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Teen Drug Abuse

Marijuana, Pills to Heroin: Teen Drug Use

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 04, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

heroinfoilNo parent wants to believe their teenager will escalate from smoking a joint to pill popping to literally shooting or digesting heroin – but sadly this trend is growing.

Why?  Because heroin has become a cheap drug for youth to purchase and some drug dealers are conveniently lacing marijuana with heroin to quickly get your teen addicted.

Why is heroin so dangerous?

Heroin is considered to be the most highly addictive substance known to man. 

Heroin Facts from NIDA for Teens:

Heroin is a type of opioid drug that is partly man-made and partly natural. It is made from morphine, a psychoactive (mind-altering) substance that occurs naturally in the resin of the opium poppy plant. Heroin’s color and look depend on how it is made and what else it may be mixed with. It can be white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance called “black tar heroin.”

Heroin is becoming an increasing concern in areas where lots of people abuse prescription opioid painkillers, like OxyContin and Vicodin. They may turn to heroin since it produces a similar high but is cheaper and easier to obtain. Nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin.

To learn more about the different types of opioids, visit  Opioids Drug Facts page.

HeroinSlangSlang terms teens use for heroin:

“Smack,” “Junk,” “H,” “Black tar,” “Ska,” and “Horse”

Be an educated parent, you will have healthier and safer teens.

Being a parent in denial doesn’t help anyone.

If you suspect your teen is using heroin, get help immediately.  Residential therapy is nothing to be ashamed of.  Contact us for more information.

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Huffing, Sniffing, Dusting and Bagging: Teen Inhalants

Posted by Sue Scheff on July 18, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

Inhalants1What parents need to be educated today with is never ending.  If your not familiar with inhalant abuse, it’s time to learn more.

Commonly known as huffing, sniffing, dusting and bagging – inhalants are dangerous and deadly.  The scarier part is most are common household products.

Inhalation is referred to as huffing, sniffing, dusting or bagging and generally occurs through the nose or mouth. Huffing is when a chemically soaked rag is held to the face or stuffed in the mouth and the substance is inhaled. Sniffing can be done directly from containers, plastic bags, clothing or rags saturated with a substance or from the product directly. With Bagging, substances are sprayed or deposited into a plastic or paper bag and the vapors are inhaled. This method can result in suffocation because a bag is placed over the individual’s head, cutting off the supply of oxygen.

Other methods used include placing inhalants on sleeves, collars, or other items of clothing that are sniffed over a period of time. Fumes are discharged into soda cans and inhaled from the can or balloons are filled with nitrous oxide and the vapors are inhaled. Heating volatile substances and inhaling the vapors emitted is another form of inhalation. All of these methods are potentially harmful or deadly. Experts estimate that there are several hundred deaths each year from Inhalant Abuse, although under-reporting is still a problem.

Warning signs if your teen or child is using inhalants:

– Drunk, dazed, or dizzy appearance
– Slurred or disoriented speech
– Uncoordinated physical symptoms
– Red or runny eyes and nose
– Spots and/or sores around the mouth
– Unusual breath odor or chemical odor on clothing
– Signs of paint or other products where they wouldn’t normally be, such as on face, lips, nose or fingers
– Nausea and/or loss of appetite
– Chronic Inhalant Abusers may exhibit symptoms such as hallucinations, anxiety, excitability, irritability, restlessness or anger.

It’s important to have open and ongoing conversations about dangers of inhalants.

TeenParentChatTips to start your chats:

• Ask your pre-teen or teenager if he or she knows about Inhalant Abuse or is aware of other kids abusing products.

• Reinforce peer resistance skills. Tell him or her that sniffing products to get high is not the way to fit in. Inhalants are harmful: the “high” comes with high cost.

• Encourage your child to come to you if he or she has any questions about Inhalants.

• Tell your child that the consequences of Inhalant Abuse are as dangerous as those from abusing alcohol or using illegal drugs. Be absolutely clear — emphasize that unsafe actions and risky behavior have serious consequences.

• Monitor your teen’s activities — set boundaries, ask questions. Be firm, know his or her friends and his or her friends’ parents, know where they meet to “hang out.”

•  Educate your child about the dangers, but don’t mention specific substances unless your child brings them up. While many youngsters know kids are sniffing some substances, they may not know the full range of products that can be abused; and you don’t want to give them suggestions.

• Tell your children that you love them and that their safety is your number one priority. Tell them again…and again…and again.

Source:  Inhalant.org

If you suspect your teen is using inhalant, please seek help immediately.  If they refuse to get help or you have exhausted local resources, you may want to consider residential therapy.  Contact us for more information.

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Teens Using Drugs To Selling Drugs

Posted by Sue Scheff on July 05, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

TeenBuyingDrugsMany parents will say…. “Not my teen.

