If you don’t act now to protect your kids, they could become exposed to deadly street drugs
As well as the usual culprits, there are deadly synthetic versions of many of drugs that kids can make. Many purchase ingredients that are not technically illegal. Like drugs derived from a pharmacy, sometimes combined with other deadly substances. They are cheap and popular amongst teenagers in high schools.
We live in a dark world that we should not deny exists. Raising kids that have safe boundaries, but also the freedom to grow, can feel like walking a tightrope.
It is a fine line. Sometimes setting too tight boundaries with children can cause them to run to drug use. However, loose boundaries can see them falling in with friends who introduce them to deadly drugs.
We will examine how to create comfortable and safe boundaries shortly. But firstly, these are the deadliest street drugs that are probably available in your very own neighborhood.
Synthetic Cannabinoids – aka Spice, K2, Potpourri
Synthetic cannabinoids are the second most popular drug used by teenagers in high schools. Originally developed for research purposes, it has a more potent effect on the brain than marijuana.
Users have taken to smoking it in vape pens, e-cigarettes, and hookah pens. Users seek a mind-altering experience. However, they usually end up experiencing psychosis, violent behavior, and suicidal thoughts.
There have been nearly 50 deaths in the US during the past year from using this drug. Much more end up seriously ill in hospital.
Sizzurp – aka Purple Drank
Sizzurp is a drug cocktail that has a cough syrup base. The potent concoction is a mixture of codeine and promethazine. Kids mix it with soda or alcohol.
Horrifyingly, it’s romanticized by celebrity users. It is popular with rap musicians and even Justin Bieber. Rapper Indo G released a song called “Purple Drank” about the substance. Later DJ Screw died from using it. His protégé Big Moe also overdosed 7 years later.
The trouble with this deadly drug is it is so simple to consume. It doesn’t take syringes; it is simply drunk from a cup.
Fentanyl – aka Pink, China White
In 2015, the CDC reported 30,000 deaths related to the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Users claim it gives them a more potent high than heroin.
The potency is in fact up to 100x that of morphine. Heroin addicts who overdose usually will do so on fentanyl.
Fentanyl is available by prescription in pharmacies for people suffering chronic pain. This has enabled teenagers to access it through shady avenues. It comes as tablets, lozenges, and patches. Users also may inject it.
With the advent of e-cigarettes and vaping has come a deadly new trend. Teens think it is a way to quickly become intoxicated and drunk. Horrifyingly, young teen girls think it is a way to get drunk without weight gain.
However, it is the quickest route to alcohol poisoning, which is deadly. The user also risks destroying the lining of their lungs and respiratory tracks. This can lead to pneumonia.
Also, because the alcohol bypasses the digestive system the body cannot eliminate it effectively. The alcohol goes straight to the brain and becomes trapped. This becomes a fast track to alcoholism.
Inhalants – aka Rush, Huffing, Gluey
The most frightening thing about these drugs is that they are sitting inside your home. Things that come in aerosols like hair spray, spray paint or even whipped cream are inhaled. Teens also use glue, gasoline and nail polish remover.
Deaths from inhalants have been occurring for decades, yet teens still risk their lives. Many deaths related to inhalants come from accidents that occur while the user is high. However, a teen that tries this even for the first time can die from “sudden sniffing death syndrome“.
Survivors of inhalant abuse can end up with permanent brain damage and dementia.
Signs that Your Teen Might be Abusing Drugs
If you feel concerned that your child is abusing drugs, they may exhibit some of the following signs:
- Curfew breaking, constantly out at night, they act differently towards you. Maybe they disappear for long and concerning periods of time.
- Locking their door, and becoming angry if you try to come into their room. They avoid making eye contact with you and are always making excuses.
- Asking for money beyond what their allowance, or even stealing money.
- Sleeping for unnatural lengths of time. They might be clumsy when they are awake and drowsy.
- Bizarre behaviors such as unexplained laughter or talking to themselves. They may become unusually loud and obnoxious.
- Physical appearance deteriorates. In the beginning, they may develop bloodshot eyes. Their skin may become sallow and pale. They could have unexplained sores on their body.
- Their hygiene may deteriorate, and they may stop caring about their appearance.
How to Prevent Teen Drug Abuse:
Teenagers are going through a lot of changes in a short period of time. Their hormones are like a rollercoaster, and they swing between the personality of a child and a potential adult.
It is important to remain nonjudgmental and keep a flow of open communication between yourself and your teen. They have had no life experience, but feel they are wiser than you. So you need to keep your sense of humor about you.
But you can use their feeling of being wiser than you to teach them how to protect themselves from drug abuse. Here are some tips to consider:
- Ask yourself what behaviors your teen witnesses in yourself. Have they ever seen you enjoy being tipsy after a glass of wine? Do they hear you say how you need a cigarette? These behaviors can cause a child to believe that in order to feel pleasure and pain relief, they must use substances.
- Get straight to the point and discuss any news items that feature deaths and injuries from drug abuse. It is important to associate these deadly substances with their dangers. The dangers are the reality. However, avoid being accusative about this education. Ask them questions about what they think, rather than tell them what to think.
- Teach your children healthy coping mechanisms. Teach your child that life is a spectrum that has moments of pain and moments of pleasure as part of the entire picture. Take their pain and sadness seriously, and support them through it lovingly. Give them an alternative place to go when feeling down, rather than into the arms of drug abuse.
- Encourage creative activities that allow them to expand their imaginations. Many kids turn to drugs because of boredom. School can feel dull, and life can feel like a chore. Offer creative avenues of expression like art and writing. Don’t let them lose their childlike fantasies. Give them adequate space and time to be naturally high on life.
If you are still concerned, there are many organizations you can get in touch with to give you more in-depth advice.