When it comes to helping teens avoid illicit drugs, while knowledge is power for parents, not knowing can be dangerous for your teen. As part of National Drug Facts Week, 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. You can read part one of this series here.
Salvia, an herb native to Central and South America, is a drug you aren’t likely to have heard of, yet. It can be ingested a variety of ways including chewing the leaves, smoking the dried leaves, or inhaling the vapors. It is also called Sally-D and Maria Pastora and although it is not currently prohibited by federal law, it is considered to be a drug of concern by the DEA and may soon be classified as a schedule I drug like marijuana.
Odds are, no matter where you live, you know what Meth is, even if you only know about it because of the TV show “Breaking Bad”. Meth is short for Methamphetamine and is a stimulant drug that can cause increased energy and alertness while also providing positive effects on mood. Unfortunately, it also causes elevated heart rate, raised blood pressure, and other negative side effects. Meth is also known as speed, tina, ice, crank, and glass. It is a white powder that can be made into pills, dissolved in water, or smoked. It is often made using very toxic ingredients including battery acid and antifreeze.
Using meth can cause mood swings, violent or aggressive behavior and even psychosis, paranoia, and delusions. At first, using meth can increase sexual impulses and puts users at a higher risk for things like sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. Over time, meth can have the opposite effect on sex drive in addition to causing skin sores, severe weight loss, cognitive deficits, accelerated aging, and meth mouth where the person’s teeth become broken, rotten, stained, and/or fall out.
Spice is an herbal concoction that produces results similar to marijuana when smoked. Often seen as a “natural” or “legal” alternative to marijuana, Spice can also contain mind-altering chemicals that produce unanticipated results. Many teens believe the myth that Spice is natural and therefore is somehow safer to use than other drugs. However, Spice users have experienced symptoms like rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, and hallucinations. The truth is that because Spice can be made in different ways and using different chemicals it is difficult to identify the possible adverse reactions and long term affects of its use. Spice was easy to buy in gas stations and head shops but now that it has been designated as an illegal substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency, it is harder for teens to obtain. Spice is also called K2, skunk, and moon rocks and those who use it can become addicted. Spice is second only to marijuana in use amongst high school students.
- The Legalization of Marijuana: An Interview With Jan (doorwaysarizona.com)
- 5 Signs Your Teen is Using Drugs (doorwaysarizona.com)
- How to Talk to Your Teen About Anything (doorwaysarizona.com)