Modern Teen Drug Use: Signs & Slang


You are never going to know every term for drugs or recognize all of the signs of abuse, but it is important as a parent or guardian that you stay as up-to-date as you can. Parents: this is important information, keep reading. Continue reading “Modern Teen Drug Use: Signs & Slang” »

How Substance Abuse Affects Judgment

stop teen drugs (1)People who have substance abuse problems often struggle with many physical and psychological issues. The drugs they take have a detrimental effect on their bodies, and it’s no surprise that many drugs can influence the user’s mood. However, many people don’t realize that substance abuse can have a fundamental effect on their ability to make judgments. A new study suggests that this may go beyond simply engaging in risky behavior while under the effects of drugs.

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How Social Media Can Tell if Your Teen is Using Drugs

Social Media: A New Era for Teen Drug Use

Although social media websites were designed to encourage interaction, as a parent, it’s easy for social media to make you feel more disconnected from your teen than ever.

Social media sites are just one of the many concerns that should be on a parent’s radar. From being the victim of cyberbullying, to sharing inappropriate photos or videos, or even buying drugs online, teensocial media s can easily get into dangerous situations while using social media platforms.

As a parent, it’s important to keep open lines of communication between you and your teenager. Still, sometimes despite what you do, your teen may not be open and honest with you. If you are worried about your teen using drugs, their social media profiles may be one way to monitor their health and safety.

Using Social Media to See if Your Teen is Using Drugs


We have written before about teens using social media sites like Instagram to buy drugs. Instagram, which focuses on posting pictures, has become one of the most popular social media sites for teens. Many teens leave their profiles open to the public, meaning that you may be able to see what they are posting without “following” them. Here are some signs to watch for on Instagram that may point to drug use:

  • Posting pictures that show drug paraphernalia

  • Pictures at parties where there appears to be underage drinking or smoke-filled rooms

  • Use of hashtags, such as #420, which is a reference to the use of marijuana, or #pyrex, which is a reference to the use of glass pyrex dishes to make crack cocaine–not your grandmother’s vintage casserole dishes!


Facebook remains a popular social media site for teens and adults alike. As a more established site, you may already have access to your teen’s profile by being “friends” when them. If so, you can monitor what they post on their own and on their friends’ profiles, and what posts they are tagged in. Facebook might give you more information, because unlike Instagram, teens post more than just pictures. They post status updates, events, and they talk to their friends on this social media site. Look for the same types of pictures you’d monitor for on Instagram: drug paraphernalia, alcohol, and parties.


Twitter is another popular social media site for teens. Many celebrities use Twitter, which increases its popularity among teens. Like on Instagram, the use of hashtags to describe their posts is very common on Twitter. Look out for hashtags like #420 and #pyrex, as well as other slang references for drugs, including Crank (meth), Special K (ketamine), and Triple C or CCC (Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold).

Don’t let drugs ruin your teen’s future. Contact Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City for accurate drug testing for your teen. Call (816) 875-0464 today.


Parents, Know the Signs of Heroin Use

Recently, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s heroin-induced death made the headlines. People pronounced his death tragic and surprising, although the actor had struggled for years with heroin use.

Hoffman’s death has undoubtedly raised awareness about heroin use, but people still may not realize that heroin is not a drug limited to celebrities or urban gangs. Nationwide and even here in Kansas City, heroin use among suburban teens and adults is on the rise.

If you are a parent, it’s key that you understand the facts about heroin and learn to recognize the signs of heroin use among your teens.

Continue reading “Parents, Know the Signs of Heroin Use” »

Does My Teenager have a Drug Problem?

Unfortunately, parenting doesn’t come with a guidebook. To be the best parent you can, you will need to compile your own style of parenting. Every parent has a different outlook — but all parents face the same issues as their children grow.

Common Challenges: Teen Drug Problems

One common concern rises as children hit the teenage years. Parents across the country are worried about possible drug use. If you’re not currently worried about your teens having a drug problem, you may find this list of signs useful in the future.

