6 Drug Trends You Need to be Aware Of

I will say one thing about the substance abuse prevention field: it’s never boring.  The ways people will try to get high never cease to amaze me with the sheer recklessness of their actions.  This year at the annual summit organized beautifully by the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA) in New Brunswick, we were fortunate enough to see a great presentation by Michael Litterer from Prevention Links about the latest drug trends of 2013. These are the things that parents need to be aware of if they are going to proactive in raising their kids.

  1. Molly

Regular readers of our blog will know from our post a couple weeks ago, “An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus”, that Molly is certainly an issue in our state and country.  Molly can be found in powder or crystalline form and is believed to be purer form of MDMA, the chemical found in ecstasy. The key word here is “believed”.  In fact, in almost all cases, Molly has been found to be laced with many other harmful chemicals.  The MDMA use has the ability to raise the body’s temperature, causing seizures and dehydration.  But perhaps what is most disturbing is how the people are getting the drug to each other.  Posters can often be seen around concert venues and contain QR codes that can be scanned with any smart phone and provide contact information to a dealer. Still not sure if Molly is as big a problem as it seems? The promoters for the popular Electric Zoo festival sure think it is.

                                   

  1. Synthetic Marijuana

Generally speaking, when anything is prefaced with the word “synthetic” it isn’t something that is necessarily healthy to put in your body. Synthetic marijuana is combination of smoke able herbs and THC in liquid form that can be sprayed on.  Synthetic marijuana use has been found to be considerably  stronger than natural marijuana but without any accepted medical use (no matter what state you live in). The side effects of synthetic marijuana are much the same as natural marijuana but amplified, the most poignant being seizure, loss of consciousness, and even kidney failure.  There have been 12 deaths associated with synthetic marijuana, with tremors, vomiting, and severe psychotic episodes.  But it is important to note that this isn’t some sort of legal alternative to natural marijuana. New Jersey banned synthetic marijuana in February of 2012.

 

  1. Smiles and Bromo Dragonfly

Smiles, or “N-Bomb”, as it is sometimes known, is hallucinogen similar to an LSD trip, except much more intense. Users describe the experience as a “roller coaster ride through hell” and the high will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.  Side effects include seizures, kidney failure, and high blood pressure. Overdoses are a very real risk with smiles because it is often concocted by dealers ordering the chemicals over the Internet and distributed. Similar to Smiles, Bromo Dragonfly is also a hallucinogen.  A large dose can produce a high that lasts up to two to three days, but won’t take into effect until about 6 hours after the initial intake.  What is frightening about this delayed onset of the high is that users will use more of the drug because they aren’t feeling the desired effect.  However, when the high kicks in, it is even more powerful, making overdoses a very real concern.

 

  1. E-Cigarettes

Over the past few years, e-Cigarettes have grown in popularity.  The industry claims that their product is a safe alternative to normal tobacco use, but it can often be abused to provide a new avenue to consume potentially harmful substances.  One of the more popular products that are misused in this manner is a synthetic oil called “Blue Blossom”. It is available in smoke shops and when combined the e-Cigarette, can cause side effects similar to marijuana, K2-Spice, and ecstasy. The irony here is that “Blue Blossom” and many other similar products have a warning that states, “Not for human consumption”.

 

  1. Smoking Alcohol

In the early days of this blog, I dedicated an entire post to smoking alcohol. It is still a major problem among young adults.  Vaporizing and breathing in alcohol fumes is seen as a way to get drunk instantly or get drunk without the calories.  In actuality, the alcohol is going directly into the lungs and into the bloodstream, straight to the brain.  It doesn’t get metabolized by the liver and can cause damage to the lungs.  When you consume too much alcohol, your body reflexively gets rid of it by vomiting. You lose this mechanism by smoking alcohol. Your brain has no way to rid itself of excess alcohol, causing untold damage.

                                      

                                      Image credit: trivalleycentral.com

  1. Desmythyl Fentanyl

Not much is known about this substance other than what was uncovered on a raid by the Montreal police. Testing has shown that the drug is 40 times stronger than heroin and 80 times stronger than morphine.

While this is not even close to being an exhaustive list of drugs that are trending this year, it is always good to arm yourself with knowledge to see what your kids are being subjected to. Your kids are being bombarded constantly with peer pressure to abuse these extremely harmful substances.  We have always believed that the best kind of prevention starts at home. Have open communication with your kids. Know what they are doing. Know where they are. Being a proactive parent can help keep your kids from these dangerous trends and on the path to a healthy lifestyle.

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