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Teen Health

Features Related to Teen Health

  1. Dealing with Friends

      A funny thing I’ve noticed: Although I talk to thousands of patients every year (many of those just before or just after they lose their virginity), none of them, not one teenage patient, has ever said to me, “Oh, Dr. Ashton, I love my boyfriend so much, and I really want to sleep with him because

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  2. Date-Rape Drugs: It Happened to Me

      Here’s another bad thing that can happen when you consume alcohol: You’re more vulnerable to predators who spike drinks with so-called date-rape drugs. Sedatives and mind-altering drugs like GHB have no color, no odor, and no flavor. They render you unable to speak, walk, defend yourself, or remem

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  3. Be Street Smart About Street Drugs

    If you think all drug users are gang members, rock stars, pro athletes, or homeless people, guess again. Hard-drug users are also suburban housewives, doctors, movie stars, and even high school students, like my patient Leslie. Smart and pretty, Leslie tried cocaine at age sixteen when her friends t

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  4. Bad Things Happen When You're Drunk

      Ever said anything you really regretted later? Done anything that made you feel like an idiot? Remember that miserable mortified feeling that made you wish you’d never been born? Getting drunk is like volunteering to feel that way all over again. It’s hard enough to say and do the right thing when

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  5. Brain Poison for Teens

      Medically speaking, even small amounts of alcohol are not OK for teens. Because teen brains are still developing, they’re much more susceptible to potentially addictive substances and behaviors than adult brains. Drinking as a teen does far more damage to your brain than drinking in your twenties

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  6. Happier Hormones: Treating Period Pain With the Pill

      Thirteen-year-old Brooke came to see me for horrible cramps. High-dose Motrin cut her pain in half within a few months. I could have prescribed oral hormones, but I usually try to avoid prescribing hormones within two years of the first menstrual period, while systems are still “working out the ki

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  7. Learning to Cope

    As a young girl you’re evolving rapidly into an adult—which means experiencing a new range of emotions. Learning to deal with these emotions is a vital skill that you’ll use for the rest of your life. You learn coping strategies from family and friends and also by trial and error. Here are some stra

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  8. Going to Pot: The Risks of Smoking Marijuana

      One of my patients, Beth, sixteen, smoked pot several times a week. Her mom knew about it but was afraid if she told Beth to stop, it would make things worse. “Then she’d just do it behind my back,” her mother told me. I told Beth the facts about marijuana and encouraged her to quit. “The health r

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  9. Just a Bad Day? Or a Mood Disorder?

      We all get in a bad mood sometimes (I sure do—just ask my family!). But most of the time we get over it. The good news is, as you become more mature, you also get smarter about what helps you get out of a bad mood. One patient of mine realized that she got bitchy whenever she stopped exercising—no

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  10. Complementary Treatments: Nutrition, Exercise, Heat, and Touch

      My patient Olivia had terrible cramps that started when she was about sixteen. When even prescription-strength ibuprofen didn’t work, I suggested the other standard prescription for severe periods—oral hormones (aka birth control pills). Olivia and her mother both looked a little nervous when I me

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