There are many warning signs of drug use in teens and tweens that parents should be aware of. If you’ve seen an unexplainable or drastic change in your teenager’s honesty, grades, behavior, attentiveness, or friends, it may not be hormones. It could be that they are experimenting with intoxicating substances that are as close as your kitchen drawer, medicine cabinet or garage. It used to be that older teens were most susceptible to drug experimentation, but kids today are experimenting earlier and earlier. In fact, 10 to 14 year-olds are now the most likely to begin experimenting with one intoxicating substance or another. One fad is a throwback to the 60’s “hippie” culture, marked by an increased popularity, availability and use of marijuana (pot), as well as the more seriously addicting 60?s drugs like heroin and LSD (acid). Today’s pot is several times more potent than it was just a few years ago and heroin is even more accessible in some schools today than alcohol.
Warning Signs of Drug Use in Teens and Tweens
Illegal drug use gets a lot of news coverage, but there are literally thousands of less sinister, but potentially more dangerous, ways for kids to get high, including: potent concoctions of common household glues, solvents and aerosols, prescription pain medications like Oxycontin and Vicodin, or even some of the plants found in your yard. Some kids even get a buzz off of massive doses of certain vitamins. Most teens think they’re invincible, so their drug history is their badge of courage. They learn about every source of intoxication from the Internet and then try them one after another. So, they could be experimenting with huffing aerosol propellants, glues, gasoline, or paint. Or, they could be crushing cold medications and sniffing them like cocaine or guzzling liquid cold medicines. They could be taking your prescription drugs or taking nothing at all and just playing the “choking game” to get a temporary high from near asphyxiation. Still others show their courage by experimenting with the harder drugs like ecstacy, crystal meth, crack, cocaine, LSD, or heroin, which are all highly addictive. For a good overview of popular illegal drugs, look here.