Issues, Conditions, & Disorders Overview


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that you can get from having sex with someone who has the infection. The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasites and viruses. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including

Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. If a pregnant woman has an STD, it can cause serious health problems for the baby.

If you have an STD caused by bacteria or parasites, your health care provider can treat it with antibiotics or other medicines. If you have an STD caused by a virus, there is no cure. Sometimes medicines can keep the disease under control. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading STDs.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Anger Management

Anger management is a process of learning to recognize signs that you're becoming angry, and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a positive way. Anger management doesn't try to keep you from feeling anger or encourage you to hold it in. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion when you know how to express it appropriately. Anger management is about learning how to do this.

You may learn anger management skills on your own, using books or other resources. But for many people, taking an anger management class or seeing a mental health counselor is the most effective approach.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Maternal Mortality:

 Definitions of maternal mortality vary across the United States as well as at international levels. Florida’s
PAMR uses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) and the American Congress of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) expanded maternal mortality definition:
  • Pregnancy-Associated Death: Death of a woman from any cause, while she is pregnant or within one year of termination of pregnancy, regardless of the duration and site of pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy-Related Death: A pregnancy-associated death resulting from 1) complications of thepregnancy itself, 2) the chain of events initiated by the pregnancy that led to death, or 3) aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic or pharmacologic effects of the pregnancy that subsequently caused death.
  • Possible Pregnancy-Related Death: A pregnancy-associated death where determination of the death could not be conclusively classified as either related or not related to the pregnancy. 
  • Not Pregnancy-Related: The death of a woman, while pregnant or within one year of termination of pregnancy, from a cause deemed unrelated to pregnancy.

Infant Mortality:

Unfortunately, about 25,000 infants die each year in the United States. The loss of a baby remains a sad reality for many families and takes a serious toll on the health and well-being of families, as well as the nation.

The death of a baby before his or her first birthday is called infant mortality. The infant mortality rate is an estimate of the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator to measure the health and well-being of a nation, because factors affecting the health of entire populations can also impact the mortality rate of infants. There are obvious differences in infant mortality by age, race, and ethnicity; for instance, the mortality rate for non-Hispanic black infants is more than twice that of non-Hispanic white infants.

What are the Causes?

Fortunately, most newborns grow and thrive. However, for every 1,000 babies that are born, six die during their first year.1 Most of these babies die because they are—  

These top five leading causes of infant mortality together account for 57% of all infant deaths in the United States in 2010.1

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Peer Pressure
Peer pressure is not necessarily a negative thing; it can be positive too. Peer pressure may convince adolescents to engage in prosocial behavior such as doing community service or exercising. Peer pressure may also work to prevent behaviors usually connected with succumbing to peer pressure; for example, peer pressure may encourage an adolescent not to drink or smoke because his or her friends disapprove. However, peer pressure’s impact is usually negative.
An adolescent may encounter peer pressure and not even realize it. It is important to clearly define peer pressure so that adolescents will know when they’ve meet it and more importantly how to deal with it. The problem with peer pressure comes when adolescents “adopt the attitudes or behavior of others because of real or imagined pressure from them”; this process is known as conformity (Santrock 314-315). When adolescents begin to conform to antisocial peer pressure they can be thrown into situations that end poorly. 


Source: Northern Illinois University College of Education

Drug withdrawal is a reaction the body can have if a person suddenly stops using drugs or alcohol. This can occur if the person has been using drugs or alcohol regularly. Depending on the type and amount of drug you were using, withdrawal can be a life-threatening condition.

Drug withdrawal can be caused by medications, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
Risk Factors  
Factors that increase your chances of drug withdrawal include:
Sudden stopping of drugs or alcohol
Substance abuse
Physical dependency on drugs or alcohol
Withdrawal symptoms are different based on what you used. Symptoms may include:
Marijuana—loss of appetite, chills, weight loss, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, irritability, feeling restless or         nervous
Alcohol—shaking, hallucinations, seizures, confusion,anxiety , sweating, nausea
Barbiturates—weakness, tremors, hallucinations, lack of appetite, seizures
Opioids—abdominal pain or cramps, muscle aches, panic, tremors, sweating, nausea, diarrhea , fever, chills, irritability, goose pimples, runny nose, drug craving, inability to sleep, yawning
Benzodiazepines—abdominal pain or cramps, fast heartbeat, vomiting, tremors, seizures, anxiety
Cocaine—anxiety, feeling tired, depression
Amphetamines—depression, irritability, sleeping too much, muscle aches, abdominal pain
Source: NYU Langone Medical Center

VPA addresses the problem of violence as defined in the World report on violence and health (WRVH), namely: "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation."

