Sex, drugs and Facebook: Seattle Children’s social media research team takes on teen health

Dr. Megan Moreno once met a teen who went to bed every night with her smartphone tucked under her pillow and its alarm clock set to 2 a.m. When the phone woke her in the middle of the night, she’d grab it, open her Facebook app, delete any new mean comments, and go back to sleep.

Being a teenager isn’t what it used to be. Neither is being a parent.

Moreno, an adolescent pediatrician and a researcher at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, leads a team that’s conducted more studies on social media and teen health than anyone — more than 30 studies in six years.

This week she released her first book: Sex, Drugs ‘n Facebook: A Parent’s Toolkit for Promoting Healthy Internet Use.

Ten years since MySpace came on the scene, parents of teens know a lot more than they used to about social media. They know it’s not a passing fad, a childish waste of time or — remember this one? — a hiding place for pedophiles.

It’s easier for parents to understand what teens are doing on the social Web, now that so many parents are there themselves. But the dilemmas they face as parents are not getting easier.

Full story of facebook and teen health at Geek Wire

Cory Monteith’s Long Battle with Substance Abuse

Cory Monteith's Substance Abuse BattleFor the indie movie McCanick, Cory Monteith didn’t audition for the role of a drug-addicted hustler sent to prison for murder. He just talked to director Josh C. Waller about his past.

“He opened up quite a bit,” Waller tells PEOPLE of their meeting for the movie that shot last September. “He was like, ‘I can do this character. I know this character. I was this character. I have lived elements of this.’ He said, ‘I was a troubled youth.’ ”

Less than a year later, there were questions of whether Monteith’s past had caught up with him after the Glee star, 31, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room.

A cause of death was pending the results of Monday’s autopsy and toxicology tests. “We genuinely don’t know,” says coroner spokeswoman Barbara McLintock.

The Canadian native completed a month-long stint in a treatment facility for substance addiction in April and had been open about his lifelong struggles with substance abuse.

Appearing on Inside the Actor’s Studio last year, Monteith said that his problems with drugs and alcohol began when he “was about 12.”

Full story of Cory Monteith’s battle with substance abuse at People

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Teen Mental Health: Mood Disorders, Alcohol, and Suicide

Teen Mental Health HelpNew research offers further insight into the mental health of teenagers, and researchers are discovering that early intervention is critical during adolescence.

Scientists at King’s College London sought to determine how well alcohol therapy worked on teenagers. Instead of yet another D.A.R.E.-like program where messages about the dangers of alcohol are the same for every student, researchers took a more mental health-based approach to this intervention.

They tailored the treatment to each student’s personality, specifically four personality traits that are also risk factors for alcohol use: anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, impulsivity, and sensation seeking.

Students displaying one or all of these traits were classified as either at high or low risk for future alcohol dependence. A total of 2,548 10th graders in 21 schools in London were evaluated and their drinking habits were then monitored for two years. Of those students, 709 were classified as high-risk and invited to attend two workshops that focused on cognitive-behavioral strategies for coping with their particular personality traits.

Full story of teen mental health at HealthLine

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Moderate Alcohol Consumption Can Lead To Life-Threatening Diseases

Alcohol Consumptions Leads to DiseaseAlcohol consumption is more socially acceptable than ever before. In fact, 17.6 million people abuse alcohol or have an alcohol dependency.[1] Yet many do not realize there are health problems associated with drinking alcohol in moderation. According to Caron Treatment Centers, a nationally recognized non-profit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment, alcohol should be regarded as a substance with serious health risks.

"There is a misconception regarding moderate alcohol use because of how it’s glamorized in the media," said Stephen Garrison MD, Medical Director of Caron Texas. "The public, and many doctors, regard alcoholism as a life-threatening disease when in fact, drinking in moderation can increase an individual’s chances of developing a number of deadly diseases. It is imperative the medical community and the public are better educated about the perils of this drug."

According to medical studies, risk factors of alcohol consumption may include:

Full story of alcohol consumption and diseases at The Sacramento Bee

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