Every day, in millions of living rooms across the country, parents are warning their kids about the dangers of binge drinking, prescription drug abuse and cigarettes. As a parent, you have probably warned your teen about these dangers too.
However, like every generation before them, today’s teenagers are always looking to test their boundaries. Participating in the latest drug trends is one way for teens to push the envelope.
With some of the latest drug trends, teenagers think it’s only harmless fun. In reality, these new trends have led to seizures, emergency-room visits and in some cases, fatalities.
Due to their serious nature, you need to be aware of the following teen drug abuse trends:
Cloud 9, a dangerous synthetic drug, mimics the effects of cocaine and meth. Many teenagers automatically assume this drug is safer than street drugs because it’s legal. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In the fall, the drug sent over two dozen Michigan teenagers to the hospital. Cloud 9 can cause hallucinations, severe vomiting, rapid heartbeat, seizures and heart attacks.
The drug, which is easily accessible at gas stations and convenience stores, is sold as a liquid in eyedropper bottles. Oftentimes, teens use Cloud 9 in e-cigarettes, which turns it into an odorless vapor.
Unfortunately, Cloud 9 cannot be detected in drug tests.
N-bomb, another synthetic drug that is popular among teenagers, is one of the deadliest. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the designer drug is responsible for the deaths of 19 people in their teens and 20s.
In addition to the deaths, numerous teenagers from Texas to Oregon have overdosed on the drug. N-bomb, also known as Smiles, can cause adverse side effects including hallucinations, seizures and acute kidney injury.
Used as an alternative to LSD and mescaline, N-bomb is typically sold on blotting papers; however, it can also be snorted in a powder formation or sprinkled over food, such as candy.
The drug gets its name from a series of chemicals in the drug, NBOMe. Recognizing the dangers of the drug, the DEA labeled 25I-NBome (one of the variations of the drug) a Schedule I controlled substance.
In New Jersey, attending glow parties are the “it” thing to do. Here, teenagers dance under strobe lights with glow sticks to the latest tunes.
Advertised as alcohol-free events for adolescents, these privately promoted parties are attended by teens as young as 16.
Law enforcement wants you to know that glow parties may not be as safe as you think. Teens are buying and using Molly at glow parties and similar events, according to the local authorities. Glow sticks are then used to enhance the effects of the drug.
In fact, several teens in New Jersey were hospitalized after taking Molly at glow parties.
The hospitalizations have caused party promoters to keep ambulances onsite. Law enforcement is skeptical that this is a safety measure, rather than a way to avoid calling 911.
In October, Mojo, a synthetic marijuana, resulted in 150 people being hospitalized in Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Paranoia, seizures, intense hallucinations, psychotic episodes and suicidal thoughts are among the adverse side effects of Mojo.
Sometimes sold under the name Scooby Snax and Spice, Mojo is comprised of the compound MAB-CHMINACA. After the scores of hospitalizations in Louisiana, state officials banned the compound.
Also, Be on the Lookout for…
Law enforcement and government officials in the South are concerned about an emerging drug trend - gravel. It’s a relatively new drug, but authorities are expecting it to gain in popularity, and you should be aware of it.
Named for its rocky appearance, gravel is a combination of bath salts and meth. One of the main chemicals in gravel is alpha-PVP. However, tests by law enforcement have also found Klonopin, rat poison, ammonia and other toxic chemicals in the drug.
Last September, a concertgoer at Ultra Music Festival overdosed and died from alpha-PVP toxicity.
The drug, which can be ingested multiple ways, causes users to become agitated, paranoid and have suicidal thoughts.
What You Can Do
When it comes to preventing teen drug abuse, the best thing that you can do is keep an open line of communication between you and your kid. Talk to your child about the risks of using both synthetic drugs and illegal narcotics. Good communication between the two of you can make all the difference in the world.
Now, if you know that your teenager is abusing drugs, you need to speak to a medical professional immediately. Often, teen substance abuse is a sign of an underlying condition. In these situations, attending a teen rehab may be the best solution for your child.