The WRVH also presents a typology of violence that, while not uniformly accepted, can be a useful way to understand the contexts in which violence occurs and the interactions between types of violence. This typology distinguishes four modes in which violence may be inflicted: physical; sexual; and psychological attack; and deprivation. It further divides the general definition of violence into three sub-types according to the victim-perpetrator relationship.

· Self-directed violence refers to violence in which the perpetrator and the victim are the same individual and is subdivided into self-abuse and suicide.

· Interpersonal violence refers to violence between individuals, and is subdivided into family and intimate partner violence and community violence. The former category includes child maltreatment; intimate partner violence; and elder abuse, while the latter is broken down into acquaintance and stranger violence and includes youth violence; assault by strangers; violence related to property crimes; and violence in workplaces and other institutions.

· Collective violence refers to violence committed by larger groups of individuals and can be subdivided into social, political and economic violence.

Source: Violence Prevention Alliance

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Psychologists can help these individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions.

Source: American Psychological Association
Polydrug Use or Abuse

Research literature most commonly describes polydrug use in one of two ways; as either concurrent or simultaneous polydrug use. Concurrent polydrug use is where a minimum of two substances are used within the same time-period (for example, within a four-week period). Simultaneous polydrug use is a specific form of concurrent polydrug use where users combine two or more substances on the same occasion. Simultaneous polydrug use is associated with increased risks through the additive and synergetic effects of the combination of chemicals from the different drugs (Smit, Monshouwer & Verdurmen 2002).

Source: National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre
Intravenous Drug Use

The act of administering drugs directly into blood vessels using a hypodermic needle and syringe.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Conduct Disorders

Conduct disorder is a set of ongoing emotional and behavioral problems that occurs in children and teens. Problems may involve defiant or impulsive behavior, drug use, or criminal activity.

Source: A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia
Binge Drinking

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism binge drinking is defined as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08% or more. This pattern of drinking usually corresponds to 5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for women, generally within about 2 hours.

Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Amphetamines are a group of synthetic psychoactive drugs called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. The collective group of amphetamines includes amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine. Amphetamine is made up of two distinct compounds: pure dextroamphetamine and pure levoamphetamine. Since dextroamphetamine is more potent than levoamphetamine, pure dextroamphetamine is also more potent than the amphetamine mixture. Medications containing amphetamines are prescribed for narcolepsy, obesity, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Prescription names for these medications include Adderall©, Dexedrine©, DextroStat©, and Desoxyn©. The basic molecule of amphetamine can be modified to emphasize specific actions—such as appetite suppressant, CNS stimulant, and cardiovascular actions—for certain medications, including diethylproprion, fenfluramine, methylphenidate (commonly known as the prescription drugs Ritalin© or Concerta©), and phenmetrazine. Both methylphenidate and amphetamine have been in Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act since 1971. In medical use, there is controversy about whether the benefits of amphetamines prescribed for ADHD and weight loss outweigh the drug's harmful side effects. There is agreement, however, that prescription amphetamines are successful in treating narcolepsy. "Look-alike" drugs, which imitate the effects of amphetamines and contain substances legally available over-the-counter, including caffeine, ephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine, are sold on the street as "speed" and "uppers."

Source: Center for Substance Abuse research
Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism (alcohol dependence) and alcohol abuse are two different forms of problem drinking.

  • Alcoholism is when you have signs of physical addiction to alcohol and continues to drink, despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities. Alcohol may control your life and relationships.
  • Alcohol abuse is when your drinking leads to problems, but not physical addiction.
Source: NIH: MedLine Plus

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

Source: American Society of Addiction Medicine

Your liver helps your body digest food, store energy and remove poisons. Hepatitis is a swelling of the liver that makes it stop working well. It can lead to scarring, called cirrhosis, or to cancer.

