NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Sara Bellum Blog

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to go for the facts about drugs. At NIDA, we learn from science—not from rumors or gossip. Ask the questions, look for the facts, and think hard about what you find out and what it means for you.

A collection of growing khat shrubs.

Let’s Talk About Khat


Sara Bellum
April 23, 2014

Never heard of khat (pronounced “cot”)? That’s okay—not many people in the United States use it (its use isn’t measured, so we don’t know the exact numbers). Read More »

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Teen feeling left out by a group of young women - peer pressure and bullying can influence drug use

Your Environment May Influence Drug Use

Sara Bellum
October 17, 2013

A NIDA-funded study found that a healthy person was at a higher risk for abusing drugs if a sibling or spouse abused drugs. The closer the siblings are in age, the greater the chances. Read More »

6 Comments
Pregnant woman holding stomach

Using Drugs When Pregnant Harms the Baby

Sara Bellum
September 26, 2013

Did you know that using alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs during pregnancy can harm the mother and her baby? Everything a pregnant woman eats, drinks, or takes affects the baby. Using drugs can hurt the baby’s growth or even cause the baby to get sick. Read More »

16 Comments
Young woman lifting weights

Sports Supplements: Not a Safe “Quick Fix”

Sara Bellum
September 24, 2013

When working out or playing sports, you may feel like you want to up your game. There are lots of sports products out there that claim to help you run faster, be stronger, or play longer—but be careful. Read More »

3 Comments
doctor talking to teen

Talking About Hard Stuff With Your Doctor

Jack Maypole, M.D., Director of Pediatrics, South End Community Health Center
September 19, 2013

By Jack Maypole, M.D., Director, Comprehensive Care Program, Boston Medical Center. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine Read More »

2 Comments
Rhonda

Thoughts on Recovery: Rhonda’s Story

Sara Bellum
September 17, 2013

Rhonda started abusing drugs when she was 14 years old. She entered treatment for addiction when she was 19. Now at age 21, she has been drug free for almost 2 years, attends college, and enjoys time with her two children. Read More »

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