Teen Drug Abuse- What Every Parent Needs To Know

Click Here to Purchase Affordable At Home Drug Test Kits.



I recently became privy to some excellent insider information regarding the current (2009) teen party scene. It made my toenails curl, and I consider myself to be a rather in-the-know- involved parent. I have decided that it is my mission to share this valuable information with as many parents of teens as possible. Consider this your gratis primer on teen drug usage at this time, in the San Fernando Valley. Who knows what is going on elsewhere. What I am going to focus on here, is what the “good” kids are up to at their “parties”. By “good kids,” I mean those who fall into the Scholar/ Athlete category, are involved in Academic Decathalon, play Varsity Sports, work outside of school, are on the Honor Roll, who are well supervised, whose parents are involved in their activities, who go to church, and come from loving families. I am NOT talking about depressed, academically challenged, misunderstood misfits. All teens are at risk and every parent needs to know what to look for.

Most of us are aware of the blatant signs: change in friends, eating and or sleeping habits, change in overall attitude- from cranky to outgoing or vice versa, change in dress and general appearance, studies declining, they suddenly seem to be “out” all the time, missing cash from the house, and “lost” items like textbooks, and cell phones, or- unexplained “new” items like cell phones and clothes that they shouldn’t have had the cash for.

There’s a fine line between letting your teen spread their wings a bit in order to grow, which might encompass a bit of “experimenting,” and running a lock-down Gestapo like household in which your teen lives in fear. For each teen, that line has to be drawn in a different place. My intention is that this information will help you draw your line to ensure the safety of your teen.

Let’s begin with some of the activities that are going on at the “parties” some of us allow our teens to attend on Friday and Saturday evenings. Besides just a bunch of adorable teens gathering to eat chips, play pool, socialize, dance, and listen to awful music, there is a lot more than the occasional game of Beer Pong and Peer Bonging going on. My source revealed that although Alcohol and Marijuana are still the most widely used illeagal substances within their peer group, it is not unusual for many teens to experiment with inhaling Nitrous Oxide, and using illegally obtained prescription drugs like Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, cough syrup (either over the counter or prescription), Xanax and whatever other prescription medications they can get their hands on, as well as using out and out illegal drugs such as Ecstasy- for which no prescription exists.

Let’s start with one activity that took me by surprise: NOS (Nitrous Oxide- for those of you unfamiliar with the term.) You might know it as Laughing Gas, the stuff the dentist uses to put the really nervous patients down prior to doing dental surgery. It can be purchased at auto shops, or anywhere they sell paint ball supplies (ever wonder why that activity is so popular?) stores by anyone over 18 years of age (think High School Seniors) and is generally placed in balloons to be inhaled by the party goers. There is quite a bit of profit to be made as the empty tanks generally sell for about $80 - $110 and it costs roughly $60 to $80 to fill the standard 10 pound tank, which will fill around 600 balloons selling for about $3 each. The “high” lasts about 1 minute, and it can be equated with the euphoria one experiences just prior to passing out. In fact, many of the teens do actually pass out (they refer to it as “knocking out," and fall and hit their head, or split their chin. This is a very popular first time drug (at least in the San Fernando Valley). The teens don’t realize how harmful this is since the effect only lasts about a minute. They think of it as we thought of inhaling Helium, in much the same manner. That made us sound like Mickey Mouse for a minute and generated huge laughs. Who knows what else it might have done. What the teens don’t know, is that the way they are ingesting NOS is not even remotely close to the way it is administered by the dentist (who mixes it with Oxygen) and it is most certainly not harmless and safe. It is very easy to obtain as it is not illegal. Some teens will use it up to 20 times in one evening! It is especially popular with girls!!

Here are a few risks of NOS usage: Click here for more info regarding NOS.

Automotive nitrous available to the public sometimes has ~100 ppm sulfur dioxide and/or elemental sulfur added to prevent recreational use/abuse . Inhalation of such a mixture is nearly impossible after one breath due to gagging and sooner or later, involuntary clamping off of the trachea; (some with "sulfite" allergies could even die due to allergic reaction). It is possible to purchase the Nitrous prior to the additive being added.

