Archive for the ‘Drugs/Alcohol’ Category

The Letter I Wrote To My Teenage Son About Drinking   Leave a comment

Parents,

This is such an important reminder that we have the responsibility to make sure that our kids know the importance of following the law (as well as parents following the law to not provide alcohol to those under 21). I know this may sound harsh, but I find it completely ridiculous that there are weak parents out there who give up and take on the attitude that kids are going to it, so I might as well let them do it at home. What message are we sending our kids? That it’s ok to break the laws we wish to break? Instead, we need to let our kids know that we value them and their safety and health, and that in no way is it acceptable to drink alcohol until they are of legal age.

God has entrusted us to care for and love our children in the best way we can. That is our most important job!

Parents – Stand strong! Don’t compromise your values. Talk to your kids. Don’t give in.

For those parents who have given in – It’s not too late. You’re the parent. Tell your kids you’ve changed your mind and why.

A mom writes a letter about underage drinking and reminds her son of the family values that she holds dear. 

As hard as it is for me to believe this, I’m the mother of a teenager. In fact Tom will be entering 10th grade this September.

The years have gone so fast that I really feel as if one day I was taking pictures of him graduating from our Mommy and Me class, the next day I couldn’t believe he was in the fourth grade, and then bang, he was in high school.

Play dates at friends houses have been replaced by going out for sushi, a movie, or walking around town with his buddies. Alone. No adults watching over them.

Instead of chatting with his friends’ parents over coffee at kitchen tables, we wave to them out of car windows.

A parent discusses drinking alcohol with her teen

The times they are a changin.

Whenever my family or friends ask about Tom and marvel at the fact that he is now a teenager, the subject of alcohol and drugs always seems to come up. As in, how will I handle it when he comes home drunk for the first time? Or what will I do if I find out that he had been using drugs?

[More on binge drinking and the impact on teenage brains here.]

I always find the questions a bit baffling because it’s just assumed that Tom will try these things. In fact the common answer I get from most of my friends and family is that of course he will.

Truth be told, I find this mindset maddening. And if I was a kid today, I would find it really confusing.

From the time Tom was in kindergarten, he has been learning in school that drinking and drugs are dangerous choices. He has read books and been shown movies about how alcohol can affect your judgment and make it easier to engage in other risky behaviors like unprotected sex or driving under the influence.

In eighth grade his health teacher made the whole class write letters addressed to themselves making the promise that they won’t smoke, drink, or have unprotected sex in high school.

Yet so many parents take it as a foregone conclusion that their kids will engage in any manner of risky behavior.

I’ve been accused of living in “La La Land” if I think otherwise. “Kids will be kids,” some say. Others will chime in with, “after all we did it.”

[More on the argument for tolerating teenage drinking here.]

Really? Is this the criteria we are going to base our parenting on?

I get it. My son is growing up, and he’s going to have to make choices for himself.

I want him to spread his wings and discover who he is. And as much as some people think I’m living under a rock, I do know that he is going to make mistakes along the way.

But, I want him to know where I stand on engaging in behaviors that are at best risky and at worst illegal or life threatening.

I never want my son to say that I wasn’t clear about my feelings — so I’m writing them out here, for all to see.

Dear Tom,

The legal drinking age in this country is 21. Please know that Dad and I will never allow you to have alcohol in our house or in our presence until you reach that age. Please also know that no good has ever come from a group of teenagers drinking. It’s a recipe for all kinds of disasters.

If you should choose to drink, you’ll not only be breaking the rules of our house, you’ll be breaking the law.

If you get stopped for driving under the influence, or the police get called to a party where you have been drinking, you may be in a position where we can’t protect you.

Always call me and your dad. ALWAYS. No matter what you have done.

Don’t ever follow up a bad choice with one that’s worse just because you’re afraid of disappointing us or making us angry.

Will we be happy? Of course not. But we would much rather get you and any friend that wants to come with you home safely, then get a call that you are NEVER coming home.

Let me be clear that the fact that we love you and will stand by you does not in any way mean we will stand by while you do things that you know aren’t good for you.

There will be those who will tell you that your parents are being unreasonable and totally unrealistic. Some may tell you that you are a teenager and that it’s a rite of passage to get drunk. They may even regale you with stories of their own youthful mistakes.

