Teen Depression

The Basics

If your child is between ages 12 and 18, ask the doctor about screening (testing) for depression – even if you don’t see signs of a problem.

Why do I need to get my teen screened for depression?
Depression can be serious, and many teens with depression don’t get the help they need.

The good news is that depression can be treated with counseling, medicine, or a combination of both. When you ask your child’s doctor about screening for depression, find out what services are available in case your teen needs follow-up care.

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steroids

What are anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids are medications related to testosterone (male sex hormone) that are made in labs. Doctors use anabolic steroids to treat hormone problems in men, delayed puberty, and muscle loss from some diseases.

Bodybuilders and athletes might misuse anabolic steroids in attempts to build muscles and improve athletic performance, often taking doses much higher than would be prescribed for a medical condition. Using them this way, without a prescription from a doctor, is not legal—or safe—and can have long-term consequences.

Anabolic steroids are only one type of steroid. Other types of steroids include cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone. These are different chemicals and do not have the same effects.

How Anabolic Steroids Are Misused

When people take steroids without a doctor’s prescription or in ways other than as prescribed, it is called misuse.

Some people who misuse steroids take pills; others use needles to inject steroids into their muscles or apply them to the skin as a gel or cream.

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Talk. They Hear You

Problem of Underage Drinking and Substance Use

High rates of youth alcohol use, shifting state laws regarding marijuana, and the nation’s opioid crisis are prevalent health concerns that affect America’s parents and caregivers. Preventing underage alcohol and substance use is critical for the following reasons:

  • Approximately 88,000 Americans die from alcohol-attributed causes each year, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
  • An estimated 2.1 million people ages 12 or older had an opioid use disorder, and nearly 30 percent of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder.

Through the Sober Truth on Underage Drinking Act, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created the “Talk. They Hear You.”® campaign to address the problem of underage drinking and substance misuse.

The “Talk. They Hear You.”® campaign’s goal is to provide parents and caregivers with the resources they need to address the issue of alcohol and other drugs with children under the age of 21. The campaign has historically equipped parents with the knowledge and skills to increase actions that reduce and prevent underage drinking. Recently, it has expanded its messaging to include other substances such as marijuana and prescription drugs. The campaign now offers resources to help parents talk to children of all ages about alcohol and other drugs.

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prescription depressants

What are prescription depressants?

Depressants, sometimes referred to as central nervous system (CNS) depressants or tranquilizers, slow down (or “depress”) the normal activity that goes on in the brain and spinal cord. Doctors often prescribe them for people who are anxious or can’t sleep.

When prescription depressants are taken as prescribed by a doctor, they can be relatively safe and helpful. However, it is considered misuse when they are taken not as prescribed, to get “high,” or when you take some prescribed for someone else. This can lead to dependence and addiction are still potential risks. Addiction means you continue to seek out and take the drug despite negative consequences.

Depressants can be divided into three primary groups: barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and sleep medications.

TypeConditions They Treat
Barbiturates

  • mephobarbital (Mebaral®)
  • phenobarbital (Luminal®)
  • sodium pentobarbital (Nembutal®)
  • Seizure disorders
  • Anxiety and tension
Benzodiazepines

  • alprazolam (Xanax®)
  • clonazepam (Klonopin®)
  • diazepam (Valium®)
  • estazolam (ProSom®)
  • lorazepam (Ativan®)
  • Acute stress reactions
  • Panic attacks
  • Convulsions
  • Sleep disorders
Sleep Medications

  • eszopiclone (Lunesta®)
  • zolpidem (Ambien®)
  • zaleplon (Sonata®)
  • Sleep disorders

How Prescription Depressants Are Misused

Depressants usually come in pill or capsule form. People misuse depressants by taking them in a way that is not intended, such as:

  • Taking someone else’s prescription depressant medication, even if it is for a medical reason like sleep problems.
  • Taking a depressant medication in a way other than prescribed—for instance, taking more than the prescribed dose or taking it more often, or crushing pills into powder or opening capsules to snort or inject the drug.
  • Taking a depressant to get “high.”
  • Taking a depressant with other drugs or to counteract the effects of other drugs, such as stimulants.
  • Mixing them with other substances, like alcohol or prescription opioids.

Read more about prescription drugs and what happens to the brain and body when someone misuses them.

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What are cough and cold medicines?

Also known as: Candy, Dex, Drank, Lean, Robo, Robotripping, Skittles, Triple C, Tussin, and Velvet

cough and cold medicinesMillions of Americans take cough and cold medicines each year to help with symptoms of colds. When taken as instructed, these medicines can be safe and effective. They become harmful when taken in a way or dose other than directed on the package.

Several cough and cold medicines contain ingredients that are psychoactive (mind-altering) when taken in higher-than-recommended dosages, and some people misuse them. These products also contain other ingredients that can add to the risks. Many of these medicines are bought “over the counter” (OTC), meaning you do not need a prescription to have them.

Two commonly misused cough and cold medicines are:

  • Dextromethorphan (DXM) cough syrup, tablets, and gel capsules. These OTC cough medicines are safe for stopping coughs during a cold if you take them as directed. Taking more than the recommended amount can produce a “high” and sometimes dissociative effects (like you are detached from your body).
  • Promethazine-codeine cough syrup. These prescription medications contain an opioid drug called codeine, which stops coughs, but when taken in higher doses produces a “buzz” or “high.”

Read more about prescription drugs and what happens to the brain and body when someone misuses them.

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