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The Latest Trends in Teen Drug Abuse

November 30, 2015

 The Latest Trends in Teen Drug Abuse

While teen substance abuse may seem like it is in decline according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Survey, there is still a disturbing trend in teen drug abuse regarding e-cigarette use, prescription drug use and synthetic drugs. 

Are you aware of what troubled teens are up to these days? Below is a list of the latest statistics and trends in teen drug abuse:

1) E-Cigarette Use 

According to the Journal of Pediatrics, many teenagers are replacing the liquid nicotine with everything from hash oil, cannabis leaves, K2, Spice, the trending synthetic, Flakka, and wax with THC (the same psychoactive chemical in marijuana). 

Most synthetics don’t have a scent or if there is a scent, it can be masked by the fruit-flavored scents from oils. Teens can smoke it in public right under their parents’ or teacher’s noses and they wouldn’t have a clue that they are abusing drugs. Teens toxic vape because the synthetic drugs can’t be detected unless the vape pen is sent to a forensic laboratory to be tested. 

Read more on our Vaping blog > 

Signs of Xanax Abuse and Trends

2) Xanax and Alcohol Use 

As a powerful sedative, Xanax has become the go-to drug to help sedate tens of millions of Americans. With approximately 12,535,978 Americans who were prescribed Xanax in 2013, the anti-anxiety drug is everywhere and only increasing in use.

Approximately 2.2 million people over the age of 12 abuse tranquilizers such as Xanax. It’s no surprise that teens are experimenting with Xanax and combining it with alcohol to have a lasting effect. As one of the most commonly prescribed drugs, teens easily get a hold of Xanax from their doctors, peers at school, and their family’s or friend’s medicine cabinets.

Read more on our xanax specific page >

Teen Drug Trends and Adderall Abuse

3) Adderall and Ritalin 

Adderall and Ritalin are prescription stimulants to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Although these drugs are commonly prescribed for ADHD, they’re mostly used as a “smart drug” or “study drug” to help students concentrate and focus on academics or other extracurricular activities. 

About 15 million people in the United States take Adderall and other stimulants such as Ritalin. About 1 in 10 high school students have abused a study drug such as Adderall or Ritalin. Most teens who abuse prescription drugs acquire them from their relatives or friends. 

Read more on our adderall specific page >

4) Pain Pills and Heroin 

OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Fentanyl, and Roxicodone are all commonly abused pain pills. Teens often have easy access to pain pills and can simply raid the medicine cabinets of relatives and friends. Pain pills are commonly used with alcohol or other prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium or Ativan. 

Teen drug overdose death rates have doubled over the last decade. The increase in overdose deaths is an obvious concern given that most teens believe prescription drugs are harmless in comparison to illicit drugs. However, due to tolerance and curiosity, teens who abuse prescription drugs often turn to heroin use for a stronger and cheaper high. 

Teen Drug Trends - Synthetic Drugs

5) Other Synthetic Drugs 

Cloud 9, N-bomb, Mojo, and Gravel (Flakka) are all synthetic drugs to be aware of. Cloud 9 mimics the effects of cocaine and meth. It’s commonly sold in gas stations and convenience stores as a liquid in an eye dropper bottle. 

N-bomb, also known as Smiles is used as a hallucinogen, as an alternative to LSD. Mojo is a synthetic marijuana similar to Spice, which can cause paranoia, seizures and intense hallucinations. With such easy access, teens often use these synthetic drugs in vape pens because they create an odorless vapor and cannot be easily detected in drug tests.

Getting Help for Your Teen 

According to a recent U.S. News and World report on addiction, more than 90 percent of adults who develop a substance use disorder began long before they were 18 years old. While use of e-cigarettes, Adderall, and other prescription drugs may seem harmless, they often lead to illicit drug addiction and can put your teen at a greater risk for fatal overdose.

If you suspect your teen is abusing any of the drugs above, the best thing you can do for your teen is to seek the proper treatment. At Teen Treatment Center, our licensed professionals provide a structured and disciplined program to help your teen get back on the right track. 

To learn more about our facility and how you can help your teen and your family heal, call us today at (844)319-5239. Our admissions counselors would be glad to answer any questions you may have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including the holidays. 


Related Articles:
Intervention Advice: When to Step In
The Top 5 Drugs Abused by Teenagers
2016 Monitoring the Future Survey Results

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