It’s not a secret that teens out of their curious natures will all be tempted to –and possibly go so far as– experiment with the effects of illegal substances like alcohol and marijuana. In addition to age restricted substances, however, recent reports have found teens and younger children have turned their attention to whatever they can find the at will produce a momentary lapse of their senses.
Today, they’re climbing in your medicine kits and snatching up your prescription painkillers, then on to your office to grab the cleaners and wash that down with some energy drinks. Things are serious!
Here are three of the most trendy drugs kids are experimenting with.
Energy Drinks in Elementary School.
Drinks that combine the caffeine and alcohol have been found especially destructive and even deadly in recent years. Teens and college students have died from the effects of Four Loko and similar products, but the epidemic has not ended there. Elementary school kids are also downing highly caffeinated products for their signature buzz.
Even without alcohol these drinks are hazardous to the health of small kids.
“These Energy Drinks are the gateway drug of small kids,” reports Mike Gimbel, an educator on the national substance abuse, “The down the stuff like water, now we have small kids in the nurse’s office with heart palpitations, Heart palpitations, I say. “
Gimbel goes on to report how he has observed an increasing fascination of grade school kids who use caffeinated gel strips like those produced by the Sheets brand. Each strip has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, and they will put as many as 5 or 6 in their mouth at one time.
Such large amounts of caffeine in such small children, especially those with small bodies, can cause stroke, seizures or even be fatal, according to a report by the American Association of Pediatrics.
Huffing the Dust-Off
Inhaling stuff you find around the house, or huffing, has been happening since before my time. Nowadays, the thing to Huff is Dust-Off. Dust-Off is a cleaning agent sold freely over the counter at most office supply outlets. Inhaled this can produce a few seconds to a few minutes of feeling high.
The attraction to this inhalant is that the effects are so readily felt, “ explains Harvey Weiss of the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, “You don’t have to wait for too long before you begin to feel those effects.”
Inhalants can cause many maladies of the respiratory system including nosebleeds, nausea, impaired coordination and in some cases even death.
Parents should be concerned if their child begins to show signs of inhalant abuse like rashes around the nose and mouth, dropping grades, changes in friends, weight loss or the pungent odor of the substance on their breath or clothes.
Even though many states attempt to regulate the sale of these products many are readily available and it is the responsibility of the parent to monitor the activities of any child with access to these products.
Many parents say they were aware the products were used as inhalants but never even thought their child would do something like this and therefore never took preventative measures, more’s the pity.
Pharm parties are all the rage with the young and reckless, so keep a weather eye on your medicine cabinet and the company your kids keep. Along with the alcohol plentiful at these social junctures is a large assortment of prescription medication that Mum and Dad will be wondering about in the morning. They serve up Xanax, Valium, Prozac, Ecstasy, Percocets and even highly addictive opioids like morphine, OxyContin, and Vicodin.
Also known as skittles parties, because of the brightly colored pills, these parties often feature a potluck selection of pills generously dumped Halloween candy style on a table for the amusement and stupefaction of the guests.
According to a recent report made by the experts at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die from prescription overdoses than from cocaine and heroin each year. The addiction to opioids is much more serious than many people understand.
Nothing good ever comes from the reckless disregard for caution. When something does go wrong to one of these kids, as so often is the case, the parent’s reaction is invariably shock and horror. “Not My Child, I always assumed he knew better, so I never talked about it with them, “ they say.
So talk to your child; even if you think they already know. Understanding the personal convictions of a parent is a yardstick for the decisions a youngster will make in his life, so be sure you have conveyed your convictions (PROPERLY!!) to your youngsters.
Note: If you are not sure how to have this important talk with your kids or where to begin. There are many resources for support in the community and online. Summon the experience of others to aid you.