Listen to your own heart and trust your gut. Also know there is nothing cool about waking up in your own vomit, or having a DUI before you are 18.

Your father and I are so proud of the man you are becoming. We love you so much that we don’t care if you hate us. That’s our gift to you, we are your parents not your friends.

Always,

Mom

This post originally appeared on My Dishwasher’s Possessed! 

Related:

Teen Brain: What Parents Need to Know

Clean is Sexy and 58 Other Bits of Advice for Young Men

Dear Mom of High School Sophomore 

kathy-head-shot

Kathy Radigan is a writer, blogger, social media addict, mom to three, wife to one and owner of a possessed appliance. She posts a weekly essay each Sunday on her blog, My dishwasher’s possessed!Kathy is a Huffington Post blogger and a frequent contributor to What the Flicka and Scary Mommy.. Her work has also been featured on, Yahoo, Elephant Journal, What to Expect,and other online publications. Kathy lives outside New York City with her family. You can follow her on  Facebook, Twitter

Posted November 14, 2016 by sotpyouth in Drugs/Alcohol, Family

10 Things Teens Won’t Tell You   Leave a comment

10 things teens won’t tell you

Published: Aug 16, 2014 8:11 a.m. ET

The secret and costly life of the American teenager

Chip Wass

1. America will look a lot different when we grow up.

Like every generation of adolescents, today’s teens have habits that are utterly unfamiliar to their parents. The roughly 25 million Americans between the ages of 13 and 18 grew up with Facebook and Netflix. They’re more likely to hang out at Chipotle and Starbucks, and less likely to hang out at the mall, than teens of 20 or even 10 years ago.

But teens’ attitudes are also being shaped by an era where people are less likely to assume that a “typical” American family is straight and white. “They’re the most socially and ethnically diverse of all generations,” says Sharalyn Hartwell, executive director at consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates, which studies teenage demographics. While their parents saw Morgan Freeman as the U.S. president in the 1998 movie “Deep Impact,” modern teens grew up with the real-life Obama White House.

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Ready to live in a nontraditional nation.

Only 55% of Americans 18 and under are Caucasian, compared with 72% of baby boomers, according to Magid. Not coincidentally, teenagers and “tweens” are more comfortable with the country’s changing ethnic balance. Some 47% say they feel positively about the U.S. becoming more ethnically diverse, compared with 32% of boomers.

Teenagers are also growing up in a society where same-sex marriage is more widely accepted, and, as a result, television shows aimed at their age group reflect this new reality, she adds. Disney’s “Good Luck Charlie” featured a same-sex couple, ABC Family’s “The Fosters” is a television show about a family with two moms, and ABC’s prime-time comedy “Modern Family” features a male same-sex couple that wrapped its last season with a wedding.

Today’s teens and tweens are also more likely than earlier generations to be the products of a particularly hands-on style of parenting—one that involves 24/7 online monitoring and more involvement in their education. Demographers and researchers say that such tighter-knit parenting can have an impact on how these teens will perceive the world as they become adults: They’ll be more likely to be realistic about their future and to embrace change—though if the parenting was too claustrophobic or authoritarian, they’ll also be more likely to be rebellious and get along poorly with others.

Also read: 10 things Generation X won’t tell you.

2. We’re one click ahead of you online

Some 95% of teenagers are online compared with around 80% of the overall population, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. In theory, that should make it easier for parents to keep up with them and track their behavior. But teens are light on their feet, and data suggests that teens are quietly fleeing mainstream social sites that have been adopted by their parents

Snapchat

During 2013, the share of teens active on Facebook dropped by 9 percentage points, while on Twitter it dropped 3 points, according to research firm GlobalWebIndex. Teens are gravitating instead to services like Blink and Snapchat, where messages are easier to keep private. “Video apps like Instagram and Vine are also playing a much larger role with this generation,” adds Jeanne Connon, chief marketing officer of FPgirl.com, a marketing firm that analyzes fashion, technology, trends and relationships among young girls. What’s more, teens are adept at hiding apps in folders on their computers or mobile devices to make them more difficult to find.

Parents are doing their best to play catch-up, Connon says, but it’s still an uphill battle. Around 1 in 5 tweens and young teenagers in middle school have received a sexually explicit message or photo, according to a survey of 1,200 middle school students published in July in the “American Academy of Pediatrics.” Those who received such a text were also six times more likely to be sexually active.

