Drugs Parents Should Be Aware Of
Drugs in Schools
Drugs and alcohol are a part of every student’s life beginning in Middle School.
Not every student is using drugs but they are all being exposed to them and can attain them at any time.
It is imperative that parents and loved ones are aware of what teenagers and pre-teens are around on a daily basis.
Just Experimenting or Something More?
Many people believe that drug and alcohol experimenting is a normal part of growing up.
The staggering number of lives being lost to addiction and physical and biochemical destruction may be leading people to rethink that position.
Drugs and Alcohol don’t discriminate. This risk is very real for all colors and social classes.
The richest and poorest kids are all given the exact same opportunity to ruin their lives.
Protecting Our Kids
Teenagers and Pre-teens don’t have the foresight or biological maturity to truly understand the consequences of their actions.
When children use drugs and drink alcohol they are jeopardizing their health, their futures, hurting their families and putting their lives in danger. They can’t appreciate the gamble they are taking.
Teens count on the people who love them the most to guide them and protect them, even from themselves.
A good place to start is to be aware of what the potential threat to our children is and what the signs look like.
Drugs To Be Aware Of
There are so many drugs flowing through schools from 6th grade through 12th grade that it’s impossible to identify everyone.
The following is a list of the most readily accessible drugs and some signs of use to look for.
Alcohol is the most popular and the most accessible drug teens and pre-teens use. 40% of 8th graders, 66% of 10th graders and 75% of 12th graders have admitted to drinking alcohol.
Kids can get it from their parents or friends’ homes, school or family members.
The earlier the exposure to alcohol, the higher risk they have of becoming dependent as a young adult.
Alcohol is a depressant which is the opposite of most of the drugs teens are exposed to. It can lower inhibitions and motivation which will cause the user to do things and say things they wouldn’t normally do or say.
- Drinking Alcohol and Teenagers
Every year older a teenager gets, the more likely they will drink. It is unrealistic to believe that your teen will be able to avoid alcohol during Junior High and High School. It is extremely important that teenagers know the truth about this drug a
Signs Of Intoxication
A few physical signs of alcohol use are:
- Slurred speech
- Poor coordination
- Strong alcohol odor
- Random emotional outburst
- Delayed reactions
- Talking loudly
- Repeating themselves
- Short term memory is impaired
The cannabis plant is dried and smoked for recreational reasons or spiritual purposes.
Marijuana is made up of more than 400 compounds, the most dominant being a psychoactive agent called THC. The remaining compounds are known to cause sensory effects.
It has a reputation for not being physically and/or emotionally addictive but an extensive amount of research has proven otherwise. Although Marijuana carries a relatively low risk for dependence among adults, teenagers have a high risk of becoming addicted.
Signs of Marijuana Use
The most common physical signs that someone has smoked marijuana are:
- Blood shot eyes
- Lack of motivation
- Sleepy appearance
- Inappropriate emotions, like burst of laughter or random declarations of affection
- Increased appetite
- Problems with short term memory
Informing Kids About Drugs
Do Your Kids Know How Dangerous These Drugs Can Be?
Spice is a blend of leaves and synthetic chemicals that is presented as a legal alternative to marijuana.
Unlike marijuana, the effects of spice cause it’s users to hallucinate, have panic attacks, become extremely nauseous, become violent and experience many other unpleasant symptoms.
Despite these results, many users find themselves craving the drug shortly after using it one time.
It is highly addictive and available for anyone to purchase in many tobacco and convenience stores. This drugs popularity and known dangers are growing every day.
Signs of Spice Use
The physical signs that someone may be high on spice are:
- Panic attack
- Psychotic episode
- Heart palpitations
- Excessive coughing
Ecstasy is an illegal man made drug which is a stimulant and a hallucinogenic. It is often referred to as the Club Drug due to its popularity at Rave’s and other dance clubs. It is impossible to pinpoint the exact ingredients of the various brands of ecstasy because it isn’t regulated by any government standard or subject to regular testing.
Ecstasy pills come in many different colors and usually have a marking on them to identify individual suppliers.
This drug is odorless, colorless and is water soluble so it can be added to any liquid beverage without the person ever knowing.
Signs of Ecstasy Use
Some physical signs of ecstasy use are:
- Rapid eye movement
- Intense concentration on lights and noises
- Dry mouth, extreme thirst
- Uncharacteristically affectionate
- Jaw clenching
- Sweating or chills
- Dilated pupils
Cocaine is derived from the Coca plant. It produces a powerful psychoactive and stimulant effect in the user.
This drug is highly addictive and can cause dependency on the user after just one or two exposures.
Signs of Crack Use
The most common physical signs of cocaine use are:
- Lack of sleep
- Extreme energy bursts
- Distinct change in appetite
- Dramatic weight loss
- Dilated pupils
- Nose bleeds
Vicodin is a narcotic prescription blend of acetaminophen and hydrocodone and is prescribed for moderate to severe pain.
