Drug addiction can come from the most unexpected places. As a result, addiction experts are urging parents to stay on top of new trends in teen drug use, as many can substances are being found around the house or gotten easily at school.
While heroin, synthetic drugs and prescription drugs are common knowledge, there are dozens of surprising ways to get high and unexpected places to hide drugs. For example:
Freon Gas – Kids are finding that they can inhale or “huff” freon from air condition units to get high. It produces a feeling similar to that of drinking alcohol, but it can also freeze the lungs or cause brain damage. It also causes fatal overdose, and there is no way of telling how much is too much. An indication of freon abuse is if your air conditioner requires frequent repair, but despite lack of refrigerant there appears to be no leaks. Many teens will even steal wall units for this purpose.
Nutmeg – That’s right, I’m talking about that good, old-fashioned stuff on your spice rack that you like to sprinkle on eggnog or bake in muffins. While it’s not a drug in small amounts, it contains a natural compound called myristicin, which has mind-altering effects if ingested in large doses. The high from nutmeg can last one to two days and has hallucinogenic properties similar to LSD. It can also be snorted or smoked. It can take several hours for the user to feel high after taking it, so one might take far more than is safe, thinking it isn’t enough. About thirty minutes after ingesting it, it can cause severe stomach pains, nausea and vomiting, and it can cause serious heart and nerve problems.
Magic Markers and Whipped Cream Canisters – Magic Markers and Sharpies contain a poison called xylene which can cause teens to get high when they sniff it. Whipped cream cans contain nitrous oxide, the same substance that is used in dental offices. Abuse of these substances can cause seizures, cardiac damage and even something called sudden sniffing death syndrome, an almost instant death caused by overdose. This is usually caused when the user gets frightened by the drug. For most people, fear would cause a slight increase in heart rate–for people on these substances, the heartbeat increases to fatal levels.
Drugs Are Often Hidden In Strange Places
Teens find unusual places to hide drugs, such as lipstick tubes and electronic equipment. Alcohol is smuggled into school in gummy bears or water bottles. Parents need to be aware of the myriad of hiding places for drugs and watch out for unusual behavior in their children. They should be aware of how many pills are in their medicine cabinet and how much nutmeg is on hand.
If they notice that canisters of whipped cream are flat; especially new ones they should take care to make sure that they teen is not huffing these chemicals. Doing things like buying the product that is not in a canister is just one simple step.
However the best thing to do is to educate your teen on these subjects and help them to make the right decisions to not use these “new drugs.”
The beginning of the school year is when drug use is at its highest, teens say. The stress of new classes, a desire to fit in, and lack of deadlines are the perfect circumstances for peer pressure to bite. Early in the term, parents should talk to their children about the effects of drug abuse, and using drug education, prevent the unthinkable.
Schools should also have drug prevention and education for all students. This can be done through the Narconon program and is a highly successful way of stopping addiction before it starts.