If you are a parent, you know just how real drug abuse can be when it comes to teens. While many of us would like to think they are simply oblivious to these types of drugs, we should perhaps be more concerned with the fact that they do know what they are…they just might not understand the risks that come with them. These are 5 of the most commonly used drugs in the teen population and it may be wise to talk to your teen about them.
Kids today are trying marijuana at much younger ages than the generations before. Pot today is more potent than that of the past and is a major cause for alarm. The excuse "everyone else is doing it", is commonly used among teenagers. Or how about, "come on mom, you probably did it when you were our age", who hasn't heard that one. The difference now is that marijuana is not exactly the type of drug to be taken so lightly. One never knows what else in today's day and age that the pot their smoking is not laced with something else that is potentially even more harmful.
Unfortunately many young people today are caught up with addictions to prescription drugs. Some twenty percent of today's teens are using drugs like Vicodin, Oxycontin and other narcotic pain medications. Sadly these drugs are often made accessible to them by the parents. Teens can find these prescribed medications right in their parents bathroom cabinets.
The use of ecstasy has become very popular among the club scene. Teenagers are sold ecstasy in colorful packages stamped with fictional cartoon characters, but the dangers of using ecstasy are very real. Parents need to be aware of how this dangerous stimulant is marketed to their children. Other "club drugs" that our children are stumbling upon are rohypol, GHB and ketamine. All of these give the illusion of psychedelic effects and can be extremely intensified by music and lights.
Inhalants have also become a dangerous pastime of today's teens. The inhaling of common chemicals found in just about every home has risen. Teenagers inhale these chemicals to get high without realizing such actions can be fatal. It's extremely unfortunate that most teens view the use of these products to get high as a game. Substances classified as inhalants are anything from paint thinners to felt tip markers. White out aerosol sprays, nitrates and gases all also fall under this category. Unfortunately these substances are much too easy for our kids to obtain.
Highly addictive street drugs such as heroin and cocaine have also reached our youth at too high of a degree. Not only are our children losing themselves in these drugs, they are also more frequently than not, risking their freedom. Law enforcement today has more concerns now than ever before where dangerous street drugs are involved. Way too many lives are ruined and destroyed by the use of these drugs.
It causes many families great sorrow to think about their children out there doing any of these dangerous drugs while they are out of sight. Parents need to have the "drug talks" with their children and make them understand the harm, not the misconceptions of the use of them. As parents, we need to be more involved in our children's lives. Knowing who our children's friends are and their activities can aid us in the prevention of our kids falling under a bad influence. Teen drug abuse is often understated and the kids themselves don't understand the harm in there usage to the full extent. It is up to the parent to provide their children with the knowledge that can make the difference between whether or not their child will experiment with dangerous drugs. We must realize that teen drug use is a very real problem. It is however, a problem that can be somewhat prevented, starting at home. Drug awareness and there harmful effects should be openly discussed with our children if we wish to have any hope of steering them in the right direction. Don't ignore the signs that come from your child.
Liza is a health and nutrition blogger and also a contributing writer for several drug rehab centers.