Each generation of teenagers has their own music, their own heroes, and unfortunately, their own drugs. This can put parents at a disadvantage. Today’s parents might be familiar with the drugs of their day like cocaine, marijuana, and heroin. But would they know that the topics was drugs if they overheard their teenager talking to a friend about Molly, Adam, Tina, Sally-D, Scarface, or Juice? Many would not which is one of the things the National Institute of Drug Abuse hopes to change with this year’s National Drug Facts Week.
For parents, knowledge is power in the war on drugs and not knowing can be dangerous for your teen. Parents can test their drug IQ by taking the 2014 National Drug IQ Challenge and then read on to learn more about the drugs that belong to their teenager’s generation.
Anabolic steroids are not a new drug but when parents think about the drugs that pose a danger to their children, it doesn’t always make the list. Also known as “roids” and juice”, anabolic steroids are a prescription medication that can be used to treat legitimate medical conditions. However, using them for performance enhancement or to bulk up is not a legitimate use and any use without a prescription is illegal. Steroid abuse can cause serious health problems and they should never be used by teenagers unless prescribed for a medical condition.
This is a new kind of drug produced using man-made chemicals that create a synthetic form of cathinone, which is a naturally occurring stimulant with similar affect to amphetamines. The effects of taking bath salts can vary widely and range from intense joy and friendliness to paranoia, agitation, violence, and hallucinations. There have already been instances of people dying from this drug. Bath salts are a powdery substance and are sold with names like Bloom, Cloud Nine, Vanilla Sky, and Scarface. They are usually labeled “not for human consumption” and may be sold as jewelry cleaner or plant food. The law is racing to keep up with these new designer drugs so that they cannot be legally sold in stores. Unfortunately, the nature of these drugs makes it very easy to change the chemical composition just enough to remain on the right side of the law.
MDMA (aka Ecstasy)
Parents are also likely to have heard of ecstasy but may not know that it is still used by today’s teens, although use is on the decline. Also known as Molly, MDMA is another manmade chemical substance that has stimulant-like effects. It is best known for making people feel like everyone is their friend and that they love everyone. The primary danger of prolonged used of MDMA is brain damage but there is no conclusive evidence about the long term effects or long term prognosis for habitual users.