and 18 years old are an essential time for parents to stay involved,” Amelia M. Arria, PhD, tells WebMD. She is director of the University of Maryland’s Center on Young Adult Health and Development. Parents might consider teen drinking a rite of passage because they drank when they were that age. “But the stakes are higher now,” Arria says.

Watch for unexplained changes in your teen’s behavior, appearance, academic performance, and friends. And remember, it’s not just illicit drugs that are abused now — prescription drugs and even cough medicines and household products are also in the mix.

If you find empty cough medicine packaging in your child’s trash or backpack, if bottles of medicine go missing from your cabinet, or if you find unfamiliar pills, pipes, rolling papers, or matches, your child could be abusing drugs.

Take these signs seriously and get involved. Safeguard all the medicines you have: Know which products are in your home and how much medication is in each package or bottle

5. Too Much, or Too Little, Discipline

Some parents, sensing a loss of control over their teens’ behavior, crack down every time their child steps out of line. Others avoid all conflict for fear their teens will push them away.

You don’t have to do either of those things. It’s about finding a balance between obedience and freedom.

If you put too much emphasis on obedience, you may be able to make your teen or tween fall into line — but at what price? Teens raised in rigid environments miss out on the chance to develop problem-solving or leadership skills — because you’re making the decisions for them.

Yet too little discipline doesn’t help, either. Teens and tweens need clear structure and rules to live by as they start to explore the world outside.

As their parent, it’s up to you to set your family’s core values and communicate them through your words and actions. That’s being an authoritative parent, an approach that “helps children develop the skills they need to govern themselves in appropriate ways,” Lerner says.

Remember, your influence runs deeper than you may think. Most teens say they want to spend more time with their parents. Keep making time for your child throughout the tween and teen years. Even when it doesn’t show, you provide the solid ground they know they can always come home to.

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on October 19, 2011

© 2010 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

By Joanne Barker


October 23 2015



Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Robert F. Kennedy

Welcome to “Recovery Family Circle”

This is an open, Family Discussion Group, please join us and become enlightened.

Engaging in the forever changing world to teach Our Children how to cope!

This Group has been created to give all Parent’s the ability to discuss.

How we can make Our Children’s world a safe place to live in!

 We have the opportunity to make a difference in Our Children’s Lives

Our Parents, did the best that they could. They raised us in a different way.

 Because, the world has opened up in such a stimulating way.  It gives our children so much information about everything. But there is no information about, how to deal with, situations that might become out of control. Or situations that could harm them.

Each one of us are parents, we know our children. They need tools, to survive!

What can we do to help them as they grow?

What do you do, to ensure that your kids are safe?

What steps do you take when you find out that, He or She are in some kind of trouble?

Together we can give each other a hand, in raising our children to know the difference between right and wrong.

What are answers that we need, as parents, to protect our children from, Using Drugs?

What advice can you share?

There are dangerous doors, of opportunity for your child to walk through. Once they have entered that world. Eventually you find out. And when you do, you have the burden of making the situation right. The situation brings people into your families life. That sometimes creates a “snow ball effect!” Now you have many people. That you never met, offering  you options. Then you are left, alone trying to figure out how the situation should be handled.

“Let us together figure it out!”

Thank You,



October 23 2015


teenagers green

10 Parenting Tips for Raising Teenagers

How do you breach the barriers of adolescence?

Your chatterbox son now answers your questions with a sullen “yes” or “no.” Your charming daughter won’t go to the store with you at all anymore. They must be teenagers. Don’t despair. It’s natural — and important — for kids to break away from their parents at this age. This emotional separation allows them to become well-adjusted adults.

Yet these must be among the most difficult years for any parent. To help with parenting tips, WebMD turned to three national experts:

10 Parenting Tips

1. Give kids some leeway. Giving teens a chance to establish their own identity, giving them more independence, is essential to helping them establish their own place in the world. “But if it means he’s going out with a bad crowd, that’s another thing,” says Elkind.

2. Choose your battles wisely. “Doing themselves harm or doing something that could be permanent (like a tattoo), those things matter,” says Kaslow. “Purple hair, a messy room — those don’t matter.” Don’t nitpick.

