The teenage years are a time of rapid growth and discovery, but teenagers are also vulnerable to a variety of threats, many of which result from peer pressure and the desire to fit in. Adolescents are at greatest risk of becoming drug addicts or dealers, particularly if they come from dysfunctional or broken homes where they do not receive the proper guidance. The illegal drug trade in particular has always focused its marketing efforts heavily on teenagers due to the rebellion that is characteristic of this age group. Below is a look at what teenagers are up to when it comes to drugs these days.
Inhalation of Household Products – Cheap Thrills
Teenagers, unfortunately, are very creative when it comes to finding new and novel ways to get high. One such method is the inhalation of household products. While alcohol and drugs such as Ecstasy are featured heavily in the news, because many teenagers are short on cash, they look for cheaper ways to get high which are harder to detect.
Inhaling household products, which is also known as huffing, has become popular among adolescent drug users. One of the most popular substances for this purpose is “Dust Off,” a brand of computer cleaning products that can be found in office supply stores. The high from this substance can be felt rapidly and users experience lightheadedness and lower inhibition. Huffing can also damage the brain, heart and liver.
Abusing Bath Salts – Not Quite the Bath You Are Thinking Of
Bath salts are one of the most popular drugs teenagers are using to get high these days. They are a collection of synthetic substances which are produced in illegal labs and have properties which are akin to cocaine or amphetamine. They can be inhaled or injected and are similar in appearance to Epsom salts. A number of states have already prohibited the sale of bath salts and parents should be on the watch for them, as just a few of the side effects which are associated with their use include hallucinations, headaches, nausea and palpitations within the heart.
Skittle Parties – Cute But Deadly
This is a cute sounding name for an event where teenagers get together for the sole purpose of exchanging prescription drugs which they acquired from either their grandparents or parents. Also known as “pharm parties,” the attendees will place the pills on the table, and then others will take home the ones that interest them, or use them on the spot. Some of the most popular prescription drugs to appear at such events include Ritalin, Vicodin and Oxycodone.
What Can Parents Do?
It is important for parents to educate themselves regarding the many drugs teenagers are using, and how they gain access to them. Find out who your teenagers are hanging out with, and what they are doing. Although they are becoming adults they’re still minors and it is your job to know. Be wary of allowing your teen to attend parties or events where drugs are likely to be distributed, and if they decide to defy you and attend anyway make sure they are punished for doing so. The consequences of using or selling drugs can be fatal; as a parent, you don’t have the luxury of taking chances.