Viruses cause most cases of hepatitis. The type of hepatitis is named for the virus that causes it; for example, hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Drug or alcohol use can also lead to hepatitis. In other cases, your body mistakenly attacks its own tissues. You can help prevent some viral forms by getting a vaccine. Sometimes hepatitis goes away by itself. If it does not, it can be treated with drugs. Sometimes hepatitis lasts a lifetime.

Some people who have hepatitis have no symptoms. Others may have

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark-colored urine and pale bowel movements
  • Stomach pain
  • Jaundice, yellowing of skin and eyes
Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Dual Diagnosis

(Also called: Comorbidity or Co-Occurring Disorders)

Dual diagnosis occurs when someone has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. These conditions occur together frequently. In particular, alcohol and drug problems tend to occur with

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders

Sometimes the mental problem occurs first. This can lead people to use alcohol or drugs that make them feel better temporarily. Sometimes the substance abuse occurs first. Over time, that can lead to emotional and mental problems.

To get better, someone with a dual diagnosis must treat both conditions. First, the person must go for a period of time without using alcohol or drugs. This is called detoxification. The next step is rehabilitation for the substance problem and treatment for the mental disorder. This step might include medicines, support groups and talk therapy.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is dangerous and is the cause of more than half of all car crashes. It means operating a motor vehicle while

  • Affected by alcohol
  • Affected by illegal or legal drugs
  • Too sleepy
  • Distracted, such as using a cell phone or texting
  • Having a medical condition which affects your driving

For your safety and the safety of others, do not drive while impaired. Have someone else drive you or take public transportation when you cannot drive. If you need to take a call or send a text message, pull over.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Underage Drinking

It is possible to drink legally and safely – when you're over 21. But if you're under 21, or if you drink too much at any age, alcohol can be especially risky.

Many kids begin drinking as early as middle school or even sooner. This is dangerous. Kids who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crime and sexual assault. They are more likely to have serious problems in school. They are more likely to be involved in drinking-related traffic crashes. They are also more likely to develop problems with alcohol later in life.

Kids often begin drinking to look "cool" or fit in with their peers. Parents can do many things to help their kids avoid alcohol problems. Get help for your child if you suspect a drinking problem.

NIH: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Traumatic Brain Injury

Every year, millions of people in the U.S. sustain head and brain injuries. More than half are bad enough that people must go to the hospital. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Half of all traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are due to motor vehicle accidents. Military personnel are also at risk. Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. Serious traumatic brain injuries need emergency treatment.

Treatment and outcome depend on the injury. TBI can cause a wide range of changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions. TBI can be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. People with severe injuries usually need rehabilitation.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus

We all have stress sometimes. For some people, it happens before having to speak in public. For other people, it might be before a first date. What causes stress for you may not be stressful for someone else. Sometimes stress is helpful – it can encourage you to meet a deadline or get things done. But long-term stress can increase the risk of diseases like depression, heart disease and a variety of other problems. A stress-related illness called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after an event like war, physical or sexual assault, or a natural disaster.

If you have chronic stress, the best way to deal with it is to take care of the underlying problem. Counseling can help you find ways to relax and calm down. Medicines may also help.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Understanding Substance Abuse

Substance abuse refers to a set of related conditions associated with the consumption of mind- and behavior-altering substances that have negative behavioral and health outcomes. Social attitudes and political and legal responses to the consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs make substance abuse one of the most complex public health issues. In addition to the considerable health implications, substance abuse has been a flash-point in the criminal justice system and a major focal point in discussions about social values: people argue over whether substance abuse is a disease with genetic and biological foundations or a matter of personal choice.

Source: : 2020 Topics & Objectives > Substance Abuse


Suicide is the eleventh most common cause of death in the United States. People may consider suicide when they are hopeless and can't see any other solution to their problems. Often it's related to serious depression, alcohol or substance abuse, or a major stressful event.

