Let’s face it, being a teen today is harder than ever. Peer pressure is like nothing else with drugs, sex, and technology fueling every corner of home, school and even church.
According to a University of Michigan study:
In 2011, 50% of high school seniors reported having tried an illicit drug at some time, 40% used one or more drugs in the past 12 months, and 25% used one or more drugs in the prior 30 days.
As a parent, it’s tough to crack the teen code. However, sticking your head in the sand won’t make raising your teen any easier. Instead be aware what is going on with drugs and teens.
1. Bath Salts
‘Bath salts’ probably aren’t what you’re thinking. Instead of a bath time soother, they are actually over-the-counter powders not intended for bath at all.
These bath salts are hot in the teen community. They are sold over-the-counter at ‘head shops’ and other alternative stores. Even though they are marked as “not for human consumption,” teens are buying them to snort, smoke or inject them to get high–just as they intended.
Teens are into it as a “legal high”–a high much like meth or cocaine.
CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said:
“The name sounds harmless. In reality, they are anything but harmless. These contain a designer or synthetic drug, mephedrone or MDPV. It’s an amphetamine. They’re marketed as bath salts and you can find them online or in stores under names like Zoom 2 or Aura…It’s a central nervous system stimulant, so it will increase your blood pressure, increase your heart rate, can cause anything from chest pain, heart attack, stroke. Those are just the physical symptoms. Some psychological (symptoms include) delusions, paranoia, psychosis. They’re highly addictive, very dangerous.”
The name may seem innocent, but ‘bath salts’ can be lethal and kids have died from them. Over the last year, there has been widespread of a crackdown on shops selling them; however, they may still readily available in some cities and states.
2. Pot Bracelets
It’s just a cool bracelet your kid is wearing on their wrist or around their ankle. Sure, it may look different, but it’s just a teen trend … a fashion statement, right?
In some cases, these bracelets that teens are wearing are the new “pot bracelets.”
You unscrew the bracelet and it becomes a marijuana pipe. Also, the bracelet has been used to hide other drugs in the ‘bowl’ area.
View photos of a bracelet.
A designer drug called “Spice” is also known as “legal marijuana.” The drug, also known by the names “K2” and “Potpourri,” has the same effects as smoking pot, except it doesn’t show up on drug tests.
It can be found in malls, convenience stores and gas stations for between $15 and $85.
…federal law enforcement officials and many doctors say the products — using chemicals manufactured mostly in China and sprayed on incense and dried leaves that can be smoked — are much more powerful than actual marijuana and can produce dangerous side effects.
Legislation has been proposed to ban the sale of the drug. However, retail stores trade group says “a ban would send the trade ‘underground’ and is unnecessary since most stores will not sell to anyone under the age of 18.”
4. Melatonin Cakes
Cookies and brownies containing melatonin (yes, the seemingly innocent supplement that many women take to help them sleep) are now being sold.
Unfortunately, placing them in a baked good is “making it much more difficult for the consumer to recognize that they are taking a drug,” said Dr. Charles Czeisler, the chief of the division of sleep medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to BendBulletin.com.
It is feared that the names and packaging will also appeal to a younger crowd.
“Lazy Cakes appear harmless, even amusing, with swirly purple packaging; Kush Cakes have a tie-dye-printed wrapper.”
Overuse of melatonin can cause serious effects, like the inability to drive.
“Oxi” (not Oxycontin)–oxidado or “rust”–is a new drug currently being used in Brazil and many fear that it is only a matter of time before it spreads to U.S. users.
Known as the “drug of death” because individuals often die within a year of becoming addicted, it is smoked and has almost an instantaneous effect.
Derived from cocaine, the small, crack-like stones may contain kerosene, gasoline, acetone, battery acid or other chemicals.
If your teen is dealing with drug abuse and addiction, we recommend visiting Parent Hotline, or calling 1-800-840-6537. It is “a website dedicated to helping families who are in a crisis situation. It lists behaviors for parents to be aware of such as drug use and a questionnaire on if a child is in need of intervention.”