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The teens of Northwest Indiana need your help

Written by Donna Golob. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on October 15, 2014 with No Comments

HEALTH RISKS:

TEENS PREGNANCY:

Indiana lags behind in nationwide teen pregnancy drop

  • Reports show that teen pregnancy is down nationwide, but Indiana lags behind in the drop.
  • The study also found that Indiana has more pregnant teens than 31 other states.
  • Nearly three in 10 girls are pregnant by age 20, and their kids are more likely to become teen parents, too.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated $6 billion is lost in tax revenue yearly because of teen pregnancy and childbirth costs.
  • Public Health Nurse Pam Petry says she’s not surprised by the teenage pregnancy rate, because the number of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has also been on the rise with area teens.  “Chlamydia is one of the biggest STDs that we see,” says Petry.

DISEASE:

Report: 1.8M Americans have chlamydia (cdc.gov;myfoxchicago.com)

  • Chlamydia infections were more common in people who had two or more sex partners in the last year.
  • The researchers found that 3.2 percent of people with two or more partners had chlamydia, compared with 1.4 percent of people who had one partner.
  • Among sexually active females ages 14 to 24, chlamydia infection occurred in 4.7 percent.
  • Prevalence was highest among adolescents and young adults aged 25 years or less.

Teens or young adults are particularly at risk for STIs (sexually transmitted infections).

  • About one in four sexually active young people contract a STD each year.

DRUGS:

Indiana cracking down on synthetic drugs

by McClatchy News | May 23, 2014

These harmful products can be lethal and are being marketed to and targeted at Indiana’s youth… Many people might be surprised to learn that there is a problem with teen drug abuse in Indiana. Unfortunately, drug addiction among teens is a growing problem right across the country, and Indiana has not been spared.

  • DEA warns about potent marijuana-based ‘wax’ substance in central Indiana
  • Indiana second in nation in teen prescription abuse rates

-             Each day, more than 2,000 teens begin abusing prescription medications

-             Prescription and over the counter drug abuse is becoming an area concern in Indiana and the United States. Most students use prescription drugs properly, but nearly one in five teens reports abusing them to get high.

-             12-17 year olds abuse prescription drugs more than ecstasy, heroin, crack/cocaine and methamphetamines combined

SUICIDE:

Suicide is a leading cause of death for Indiana teens

  • Indiana girl’s public suicide and heartbreaking note sparks anti-bullying legislation in the state
  • Friends of a teenager who reportedly committed suicide say he may have been a victim of bullying.
  • A 15-year-old took his own life last week in what is thought to be another suicide at least partially connected to school bullying.

VIOLENCE:

Schools focus on dating violence

  • Throughout Indiana, both school and community-based practitioners are currently addressing the topic of teen dating violence through the provision of a variety of dating, intimate partner, and sexual violence prevention programs and curricula in both school and out-of-school settings.
  • Aug 22, 2014 – Indiana recently was ranked by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the third-worst state for bullying behaviors.

A Positive Approach to Teen Health educators and volunteers are trained to empower teens with relevant information, equip them with skills they need, and encourage them to succeed in life.  Our comprehensive youth development programs assist students in recognizing their value, promote setting goals for their future, and challenges them to reach their full potential.

Our LivTrue mentoring program serves more than 200 students each week at after-school sites throughout Lake and Porter counties.  We have a waiting list for sites that would like to use our services.  We need YOU to make that happen.  The program utilizes volunteers to assist with programming.  If you are interested in being a mentor, please contact Jennifer Tucker (livtrue@pathblazer.org or call 219-472-8360) for more information.  Join us in making a difference in the lives of our youth.

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About Donna Golob

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Donna Golob is the executive director for A Positive Approach to Teen Health (PATH). For more information, visit www.pathblazer.org.

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