Also see: Teens rebel against Facebook.

3. We’re sooo bored…with the shopping mall

Teen-oriented retailers, take note: Shopping may be losing its mystique among the under -18 set. The latest retailing survey by investment bank Piper Jaffray found that the average teenager spent $1,000 on fashion annually, down from $1,300 in 2006, and took 29 shopping trips a year, down from 38 in 2007. For the first time in the survey’s 13-year history, they spent a bigger share of their spending money on food than clothing (20.8% versus 20.7%).

AFP/Getty Images
Online shopping may make the teenage mall-rat an endangered species.

The big issue here is that teenagers are shopping with their tablets and smartphones, rather than in person: 75% of teenage girls and 50% of teenage boys says they prefer shopping online than in-store. (They spend an average of $56.50 per shopping trip when they do make it to a brick-and-mortar store.) “Teens are browsing regularly on their mobile devices, shopping less frequently and engaging with brands on demand,” says Steph Wissink, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray.

Teens’ spending may be waning because their parents are economizing: They remain heavily dependent on the fortunes of their parents, who contribute around 65% of their annual spending, according to the report. And while they do have a penchant for expensive clothing brands, there are only one or two that have a firm hold over them: 19% of male teenagers prefer Nike and the same percentage of female teenagers prefer Lululemon leggings.

4. We do drugs (but not the same ones you did)

Around 36% of high-school students report having used marijuana at least once within the previous 12 months, according to data released in July the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. That’s down from 41% in 1998. The share of teenagers who used alcohol over the past year has declined more sharply, to 51% in 2013 from 68% in 1998.

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Marijuana remains popular with teens, but prescription drug abuse is rising faster.

Use of other drugs, however, have risen slightly: 23% of teens admit to abusing or misusing prescription drugs, at least once in their lifetime, up from 20% five years ago, and one in six report doing so within the past year. Pain medications like Oxycodone and Vicodin and “study drugs” that combat attention-deficit-disorder are among the most commonly abused, according to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. And abuse of human growth hormone (HGH)—often used by athletes seeking to add muscle—has risen among teens to 11% in 2013 from 5% a year earlier.

“They are not doing [these drugs] to get high, they’re doing it because they think they can stay up studying to get better grades, to relax and get fit,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Also see: Cocaine use is going to pot.

5. We can’t do financial math (but neither can you)

American teens don’t fare so well on the “Program for International Student Assessment,” an international survey of financial literacy conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development every three years. The most recent version, released in July, tested more than 510,000 15-year-olds across 18 countries. Americans scored below average (492 points versus an OECD average of 500 points), finishing behind China (No. 1 with an average of 603 points), Belgium (541), Estonia (529), Australia (526 points) and New Zealand (520).

Why Johnny can’t understand derivatives

Can the U.S. improve financial literacy? We ask Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Experts blame the system—not the students. “Teenagers don’t know about financial literacy because adults have a low level of financial literacy too,” says AnnaMaria Lusardi, a professor of economics and accountancy at George Washington University School of Business. In a 2011 study conducted by Lusardi, only 30% of U.S. adults gave correct answers to three basic questions concerning numeracy, inflation and risk diversification (versus 53% in Germany and 45% in the Netherlands). Nonetheless, 62% of teens say their parents are good financial role models, according to a survey by tax preparers H&R Block.

Some states are making efforts to fill this knowledge gap, introducing more economics and personal finance classes. For the first time, all 50 states and D.C. now include economics in their K-12 standards, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Council of Economic Education. Still, only 22 states require students to take an economics course as a high school graduation prerequisite, and only six states require the testing of student knowledge in personal finance.

6. Your recession-era stress is contagious

Teens report having stress levels that surpass that of their parents during the school year, a recent survey by the American Psychological Association found. Teens reported stress levels of 5.8 on a 10-point scale, compared with 5.1 for adults; those levels declined to 4.6 for teens during the summer, but that still ranked above the 3.9 score that’s considered normal. One-third of teens reported symptoms of fatigue related to their stress, more than one-quarter said they skipped meals, and some 30% said they felt overwhelmed or depressed.

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School is a drag; parental stress, even more so.