Teens are susceptible to falling into consistent drug use.  Natural hormonal changes and peer pressure combine to create a dangerous environment for many teenagers. While many avoid drugs and alcohol completely, many others experiment, and a fraction of those teens may develop a serious drug problem.

Teen Drug Use: What to Look For

Teen drug use is not always easy to detect. All teens will exhibit different behavior if they have a potential drug problem, but there are several common threads. Pay attention to these factors as you try to determine if your teens or other friends and family members have a drug problem.

These are some of the most common symptoms and signs of a teenage drug problem:

Complaints from School Administrationteen talking to parent

You might get reports that your child is skipping classes or skipping school. A child that was once interested in school and involved in activities may suddenly become disinterested or see a drastic drop in grades. Pay attention to your teen’s grades and attitude toward extracurricular activities. Teens with drug problems often lose interest in things they once enjoyed.

Physical Signs of a Drug Problem

Depending on the type of drug, you might notice a decrease in energy, loss of appetite, runny nose, skin discoloration, excessive sweating, vomiting and nausea among many other signs.

Behavioral Changes

Teens like privacy, but extra effort to keep their privacy is one behavior to watch. Teens with a drug problem may keep their plans with friends a secret, block family members from entering their room, or be vague when describing what they’ve been doing.

Excessive Spending

Most teens occasionally ask for money. However, teens who are desperate to fund their addiction may ask for money with no real reason. Some teens may even resort to stealing money or selling items for the cash.

What to do

These are just a few common behaviors of teens that have drug problems. Teens who do not use drugs may display these habits, while other teens may use drugs without showing these signs. One of the most accurate ways to detect a drug problem is drug testing.

Identifying the problem early can help you take the right action. The longer the problem persists, the more dangerous the addiction becomes for you and your teenager. Drug testing is a reliable way to detect abuse and help your teen overcome the battle soon. For reliable drug testing in the Kansas City area, contact Test Smartly Labs.

Creative Ways Teens are Abusing Substances

over the counter drugsTeenage drug and alcohol abuse is nothing new, but now teens are finding new ways to get high and drunk. With increasing restrictions and penalties, they are getting more and more creative. Most of these are potentially fatal, and all of them do bodily harm.

Some of these methods may shock you, but it is important to be aware that abuse happens in many different ways aside from drinking, shooting up and smoking.



  • Teenagers have found a way to get drunk fast and disguise the smell of alcohol. Eyeballing is when a person pours alcohol directly into the eye, quickly absorbing into the bloodstream through veins in the back of the eye.

Drinking hand sanitizer

  • Hand sanitizers contain 62% ethyl alcohol, which can cause a quick buzz but be potentially lethal. Foam hand sanitizer makes it more difficult to extract the alcohol, so opt for that over the gel form. Some kids are also drinking mouthwash and vanilla extract for the same effect.

Vodka-soaked Feminine Products

  • Reports have been floating around for a few years now about teen girls (and boys) soaking feminine products in alcohol before inserting them into their bodies. The alcohol immediately absorbs directly into the bloodstream. It is exceptionally dangerous because users will not show common signs of alcohol poisoning, like vomiting.


Cough medicine

  • Known as “purple drank” and “sizzurp,” this concoction is a mixture of cold medicine, a soft drink and Jolly Ranchers candies. It is often glorified by rappers like Lil Wayne and athletes. Robitussin and Delsym are popular choices and may also be known as “Tussin” and “Orange Crush.”

  • Kids are also using pills containing dextromethorphan (DXM), which gives a similar high to codeine. Contained in Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold, the drug can cause hallucinations and out-of-body experiences.



  • Inhalation includes huffing, dusting, sniffing and bagging, where a person inhales chemicals to get high. By soaking bags or rags in chemicals, the participant then breathes from the cloth or bag. Cleaning supplies, spray paint, glue, gasoline, nail polish remover and more can all be used as inhalation products. Effects are similar to those of alcohol, including slurred speech, dizziness, confusion and nausea.