People who have the highest risk of suicide are white men, though women and teens report more suicide attempts. If someone talks about suicide, you should take it seriously. Urge them to get help from their doctor or the emergency room, or call 911.

Therapy and medicines can help most people who have suicidal thoughts. Treating mental illnesses and substance abuse can reduce the risk of suicide.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is any sexual activity to which you haven’t freely given your consent. This includes completed or attempted sex acts that are against your will. Sometimes it can involve a victim who is unable to consent. It also includes abusive sexual contact. It can happen to men, women or children.

The attacker can be anyone - a current or former partner, a family member, a person in position of power or trust, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.

Sexual assault can affect your health in many ways. It can lead to long-term health and emotional problems. It is important to seek help if you have been assaulted. First, get to a safe place. Then dial 911 or go to a hospital for medical care. You may want to have counseling to deal with your feelings. The most important thing to know is that the assault was not your fault.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Compulsive Gambling

Many people enjoy gambling, whether it's betting on a horse or playing poker on the Internet. Most people who gamble don't have a problem, but some lose control of their gambling. Signs of problem gambling include

  • Always thinking about gambling
  • Lying about gambling
  • Spending work or family time gambling
  • Feeling bad after you gamble, but not quitting
  • Gambling with money you need for other things

Many people can control their compulsive gambling with medicines and therapy. Support groups can also help.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a real illness. You can get PTSD after living through or seeing a traumatic event, such as war, a hurricane, rape, physical abuse or a bad accident. PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid after the danger is over. It affects your life and the people around you.

PTSD can cause problems like

  • Flashbacks, or feeling like the event is happening again
  • Trouble sleeping or nightmares
  • Feeling alone
  • Angry outbursts
  • Feeling worried, guilty or sad

PTSD starts at different times for different people. Signs of PTSD may start soon after a frightening event and then continue. Other people develop new or more severe signs months or even years later. PTSD can happen to anyone, even children.

Medicines can help you feel less afraid and tense. It might take a few weeks for them to work. Talking to a specially trained doctor or counselor also helps many people with PTSD. This is called talk therapy.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are long-term patterns of thoughts and behaviors that cause serious problems with relationships and work. People with personality disorders have difficulty dealing with everyday stresses and problems. They often have stormy relationships with other people. The exact cause of personality disorders is unknown. However, genes and childhood experiences may play a role.

Symptoms vary widely depending on the specific type of personality disorder. Treatment usually includes talk therapy and sometimes medicine.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus

A poison is any substance that is harmful to your body. You might swallow it, inhale it, inject it or absorb it through your skin. Poisons can include

  • Prescription or over-the-counter medicines taken in doses that are too high
  • Overdoses of illegal drugs
  • Carbon monoxide from gas appliances
  • Household products, such as laundry powder or furniture polish
  • Pesticides
  • Indoor or outdoor plants
  • Metals such as lead and mercury

The dangers of poisoning range from short-term illness to brain damage, coma and death. To prevent poisoning it is important to use and store products exactly as their labels say. Keep dangerous products where children can't get to them. Treatment for poisoning depends on the type of poison. If you suspect someone has been poisoned, call your local poison control center right away.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Mental Disorders

Mental disorders include a wide range of problems, including

  • Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia

There are many causes of mental disorders. Your genes and family history may play a role. Your life experiences, such as stress or a history of abuse, may also matter. Biological factors can also be part of the cause. A traumatic brain injury can lead to a mental disorder. A mother’s exposure to viruses or toxic chemicals while pregnant may play a part. Other factors may increase your risk, such as use of illegal drugs or having a serious medical condition like cancer.

Medications and counseling can help many mental disorders.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body's immune system cells. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV.

HIV most often spreads through unprotected sex with an infected person. It may also spread by sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person. Women can give it to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth.

The first signs of HIV infection may be swollen glands and flu-like symptoms. These may come and go a month or two after infection. Severe symptoms may not appear until months or years later.

A blood test can tell if you have HIV infection. Your health care provider can perform the test, or call the national referral hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO (24 hours a day, 1-800-232-4636 in English and en español; 1-888-232-6348 - TTY).