3. Invite their friends for dinner. It helps to meet kids you have questions about. “You’re not flat-out rejecting them, you’re at least making an overture. When kids see them, see how their friends act with their parents, they can get a better sense of those friends,” Elkind tells WebMD. “It’s the old adage, you catch more bears with honey than vinegar. If you flatly say, you can’t go out with those kids, it often can backfire — it just increases the antagonism.”

4. Decide rules and discipline in advance. “If it’s a two-parent family, it’s important for parents to have their own discussion, so they can come to some kind of agreement, so parents are on the same page,” says Bobrow. Whether you ban them from driving for a week or a month, whether you ground them for a week, cut back on their allowance or Internet use — whatever — set it in advance. If the kid says it isn’t fair, then you have to agree on what is fair punishment. Then, follow through with the consequences.

5. Discuss ‘checking in.’ “Give teens age-appropriate autonomy, especially if they behave appropriately,” says Kaslow. “But you need to know where they are. That’s part of responsible parenting. If it feels necessary, require them to call you during the evening, to check in. But that depends on the teen, how responsible they have been.”

6. Talk to teens about risks. Whether it’s drugs, driving, or premarital sex, your kids need to know the worst that could happen.

7. Give teens a game plan. Tell them: “If the only option is getting into a car with a drunk driver, call me — I don’t care if it’s 3 in the morning,” says Bodrow. Or make sure they have cab fare. “Help them figure out how to handle a potentially unsafe situation, yet save face,” she suggests. “Brainstorm with them. Come up with a solution that feels comfortable for that child.”

8. Keep the door open. Don’t interrogate, but act interested. Share a few tidbits about your own day; ask about theirs. How was the concert? How was the date? How was your day? Another good line: “You may not feel like talking about what happened right now. I know what that’s like. But if you feel like talking about it later, you come to me,” Elkind suggests.

9. Let kids feel guilty. “I think too much is made about self-esteem,” says Elkind. “Feeling good about yourself is healthy. But people should feel bad if they have hurt someone or done something wrong. Kids need to feel bad sometimes. Guilt is a healthy emotion. When kids have done something wrong, we hope they feel bad, we hope they feel guilty.”

10. Be a role model. Your actions — even more than your words — are critical in helping teens adopt good moral and ethical standards, says Elkind. If they have a good role model from early on, they will be less likely to make bad decisions in their rebellious teen years.

David Elkind, PhD, author of All Grown Up and No Place to Go and a professor of child development at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

Amy Bobrow, PhD, a clinical psychologist and professor in the Child Study Center at New York University School of Medicine in Manhattan.

Nadine Kaslow, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University.

teen times

October 22 2015




Preventing Teen Suicide

Many young people face high levels of stress and confusion, along with family problems. When you throw in raging hormones, it sometimes seems more than a teen can handle. Perhaps it’s not surprising that teen suicide is increasingly common.

In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death among people between ages 15 and 24, with about 5,000 lives lost each year. Males comprise 84% of all suicides.

However, attempted suicides greatly outnumber suicides. Because males often choose more violent methods in their attempts, they are often more successful. But females may attempt suicide more often than males.

In 2012, suicides among teens between ages 15 and 24 accounted for 10.9% of all suicides in the U.S.

If you have ever seriously contemplated suicide — meaning doing some serious planning, not just feeling very down — it’s important to take this very seriously. Contact a trusted adult or a mental health professional immediately.

It’s also important to know the suicide risk factors, so you can help yourself, a friend, or a family member if suicide ever becomes an issue.

What Are Teen Suicide Risk Factors?

Risk factors are habits or histories that put someone at greater likelihood of having a problem. Some of the risk factors for suicide may be inherited, such as a family history of suicide. Others, like physical illness, may also be out of your control. But if you can recognize the risk factors for suicide early and act to change the ones you can control, you may save your life — or that of a close friend or family member.

Read the suicide risk factors below and check the ones you can control. (For instance, you can talk to a mental health professional for ways to deal with lack of social support, feelings of hopelessness, or mood disorders like depression.)

It’s important to take these risk factors for suicide very seriously:

Previous suicide attempt(s)

Psychological and mental disorders, especially depression and other mood disorders, schizophrenia, and social anxiety

Substance abuse and/or alcohol disorders

History of abuse or mistreatment

Family history of suicide

Feelings of hopelessness

Physical illness

Impulsive or aggressive tendencies

Financial or social loss

Relationship loss

Isolation or lack of social support

Easy access to methods/means of suicide

Exposure to others who have committed suicide


What Are Suicide Protective Factors?