Nearly 40% of parents say their high school kids experience stress, according to a 2013 Harvard School of Public Health Survey conducted for National Public Radio. About one-quarter of high-school students’ parents said homework caused their child a lot of stress, the survey found.

But school is far from the only factor, experts say. Teens pick up coping mechanisms or a lack thereof from their parents, and they’re also more likely to experience parental divorce than children were 20 years ago, says Lynn Bufka, assistant executive director for practice research and policy at the American Psychological Association. The impact of stress over divorce and financial trouble gets passed onto children who may also feel less able to tell their parents or teachers that they’re feeling stressed out, she says. “Often times, they don’t want to add to their parents’ burden,” Bufka says. If a child has a problem turning in homework or lack of attention, she adds, parents should tell teachers what’s going on at home.

One potentially positive sign for college-bound teens: The SAT will undergo a revamp in 2016 in ways the experts say will make it somewhat less demanding.

7. Our hunger for gadgets will cost you billions

Remember when loose-leaf binders and a new backpack were all the school supplies you needed? Parents are set to spend $8.4 billion on back-to-school electronics this year, including computers, tablets and smartphones, up 7% from last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Back-to-school shoppers will spend an average $212.35 per household on electronic items.

Stanislav Komogorov/Shutterstock

Phones are a major driver of this spending: About 27% of teens owned smartphones last year, up from 23% in 2011. Howard Schaffer, vice president of retailing website Offers.com, says these mobile devices are seen as critical by parents because they allow them to keep tabs on their kids via geolocation apps like “Trick or Tracker” or “Connect.”

Some parents say they’re trying to moderate the back-to-school tech spending this year. Only 37% of parents are buying tablets or computers, compared with 61% who will underwrite clothing and 55% who will buy shoes for their kids, according to a survey of 1,000 parents by Offers.com. And 36% say they’ll spend more than $200 per child on technology, down from 45% in 2013; Schaffer says that reflects the fact that computers and smartphones are lasting longer.

Also see: 5 apps for spying on your spouse.

8. We’ll double the price of your car insurance

Adding a teenage driver to a married couple’s car insurance can be a financial tsunami for the typical family. According to a report by insuranceQuotes.com, a division of personal finance site Bankrate.com, adding a male teenager hikes premiums by an average of 92%; while female teen drivers hike premiums by 67%. The good news for parents: The older their child becomes, the lower the premium. The premium hike falls from 96% for 16-year-olds to 58% for 19-year-olds.

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Texting and driving: Bad at any age, particularly troublesome among teens.

The most expensive state to insure a teenage driver is New Hampshire, where the average premium surged 111%. Hawaii is the only state that prohibits age, gender and length of driving experience from affecting car insurance costs, so teen drivers there cost only 17% more to insure on their parents policy.

That said, more families are dodging this bill these days. There are fewer teens on the road, says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at BankRateInsurance.com. Twenty years ago, 70% of 18-year-olds had their driver’s license, she says, but today only 54% do, due in part to the rising cost of car ownership, increased unemployment among teens, and the increased use of social media (rather than face-to-face time) for teenage socializing.

There are other ways to minimize the financial damage: For example, some cars are cheaper to insure than others. “Choose a model that has a low crash history,” says Russ Rader, spokesman for the Highway Loss Data Institute, which publishes insurance claim data. Larger, heavier family cars such as Toyota Corollas, Ford sedans or Subarus are safer for teens, and their insurance rates reflect that. Many insurance companies offer a “good student” discount for those with B averages or better, adds Phil Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com. “A friend of mine told his teen driver that if he got a B average, he would split his insurance savings with him,” he says. “It was good motivation and a gain for both of them.”

9. We get bullied, even when we’re popular

Teenage movies from “Clueless” (1995) to “Mean Girls” (2004) show the hazards of being on the low end of the status scale at high school. But a recent study offers evidence that popular kids get bullied, too.

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Being popular doesn’t mean they’re safe.

For the paper “Causality of Social Combat: School Networks of Peer Victimization and Their Consequences” (links to pdf), researchers at the University of California and Pennsylvania State University studied 4,200 high-school students across 19 schools. They found that students’ chances of being bullied rise 25% if they move from a group with average popularity to the 95th percentile, beyond which victimization begins to drop. (Popularity was measured based on friendship nominations among students.) Those with higher social status also experienced stronger adverse psychological consequences when bullied—because they felt like they had more to lose. More popular kids may also escape the radar of concerned educators and parents who focus on isolated students. The study also found that females are victimized 30% more often than males and “social isolates” are bullied 23% more often than others.