However sadly even with the best of kids today, it happens.

Parents fear their teens using drugs –  some parents even make excuses – “it’s just pot, I did it when I was a teen,” please understand – this is not the marijuana you did when you were a teen – in most cases marijuana can be laced with other substances (such as heroin) that can be addictive or even deadly.

When a teen gets desperate, it can call for desperate measures and that could potentially mean selling drugs.

Teens will turn to dealing for one of two reasons.  To either support their habit or to make money.  Either way, it benefits their drug use.

Parents should wake up and realize they have to intervene before this escalates to major drug trafficking and your child is not just arrested for possession but now is dealing with drug trafficking, selling to minors – and maybe more serious charges.  Especially if your teen is nearing 18 years old, he/she could be charged as an adult.

Don’t be in denial.  Don’t blame the other kids.  This is your teen making the choices – and of course, the drugs causing negative behavior.

ParentTeenAnger_2Ten tips help prevent substance abuse:

 1. Communication is the key to prevention. Whenever an opportunity to talk about the risks of drinking and driving or the dangers of using drugs presents itself, take it and start a conversation.

2. Have a conversation not a confrontation. If you suspect your teen is using drugs, talk to her. Don’t judge her; instead, talk to her about facts behind the dangers of substance abuse. If your teen isn’t opening up to you, be sure you find an adolescent therapist who can help.

3. Addict in the family. Do you have an addict in your family? Sadly many families have been affected by someone who has allowed drugs to take over his or her life. With this, it is a reminder to your teen that you want him to have a bright future filled with happiness. The last thing you want for them is to end up like [name of addicted relative].

4. Don’t be a parent in denial. There is no teenager who is immune to drug abuse. No matter how smart your teen is, or athletic she is, she’s at risk if she starts using. I firmly believe that keeping your teen constructively busy, whether through sports, music or other hobbies, will put her at less risk to want to experiment. However don’t be in the dark thinking that because your teen is pulling a 4.0 GPA and is on the varsity football team that he couldn’t be dragged down by peer pressure. Go back to my number one tip—talk, talk, talk. Remind your teen how proud you are of him, and let him know that you’re always available if he’s being pressured to do or try something he don’t want to.

5. Do you even know what your teen is saying? Listen, or watch on text messages or emails, for code words for medicaiton being abused or specific drug activity: skittling; tussing; skittles; robo-tripping; red devils; velvet; triple C; C-C-C-; and robotard are just some of the names kids use for cough and cold medication abuse. Weed; pot; ganja; mary jane; grass; chronic; buds; blunt; hootch; jive stick; ace; spliff; skunk; smoke; dubie; flower; and zig zag are all slang for marijuana.

OTCmeds6. Leftovers. Are there empty medicine bottles or wrappers in your teen’s room or car (if they own one)? Does she have burn marks on her clothes or her bedroom rug, and ashes or a general stench in her room or car? Be sure to check all pockets, garbage cans, cars, closets, and under beds, etc., for empty wrappers and other evidence of drug use. Where do you keep your prescription drugs?  Have you counted them lately? Teens and tweens often ingest several pills at once or smash them so that all of the drug’s affect is released at once.

7. Body language. Tune into changes in your teen’s behavior. Are his peer groups changing? Is he altering his physical appearance or suddenly lack hygiene? Are his eating and/or sleeping patterns changing? Does he display a hostile, uncooperative, or defiant attitude, and is he sneaking out of the house? Are you missing money or other valuables from your home?

8. Access to alcohol. Look around your home—are alcoholic beverages (liquor, beer, or wine) easily accessible? Teens typically admit that getting alcohol is easy, and that the easiest place to get it is in their own homes. Be aware of what you have in the house and if you suspect your teen is drinking, lock it up! Talk to them about the risks of drinking, especially if they are driving.

9. Seal the deal. Have your teen sign a contract stating that she promises never to drink and drive. The organization Students Against Destructive Decisions (formerly known as Students Against Drunk Driving), www.saddonline.com provides a free online contract you can download. It may help her pause just the second she needs, to not get behind that wheel.

10. Set the example, be the example. What many parents don’t realize is that they are the leading role model for their teen. If your teen sees you smoking or drinking frequently, what is the message you are sending? At the same time, many adults enjoy a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage, and the teen needs to understand that they are adults and there’s a reason the legal drinking age is 21.

A very important piece of advice I share on a daily basis, which I learned the hard way, is that you have to be a parent first, even if it means your teen hates you. The hate is temporary. Your teen’s future, health, and safety depend on your parenting. Friendship will come later—and it does!

If your teen is struggling with substance abuse issue, it is imperative you get them help.  If you have exhausted local resources or they refuse to attend, please consider residential therapy.  Contact us for more information.

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