There is no cure, but there are many medicines to fight both HIV infection and the infections and cancers that come with it. People can live with the disease for many years.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases kill more people worldwide than any other single cause. Infectious diseases are caused by germs. Germs are tiny living things that are found everywhere - in air, soil and water. You can get infected by touching, eating, drinking or breathing something that contains a germ. Germs can also spread through animal and insect bites, kissing and sexual contact. Vaccines, proper hand washing and medicines can help prevent infections.

There are four main kinds of germs:

  • Bacteria - one-celled germs that multiply quickly and may release chemicals which can make you sick
  • Viruses - capsules that contain genetic material, and use your own cells to multiply
  • Fungi - primitive vegetables, like mushrooms or mildew
  • Protozoa - one-celled animals that use other living things for food and a place to live

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

If you are pregnant and drink alcohol, so does your baby. This can hurt your baby's growth and cause life-long physical and behavioral problems. One of the most severe effects of drinking during pregnancy is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is a group of problems that can include

  • Mental retardation
  • Birth defects
  • Abnormal facial features
  • Growth problems
  • Problems with the central nervous system
  • Trouble remembering and/or learning
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Behavior problems

FAS lasts for a lifetime. There is no cure. Special school services can help with learning problems. Routines and consistency at home may help with behavior problems. Women can prevent FAS and other problems related to alcohol use by not drinking when they are pregnant or might get pregnant.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus

(Also called: Grief)

Bereavement is the period of grief and mourning after a death. When you grieve, it's part of the normal process of reacting to a loss. You may experience grief as a mental, physical, social or emotional reaction. Mental reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness and despair. Physical reactions can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems or illness.

How long bereavement lasts can depend on how close you were to the person who died, if the person's death was expected and other factors. Friends, family and faith may be sources of support. Grief counseling or grief therapy is also helpful to some people.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are serious behavior problems. They include

  • Anorexia nervosa, in which you become too thin, but you don't eat enough because you think you are fat
  • Bulimia nervosa, involving periods of overeating followed by purging, sometimes through self-induced vomiting or using laxatives
  • Binge-eating, which is out-of-control eating

Women are more likely than men to have eating disorders. They usually start in the teenage years and often occur along with depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse.

Eating disorders can cause heart and kidney problems and even death. Getting help early is important. Treatment involves monitoring, mental health therapy, nutritional counseling and sometimes medicines.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus

Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It's more than just a feeling of being "down in the dumps" or "blue" for a few days. If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Change in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Energy loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression is a disorder of the brain. There are a variety of causes, including genetic, environmental, psychological, and biochemical factors. Depression usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30, and is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.

There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants and talk therapy. Most people do best by using both.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus

Dementia is a word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there.

Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia. However, memory loss by itself does not mean you have dementia. People with dementia have serious problems with two or more brain functions, such as memory and language.

Many different diseases can cause dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Drugs are available to treat some of these diseases. While these drugs cannot cure dementia or repair brain damage, they may improve symptoms or slow down the disease.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus

Bullying is when a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker or who they think is weaker. Sometimes it involves direct attacks such as hitting, name calling, teasing or taunting. Sometimes it is indirect, such as spreading rumors or trying to make others reject someone.

Often people dismiss bullying among kids as a normal part of growing up. But bullying is harmful. It can lead children and teenagers to feel tense and afraid. It may lead them to avoid school. In severe cases, teens who are bullied may feel they need to take drastic measures or react violently. Others even consider suicide. For some, the effects of bullying last a lifetime.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Child Abuse

Child abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to a child or puts a child at risk of harm. Child abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional. Neglect, or not providing for a child's needs, is also a form of abuse.

Most abused children suffer greater emotional than physical damage. An abused child may become depressed. He or she may withdraw, think of suicide or become violent. An older child may use drugs or alcohol, try to run away or abuse others.

Child abuse is a serious problem. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the police or your local child welfare agency.

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness. People who have it experience dramatic mood swings. They may go from overly energetic, "high" and/or irritable, to sad and hopeless, and then back again. They often have normal moods in between. The up feeling is called mania. The down feeling is depression.

