Archive for the ‘Underage drinking’ Category

I was fortunate enough to be in Nebraska last week doing two workshops for health/mental health care professionals and an evening workshop for parents.

It was a great group! I’ve always found Nebraska—particularly Lincoln–one of the country’s best kept secrets.

Nebraska is currently struggling in a way they never expected. The legislature recently passed a “Safe Haven” law to allow parents (usually young mothers) to anonymously drop off an infant they are unable to care for without facing penalty or prosecution for abandonment.
As someone who has appeared on Nancy Grace commenting about tragic stories of day-old infants found in trash cans and fields, I am a huge supporter of this type of law.

The Nebraska law allows a “child” to be dropped off, purposely broadening the term from infancy to help protect toddlers who may be at risk for harm.

Eighteen children have been dropped off since the law went into effect in July. Unfortunately, many of them have been older children and TEENS. A grieving widower dropped off nine of his children aged 1-17 years old because he could not take care of them.

Another woman dropped off her 15-year old nephew when she and his guardian could not take care of him (his mother died and his father left him years before). She said they tried medication and discipline, but could no longer handle his behavior problems. A 14-year old from Iowa was dropped off and one mother drove 12 hours to drop off her 13-years old son.

See Dr. Lisa on CNN Headline News discussing the Nebraska Safe Haven/Teen story (Part 2 of a 2-part interview)

Some people see these parents as horrible, terrible parents. I don’t. Not at all. In my work I come into contact with parents across the county who are stressed out, overwhelmed, and desperate.

Should they be dropping their children off? Of course not.

But this speaks to two things

1) how distressed and overwhelmed many of today’s parents are

2) that resources to help them are either not available or if they are, parents don’t know how to access them. (more…)


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I’m speaking in San Diego and it’s open to the public!!!!

Usually, agencies and organizations bring me in to talk only to their staff, but these 2 talks are open to EVERYONE.

Thursday October 23, 2008

1) Teens with Mental Health Disorders: Who They REALLY Are (Daytime)

More Information

2) When to Worry: How to Tell if Your Teen Needs Help–and What to Do Next (Evening)

More Information

Would be great to see you if you live in the area!


We’ll have copies of my book When to Worry and new DVD The Secret Cut available at an event discount!

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The headline is all over the place: ADHD Is on the Rise. ADHD has increased 1997-2006. A new survey from the CDC/National Center for Health Statistics says it’s so.

I can’t and won’t believe the conclusions of this survey.

I’m not saying that ADHD is or is not on the rise (in fact, soon I’ll talk about how common ADHD is!), but I am frustrated by headlines and so-called “national studies” that are inaccurate and weak.

This study found:

  • 9% of children have ADHD
  • Boys had ADHD more often than girls
  • White and Black children have ADHD more than Hispanic children
  • Children with Medicaid have ADHD more than uninsured or privately insured children

This study (and the headlines) forget to emphasize that they consider a child as suffering from ADHD if “a doctor or health professional ever told the parent that their child had ADHD….

I think that is crazy.

Just because a doctor SAID a youth has ADHD in no way means the youth ACTUALLY HAS the disorder. In fact, they aren’t even saying that a “mental health professional” said the youth had ADHD. (more…)

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Dr. Lisa who was interviewed today on CNN Headline News about a new Nintendo Wii video game titled “Beer Pong” in which players toss ping pong balls into cups that are filled with beer.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board rated the game “T” for for TEENS, which outraged Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Beer Pong appears to be one in a series of video versions of Frat Party Games.

Due to public complaints, the game developers said they changed the name of the video game to “Pong Toss” and removed all references to alcohol.

Dr. Lisa appeared on the show and the Attorney General of Connecticut joined the conversation by phone—both were questioned about the effects playing this type of video game will have on young teens.

Dr. Lisa explained that “Although playing Beer Pong is not likely to cause a teen to start binge-drinking, it does portray alcohol in a fun and game-like atmosphere, which is dangerous to young people today.”

She talked about the Video Game Ratings Board and the subtle things they may be missing when they approve video games for teens: alcohol, scantily clad women, subtle violence, etc.

Dr. Lisa went beyond discussing this specific video game to the epidemic of “binge drinking” among teens and college-aged students and the danger of any activities that associate binge-drinking with fun.

Dr. Lisa also discussed data showing many underage drinkers obtain alcohol from an adult—sometimes even their parents! College students are at even higher risk, with little to no parental supervision……

Today in the Chicago Tribune a story about another college student who dies of an alcohol overdose, he was 19.

And another just this year in Boston University . He was 18 years old, the alcohol was provided by his fraternity brothers, who were subsequently charged with supplying alcohol to a minor- themselves included. All of the students, fraternity brothers and friends were 18 and 19 years old and now one dead.

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