There has been a major push to combat bullying in recent years, including suicide prevention campaigns such as the LGBT-focused “It gets better” social media effort, which featured videos from sports stars, celebrities and politicians, including President Obama. In 2012, the Department of Education released a free training tool kit aimed at reducing bullying in schools. But 17% of students report being bullied 2 to 3 times a month during a school semester, and 1 in 10 drop out because of bullying, according to DoSomething.org, a nonprofit organization focused on young people and social change.

10. We don’t buy into the American Dream

Like member of other generations, most teens define the American Dream as involving homeownership, educational opportunities, a high standard of living and the likelihood of doing better than the previous generation. But teens are more likely to see that Dream as out of reach. According to a survey by Magid Associates, only 60% of teens and tweens believe in the American Dream compared with 71% of millennials, 64% of Generation Xers and 75% of boomers.

Although most teens are too young to remember 9/11, they’re not too young to recall how their parents struggled during the recession. “They’re influenced by their Gen X parents and older siblings,” Hartwell says. Many Xers were clobbered financially by the housing bubble, while millennials have more college debt than any previous generation of Americans. Older role models are “telling these kids that it’s not going to be better for you just because it should be.”

But that doesn’t necessarily make teens negative or pessimistic, it makes them pragmatic and realistic. “They still have the optimism of youth,” Hartwell says.

The No. 1 Killer of Teens in the U.S.   Leave a comment

The No. 1 Killer of Teens in the U.S. Originally posted at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamison-monroe-jr/prescription-drug-abuse_b_4276845.html
Posted: 11/20/2013 10:12 am

There is a growing epidemic in America that is taking the lives of our young people. It’s in most of our homes and it can easily be obtained from a friend or doctor. Prescription drug abuse is real problem among teens and young adults that gets bigger every year.

According to an alarming report by the Centers for Disease Control, prescription drug abuse takes the life of one person every 19 minutes. In teens and young adults, fatality rates are only increasing. Between 2000-2009, deaths for poisoning in teens raised an alarming 91 percent due to prescribed medication.

These aren’t drugs that kids are buying on the street corners. About 70 percent of prescriptions drugs kids take are from their own homes.

Just take a minute to think about how many over the counter medications you have. One from a tooth ache you had two months ago or a bottle of pills you have to take the edge off a particular stressful week — they’re all there in open season for a child to experiment with right now.

Abuse can also start from medication from a prescription for a child’s sports injury or a perceived attention problem.

In our over-medicated society, kids are given medication every day to manage discomfort, anxiety and other behavioral disorders. But the truth is we set them up for failure.

From an early age, kids are pressured to meet unrealistic goals whether it is for academic achievement or sports recognition. This obsession with success leaves many parents too ready to give their children pills to cover up minor problems that are more of environmental issues than physical.

Now, that is not to say we all shouldn’t strive to succeed, but the destructive circle of forcing children to perform and medicating them when they don’t measure up to preconceived standards can set them on the path for substance abuse.

A DrugFree.org study out earlier this spring showed that one in six parents thought that using prescription drugs to get high was safer than street drugs. That line of thinking is dead wrong. A Yale School of Medicine study found that teens who use marijuana between the ages of 12-17 were two times more likely to turn to prescription pills for their fix. It is because of these findings that many researchers argue that early intervention is key to stamping out drug abuse.

The solution to stamping out the plague of prescription drug abuse starts with education. Eighty-one percent of parents reported that they have spoken about the dangers of using marijuana with their children, but only 14 percent said they were ever told of the risks of misusing prescriptions, as found by a DrugFree.org study.

Together with schools, parents need to recognize the accessibility of these drugs to young people and teach them the dangers from an early age. Families also need to be engaged with their children and willing to be parents. When children display behavioral issues, it often isn’t just an independent issue and the entire family must be treated or else it is just putting a band aid on the real problem.

A pill isn’t always the answer. We have to look at the enablers of this epidemic — the doctors, families and our culture — and become more proactive about changing our behavior. Much like the root of this problem, a lot of this starts at home.

Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.

Posted November 21, 2013 by sotpyouth in Drugs/Alcohol

2C-I or ‘Smiles’: The New Killer Drug Every Parent Should Know About   Leave a comment

By  | Healthy Living – Thu, Sep 20, 2012 3:18 PM EDT

Witnesses described the 17-year-old boy as “shaking, growling, foaming at the mouth.”According to police reports, Elijah Stai was at a McDonald’s with his friend when he began to feel ill. Soon after, he “started to smash his head against the ground” and began acting “possessed,” according to a witness. Two hours later, he had stopped breathing.

The Grand Forks, North Dakota teenager’s fatal overdose has been blamed on a drug called 2C-I. The night before Stai’s overdose, another area teen, Christian Bjerk, 18, was found face down on a sidewalk. His death was also linked to the drug.

2C-I–known by its eerie street name “Smiles”–has become a serious problem in the Grand Forks area, according to local police. Overdoses of the drug have also be reported in Indiana and Minnesota. But if the internet is any indication, Smiles is on the rise all over the country.

“At the moment I am completely and fully submerged, if you can’t tell by my eyes, in a psychedelic world known as 2C-I,” one young man with a scruffy chin beard and dilated pupils effuses on a video posted in October of 2011. He’s one of dozens of users providing Youtube “reports” of their experiences on the synthetic drug.

Smile’s effects have been called a combination of MDMA and LSD, only far more potent. Users have reported a speedy charge along with intense visual and aural hallucinations that can last anywhere from hours to days.

“At first I’d think something was extremely beautiful and then it look really strange,” another user says in a recorded online account.”I looked at my girlfriend’s face for a minute and it was pitch black…the black started dripping out of her eye.”

Because the drug is relatively new-it first surfaced around 2003 in European party scenes and only recently made its way to the states- the most readily accessible information about 2C-I comes from user accounts, many of which detail frightening experiences.

On an internet forum one user describes the high as a “roller coaster ride through hell,” while another warns “do not drive on this drug,” after recounting his own failed attempt on the roadway.

Over the past few years, synthetic drugs like K-2, Spice and Bath Salts, have become increasing popular with teenagers and young adults because of their accessibility. Their ingredients are relatively easy to obtain and order online and until recently, they weren’t classified as illegal substances. But as they come under legal scrutiny, one by one, they’ve triggered a domino effect of newer, altered, and more potent versions.

“I think [the drugs] just keep changing to try to circumvent the law,” Lindsay Wold, a detective with the Grand Forks police department, told Yahoo Shine. “Anytime we try to figure something out, it changes.” Since July, her department has launched an awareness campaign in an effort to crack down on the Smile’s growing popularity with teens and young adults in the area. While reports of overdoses have spiked, Wold says it’s difficult to measure it’s growth in numbers.

“The unfortunate thing is if kids who are overdosing on 2C-I go in to the hospital with a physical problem, a lot of times they can’t test for it so it doesn’t show up as a drug overdose,” she says.

The fact that 2C-I is untraceable in tests makes it more of a challenge for doctors to treat. It also contributes to drug’s growing popularity among high school and college-age kids.

“Synthetic drugs don’t generally show up on drug tests and that’s made it popular with young adults, as well as people entering the military, college athletes, or anyone who gets tested for drugs,” Barbara Carreno, a spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Agency, tells Shine.

2C-I may be undetected in drug tests, but it’s effects are evident in emergency rooms.

According to James Mowry, the director of Indiana’s Poison Control Center, 2-CI overdoses–on the rise in the state- and have been known to cause seizures, kidney failure, and fatally high blood pressure.

“They do something that is called ‘uncoupling.” Mowry told an Indianapolis news station this month. “Basically, their muscles get to the point they cannot uncontract, so they sort of get rigid and then your temperature goes up really high and if you don’t treat them really aggressively, those people usually end up dying.”

As more overdoses surface, officials are taking aggressive measures to clamp down on the problem. In July, the DEA announced Operation Log Jam, the first nationwide coordinated US Law enforcement strike specifically targeting designer synthetic drugs. That same month, 2C-I was classified as a Schedule 1 subtance, making possession and distribution of the drug illegal. Those caught distributing even a small amount are facing serious criminal charges. Stai’s friend, who allegedly obtained the drug that caused his overdose, has been charged with third degree murder.

