Teen drug abuse is a growing problem, with an increasing variety of ways to get high and greater word of mouth via the Internet. Though alcohol and marijuana remain the most popular drugs, household items are often abused due to their accessibility. Officials urge parents to act immediately on any perceived changes in their children that might indicate drug abuse, including strange behavior or changes in friends.
Common household products can be inhaled or “huffed” to get high. This includes such chemical substances as hair spray, whipped cream cans, nail polish, and glue, paint thinner, butane gas lighters, and even Freon from air conditioning units. Parents should watch for aerosol cans in the trash or hidden under the bed, or trouble with air conditioning units but no indication of Freon leaks. Overdose and death is very easy with this form of abuse because kids don’t know what quantity will cause reactions in their bodies. Too little won’t create the effect they want; too much can be fatal. The line between the two is very thin.
Prescription and OTC Drugs
Kids are turning to the medicine cabinet more and more frequently these days. Not only are they abusing parents’ prescription medication, they are finding it easy to get their hands on over-the-counter drugs like cough syrup and cold medication.
These OTC drugs contain dextromethorphan (DXM) which can be used to get high when taken in large quantities. On the other hand, dangerous side effects occur frequently, especially when mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Parents should watch for quickly-disappearing bottles of medication or sudden, desperate demands for money. Teens will often pick up a bottle of cough syrup at convenience stores during lunch and get high during bathroom breaks at school.
They will go through loved ones medicine cabinets for other drugs like Sudafed, Tylenol, Nyquil, etc. They will also take household product that they will huff like whipped cream canisters or oral drugs like hand sanitizer.
Drugs such as K2 or Spice (synthetic marijuana) and Bath Salts are becoming increasingly popular among American teens. They are used to emulate other drugs but are far more dangerous, with psychotropic effects that can drive even the mildest personalities to violent behavior.
Because these chemicals were only outlawed in recent months, teens are under the false impression that they are safe. Case histories demonstrate that this is far from the case, with many high-profile suicides and gruesome homicides the result of synthetic drug use. Parents should watch for brightly-colored packages with names like “Ivory Wave” and “Vanilla Sky”.
Officials urge parents to talk to their children about drug and alcohol abuse, as this goes a long way. Prevention is easier than treatment, and statistics show that kids whose parents talk to them about drug abuse are far less likely to experiment with it. Kids’ social circles are often riddled with false information about drugs–for example, they often believe that prescription and OTC abuse is safe because it is used by adults and given out by doctors. This kind of misinformation can be fatal.
Education must begin in the home and continue in schools and with groups that conduct extra –curricular activities outside of school. If kids know about the dangers and side effects of drugs they are more likely to say no when drugs are presented to them.
For more information or Narconon reviews on this topic or other problems affecting kids concerning drugs and abuse contact us today.