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Understanding What Causes Stress
The first stage in preventing
and lowering your own levels of stress is recognizing what stress
is and what the major causes of stress are.

How is Stress Affecting YOU?
How stressed out are YOU?
Let's take a look into what may
be causing your stress levels to
be where they currently are.

Develop a Stress-Relief
Action Plan

Here are some tips for staying
healthy throughout the year on campus and more.

YOUR Stress Relief PLAN : Managing Daily Habits
Knowing how to manage stress
on a day-to-day basis can be just
as tough as dealing with the
stress itself. Here is a guide to
help you along the way.

Stress Relief Products
In addition to a regular stress management program, there
are many tools available to
assist you on your path to a
stress-free lifestyle. Stress Health Network

Teens and Alcohol Abuse - The Facts

Combine regular use of alcohol with the still-developing brain of a teenager and you may be setting the stage for a lifetime of physical and emotional problems. Recent research indicates that teens who regularly drink to excess have more difficulty with mental functions (including language, memory, attention and problem-solving skills) than teens who don't abuse alcohol. They're also much more likely to have alcohol-related auto and personal accidents.
Parents and peers both have a huge influence on a teenager's drinking behavior. For parents, experts recommend stressing three points:

1. Make it your household rule that no one drinks alcohol unless they're older than 21.

2. Explain that drinking and driving is an even greater risk for teenagers, since they're combining intoxication with inexperience behind the wheel.

3. Remind teens that they could lose their license under the Zero Tolerance laws in place in all 50 states.

Parents also need to remember that they are the strongest role models in their child's life. If they use alcohol responsibly and stay aware of their child's friends and activities, their teen's risk of developing an abuse problem are lower.

A teenager's risk for abusing alcohol and possibly developing a substance abuse problem include personal, family and community risk factors.

Personal Risk Factors

Personality/temperament. Teens who are sensation-seekers or who are excessively rebellious, resistant to authority, and who aren't good at forming close relationships are more prone to look for an "escape" via drugs or alcohol.

Genetics. People with alcohol abuse problems very often have a family history of substance abuse.

Diseases/disorders. Teenagers with clinical depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental conditions often are prone to abusing alcohol in an effort to relieve their symptoms. The same holds true for teens who have been physically or sexually abused.

False expectations. Many teens still operate under the misconception that alcohol is glamorous, that being drunk is cool, and that "Everybody does it."

Early abuse. Teens who begin abusing alcohol at a very young age (14 or earlier) are four to five times more likely to develop an abuse problem.

Family Risk Factors

Parents. Teens with a parent who abuses alcohol or drugs are three times more likely to develop a problem themselves. They're also at higher risk if the parent has a tolerant attitude toward alcohol and drug experimentation or is not consistently involved in the child's life.

Detachment. Teens from families with constant conflict, physical or sexual abuse, or psychological stress are much more likely to try alcohol as a way to turn off emotional pain.

Community Risk Factors

Access. If there is easy access to cigarette machines, alcohol or other substances, and if drug or alcohol abuse is generally tolerated in the surrounding community, then teens are at a much higher risk.

Peers. Peer groups have a huge influence on a teen's choice to abuse alcohol.

Media. Media ads, movies and music perpetuate the use of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs as a way to gain popularity, success and sex appeal. Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to this message.

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