Suicide protective factors are things that reduce the potential for suicidal behavior. They include:

Psychological and clinical care for physical, mental, and substance abuse disorders

Restricted or limited access to methods/means of suicide

Family and community support

Support from medical and health care personnel

Developing problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills

Religious and cultural belief systems that discourage suicide

 Is Depression Linked to Suicide?

If you want to prevent suicide, it’s important to understand depression. Depression is often used to describe general feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, and hopelessness. When teens feel sad or low, they often say they are depressed. While most of us feel sad or low sometimes, feelings of depression are longer lasting and often more serious.

A mental health professional (such as a psychologist or psychiatrist) diagnoses and treats depression. Depression is diagnosed when someone has at least five of the following symptoms:

Feeling down, depressed or sad most of the day; feeling irritable and angry

Loss of interest in daily activities

Significant weight loss or weight gain; a decrease or increase in appetite

Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much

Feeling very nervous and hyper; feeling sluggish

Fatigue or no energy

Feeling worthless or unnecessarily guilty

Difficulty concentrating and/or indecisiveness

Either recurrent thoughts of death without a specific plan or a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for committing suicide

If you feel a sense of hopelessness, talk to your parents or guardians. They can make you an appointment with a mental health professional for a diagnosis and proper treatment, possibly including medications and/or therapy.

Restrict Access to Suicide Methods

One key protective factor of suicide is to restrict access to the methods for committing it. It’s vital for friends and family members of someone who is at risk of suicide to understand the methods commonly used.

The most common method of successful suicide among young adults is firearms. If your parents, family members, or adult friends own guns, they should take careful measures — especially gun trigger locks and locked cabinets — to ensure that someone with risk factors for suicide cannot get to the weapon. Such safety precautions also prevent accidental misuse by children.

Other common methods of suicide are hanging, drowning, cutting arteries, overdosing on medications or illegal drugs, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Friends and family of someone with suicide risk factors should take all available steps to restrict that person’s access to things like knives, rope, pipes, and medication.

What Should I Do If Someone Threatens Suicide?

Take any suicidal thought or suicide threat seriously. Even if the person seems to have the “perfect life” on the outside, it is impossible to know what is going on behind closed doors.

Teens contemplating suicide should seek immediate help from friends, family, and health care or mental health care professionals. Anyone confronted with a teen threatening suicide should contact mental health care professionals at once.

Even if you have doubts about the seriousness of a suicidal threat, you should still consider it an emergency and take appropriate action.

Help for Teens Considering Suicide

There are many resources available to teens who are thinking about suicide. Close friends, family members, teachers, and other members of the community can provide comfort and moral support.

If you’re feeling suicidal or know someone who is, don’t be afraid to approach these people to express your feelings. They can help save your life — or the life of your friend or family member. Religious groups and community organizations are also a valuable resource. In addition, there are many suicide hotlines that provide anonymous assistance.





One of them is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK FREE (8255).
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on January 13, 2015
© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


October 20 2015


teen lying hands

When Teens Lie About Drugs: A Guide for Parents

If Tom Hedrick could change one thing about teen drug use, he would reduce the time it takes between a parent’s first hunch that something is wrong and the child getting treatment. The fact that teens lie about drugs, and parents believe them, delays treatment, says Hedrick, a founding member of The Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Brian and Julie Unwin have heard a lot of lies, both from their son and through other parents in their support group. A few examples:

“Other people were smoking marijuana. I must have inhaled some by accident.”

“My friend had a cold, so I gave him our bottle of cough medicine.”

“I was the only one at the party who wasn’t drinking, but they arrested all of us.”

“I ate a poppy seed muffin. That must be why the drug test came back positive.”

The Unwins’ teenage son lied and manipulated them for four years until he got sober. And they, like many parents, had a hard time accepting that reality. “When you raise a child, when you hold him in your arms as an infant, you want to believe him. No family wants to go through this,” says Brian.

This article explores the lies teens tell about drugs and what parents can do to get over their hurt and anger to keep their child safe.

Kids Lie, and Parents Believe Them

A group of researchers wanted to know how common it is for teens to lie about drugs. They asked 400 teenagers if they used cocaine, then took hair samples to test for traces of the drug. Even though they knew their answers were private, and that the drug test would prove them right or wrong, most teens who had cocaine in their systems denied using it. The hair samples revealed drug use 52 times more often than the teens admitted.

