11 drugs parents need to know about
The drug lingo and usage that your kids know about and you should too
“A Skittle Party” isn’t about candy and “Molly” isn’t only a girl’s name anymore.
Welcome to today’s drug culture of “code names” and “street terms.” You may not know what those words mean, but more than likely your kids do.
Russell Johnson, a sergeant in the Narcotics Unit for the Fort Worth Police Department, says the world of recreational drug use has changed dramatically from even just a few years ago.
The availability and quantity of drugs has changed. It’s not nearly as hard to obtain drugs today because it’s more accepted and isn’t criticized as much by parts of society.
Johnson says if your child is using drugs, there will be an overall change in behavior and friends. Teens might be more lazy than normal and their grades will drop across the board. “This could be an indicator of something else that’s extremely stressful on a teen’s life too, but when you look at all of them, something is not right,” he said.
Rosanne Thurman, director of Pharmacy at Cook Children’s, believes it’s important for parents to make sure that their kids are aware they shouldn’t take any drug that’s not prescribed by their doctor and to make sure they follow the instructions of the prescription.
“It’s so hard for parents to stay informed on what is happening out there as far as illegal drugs. So, I think you have to talk to your kids a lot from a young age,” Thurman said. “Let them know that just because a friend is doing something, that doesn’t mean you should be doing it too. Along with these drugs that aren’t prescribed, we’ve also seen problems with teens and college-aged kids exchanging prescription medication. So let them know that a prescription is only for the person who has been prescribed the medication from a doctor and should be the only person taking the medication. It’s so important to sit down and talk to your children about these issues and to let them know the dangers that are involved.”
In an effort to help you stay informed, here’s a list of 11 unsafe drugs that are either trending or have been popular recently that parents need to know about:
1. “Beezin”- This most recent trend involves teens rubbing Burt’s Bees lip balm onto their eyelids. The balm contains peppermint oil, which creates a tingling sensation that teens claim enhances the feeling of being drunk or high, helps keep them alert after a long night and increases their attention span. However, this can irritate eyes and even cause an eye infection or swelling. Teens think it’s safe to do this because Burt’s Bees is “natural” and won’t cause any harm, but that is far from the truth.
2. “Sizzurp” – This concoction is made by combining soda, candy and prescription cough medicine with codeine in it. This lethal cocktail is highly addictive because of the sweetness and is supposed to provide the user with a euphoric high. But it is extremely dangerous because it can lead to seizures and possibly cause you to stop breathing. Popular culture, including hit songs and Internet videos highlight this drug and refer to it as “purple drank,” “lean” and “syrup."
3. Caffeine powder – This powdered caffeine is used by teens to enhance their workouts and accelerate the process of weight loss. This substance is extremely easy to overdose on – one serving is a sixteenth of a teaspoon and is difficult for people to measure. According to the FDA, a teaspoon is roughly equal to 25 cups of coffee. Teens assume it’s safe to mix this powder into drinks because caffeine is in sodas, energy drinks and coffee. But high levels of caffeine can lead to rapid heartbeat, seizures and even death. You won’t see this in stores, but it’s cheap and easy to buy online.
4. E-cigarettes – This electronic form of cigarettes are battery-operated devices that produce flavored nicotine that look and feel like tobacco smoke. Even though e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they still supply nicotine which is a highly addictive drug. But still, e-cigarettes are legal for adults. Some teenagers have used e-cigarettes to smoke marijuana and replace the nicotine with THC. Synthetic marijuana in liquid form can be ordered from the Internet and the user can get a high that is extremely potent because there is no method of dose control.
5. Club drug: MDMA – This stimulant enchants users because of its euphoric and energetic effect. It can come in a crystallized powder form “Molly” and in pill form “ecstasy.” Teens and young adults take this drug at raves, nightclubs and concerts to dance vigorously and heighten the feelings of emotional closeness. However, taking this substance can lead to dehydration, high blood pressure and severe rises in body temperature. It also can result in complications including heart attacks, heart failure, strokes and kidney failure.
6. Club drug: Rohypnol – This substance is commonly known as the “date rape drug.” At parties, people secretly place the drug in drinks. Due to the strong amnesia produced by the drug, victims have limited or no recollection of the night after taking the substance. This is why it is crucial to never take your eyes away from your drink. This drug also is referred to as “roofies” and “forget-me pill.”
7. Synthetic weed – This fake weed is a popular option for teenagers because it doesn’t show up in drug tests like regular weed. But it is incredibly unsafe and toxic because as chemists synthesize the weed, it becomes stronger and up to 80 times more potent than regular weed. There are several detrimental side effects including extreme agitation, anxiety/paranoia, vomiting, hallucinations and even brain damage. "Spice," "K-2" and "Yucatan Fire" are names associated with it.
8. Bath salts – This substance is not what we put in our bathtubs. People inject it, snort it and mix it with food or drink to receive a euphoric high. But it also can make users hallucinate, execute violent behavior and have suicidal thoughts. Watch out for these street terms: “Ivory Wave," "Purple Wave," Vanilla Sky" and "Bliss.”
9. Prescription drug: Xanax – This pill is prescribed to alleviate anxiety and panic disorders. It is extremely addictive and highly abused. Teenagers mistakenly believe that because it’s a prescription drug, it’s safer than street drugs and is free from harmful side effects. The most common street names are “bars” and “Z-bar."
10. “Huffing” – This term refers to purposefully inhaling chemical vapors to get high. Users will inhale several household items including nail polish remover, glue, felt-tip markers, spray paint, hair-care products and deodorant. This practice is not healthy and initially causes drowsiness, lightheadedness and loss of inhibition.
11. Palcohol – this new product is freeze-dried alcohol in powder form. It is packaged in small packets which makes it easy to prepare a to-go drink. But the risk of abuse and misuse is high because the accessibility of the packets could stimulate over-consumption of alcohol and lead to drunk driving. This powdered substance can be snorted as well and cause an immediate high with other harmful side effects.
*Article written by Amanda Burmeister