Tag Archives: teens

Teens, Young Adults and Opiate Addiction: How Does it Start?

It’s a terrible thing, but far too often these days, when a teen or young adult overdoses on an opiate drug, the parents didn’t even know there was a problem. Or maybe they did know there was a problem and they tried repeatedly to handle it but their loved one could never stay sober. Finally, an overdose of heroin or a painkiller or a combination of drugs takes him away from them.

How can this be happening with our young people?

The following is an excellent article on the phenomenon of teenagers getting started on painkillers, especially those in athletic programs.

High School Athletes and Prescription Painkiller Misuse

As the writer discusses, with too much pressure to get back into play before injuries are healed, a young person can learn to rely on painkillers to make the aches go away. On the other hand, doctors are still, by and large, not trained in the best ways to prevent dependence on these drugs. Many doctors still routinely prescribe 30 days of painkillers for a fairly minor injury or dental procedure. Sometimes all a person needs is a few days of pills for an injury. Continue reading

Our Dreams for Kids Just Don’t Include Drug Abuse

teen party and drug abuse There’s a current news release from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on the subject of youth and drug abuse. It is more than a little dismaying.

The report gives the numbers of young people who are abusing different types of drugs. The report only includes people aged 18 to 25, the ages of heaviest drug abuse, generally speaking. Here’s what an analysis of drug use statistics showed about the drug use of our young adults on any average day:

  • 3.2 million of them used marijuana
  • 57,304 used heroin
  • 51,319 used cocaine
  • 46,179 used hallucinogens
  • 17,868 used inhalants.

Remember, these numbers are for each and every day!

Also, on that average day, there were thousands of people using drugs for the first time:

  • 2,470 initiated marijuana use
  • 1,754 misused a prescription drug
  • 1,200 used cocaine
  • 850 used stimulants
  • 566 used an inhalant
  • 258 used heroin
  • and 174 tried methamphetamine.

Continue reading

Parents Preventing Drug Abuse and Addiction

teens smoking marijuanaThere’s no one in the world in a better position to prevent drug abuse than parents. They are the only ones who see those children every day and can monitor the changes in their appearance and behavior. They know the child’s weaknesses and where he or she needs help. But it seems that many parents count on schools or other entities to take on the responsibility of educating their children on the perils of drug abuse.

I can understand some of the reasons for this. After all, many parents used drugs when they were growing up and in most cases they decided to quit and move on to more productive activities, like having families and raising children. And they may not have the information that the illicit drug market is drastically different than what they faced. They also may not realize how the thinking and culture of their children’s generation has changed. As one mother said in an open letter to other parents, “Kids today speak a different language regarding what is normal. We were in shock at how blatantly they talked about using these drugs as if they were having a pizza.” Continue reading

“What’s the Problem with Drug Use?”

talking to your kids about drug abuseYour kids probably will not come right out and ask you this question. Most kids are going to believe what they hear from other kids and see happening right in front of them: Their friends are smoking pot or drinking and seem to be having fun. Or maybe a friend suggests that they sniff some markers and get goofy or someone has some pills that they say help you “chill out.”

It’s unfortunate that in today’s world, keeping kids safe from drug abuse is very close to the top of the list of a parent’s responsibilities. Many parents may not be well prepared to carry out this education. Or they may count on schools to do the job. Different drug education presentations have different levels of success. Plus a drug education presentation may not fully reflect a parent’s beliefs. So even if a school offers drug education classes, it’s really up to a parent more than anyone else to do this job. Continue reading

Protecting Your Teen from Drugs May Mean Being a Detective

drugs hidden in a bookReally, just about no one wants to think of their kid using drugs. But being the parent of a drug-free child may include learning how to be a good detective.

Among the young, there is a greater and greater acceptance of drug use, particularly of marijuana and pills. Even if parents instruct their children on the dangers of using these drugs, it is possible that many teens think they know more than their parents and that their parents’ advice is wrong or stupid. It may take being a good detective to find out if young people are starting to use drugs.

Young people still living at home are learning ways to hide drugs in their rooms so that parents won’t know they are there, even if they search. Parents need to have a different attitude about looking for drugs. Just going through drawers, pockets and backpacks is not enough. Here are some of the other places drugs are being hidden and some other things to look for to detect drug abuse. Continue reading

What if we didn’t focus on the heroin epidemic or marijuana but just raised drug-free kids?

I’m watching the headlines these days and there’s so much about this drug or that – Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death triggered plenty of media coverage on the increase in heroin abuse. Zohydro is in the news as a future opiate painkiller formulation that has the potential to be easily abused by anyone with a taste for opiates. Medical marijuana is approved in state after state and several more states have this initiative on the ballot. One celebrity after another is cited or goes to jail for a DUI until it seems like no one is left sober.

After a while, it gets to be overwhelming.

