vodka soaked tampon | JJIE.org stock photo | Clay Duda/JJIE Staff

Catching a Buzz From the Wrong End? What Parents Don’t Know about the Alcohol-Soaked Tampon for Girls and Boys

“I was at this party when I was 17,” he said. “We were all telling stories and one of my friends said something about tampons soaked in vodka.”

Alden, who declined to give his last name, said he immediately got a tampon from a girl at the party, soaked it in Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and inserted it into his anus.

“It burned a little,” said Alden, “but other than that, it didn’t cause any pain.”

Youth Involved in Both Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Struggle At Unexpected Rate, LA Study Finds

Crossover youth, as young adults with dual involvement in foster care and juvenile justice systems are called, face a variety of challenges when entering adulthood, and they carry a high public cost. That is according to the first-ever study of youth in foster care and on probation in Los Angeles County. Although it’s widely known that crossover youth are worse off than other youth, this study — Young Adult Outcomes of Youth Exiting Dependent or Delinquent Care in Los Angeles County, which was funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation — shows that crossover youth experience negative outcomes at twice the rate. “We didn’t realize crossover youth would have such striking distance,” Dennis Culhane, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the study’s six authors, told Youth Today. “We knew it would find they’d be troubled, but didn’t expect this difference of degree to show up.”

Currently, according to examined data from 2002 to 2009, crossover youth cost about three times more public service dollars than youth who are only in foster care.

Across the U.S. Increasing Numbers of Kids Are Taken From Deported Parents and Put Into Foster Care

If you deport the parents, let them take their kids with them. This may sound like common sense — and research shows that kids do better with their families than in foster care — but increasingly more children from across the United States are being separated from their families because their parents have been deported. National research, conducted by the Applied Research Center between August 2010 and August 2011, and published on Colorlines.com (which is run by the Research Center) in November 2011 shows, for the first time, that the problem is happening widely. At least 5,100 children whose parents are detained or deported are currently in foster care around the United States. And, in at least 22 states, children in foster care face boundaries to reunification with their detained or deported mothers and fathers.

Want Something Really Spooky for Halloween? How About Marijuana-Shaped Candy?

Parents, picture this: your kid is opening a mostly green bag of candy. Nothing unusual, especially for this time of year, so you probably think nothing of it. Then, they take out a lollipop, and you take a second look: It’s shaped like a marijuana leaf. How would you react? City leaders, anti-drug activists and parents across the country aren’t sweet on this new candy.

Piri Thomas youth advocate

A Farewell to Piri Thomas, One-time Criminal Who Became A Youth and Peace Advocate

Piri Thomas was no saint.

As a kid, he grew up in the Spanish Harlem where he lived a vicious street life: he robbed people and places, sold and took drugs and was in a gang. But while in prison, he decided to use his experiences and his writing — which he called “the Flow” — to help turn youth away from a life of crime.

Some people say that a person can’t change, that a criminal is always a criminal. He disproved this belief and presents a message of hope for outcasts and at-risk youth. He knew he had not been born a villain, that he could do more with his life. And he did.

Thomas, who died last week at the age of 83, began life as an outsider, someone with the desire to escape. His family refused to acknowledge its African blood, and the neighborhood youth mistreated him for his dark, Afro-Cuban-Puerto Rican background. To survive, he plunged himself into life on the streets where he felt empowered. Eventually, though, he found himself in prison for wounding a police officer during a holdup.

After serving seven years, he published a passionate, graphic memoir in 1967 that addresses issues including poverty, youth, violence, imprisonment and racism. Down These Mean Streets went on to become an influential best seller and a classic.

Young People Use Slurs Online, See Them As Jokes

Young people are more likely to use slurs online, and most see discriminatory language as joking, according to an Associated Press-MTV poll of 14- to 24-year-olds conducted nationwide in 2011. Seventy-one percent say they are more likely to use slurs online or in text messages than in person. Also, most young people don’t worry about whether the words they post on their cellphones and laptops could reach a wider audience or get them in trouble, according to the ABC Action News article. “People have that false sense of security that they can say whatever they want online,” Lori Pletka, 22, told the reporters. Although most people see slurs as joking — 57 percent say people are “trying to be funny” — a significant number of youth are getting upset, especially when they are in the group being targeted.

Facebook, Marketing and the Clash Over Kids

Millions of young kids are already on Facebook, even though the site can’t legally allow anyone under 13 to create a profile. And if the previous statement were a status update, Facebook would “like” it. The popular social networking wants all youngsters to be allowed; this way they can begin sharing early. Consider this: When anyone shares on the site, Facebook benefits by allowing marketers to use the data and it makes money. Giving all kids the right to sign up would insure the site’s continued dominance.

Drugs Now Kill More People Than Car Crashes

Every 14 minutes, someone dies from drugs, according to a recent examination of government data by the LA Times. What’s worse is that attempts by experts to reverse this trend don’t seem to be working. Drug deaths, fueled by prescription pain and anxiety drugs, now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States,

This is the first time since the government started tracking drug-induced deaths in 1979 that drugs have killed more people than cars. Most cases of preventable death are declining. Drugs, however, are the exception. While teens and young people often abuse drugs, even, according to the mother one teen who died of an overdose, attending parties where pills are poured into a bowl and taken without knowledge of what they are taking, now people of all ages are suffering from drug-induced deaths. Drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, yet the death toll is highest among people in their 40s, according to data from The Centers for Disease Control.

general liquor in store 1 - JJIE.org stock photo, Clay Duda/JJIE Staff

New Social Media Guidelines for Alcohol Companies to Prevent Advertising to Kids

Want to interact with your favorite alcohol companies on Facebook? Then you better be able to legally take a drink. Starting September 30, alcohol companies in the United States and Europe now have to consider a set of self-regulatory guidelines designed to prevent marketing their products to kids, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) issued these rules for advertising and marketing on all branded digital marketing communications, including social networking sites, websites, blogs, mobile communications and other applications. Alcohol marketers already use age gates on their brand websites, requiring people to enter their birth date to prevent minors from accessing the sites.

Children of Alcoholic Parents Drink More When Stressed

Children of parents with a drinking problem are more likely to drink in stressful situations, according to a recent Swedish study. This new research by Anna Söderpalm Gordh furthers the already-supported idea that children of alcoholics drink more. It was published in the most recent issue of the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behaviour. Her process involved dividing 58 healthy people into two groups based on whether their parents had a drinking problem. The groups were randomly assigned to two situations, one of which was more stressful.