While the drug’s potential for overdose is apparent, the specific cases of fatalities are confounding. According to one site designed as a “fact sheet” for users, the dosage of the drug, which also comes as a liquid or a pill, is difficult to measure in powder form. When users snort the drug they could end up taking more than they realize, prompting an overdose. But in the case of Stai, the powder wasn’t snorted, but melted into a chocolate bar and eaten.

Some speculate those “hobby chemists” making the drug, using powders shipped from China, acetone and plant-based materials, are to blame for concocting particularly strong or toxic batches.

“Anybody with a little money to front can import chemicals, mix, and sell it,” says Carreno. “Many of these types of drugs were originally designed for research, and designed to be used on animals, not people.” In fact, 2C-I was first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin, a psychopharmacologist and scientific researcher. He also discovered the chemical make-up of 2C-E, closely-related psychadelic formula blamed for the death of a Minnesota teenager and the overdose of 11 others, last year.

Because of his research, Shulgin has become an unintentional icon of the synthetic drug movement, and his formulas have been reprinted, and reduced to plain language, on drug-related web forums.

“Drugs used to take longer to get around but now with the internet they can spread by word of mouth online,” says Carreno. If drugs like Smile are able to spread virally, like an internet meme, they’re outdated with the same speed. Already, a newer, re-booted version of the drug is cropping up on the other side of the planet, and by early accounts it’s more frightening than the original.

The new drug called 25b-Nbome, is a derivative of 2C-I, that’s sold in tab form. This past month, it’s linked to multiple overdoses seen in young people in Perth, Australia. Most notable was a young man who died after fatally slamming his body into trees and power line poles while high on the drug.

“Overdose on these drugs is a reality… and can obviously result in dire consequences,” a Perth police department official warned.

It isn’t obvious to everyone. “I can’t recommend for anyone to go out and use this legally,” says one 2C-I user in a Youtube video that’s gotten 12,000 views, “but why not?”

Posted October 2, 2012 by sotpyouth in Drugs/Alcohol

Algonquin Board Moves To Outlaw Artificial Marijuana   Leave a comment

by First Electric Newspaper LLC

The Algonquin Village Board Tuesday gave initial approval to a new ordinance banning sale, possession or use of synthetic marijuana within the village.  When formally approved it would make Algonquin the first community in McHenry and northern Kane counties to ban “incense” treated with lab versions of cannabinoids, stimulants or hallucinogens that are legal in the sense that the Drug Enforcement Agency hasn’t had time to outlaw them yet.

“Our officers talked to some of the kids,” said Chief Russ Laine.  “They say they have it because it’s legal, it’s easy to get and you can’t fail a (drug) test for it.”

Activists complained to the Board earlier this month that synthetic marijuana was a danger to local youth but readily available in local head and tobacco shops.  Laine agreed the stuff was dangerous.  “The results…you don’t know what the results will be. Just in Algonquin we’ve had hallucinations, convulsions, aggressive behavior.”

The proposed ordinance is based on one drafted by Aurora and the North Central Narcotics Task Force to combat the problem there.  It bans sale, possession or use of 16 cannabinoid compounds, 17 stimulants plus 4 different ways to turn them into something else that still works and 8 psychedelics “including salts, isomers, esters and ethers of salts of isomers”.  Laine said the Aurora ordinance passed only a couple of months ago so it still hasn’t encountered a legal challenge yet.

Member Bob Smith had problems with an absence of what lawyers call criminal intent.  “Does this mean someone could be pulled over having a legal product they bought legally (elsewhere) and arrested here?” he asked.  Yes, answered Village attorney Kelly Cahill because, “It’s not a criminal ordinance, it’s a civil act,” she said.  “It’s the only way we can handle it.”

The only question still unresolved is the penalty.  The draft called for a $750 fine but President John Schmitt thought it ought to be more.  “Maybe if it was $2,000 the parents would get involved and it would get some attention,” he said.  If there’s a whopping fine, “I’ll take the blame, and I know there’ll be some, if I have to,” he said.

Another ordinance change given first approval Tuesday would tighten up a village ban on drug paraphernalia.  Laine said, essentially, it doesn’t outlaw having “bongs and hookahs and pipes”, just ones with evidence they’ve ever been used.