Choking Game

  • Also known as the Fainting Game, the Pass Out Game, Space Monkey and Black Out (among others), children as young as 8 or 9 are using asphyxiation to briefly feel high. The participant has a friend (or can easily use a rope or scarf) strangle him or her until oxygen is cut off. Once the grip is released, the rush of oxygen to the brain results in a high. Look for marks or bruises around the neck, bloodshot eyes and the presence of items like leashes, ropes, belts, scarves, bungee cords etc.

If you have concerns about your teenager trying drugs and alcohol, contact Test Smartly Labs in Kansas City. We can run drug tests and help your child begin to make the right decisions.

Signs your Teenager Might be Using Drugs

You’ve noticed your teen’s behavior has changed, and their appearance seems to be changing quickly too. The kids coming around the house act stand-off-ish and there’s something secretive going on. As parents, it’s important to know the signs to look for when it comes to teenage drug use.


Know the Signs of Teenage Drug Use

The Signs of Teenage Drug Use

Just like the effects of alcohol may differ between each person, know that each teenager using drugs will display an behaviors unique to them. Also, depending on tolerance, some teens may display all of the signs while others only one or two. While there are many signs to look for, it’s also important that parents “go with their gut” and begin asking questions and seeking help when suspicions about drug use begin.

Signs your Teen may be using Depressants

Teens experimenting with depressants may be involved with alcohol or other prescription medications. Some common depressants include barbiturates and tranquilizers. Some signs that your teen may be using depressants include disorientation, droopy eyes, drowsiness, drunk-like behavior, slow reactions, slurred speech and a lack of coordination.

Signs your Teen may be using Stimulants

Stimulants are also considered “uppers” and often come in the form of prescription medication. Some stimulants include cocaine and meth. Signs that your teen may be using stimulants include anxiety, body tremors, dry mouth, exaggerated reflexes, excitability, grinding teeth, eyelid tremors, increased alertness, insomnia, irritability, redness near the nasal area, restlessness, and a runny nose.

Signs your Teen may be using Hallucinogens

Teens using hallucinogens like LSD and others experience long, intense “trips” when using these drugs. Typically teens using these drugs will be in a meditative, dreamy state. Some other signs of hallucinogen use include body tremors, a dazed appearance, difficulty with speech, disorientation, flashbacks, memory loss, nausea, paranoia, perspiration, poor perception of time and distance and a lack of coordination.

Signs your Teen may be using Dissociative Anesthetics

Dissociative anesthetics are like PCP and may be smoked, oral, injected and even used as eye drops. Signs your teen may be on these drugs include: blank stares, chemical-type odor, cyclic behavior, difficulty with speech, disorientation, incomplete verbal responses, an increased pain threshold, non-communicative, perspiring, possibly violent, sensory distortions and slow or slurred speech.

Signs your Teen may be using Narcotic Analgesics

Opiods (like heroin and methadone) are used in several prescription medications, but misused to create a euphoric state of mind. If your teen is using opiates, you might notice constricted pupils, depressed reflexes, drowsiness, droopy eyelids, dry mouth, euphoria, facial itching, nausea, puncture marks, slow, raspy speech and slowed breathing. Please note that some teens who are very tolerant of the drug may not show many signs of impairment.

Signs your Teen may be using Inhalants

Inhalants (typically gasses) are dangers, to the point that an overdose can lead to a coma. If you’re teen is on inhalants, you might see the following drug signs: bloodshot watery eyes, confusion, disorientation, flushed face, intense headaches, lack of muscle control, non-communicative, odor of some drug substance, possible nausea, residue of substance, slow slurred speech. Also know that anesthetic gases cause low pressure and volatile solvents and aerosols cause high blood pressure.

Signs your Teen may be using Marijuana (Cannabis)

The most common cannabis among teens is marijuana use. While it may not always be obvious, some teens display the following symptoms if they’ve been using marijuana: body tremors, disorientation, debris in the mouth, eyelid tremors, impaired perception of time and distance, increased appetite, reddening of the eyes, possible paranoia, relaxed inhibitions and an gives off an odor.

If you suspect your teen may be using drugs, consider having them drug tested. Contact us for teenage drug testing if you’re in the Kansas City area.