Palos Verdes Intermediate School

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Parental concern about drug use is almost universal, and the topic of whether or not to drug test one’s own child is a consuming dilemma. Parents major concerns regarding drug testing include lack of knowledge about what is available, what to do if the tests are positive, and most importantly, how does drug testing interfere with the relationship, and the strong desire to maintain trust. The other concern I hear most often is what should the timing of drug testing be, ie, is it done after one suspects a problem, or is it a preventative measure? Although opinions vary, I believe drug testing is a valuable tool for many reasons. Urine drug testing kits are readily available in your pharmacy, or on the internet. Most of these test for a panel of drugs, including alcohol, marijuana, opiates, benzodiazepenes, cocaine. Many of the synthetic and club drugs will not show up, and require sophisticated, and expensive testing. I recommend testing because it goes a long way to removing questions or doubts, and if test results are negative, a parent can much more easily dispense with their suspicions, and probing questions. One of the main benefits of drug testing is that it provides a reasonable and built in excuse for your child to refuse temptation or peer pressure to use, and saying “no, I can’t, my parents will test me when I get home” is clearly understood. If framed in a positive manner, ie, “I just want to do this so we can get this concern out of the way and not be bothered by it”, most kids will not protest too much. If a request produces great anger, resentment, and refusal, that may be a sign that there is something to hi
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South Bay Math Circle: Math Tournament

First to Eighth Grade

At the Peninsula Center Library Community Room
701 Silver Spur Road, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

The cost is $ 6 to cover supplies and facility rental

Space is limited to first 80 applicants. Sign up at
or contact us at
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When the topic of teen drug or alcohol use comes up, many parents do not pay close attention. The majority feel that their children do not have major issues. When there is a presentation or lecture, they do not feel the need to attend, thinking it does not apply to them. For those where there is an issue, concerns around shame and embarrassment and not wanting to publicly air problems prevents them for seeking help. Compared to most medical problems, substance abuse is endured in silence, and when one needs assistance, there is reluctance to go to a friend, neighbor, or physician, and ask for a good referral. The reality is, the vast majority of your children will not develop an addiction problem. Only about 7% will fall into the most severe category of use in their lifetime. While that may bring some measure of relief, at the Thelma McMillen Center we have learned that the real danger for most is what we call “unintended negative consequences”. Any use by a child or teenager exposes them to significant risks. I use the analogy that using is like walking through a mine field, and accidentally stepping on a mine will a major negative impact. The following are the major unintended negative consequences that teens encounter, with any degree of use:
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PVPUSD Families Connected

Please visit PVPUSD Families Connected to learn about our School District’s commitment to the social-emotional wellness of our students, as well as to access free parenting education events, including the the Families Connected Speaker Series, the Families Connected Parent Chat and walking group, and to access online parenting resources galleries. This month's Families Connected focus is substance use prevention in high school, including vaping prevention information for parents, vaping facts for youth, and a special event at Redondo Union High School entitled, Blowing Smoke: What Parents Need to Know About Vaping. All PVPUSD parents are welcome. We also recommend the Families Connected Red Ribbon Week special edition e-newsletter to our families.
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As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, there is a new major problem targeting teenagers: VAPING. The Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) has declared youth vaping an epidemic, and is trying to ratchet up the control of these devices and substances to teenagers. Vaping has become the most popular tobacco product among teenagers, with nearly 12 percent of high school students, (almost 2 million) and 3 percent of middle schoolers (500,000) admitting to using the devices in the last 30 days. Of greater concern is the incredible growth daily of the number of kids trying it. While cigarette smoking is decreasing among teenagers, vaping is on the rise, as kids falsely perceive it to be safer than smoking tobacco. In this week’s column, I will cover some of the basics that parents should know about, and in future columns will address the allure for teens, the neurological and psychological basis for using, the consequences, and what can be done.
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What Do Our Teens Need?

Starting the Conversation, Ending the Stigma is part of the L.A. Jewish Teen Initiative’s Focus on Teen Wellness, co-funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Jim Joseph Foundation with seed funding provided by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.
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