Bipolar disorder can run in families. It usually starts in late adolescence or early adulthood. If you think you may have it, tell your health care provider. A medical checkup can rule out other illnesses that might cause your mood changes.

Untreated, bipolar disorder can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. However, there are effective treatments: medicines and "talk therapy". A combination usually works best.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus

Fear and anxiety are part of life. You may feel anxious before you take a test or walk down a dark street. This kind of anxiety is useful - it can make you more alert or careful. It usually ends soon after you are out of the situation that caused it. But for millions of people in the United States, the anxiety does not go away, and gets worse over time. They may have chest pains or nightmares. They may even be afraid to leave home. These people have anxiety disorders. Types include

  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Phobias
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

Treatment can involve medicines, therapy or both.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Is it hard for your child to sit still? Does your child act without thinking first? Does your child start but not finish things? If so, your child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD for short.) Nearly everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, but ADHD lasts more than 6 months and causes problems in school, at home and in social situations.

ADHD is more common in boys than girls, and it affects 3-5 percent of children in the United States. The principal characteristics of ADHD are

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

No one knows exactly what causes ADHD. It runs in families, so genetics may be a factor. A complete evaluation by a trained professional is the only way to know for sure if your child has ADHD. Treatment often includes medicines to control symptoms. Structure at home and at school is also important. Parenting classes or behavioral therapy may also help.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Source: NIH: MedlinePlus
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Bullying Prevention in the Early Years


Bullying among older students receives a lot of attention, but it is often overlooked among children ages 2-5. Yet, these early years are an important time for children to develop positive ways of relating to their peers...

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Early Bullying Prevention


"Bullying among young children is not uncommon. When groups of young children, who often differ significantly in physical size, skill level, and family experience, get together regularly, patterns of hurtful behavior often emerge. Children make mean faces, say threatening things, grab objects, push others aside, falsely accuse, or refuse to play ..."

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Addressing Cyberbullying


"Protecting your child is critical.  Today with online communications, a bully can follow their victim home to the aloneness of their bedroom.  If your child should become a victim of bullying, there are several things you should do."

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Putting Knowledge into Action to Prevent Suicides


Guest Post on the SAMHSA Blog Written By: Linda C. Degutis, Dr.P.H., M.S.N., director of CDC′s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

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2011 Data Report on Discharges

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Hepatitis C - Information on Testing and Diagnosis

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Hepatitis C

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Shaken baby syndrome

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Diabetes and Carbohydrates

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Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools

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National Above the Influence Day


For the second year in a row, as part of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, ONDCP is encouraging partners across the country to join us in celebrating the second annual National Above the Influence (ATI) Day. This year, the flagship ATI event will take place in Washington DC on October 17th. On that day and in the weeks leading up to the 17th, community partners from all around the country will participate in a variety of youth-focused activities that place teens at the heart of this national celebration. In addition to the activities happening around the country on the 17th, four featured partners and their youth in Texas, California, New York, and Florida will be visited by ONDCP officials - each of these areas will showcase their teens in a variety of customized, teen-centric activities and performances in concert with the main event in Washington, DC. Please encourage your community’s youth organizations to get involved in National Above the Influence Day 2013. Visit for more information on how to join the National ATI Day activities webinars, and how to vote for the winning “Made by Me National Challenge” video submission. 

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Partnership for Families & Children


"Nonprofit provider of capacity-enhancing services, research and evaluation in the area of child and family health and well-being, serving as a trusted partner for social change"

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Marijuana Users at Risk for Early Psychosis

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Marijuana contributing to traffic deaths

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The Body's Response to Traumatic Injury

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Preventing Suicide: Everyone Plays a Role

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Heroin addicts left trapped; families, heartbroken

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Government Studying How Marijuana Affects Drivers

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Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

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National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

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Ask the Expert - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

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Anger Management


Anger management is a process of learning to recognize signs that you're becoming angry, and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a positive way. Anger management doesn't try to keep you from feeling anger or encourage you to hold it in. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion when you know how to express it appropriately. Anger management is about learning how to do this.

You may learn anger management skills on your own, using books or other resources. But for many people, taking an anger management class or seeing a mental health counselor is the most effective approach.

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