It seems that teens are constantly finding new ways of getting high. If it’s not marijuana, it’s prescription drugs. Well, now kids are moving on to other household substances in order to get high, and they may surprise you. Along with painkillers and antidepressants, many kids are abusing cold medicine. Why cold medicine? Taking this type of medication in extremely large amounts can cause hallucinations, distorted vision and a feeling of euphoria. Actually, between 25 to 40 teaspoons of the stuff is needed to achieve this affect, as apposed to the 1 to 2 teaspoons that are recommended to safely treat cold symptoms. They also come with some pretty bad side effects such as nausea, vomiting, numbness, increased heart rate and blood pressure as well as frightening or distorted visualizations and loss of motor coordination and function. Another house hold high that kids are getting is coming from inhaling or “huffing” chemicals such as glue, nail polish, paint thinner and aerosol products.
Why Are Teens Turning to These Substances?
It could be as simple as cost and availability. Drugs cost money, so why pay for a high when you can just steal it out of your parent’s medicine cabinet or bedside drawer? In addition, parents would never think of household products as a way to get high, so they will never suspect a thing. On that note, keep an eye out for empty containers, especially if you find them hidden in your child’s room under the bed for example. Also, pay attention to products disappearing or running out faster than they normally do. These could be signs of abuse and should be handled immediately.
Prevention is Key
Besides the fact that more and more teens are abusing drugs, there is another disturbing piece of information. Because children’s brains aren’t fully developed until the mid to late 20’s and drugs can have a major negative affect on this development. It has also been shown that the earlier you use drugs, the better chance you have at becoming addicted. Sandra Brown, a former community resource officer from Santa Barbara has been urging parents to be on the look out for suspicious behaviors from their kids.
Pay attention to changes in your teen such as the way they dress, changes in friends and their overall actions. She stresses the importance of preventing the abuse of drugs as opposed to the recovery from drugs after the fact. Brown has seen first hand the fatal results of what can happen because of careless drug use. As a precaution, Brown also encouraged parents and adults to report other types of suspicious behavior such as alcohol being illegally sold by liquor stores. Along with these precautionary measures, talk to your children about abusing drugs and why it is not a good idea. Many kids simply may not be aware of the potential dangers of using drugs and all it may take is a little enlightenment on the parents’ part.
In addition if there is a problem act quickly. Find a treatment center for your loved one that does not prescribe drugs. Make sure that they get the care they need to deal with both the underlying physical and mental issues associated with addiction and substance abuse.
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