What if we didn’t focus so narrowly on one drug or another? What if we just focused on one thing: raising a new generation that knows better than to pick up a drug or drink before they are legal age? Continue reading

How Terrifyingly Easy it is to Start Using Drugs

person offering a jointI’ve just read through a dozen interviews from Narconon graduates in which they describe how and why they started using drugs. These interviews make so very clear that it’s incredibly easy for a young person to decide to just go along with what everyone else is doing – drinking, smoking pot, even using much stronger and more deadly drugs.

If a child does not understand clearly and with conviction why using drugs is dangerous and has not made a firm decision to remain drug-free, then anything can happen.

How Kids Can Begin Using Drugs

Let me share a few of these quotes with you.

“In high school, I started smoking marijuana with my friends. They told me there was nothing wrong with it, that it was kind of normal and everybody was doing it. So I just kind of joined in and started smoking marijuana.”

“How I started using marijuana, I was in middle school, around 12 years old, didn’t really know who I was as a person. I looked around to see what I wanted to be like, what I wanted to strive to be. I wanted to fit in, I wanted to be a social person. And that’s one of the reasons I started using marijuana.”

“So I started using marijuana, I was a freshman in high school. I was out partying and drinking and somebody had weed there. So I smoked it. My decisions weren’t the best, I was a little drunk. And then a couple of days later my buddy was like, ‘Hey, you want to smoke again?’ I was like, ‘Sure, I guess.’ I’d done it before.”

But that’s not as far as it usually goes. What should really concern a parent is how easy it was to transition to harder, more addictive and deadlier drugs. Here’s how our graduates described this progression to using heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine.

“As far as the transition from smoking pot every day to using harder drugs, I had run into somebody who said, ‘Hey, I’ve got some opium,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Opium, that’s cool, it’s like pot times ten.’ And before I knew it, we were sitting in my car smoking heroin. And then he’s like, ‘So man, we just did heroin.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ You know what I mean, because I had no idea. But it felt incredible, and I was like, ‘Oh, cool.’”

“I started smoking pot to fit in with everybody. And it looked like everybody was having a good time. And they told me, ‘Nobody’s died from smoking pot.’ So I did it and it progressed into cocaine and heroin and my life was just downhill.”

“From then on, it just kind of snowballed. I became okay with using other things, this that and the other. It’s not like I set out to be a heroin addict, I don’t think anyone does but it ended up that way. Before I knew it I was too deep to pull myself out.”

“My thing with starting with methamphetamine – my best friend started. Her sister started using it, they started hanging out a lot and I felt like I was losing my best friend so my curiosity grew really strong. I was pretty much determined to use it at that point so I could see what they were doing that seemed like so much fun. Yeah, so it was pretty easy to use it after I had used all the other stuff.”

Talking About Substance Abuse in the Home

I know it’s not the easiest thing to talk to your kids about drugs. But these stories show what can happen if you don’t.

The first thing you need to do is to learn about the drugs that are out there right now, drugs that your kids might be offered. And take the time to explain the effects and dangers associated with each drug.

To help you, we have created quick guides to understanding prescription drug abuse…


… and marijuana.


You can find complete guides to different drugs and how to talk to your children about them below:

Marijuana: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/marijuana/

Heroin: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/heroin/

Cocaine: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/cocaine/

Stimulants like methamphetamine or Ritalin: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/stimulants/

Synthetic drugs like Spice or “bath salts”: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/synthetics/

Alcohol: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/alcohol/


Teaching the Risks of Marijuana Use

Marijuana UseWith all the changes in our country in the last few years, it can be hard to know what people really think about marijuana. After all, the voters in twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of this drug for medical purposes. I would imagine that parents are having a difficult time knowing what to say to their children. Preventing their children from abusing this drug must go far beyond a simple threat of “If I find you with marijuana, you’ll be grounded for months.”

Surely, if a drug is approved for medical use in such a widespread fashion, it would be remarkably benign in use. But a report from the British Journal of Psychiatry notes that the undesirable mental effects of cannabis include: Continue reading

Marijuana Use Among Teens More Common than Cigarette Smoking While Alcohol Use Goes Down

What parents want for their children and what children are doing with their lives still seem to be on divergent paths. Parents generally want their kids to learn job skills or to prepare for careers, and to proceed safely through life until they develop enough experience to have good judgment. But more teens are now smoking marijuana, not exactly on the path that parents might choose. In fact, marijuana use among teens is more common than cigarette smoking according to the most recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Teen Marijuana Use More

However, there are a couple of good signs. Alcohol consumption is down slightly and cigarette smoking has also been trending down, dropping to 18.7% this year, down from 21.6% in 2006. As for how many were smoking marijuana, that was 23% of American teens.