Those who abuse vicodin for recreational use will build up a tolerance quickly and need to dramatically increase the dosage.
One popular alternative to taking many pills per day is crushing them up and snorting them. This method will intensify the sensation for the user and increase the life threatening risks as well.
Signs of Vicodin Use
The common signs that someone is using Vicodin are:
- Dilated pupils
- Decreased attention span
OxyContin; Oxycodone; Percocet; Percodan
Oxycontin is a time released version of oxycodone. Percocet is a blend of Oxycodone and acetaminophen.
When acetaminophen is added, the effects of the oxycodone are increased. These are narcotic pain relievers that are significantly stronger than Vicodin.
They can do much more physical and psychological damage and the risk of dependence is higher.
Signs of Narcotic Use
The physical signs that these narcotics are being used are:
- Extremely small pupils
- Weight loss, low appetite
- Itchy arms and face
- Dazed, slow to respond, staring blankly
- Dry mouth
- Droopy eyes and black circles
Methamphetamine; Meth; Desoxyn
Meth is a street manufactured stimulant that was originally inspired by amphetamine. Both amphetamines and meth are highly addictive with serious withdrawal symptoms experienced after they are used for just a short period of time.
Meth has a more profound effect of the central nervous system therefore is even more addictive and dangerous than other amphetamines.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Meth to be given to adults and children who suffer from ADHD. This prescription is called Desoxyn.
- How to Test Your Child for Drugs
No one wants to believe that their child is using drugs. There is no bigger heartache for a parent or family member. There are so many emotions and thoughts that run through your head and your heart just sinks. As a parent or trusted adult of a child
Signs of Meth Use
The most obvious and common physical symptoms of methamphetamine use are;
- Lack of sleep
- Audio hallucinations
- Unprovoked violence and Physical outbursts
- Skin color is dull with dry patches
- Teeth and gums deteriorate at an extreme rate
Heroin is an opiate derived from morphine. This is an extremely powerful and addictive drug.
The user feels a rush of euphoria right after using because it crosses the blood brain barrier at a really fast rate. This feeling is unmatched by anything that can be experienced anywhere else and the first rush is the best rush.
Even the most levelheaded, intelligent people will find themselves searching for that rush again and again and again. Unfortunately all they find is a very destructive road to addiction and eventually an excruciating withdrawal process that may never subside completely.
Signs of Heroin Use
Some physical signs that someone is using heroin are:
- Extremely small pupils
- Red eyes and runny nose, similar appearance as allergies but doesn’t go away
- Dazed appearance
- Head nods as if it’s very heavy
- Legs are week and rubbery
- Lack of appetite, weight loss
- Tired at unusual times
- May stare at nothing
Methadone is a narcotic pain reliever that is frequently given to heroin addicts to reduce the pain associated with withdrawals.
It is popular among teens and pre-teens who aren’t battling a current addiction to heroin or other opiates but simply take it for recreational purposes.
Methadone is highly addictive in its own right. There is a serious risk of overdosing when experimenting with methadone and detox needs to be medically supervised
- Codependency: Addicted to an Addict
A codependent person is in a relationship with or supports an individual who is also dependent on something or someone else. A codependent relationship can form with a friend, co-worker, spouse or partner, parent, child or other family member. The mo
Signs of Methadone Use
Some of the common signs that someone is using methadone are:
- Weight gain
- Unusual sleep patterns
- Random sweating
- Difficulty urinating
- Rash or hives
- Agitation and mood swings
Adderall is pure amphetamine that is prescribed for some people who have ADHD or Narcolepsy. It is also enormously popular with high school and college students who don’t have a valid medical condition.
Adderall is a brand name for something that has been around for generations, speed. It makes the user more alert, wired and ambitious.
Unfortunately it is also highly addictive and destructive to the brain. Prolonged use and misuse can lead to permanent brain damage, severe depression or death.
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Signs of Adderall Use
Some of the physical signs that someone is using Adderall are:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Uncharacteristically high energy and speaking quickly
- Decreased sleep
- Over achieving by getting many things done even if they aren’t done correctly
- Followed by..
- Mood swings
- Stomach pain
- Staying awake for days, then sleeping for days
The Reality Of Availability
*It is very important for all families to realize that Adderall, Ritalin, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet and many more drugs can be purchased by anyone on-line without a prescription.
Availability isn’t a problem for anyone who chooses to experiment with drugs or sell them to others.
Be Aware and Informed
Please note that this is only a brief overview of each drug and their symptoms given as a means to simply inform readers of their existence.
There is more detailed information about the dangers and possible side effects available. Please reach out to a Certified Treatment Facility or Drug and Alcohol Counselor for more information if needed about any specific drug mentioned here.