Teens and Drug Use

As children grow up to be teenagers they are faced with new opportunities both good and bad.  Peer pressure often can lead to poor decisions and if these bad decisions are ignored by parents or adults it can lead to other bad decisions.  An often poor decision by teenagers is the choice to either use or sell illegal drugs.  This section is designed to help parents and adults identify illegal drugs and identify illegal drug use indications.  If you suspect your child or someone you know may be abusing illegal drugs, talk to them about it, don’t ignore it. 

COMMON DRUGS:

Alcohol  (beer, vodka, rum, wine, champagne, etc.)

Alcohol use among teenagers has several consequences.  Most teenager's bodies are developing and the use of alcohol can damage the healthy growth process.  Alcohol is a depressant and can cause depression to anyone who uses it.  Alcohol use also leads to poor decisions.  Speak with your children and let them know the consequences of consuming alcohol.  Let them know the important information you already know about alcohol use, such as the higher amount of alcohol consumed, the more damage you are doing to your body.  Let them know that driving while impaired and consuming alcohol as minors have severe consequences such as fines, jail time, court, loss of High School sports eligibility and the risk of causing an accident. 

Marijuana  (green leafy substance, looks similar to Oregano, distinct smell, most commonly and frequently used illegal drug).

Marijuana is called a gateway drug, meaning that it may open the door to other drug use.  Marijuana is commonly smoked several different ways.  Glass pipes called bowls are common for easy use.  These pipes normally have a bowl shaped end where the marijuana is placed with a small hole near the bottom of the bowl to control where the air travels when the person inhales on the other end of the pipe.  These pipes are normally glass and have many different shapes and colors.  People using marijuana tend to have a relaxed, care-free attitude, impaired attention/judgment, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and increased appetite.  Long term marijuana use can lead to addiction and other serious problems.  

Methamphetamine  (aka Meth and Crystal Meth) (can be several colors depending on how it was made but is mainly white to tan in color, can be smoked, injected, snorted or taken orally)

Methamphetamine, more commonly known as Meth, is a rising drug problem in the United States. Meth is a very dangerous drug that often leads to severe consequences.  Meth is made from a wide variety of household chemicals including drain cleaner, lye, table salt, batteries, Liquid Heet and others.  When these chemicals are ingested they cause serious problems to the human body including tooth decay, brain damage, mouth and esophagus damage and damage to the heart and blood vessels.  Meth causes paranoia, delusions and mood swings.  Meth users go several days without sleep and appear very tired.  Perfuse sweating, dry mouth, tremors, constant movement and hyperactivity are common signs of use.

Ecstasy and Illegal Pills

Ecstasy is a synthetic drug in the form of a pill.  The pills come in every color and usually have a logo imprinted onto them such as the Nike symbol, Mitsubishi symbol, smiley face or butterflies.  Ecstasy is used mainly for large parties and is used by partygoers to enhance the Rave party experience.  Ecstasy produces an euphoric high and increases the body temperature causing damage to internal organs. Symptoms include perfuse sweating, constant thirst, confusion, dizziness, paranoia and insomnia. 

Prescription pill use by teenagers is also becoming a new trend.  Antidepressants, pain pills and other prescription pills are being abused by all ages for their quick “high” and easy access.  If you find any pills on your child or in their room confront them and find out what the pill is for.  Monitor your children’s medications and dispose of unused prescription pills. 

What to Do?

If you find anything that looks like it may be illegal drugs or illegal drug paraphernalia don’t be afraid to call the police.  The police department can safely dispose of any illegal drug and can offer guidance to get the proper help for anyone who may be abusing illegal drugs.  If you have any questions on illegal drugs, abuse or indications contact your local police department.