The fact that teens lie even when they know they’ll get caught doesn’t surprise Mason Turner, MD, chief of psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. “Most teens don’t think about what comes next,” he tells WebMD. “Concerns about the future don’t enter into their decision making.”

6 Tips for Parents of Teens

If your child is lying about using drugs or alcohol, looking the other way is a dangerous mistake. Study after study shows that parents’ involvement plays an important role in preventing adolescent drug use. And the earlier problem is addressed, the better your chances of containing potential damage. Here are six things you can do.

1. Trust your instincts.

Turner sees many parents discount their concerns about their child’s behavior. They say things like, “I’m probably just being an obsessive parent.” Or “Maybe I’m being hypersensitive.” But parents know their children. “If a parent’s gut is telling them something is off, there has got to be a reason,” Turner tells WebMD.

If the cold or cough syrup in your medicine cabinet disappears or gets used up, ask about it. Over-the-counter cough medicines contain dextromethorphan, an ingredient teens can drink in excess to get high.

Cagey behavior may have a simple explanation or a serious cause. Perhaps your child is stressed over schoolwork. Maybe she had a fight with a friend. Or she could have a problem she’s afraid to talk about. Turner counsels parents to make it as easy as possible for their teens to talk to them. Start by asking what is going on. Talk about specific things you see and concerns you have, and then be ready to listen.

2. Educate yourself.

Julie Unwin saw her middle-school son become increasingly sullen and withdrawn. “In my gut I believed something was wrong,” she says. “But I thought, if he was using drugs I would see a physical sign.” The Unwins’ son didn’t come home slurring or with bloodshot eyes because he wasn’t using alcohol or marijuana, at least not at first. There might have been signs, but his parents didn’t know what to look for.

Drugs rise and fall in popularity over time. It’s possible you have never heard of your child’s drug of choice. With time and research you can get to know the different substances available to kids today. The web sites or have drug guides that describe commonly abused substances and their effects.

3. Don’t take it personally.

If you find out your child is lying about drugs, you may see red. You may feel hurt, angry, guilty, and betrayed. All of these emotions are understandable. And none of them will help you help your child.

“First, recognize that lying is a normal teen behavior,” advises Turner. He goes on to say that normal or not, parents can and should teach their kids that lying is unacceptable. Your conversation with your child could cover the following ground:

Explore the reasons your child lied

Understand what is going on

Let your child know that lying is not OK

Talk about how to be honest in the future


4. Get help.

A lot of parents try to keep their child’s drug use within the family, Hedrick tells WebMD. “The idea that addiction reflects badly on the family keeps a lot of kids out of treatment until the problem is too big to ignore.”

Like diabetes or a broken bone, treating drug abuse requires expertise most parents don’t have. If your child is using drugs, you’ll have your hands full, even with a professional involved. Start by talking to your family doctor or pediatrician. The counselor at your child’s school may be able to recommend specialists or treatment centers that can help both you and your child.

5. Leave room to rebuild trust.

When parents don’t trust their kids, problems like drug abuse can snowball. Strained parent-child relations typically cast a negative tone on any and all interactions. Families tend do fewer things together, leaving kids fewer opportunities to feel connected to their parents. “Parents need to build a safe space for the child, while also defining boundaries and limits,” says Turner.

Try not to let the lies you’ve been told overshadow every conversation you have with your child. “So many kids in our groups say, ‘I never get a chance to talk. My parents cut me off all the time,’” says Hedrick. Open, two-way conversations can reinforce your child’s awareness of your family values and make the idea of drugs less appealing

6. Expand your parenting style.

“A lot of parents are at one end of the spectrum or the other: overly permissive, or overly aggressive,” says Turner. Substance abuse requires a variety of parenting styles. Sometimes your child will need you to be warm and loving. Other times, you will have to enforce rules your child considers unfair.

Everyone interviewed for this article emphasized how important it is for parents to be their child’s parents, not their friends. There’s a significant difference.

Friends think it’s OK if another kid does drugs, puts himself in danger, and lies about it.

Parents love their children and are willing to set limits and boundaries to keep them safe, no matter much strife it causes in the household.