Far more teens are drinking than smoking cigarettes. In 1997, 74.8% had drunk in the past year and last year, just 63.5% did. But use of narcotics other than heroin stayed at a high level, maintaining the level it reached after steady increases from 1992 through 2001.

Teens Feel Marijuana Does Not Make them Bad Drivers

Another recent survey of teens showed that they did not feel that smoking marijuana had a negative influence on their driving, but a study published in the British Medical journal showed that driving within three hours of using marijuana makes one twice as likely to have an accident as someone who drives sober.

For Getting Clean of a Drug, Narconon Program Provides Success

For tens of thousands of people around the world who want to stop using a drug, Narconon program has provided a way to do so. Not only that, this program has provided a way to repair the damage that addiction does, and to build new sober living skills. So often after addiction lasting years or even decades, a person loses their abilities to make sober choices. The Narconon program walks each person through the process of learning how to stay sober.

At their own pace, each person takes on each challenge presented by one of the Narconon life skills courses, starting with the simplest but most essential skill: the ability to face another person and communicate one’s intention clearly. They also learn to listen to another person and acknowledge them properly. These simple skills start to put each person in control of their own life for the first time since the addiction began.

Once this is done, each person then goes through a deep detoxification process that uses time in a sauna, nutritional supplements and moderate daily exercise. This combination has been proven to enable the body to flush out old stored toxins lodged deep in the fatty tissues of the body. These toxins include residues from past drug use that can contribute to the triggering of cravings, even years after drug use stops. The presence of these toxins is part of the reason that a person may be sober for years and then suddenly lose the battle.

Then as each person walks through the rest of the program, they gradiently build skills like knowing who to associate with who will support their sobriety and how to deal with those who might bring it to an end, solving problems instead of letting them drive you to escape in drugs or drink, and use of a common sense moral code. All these steps culminate in the ability to stay sober after graduation for seven out of ten people who finish this program and return home.

Learn more about the Narconon program and how it provides sobriety in fifty locations around the world. Call an Intake Counselor today at 1-800-775-8750.



Why it’s Not Surprising that Heroin Use Soars for Suburban Teens

Recent news reports are describing the increases in heroin abuse among American teenagers. These are not urban teens but suburban ones. Heroin rates in large Northeastern cities have always been higher than in suburbs or rural areas but that trend has been changing. Parents who moved their children out to the suburbs where they thought their kids would be safer are finding that heroin seems to have followed them to their new homes.
Teen Heroin Use
But if you have been tracking with the changes in drug abuse in the last few years, it’s no surprise that heroin use soars for suburban teens. The reason behind this shift has to do with the prescription drug Oxycontin. This opiate and others like fentanyl and hydrocodone have been popular drugs of abuse for several years. For suburban teens, abusing OxyContin and the others has been more acceptable than driving to the city to score heroin. They could find it in their own medicine chests in some cases, or buy it from fellow students. They may have even been prescribed this drug themselves, after a sports accident.

OxyContin is one of the more quickly addictive drugs. A person who parties with OxyContin or a similar drug may soon find that the cravings drive him back to use the drug again and again.

The Switch to Heroin

But chemically, OxyContin is similar to heroin. And heroin is cheaper than OxyContin, which generally costs about $1 per milligram. The 80 milligram pill is a popular one among abusers, so the money will go fast when this is the chosen drug of abuse. If a person runs out of money, he may go looking for heroin, which is considerably cheaper, as little as one-tenth the price. And since a person addicted to OxyContin is often going to start struggling to deal with normal life activities like jobs, school and family life, he (or she) may soon be out of a job and scrambling to keep the withdrawal sickness away.

The other factor driving the switch to heroin is the change in the composition of OxyContin. In 2010, Purdue Pharma changed the formulation of OxyContin so it cannot be crushed and snorted or dissolved and injected. The pill is now gummy and much harder to abuse. This change drove many people to switch from the prescription formulation to the street drug. Once the change in formulation was announced, it was not hard to predict the next trend. And as that trend arrived, it was seen that heroin use soared for suburban teens.

Narcononhawaii.org Sees Same Problem in the Islands

As far back as 2002, Hawaii was struggling with increases in OxyContin abuse. Despite the high price of heroin, some people made the shift to the street drug. In 2010, the FBI arrested twelve people for trafficking heroin into the islands, as they saw an opportunity to make money from the destruction of others with this shift in consumption.

At the Narcononhawaii.org website, you can find out how people in Hawaii can recover from addiction to heroin, methamphetamine or prescription drugs. The Narconon program offers a long-term, holistic program. “Holistic” means that the whole person is considered, and each one is helped to gain back the physical health and mental strength that they need to stay sober after they go home.

It takes longer than 28 days to repair the damage done by addiction. Many people who have failed at short-term rehabs find lasting success at a Narconon drug rehab. For complete details on this successful program, visit www.narcononhawaii.org or call 1-800-775-8750 today.

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