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A Jewel or Juul?  
Juuling: The Most Widespread Phenomenon
You’ve Never Heard Of
A new front has opened in the never-ending game of cat and mouse between teenagers and adults — over Juuling, a discreet form of vaping that is the most widespread phenomenon you’ve likely never heard of.

In some high schools, the “Juuling in the bathroom” problem has gotten so intense that administrators are sending  e-mails warning parents about the dangers of e-cigarettes — and about a brand called Juul, which makes sleek devices that are easily concealed and often mistaken for thumb drives.

In Newton, an e-mail to parents showed a photo with a dire caption: “Here is a Juul device disguised as a Sharpie Pen.”  The e-mail also schooled parents who may be unfamiliar with the whole vaping trend. “Electronic cigarettes are devices that utilize stored electricity to heat a liquid into vapors, which are then inhaled by the user,” the letter read. “The liquid can be anything from a flavored water-type mixture to liquid nicotine to THC, the principal active element of marijuana.”
The letter warned that recent studies “suggest e-cigarettes are the latest ‘gateway’ to harder drug use.”  A psychologist who sees patients in Boston’s upscale western suburbs told the Globe that every teen he treats now uses a Juul. One patient, a student at a private school, secretly used his parents’ credit cards to buy thousands of dollars of Juuls online, and then turned around and sold the devices and flavored pods to other kids at a profit.

He was eventually expelled, said the therapist, who requested anonymity to protect his patients’ privacy
Beyond the fact it can get them in trouble, many kids think there’s nothing wrong with vaping or using a Juul. Long-term safety data on e-cigarettes do not yet exist.

A Juul “starter” kit costs $49.99 if you buy it online from the company. It includes a re-chargeable Juul device, a USB charger, a warranty, and a four-pack of the flavored Juul pods. On its website, the company promises a “powerful vapor experience” and says the nicotine in one pod is approximately equivalent to a whole pack of cigarettes, “or 200 puffs.” Juul pods come in kid-friendly flavors.

Kids are managing to score what they need — one high schooler says Juul starter kits can be purchased on the resale market for around $80. Students are Juuling in the boys and girls rooms, hallways, and even in class, where they take a hit and then swallow the vapor or exhale it into their hoodies when the teacher isn’t looking.

‘The flavors are good. You can do tricks with it. You can ghost it.’ One high schooler described why teens like it: “It gives you a head rush,” he said. “It looks cool.” 
“It can happen so fast,” he added. “A student can step in a bathroom stall or in a hallway and take a quick hit. It’s opening up a whole new set of options that students haven’t had in the past."  

With permission to share By Beth Teitell GLOBE STAFF  NOVEMBER 16, 2017
As parents it is important that you know the tactics teens may use to hide drug use. Hidden in Plain Sight is a substance misuse awareness program for parents and other adults that helps uncover signs of trouble. Participants take a look at where young people get drugs, where they hide them and what parents and other caregivers can do to prevent use or intervene if needed.
Depending on the type of drug, young people get a hold of them most commonly through:
  • Friends from school
  • Home medicine cabinets that are unlocked and unmonitored
Youth may conceal drugs anywhere they can fit that they don’t think you will look, including:
  •  Air vents in their room
  • Cans, highlighters, pens, personal hygiene products
  •  Makeup, books, mattresses, toilets, etc.
  • Vehicles
When it comes to monitoring your teen’s activities for substance misuse:
  • Lock your home medicine cabinets;
  • Get rid of expired, unused, or unwanted medicines;
  • and monitor your over-the-counter and prescription medications – especially pain meds.
  • Know who your teen is with and their whereabouts at all times.
Track your teen’s cash very carefully, or take it one step further: Instead of handing over cash to your  son or daughter who plans on going to the movies, use a preloaded debit card and then require receipts in return.

Search your teen’s room (and car – if it applies) without their knowledge – it is your right as a parent.  If you search and find nothing, consider it great news.
Search phones and devices regularly, checking browser history, text messaging, social media accounts, etc. Have them give you their passwords. 
Let your teen know why you don’t want them to use. Education and open dialogue with your teen is key. Teens whose parents talk with them regularly about the dangers and consequences of drug use are up to 50% less likely to use them in the first place.
If you suspect your teen is involved in substance use, seek immediate intervention. You can start with your school’s student assistance counselor and they can direct you to the best help locally.
A Gift For YOU!

The holidays are meant to be a joy-filled season. However, when time and money are stretched, relationships are strained and expectations are not met, it can be a time of overwhelming stress, leading many to turn to unhealthy coping behaviors, including alcohol and other drug use. 

Try these tips to easing holiday stress  (and remember you are a role model for your stressed teen!) :

Organize and Prioritize: Make a detailed list, check it twice, and then prioritize based on what has to get done now versus what can wait or even be skipped altogether.

Keep Gift-Giving in Perspective: While shopping for loved ones is a big holiday stressor, most people cannot even recall what gifts they received (or from whom) last year, kids included.

Deal with Family Dysfunction Delicately: The potential for conflict at an upcoming family get-together can create a great deal of stress. Keep in mind this is not necessarily the time or place to address longstanding family issues. Do your best to avoid the drama, but be prepared to politely excuse yourself if needed.

Take Social Media with a Grain of Salt: Most people are only going to post pictures that put them in the best light. So you’re sure to see photos of friends at holiday parties posing with big smiles, beautifully decorated tables with picture-perfect food, and happy families gathered in front of the fireplace. There is nothing wrong with sharing or looking at such pictures, so long as you keep in mind that you are only seeing people’s joyful moments in-between their daily challenges of real life.

Give Yourself a Time Out: Take a break from the swirl of activities by fitting in some quiet time each day. Try reading, meditating or just kicking up your feet for a bit. Your mind and body will benefit.

Make Sleep a Priority: Sleep is food for the soul. Getting plenty of sleep will help to make your spirit bright.

Make Time for Sunshine and Exercise: Step outside – it’s amazing what a breath of fresh air and a brisk walk can do for you. Keep it going if you can; regular exercise reduces stress and anxiety.

Be Charitable: If you are in a position to give financially to those in need, go for it. Another great way to give back and make a difference is to volunteer with your children at a local charity.

Focus on Gratitude: Write down the many things you are thankful for and refer to them often to keep your thoughts positive.

May your stress be less and your joy be more this holiday season!

Source:  Know! is a program of: Drug Free Action Alliance
RISAS recently held it annual Varsity Athletes Above Substance Use (VAASA) conference at NK High School.  Two hundred VAASA high school athletes, who pledge to remain substance free, learned tools and strategies to teach younger peers about the risks of substance use. Trooper Fiorenzano of the RI State Police prepares to address the teens with a message about goal setting.
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