Posted December 14, 2011 by sotpyouth in Drugs/Alcohol, Family

Not My Kid: Parents Severely Underestimate Teens' Drug and Alcohol Use   Leave a comment

From Remy Melina, LiveScience Staff Writer

Few parents of teens who drink or smoke pot are aware of it, suggests a new study that also finds that most parents are concerned about substance use by teenagers and believe that more than half of 10th-graders drink alcohol (just not their own 10th-grader).

Only 10 percent of parents think their own teens drank alcohol within the last year, and 5 percent believe their teens smoked marijuana in the last year, according to the latest poll by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

These low numbers severely clash with the university’s 2010 Monitoring the Future survey, in which 52 percent of surveyed 10th-graders reported drinking alcohol in the last year and 28 percent reported using marijuana within the last year. Those numbers were based on an annual survey of about 420 public and private high schools and middle schools that are selected to provide an accurate representation of U.S. students at each grade level.

“There’s a clear mismatch between what parents are reporting in terms of their children’s possible use of substances and what teenagers report themselves,” said study researcher Bernard Biermann of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He is also a medical director of the university’s Child/Adolescent Inpatient Unit.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health was administered in May to a group of 667 parents with a child between the ages of 13 and 17.

While most parents seem to assume their own kids aren’t trying alcohol or drugs, they certainly don’t think their child’s peers are as innocent. In the poll, researchers found that many parents of teens are very likely to believe that within the last year at least 60 percent of 10th-graders drank alcohol and 40 percent of 10th-graders used marijuana.

That parents are more likely to expect drug and alcohol use by other teenagers than by their own indicates a need for awareness about teenage substance use, the researchers said. They suggest parents broach the subject with their teens in a nonthreatening way and speak to them about the importance of resisting peer pressure.

“Awareness is a means of opening the door to communication. If parents acknowledge the possibility — and in fact, the likelihood — that their child may have experimented with or used alcohol or marijuana, they can begin to talk to them more about it, provide some guidance, and allow their kids to ask questions,” Biermann said in a statement.

The researchers also suggest that parents carefully monitor their kids and look for signs of substance use. They warn parents not to overreact over a single instance of substance use, and to instead use the experience as an opportunity to talk to their teen in a nonjudgmental way.

Posted September 21, 2011 by sotpyouth in Drugs/Alcohol, Family, School

Liquor and Lip Gloss-The Affect of Alcohol on Young Girls   Leave a comment

When Brooke goes out this weekend, she might have a great night, even meet a guy, and make memories with friends that last a long, long time.

But, if new research is true, what she drinks could be what stays with her the longest.

A Wasted Wizard…and Others
Recently, several high profile stories about young people and their abuse of alcohol have captured the attention of parents around the country.

Daniel Radcliffe, the spectacle-wearing and wand-waving face of the history-making Harry Potter franchise recently reflected on his fame and how he used alcohol to deal with it. (Yeah, I know he’s British…but his final Harry Potter flick just snagged 169.1 million of our dollars on this side of the pond…in the opening weekend alone!) Evidently, a “few” American kids are paying attention to the English actor….

Unbeknownst to most, alcohol played a massive role in his life for several years. In an interview with The Telegraph, the young wizard admitted, “I became reliant on [alcohol] to enjoy stuff…. There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me.”

But, Radcliffe’s bout with booze isn’t the only “young-person-wrestles-with-alcohol” story buzzing right now. There’s another one, and sadly, it didn’t end in sobriety. The grievous death of 14-year-old Takeimi Rao in the wine country of Santa Rosa, California has turned heads, as well. In mid July, Rao invited some friends over for a slumber party, and at some point during the night, the girls began mixing soda and vodka. While three of the girls were found vomiting at 2:00 a.m. by Takeimi’s mom, it wasn’t until the next morning that Takeimi’s body was discovered lifeless in the bathroom.

Stories like these continue to cause many American parents to worry about their teenagers’ interactions with alcohol. Rao’s death has left many parents searching for answers in the midst of the tragedy…and wondering if their attempts to avoid a similar family pain will work.

But it may be parents of girls who have the most reason to worry. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted September 6, 2011 by sotpyouth in Drugs/Alcohol, Family

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