A brief review of the most common drugs used by teens
The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that marijuana is the illegal drug most often used in this country. Studies show nearly 50% of teens try marijuana before they graduate high school. Many parents of teens experimented with marijuana in their college days, and now feel like they're hypocritical if they talk to their kids about the use of marijuana. Today, marijuana use begins at a much younger age and some of the marijuana available can be much more potent.
Kid's site their use of marijuana as a way for them to cope with life's problems, to deal with anxiety, anger or depression, a way to escape reality, or to simply ease boredom. Long term use studies of high school students substantiate the fact that use of the more dangerous drugs, is almost always preceded by the use of marijuana. Therefore, marijuana is often considered a gateway to more serious drugs.
METH, CRYSTAL METH, OR SPEED
Crystal meth, crank, speed, glass, ice... all methamphetamine related drugs more familiar to us as "speed" It goes by many names and has many forms from powder to crystallized and can be smoked, inhaled, eaten or injected intravenously. Users may be referred to as 'tweakers.' It's very available, cheap to buy, and produces an extended high making it extremely tempting to the young and foolish.
Meth speeds up the Central Nervous System and metabolism initially being pleasurable, making one more alert and full of energy. This decreases the need for sleep and increases euphoria and sex drive. It is thus highly addictive, but ultimately drives the body and mind so fast it literally burns it up. Chronic users will experience weight loss, welts on the skin, shortness of breath, hyperactivity, severe depression, paranoid delusions and suicidal tendencies.
There are over 1000 common household and classroom products (including gel pens) that can be used as inhalant drugs. This form of abuse is termed 'Huffing.' This form of abuse is on the rise with our young people at alarming rates. These products are so common that you wouldn't likely be alarmed if your children were buying them. e.g. hairspray, whipped cream, or air freshener often contain butane or toluene propellants which harm the liver, kidneys, bone marrow and brain.
1 out of 5 kids have tried 'Huffing' prior to 7th grade. It is the 3rd most common form of drug abuse behind tobacco and alcohol. Huffing is one of the scariest habits because it so easily goes un-noticed and can lead to severe damage and even a condition called 'Sudden Sniffing Death.'