Asphyxiation- suffocation and death. Head injury from passing out and falling.

If your teen comes home from a party with an injury of dubious origin, be on alert! Remember, you can’t look for something, if you don’t know it exists!

Next, let’s talk a bit about Marijuana, Pot, Weed, Grass, MaryJane, whatever you’d like to call it. Evidence of the inhalation of cannabis smoke can be found as far back as the 3rd millennium BC according to Wikipedia. Know this, it is not the same stuff you smoked when you were a rebellious teen! It’s been cultivated and bred into strains that contain about 30 times more THC (tetrahydrocannabonal), the chemical that makes you wacky, than the plants that grew in the wild decades ago. The current trend seems to be leaning towards decriminalizing this herb, and it is easy to obtain for medicinal purposes. Heck, it's the number one cash crop of the USA. The price hasn't changed much, you can buy a gram on the street for about $20. Once you turn 18 you can purchase a "club card" advertised on late night TV for about $100, which permits you to legally purchase Marijuana from any of the many "clinics" (aka clubs) which you see as centers for the sick and dying. Here are a few local places in the SFV- Golden State, G.H.D.F., these clubs are everywhere. Beware of buildings with tinted black windows, my source tells me.

So what does it do? Well, that depends on who is using it. Keep in mind that it can be smoked, made into a tea and drunk, baked into a brownie and eaten etc. For some it is an upper, for some a downer, some folks get really paranoid, it can make you dizzy, some laugh a lot, some like to eat a lot when "high". There are a few telltale signs to look for if you suspect your teen might be using: red bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, acting silly for no reason, and impaired short term memory.

Here are a few risks of Marijuana usage: Click here for more info.

Studies show that most teens choose to experiment with drinking alcohol and smoking pot. This introduces them to environments and sources where other drugs are available. Marijuana is also highly addictive with many teens going on to smoke it on a daily basis. Findings so far show that regular use of Marijuana or THC may play a role in some kinds of cancer and in problems with the respiratory, immune, and reproductive systems.

After experimenting with NOS, Alcohol, and Marijuana, many teens move along the drug path to experiment with pill popping, one of the most popular being MDMA (short for the chemical name: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) otherwise refered to as Ecstasy, Adam, Clarity, Disco Biscuit, E, Hug Drug, Love Drug, X, XTC. It was patented as a diet pill in 1913, not developed as a truth serum by the US military in 1953. The German drug company, Merck, however, decided not to produce the drug. Ecstasy can be purchased illegally for about $15 per pill (unless you are buying in huge quantities.) Safrole, a colorless or slightly yellow oil, extracted from the root-bark or the fruit of sassafras plants is the primary precursor for all manufacture of MDMA, and the vast majority of it is manufactured in Europe. Although not quite as easy to obtain as the previously discussed substances, Ecstasy is easy to get if you know the "right" people, and is widely used in the club scene and by many teens at parties.

So what does it do? Users of the drug say that it produces profoundly positive feelings, empathy for others, elimination of anxiety, and extreme relaxation. MDMA is also said to suppress the need to eat, drink, or sleep, enabling users to endure two to three day parties.

What are the risks of using Ecstasy? Click here to learn more about this drug. Click here for another great reference regarding Ecstasy.

While it is not physically addictive like heroin or cocaine, MDMA can cause other adverse effects including nausea, chills, sweating, increases in body temperature, tremors, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision. MDMA users also report aftereffects of anxiety, paranoia, and depression. An MDMA overdose is characterized by high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and, in more severe cases, loss of consciousness, seizures, and a drastic rise in body temperature. Lastly, as a consequence of the feeling of well-being and willingness to connect with others, a user might say things they will regret later and possibly act in a way that may cause them embarrassment. I was surprised to read that Acne is also more likely to appear in ecstasy users.