The Unwins often had to do the opposite of what they considered good parenting while their son was going through treatment. “Instead of protecting our child and taking care of his needs, we had to put the  responsibility on him. We couldn’t let our emotions take over and try to fix everything,” says Brian.

WebMD Feature
By Joanne Barker
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD


October 19 2015



Long-Term Effects Of Bullying: Pain Lasts Into Adulthood


We have to teach our children (and ourselves) that caution is often a sign of courage. That often NO is as brave an answer as YES.    Glennon Melton


Kids don’t easily outgrow the pain of bullying, according to a new study that finds that people bullied as kids are less mentally healthy as adults.

The study is one of the first to establish long-term effects of childhood bullying, which is still often considered a typical part of growing up.

“To my surprise at least, there were some very strong long-term effects on their risk for depression, anxiety, suicidality, a whole host of outcomes that we know just wreak havoc on adult lives,” said study researcher William Copeland, a clinical psychologist at Duke University Medical Center.

How bullying hurts

Previous studies have found that both bullies and their victims are at higher risk for mental health problems and other struggles in childhood. One study, presented in 2010 at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, found that bullies were at higher risk of substance abuse, depression, anxiety and hostility than non-bullies.

For bully victims, being targeted can result in increased suicide risk, depression, poor school performance and low self-esteem. But most studies on the effects of bullying focus on the childhood period.

“The question for our study is what happens long-term, down the road, after they’re no longer being bullied and after they’re no longer children,” Copeland told LiveScience. [10 Scientific Tips for Raising Happy Kids]

Copeland and his colleagues used data from a study begun 20 years ago, which queried 1,420 children and their parents about general mental health beginning ate age 9, 11 or 13. The kids were assessed annually until age 16, and then they came back for follow-ups at ages 19, 21 and 25.

Before age 16, participants were asked whether they had been bullied or bullied others, how frequently, and where any bullying occurred, among other questions.

Using this data, the researchers divided the kids into four groups: kids uninvolved in bullying; pure victims who were bullied but did not bully others; pure bullies who were never victimized themselves; and “bully/victims,” a group of kids who both bullied and were bullied.

Five percent of the kids, or 112, were bullies only, and 21.6 percent, or 335 kids, were pure victims. Another 4.5 percent were bully/victims. The rest were neither.

Long-term effects

The researchers then looked at the mental health outcomes of each group in young adulthood, controlling for childhood factors such as pre-existing mental health conditions, struggles with home life and childhood anxiety levels.

They found that any involvement in bullying boded poorly in adulthood. Pure bullies did not show problems with emotional functioning as adults, Copeland said, which is unsurprising given that they had all the power in their childhood relationships. But they did show increased risk of developing antisocial personality disorder. People with this disorder have little empathy and few scruples about manipulating others for their own gain. The disorder is linked with a greater risk of becoming a criminal. Most bullies did not go on to have the disorder, Copeland said, but they were more likely to develop it than other groups.

Pure victims, on the other hand, were at higher risk for depression, anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia than kids uninvolved in bullying, the researchers found. Worst off were the bully/victims, who were at higher risk of every depressive and anxiety disorder in the book. [5 Ways to Foster Self-Compassion in Your Child]

For example, pure victims were four times as likely to develop an anxiety disorder in adulthood compared with kids who were uninvolved in bullying. Bully/victims had a five-times greater risk of depression than uninvolved kids, as well as 10 times the likelihood of suicidal thoughts or actions and 15 times the likelihood of developing a panic disorder.

“By far, being a bully and a victim meant having the worst long-term outcomes,” Copeland said.

Because they were able to take childhood mental health into account, the researchers are confident that the adult mental health struggles are an effect of the bullying, not pre-existing conditions that made them vulnerable to bullies in the first place.

While it’s not yet clear why bullying might have such a long-term effect, it’s possible that torment at school is not so dissimilar to maltreatment or abuse in the home, Copeland said. Kids spend a lot of time at school and surrounded by peers, he said, so it’s not surprising that troubles there could have long-lasting consequences.

“More and more, I’m coming to the mindset that what happens to kids when they’re with other kids, their peers, is as important, or maybe more important, than what happens at home,” he said.

The next step, Copeland said, is to investigate what makes some bullied kids more resilient and able to bounce back in adulthood than others. The researchers report their results online today (Feb. 20) in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer