If one looks at statistics it seems that drug use is down for most teens these days. The fact is that it is actually up. Teens are just not using the same drugs that they used to use. The use of illegal drugs by teens is down. The use of legal and prescription drugs is up. Teens are now going into their medicine cabinets and to the their local gas stations or drug stores to get the drugs that they use to get high. To say trends are as such currently; teen drug use rises, teen alcohol use declining would be an inaccurate statement as well. More teens than ever are drinking alcohol these days. It is true that the use of heroin and cocaine use in teens is down however, so one can be a little comforted by that fact. Below is a list of some of the drugs that are the most popular amongst teens to date:
Although marijuana is still the number one drug that teens use in the present day, most of the other drugs that are popular among the adolescent population are prescription medications. Many teens these days are prescribed medications for various mood disorders and are used to medicating themselves to feel better. Because they are already in the habit of taking medications to elevate their mood, they often think nothing of taking medications from their friends if they say it will put them in a good state of mind.
There is an exaggerated version of teens taking prescription medications to get high and it is in the form of what is called pharm parties. These are parties where teens get together with all types of various prescription medications that they got out of their parents and personal medicine cabinets. They often dump all these medications out of their bottles into a bowl a bag and stir them all together to make colorful array of unlabeled pills. Each participant then reaches in and grabs a handful of various pills that they then take together. They often have no idea what some of the pills are, nor any idea how they will react together. There have been quite a few cases of kids combining lethal combinations of pills in this manner and ending up in the hospital or much worse.
Because these kids are under the impression that all medications are good for you, they often have no idea the dangerous predicaments they are potentially putting themselves in. They think that if a doctor prescribed it, it must be safe. They think because these drugs are legal and labeled as medications, they are safer than illegal drugs. This is just simply not the case.
Another line of drugs that has gained popularity recently and come to the attention of Narconon International and the Narconon program is designer drugs. There are two main kinds that many people, including teens, are using known as Spice and bath salts. Spice is sold as herbal incense and is supposed to be a legal alternative to marijuana. It is often a blend of herbs that is sprayed with a concoction of synthetic cannabinoids. This sounds like a safe legal alternative to marijuana, but the fact of the matter is that it has the potential to be very dangerous indeed. There have been numerous cases of kids as well as adults ending up in the emergency room after smoking a pipefull of spice. They had numerous side effects ranging from hallucinations to feelings of suffocation and one child even had to have his heart restarted a couple of times. It is not known why some of the batches of Spice are causing these problems and some of them are not. There are various reasons that people have come up with, but there is no definitive answer.
The other line of designer drugs that many people have started using is sold as bath salts in various head shops and gas stations. They are labeled not for human consumption, so there is no regulation for the kind of chemicals that are put in them as long as they are not illegal or controlled substances. The effects of these drugs are similar to the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine. When snorted, they have the potential to keep a person up for days at a time with no appetite. There have been many cases of people becoming what seems as permanently delusional after staying on these drugs for extended periods of time. There are quite a few people who have become very addicted to these drugs and at present there is no legal recourse for using these drugs because the chemicals that they are comprised up of are created in a lab. This means as soon as one of them becomes illegal, chemists just make up a new kind of chemical to replace it.
Again, kids have the mentality that if they can buy it in a store then it is probably safe for them to use. The other reason that these designer drugs are so popular is because they are legal and there is no drug test available that tests for them. This means that it is easier for teens to use them and not get caught.
In conclusion, as a society and as parents, we need to be informed as to the dangers of that these new drugs trends can cause in our children. We need to then inform our children of these dangers and explain that just because something is legal does not mean that it is safe. The anti-drug movement has been so focused on eradicating the use of illegal drugs that we have become negligent in looking at the facts about legal drugs. It is important for kids to learn these lessons from home in a non-judgmental, yet informative environment. The Narconon program and Narconon International have a multitude of resources and information guides that are available for parents to aide them in talking to their children successfully about the risks of drugs and alcohol. Narconon counselors are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for consultation as well.