Prescription pills such as Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, and Xanax to name a few, are pretty easy to obtain.My source knew of a kid selling their mother's Cancer medication. How sad is that? And if simply taking someone else's prescription medications doesn't do it, the pills can be chopped up and smoked for a shorter albeit more intense effect. If your tin foil keeps running out mysteriously, be on alert. I don't have the time or the resources to go into all of the uses, dangers and effects of taking illegal prescription drugs in this venue. I have merely scratched the surface regarding the most popular party drugs according to the insider info I was given- Alcohol, Marijuana, Nos and Ecstacy. If the threat of physical harm doesn't grab your teen's attention, perhaps the legal ramifications will. BUYING OR SELLING NARCOTICS OF ANY SORT IS A FELONY. FELONY ARRESTS RESULT IN JAIL TIME. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR TEENS AT LEAST KNOW THIS MUCH. The penalties for being caught with Alcohol or Marijuana, though both can have extreme mind altering effects, are much less than the penalties for possession of much less mind altering drugs such as Vicodin and Ecstasy. Most teens do not know this. They need to know that the physical, emotional, and legal risks far outweigh the pleasures of using and abusing substances. Talk to your kids. Educate them. Don't let them go to parties. Supervise them. Spend quality time with them. If you have ANY suspicions check their text messages and monitor their computer usage. Give them random drug tests. If they have nothing to hide, they won't mind. If they are thinking of experimenting, this can work as a good excuse not to. It is better to be suspicious than sorrowful.

I'll be posting the potato recipe in a few days! Sorry Yogi!




Beatles - Help Lyrics



Help

HELP!
HELP! I NEED SOMEBODY,
HELP! NOT JUST ANYBODY,
HELP! YOU KNOW I NEED SOMEONE, HELP.

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, SO MUCH YOUNGER THAN TODAY,
I NEVER NEEDED ANYBODY'S HELP IN ANY WAY.
BUT NOW THESE DAYS ARE GONE, I'M NOT SO SELF ASSURED,
NOW I FIND I'VE CHANGED MY MIND I'VE OPENED UP THE DOORS.

HELP ME IF YOU CAN, I'M FEELING DOWN
AND I DO APPRECIATE YOU BEING AROUND.
HELP ME GET MY FEET BACK ON THE GROUND,
WON'T YOU PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME.

AND NOW MY LIFE HAS CHANGED IN OH SO MANY WAYS,
MY INDEPENDENCE SEEMS TO VANISH IN THE HAZE.
BUT EV'RY NOW AND THEN I FEEL SO INSECURE,
I KNOW THAT I JUST NEED YOU LIKE I'VE NEVER DONE BEFORE.

HELP ME IF YOU CAN, I'M FEELING DOWN
AND I DO APPRECIATE YOU BEING AROUND.
HELP ME GET MY FEET BACK ON THE GROUND,
WON'T YOU PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME.

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, SO MUCH YOUNGER THAN TODAY,
I NEVER NEEDED ANYBODY'S HELP IN ANY WAY.
BUT NOW THESE DAYS ARE GONE, I'M NOT SO SELF ASSURED,
NOW I FIND I'VE CHANGED MY MIND I'VE OPENED UP THE DOORS.

HELP ME IF YOU CAN, I'M FEELING DOWN
AND I DO APPRECIATE YOU BEING ROUND.
HELP ME, GET MY FEET BACK ON THE GROUND,
WON'T YOU PLEASE,
PLEASE HELP ME,
HELP ME,
HELP ME, OH.

