Youth and Substance Abuse

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Mavis Jaworski, M.D. and John Knight, M.D., on July's Physician Focus with the Massachusetts Medical Society

There’s no getting around it: Substance abuse by adolescents is a serious problem, one that too often ends in tragedy. Such behavior accounts for almost 60 percent of accidental deaths among teens and poses significant risks to physical and mental health, as well as success in school and later life.

One of the nation’s foremost experts on this issue is John R. Knight, M.D., Director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

HCAM and the Massachusetts Medical Society are pleased to feature Dr. Knight in the July edition of Physician Focus, where he discusses the various aspects of substance abuse by teens in detail with host and primary care physician Mavis Jaworski, M.D.

The topics of conversation include how alcohol and marijuana affect the teenage brain, why adolescents are at greater risk than adults with these substances, the consequences of abusing these substances, the growing incidence of prescription drug abuse, the warning signs and symptoms parents should look for, and the steps to take to prevent these problems.

You’ll learn why Dr. Knight declares that “alcohol is the greatest threat to your teen’s life, health, and future,” why marijuana is not a “medicine,” and why teens think prescription drugs, taken for nonmedical reasons, are “safe.”

Parents, teachers, and others should find Dr. Knight’s comments enlightening, as well as alarming. Please join us on Physician Focus during July for this important discussion.