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Parents

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Should Teens be Subject to Drug Testing?
In July of 2005, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University released a report (“Diversion and Abuse of Controlled Prescription Drugs in the U.S”) stating that "from 1992 to 2003, abuse of controlled prescription drugs grew at a rate twice that of marijuana abuse; five times that of cocaine abuse; 60 times that of heroin abuse."   CASA also noted: "The explosion in the prescription of addictive opioids, depressants and stimulants has, for many children, made their parents' medicine cabinet a greater temptation and threat than the illegal street drug dealer."
The most commonly abused drugs among teens include:

  • Cannabinoids (for example, marijuana, hashish), sometimes called "pot, weed, Mary Jane, or herb" and is smoked in a "joint," "blunt," "bong," or pipe
  • Cold medications (for example, Sudafed, Benadryl)
  • Inhalants (for example, gasoline, ammonia), the use of which is often referred to as "huffing"
  • Depressants (for example, barbiturates, benzodiazepines), sometimes called "reds, yellows, yellow jackets, downers or roofies"
  • Stimulants (for example, amphetamines, cocaine, methamphetamine), sometimes called "bennies, black beauties, speed, uppers, blow, crack, rock, toot, crank, crystal, or skippy"
  • Narcotics (for example, morphine, heroin, codeine, Oxycontin, Vicodin), sometimes called cody, schoolboy, Tango and Cash, or monkey"
  • Hallucinogens (for example LSD, "mushrooms"), sometimes called "acid, yellow sunshines, buttons, or shrooms"
  • Dissociative anesthetics (for example, phencyclidine/PCP, ketamine), sometimes called "lovely, boat, Love Boat, angel dust, K, vitamin K, or cat" and whose use is often referred to as "getting wet"
  • Club drugs (for example, Ecstasy), sometimes called "X"
  • Others (for example, anabolic steroids), sometimes called "juice or roids"

Information on these drugs and the warning signs that you should look for can be found at http://www.medicinenet.com/teen_drug_abuse/article.htm.

How Parents Can Protect Their Children From Drug Abuse

  • Become informed---read the information on teen drug abuse presented on this website and do your own research…there are literally hundreds of studies and articles on teen drug abuse on the Internet.
  • Talk to your children about the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Keep your alcohol and prescription medications secured so they are not accessible to your children.
  • Observe your children’s appearance and behavior…if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.
  • Find out if your children’s school provides a Drug Free School Zone and if there are other prevention and intervention programs in place.

 

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