***

GET HELP
GENERAL

* The Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Up-to-date, research-based educational information, educational campaigns and programs to reduce illicit drug use.
www.drugfree.org
* National Family Partnership
Sponsor of Red Ribbon Week
www.nfp.org
* Mothers Against Drunk Driving
An organization devoted to preventing drunk driving and its social causes.
www.madd.org
* Sober Recovery
Thousands of alcoholism and addiction resources.
www.soberrecovery.com
* Right Decisions – Right Now
Programs, materials and resources targeting underage smoking.
www.rightdecisionsrightnow.com
* Beyond Zero Tolerance
A reality based approach to teens, drugs and drug education.
www.beyondzerotolerance.org
* Silent Treatment
A wide range of resources and links, the latest research on addiction and treatment along with personal stories.
www.silenttreatment.info
* Drug Screening
This site offers a self-test to assess if you have a drug problem.
www.drugscreening.org
* Healthy Genius
Information on what substance abuse is, early detection and treatment
www.healthygenius.com/substance-abuse-

April 6, 2009
Next Post date: May 4, 2009
HAPPY EASTER 2009
Comparison of physical harm and dependence regarding various drugs (the British medical journal The Lancet[24])

ALARMING STATISTICS

1. People who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who wait until age 21. Each additional year of delayed drinking onset reduces the probability of alcohol dependence by 14 percent.
— TheAntiDrug.com

2. Marijuana today is more dangerous than it was in the 60’s and 70’s. Some reports estimate that today’s marijuana is five times the strength than it was in the 1970’s while other reports estimate the strength is as high as 25 times that of earlier decades.
— National Institute on Drug Abuse.

3. Nearly one in five teens has tried prescription medication to get high.
— The Partnership for a Drug Free America

4. One in 10 teens reports abusing cough medicine to get high.
— The Partnership for a Drug Free America

5. Nine out of 10 parents of teens say they have talked to their teen about the dangers of drugs, yet fewer than one third of teens say they “learn a lot about the risks of drugs” from their parents.
— The Partnership for a Drug Free America

6. More teens are in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined.
— TheAntiDrug.com

7. Smoking marijuana leads to changes in the brain that are similar to those caused by cocaine, heroin or alcohol. Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know, Revised, NIDA, November 1998
— TheAntiDrug.com

8. Alcohol affects every part of the body. It is carried through the bloodstream to the brain, stomach, internal organs, liver, kidneys, muscles – everywhere.
— TheAntiDrug.com

9. Adults who serve or supply alcohol to persons under the age of 21 can be held liable, even if they’re not home when underage drinking occurs.
— National Institute on Drug Abuse.

10. More teenage girls than boys now smoke and abuse prescription drugs. Girls also are starting to use marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes at a higher rate than boys.
— White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

WARNING SIGNS

Drug and alcohol abuse can be difficult to identify. Normal adolescent angst can often resemble symptoms of substance abuse. A number of parents report they saw no symptoms of substance abuse when they brought their teens to a treatment center. Following are some of the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse you should not ignore.

—Christy

* Loss of motivation, apathy
* Change in sleeping patterns, sleeping too much or too little
* Withdrawal from family and regular activities
* Changes in friends
* Lying
* Secretiveness on the phone or computer
* Drop in grades
* Truancy, skipping classes
* Discipline problems at school
* Disinterest in personal grooming
* Change in appetite or weight
* Cough, stuffy nose or frequent sniffling
* Dilated or constricted pupils or bloodshot eyes
* Tobacco smell on clothes
* Over reaction to mild criticism, rage, emotional outbursts, moodiness, depression, anxiety, irritability, over sensitivity, or hostility
* Disappearance of money or items of value in your home
* Drugs, drug paraphernalia, eye drops

Click on the picture to view this month's mystery feature.

Click here to download the QuickTime Player if you don't have it. Remember, if you have dial up, the movie will take a few minutes to load!

LINKS:

Email your comments, good, bad, or ugly

Just a little history.

Archive of past issues.

View a Virtual kaleidoscope!

Make freaky animals!

Take a personality test based on your color preferences.

MTW stands for Morty's Twisted World. Visit him he's hilarious!

Free recipe of the month tested in my own kitchen.

Quotes, articles, jokes, funny pictures. Very clever.

Slash your grocery costs in half like I did!

Just a guy having fun on the web. Read his rambles!

My collection of money saving links.

Visit this site to order ID Cards for your kids!

eXTReMe Tracker