Parents: Talk to Your Teens About Opiates

From a very young age, it is drilled into our heads that heroin is bad. However, we are also taught to trust professional adults like doctors and to listen to what they say. If a teen gets an injury and is prescribed an opiate painkiller or they just hear that taking them can get them high, they are more likely to believe it is safe. If your child found heroin in your medicine cabinet, they would be terrified, but because the feeling towards opiates is not as worrisome is causing a deadly crisis. Continue reading “Parents: Talk to Your Teens About Opiates” »

Fentanyl: A Big Part of the Opiate Epidemic

Fentanyl is an opioid that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, just 2 milligrams of powdered fentanyl can be deadly. Last year, authorities seized at least 668 kilograms of fentanyl — that’s enough to kill every American. Continue reading “Fentanyl: A Big Part of the Opiate Epidemic” »

Teen Athletes at High Risk For Developing Opiate Addiction

Parents of teen athletes are typically focused on their child’s performance and fun-level in their chosen sports. They want to see their teens excel towards winning games and matches as well as catching the eye of scouts and earning scholarships. However, stress and injuries go hand in hand with both athletics and addiction. Painkillers are a highly expensive addiction and it’s only a matter of time before the students move on to a much cheaper opioid — heroin. Continue reading “Teen Athletes at High Risk For Developing Opiate Addiction” »

Student Athletes Moving from Painkillers to Heroin

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Most parents of student athletes are focused on their teen’s performance and enjoyment of the sports they’re involved in. Their main concerns are the number of touchdowns scored and college scholarships offered.

But when parents and student athletes get hyper-focused on performance, stress and injuries can contribute to a dangerous habit that destroys changes of major league success: addiction.

Sports Illustrated recently profiled one student athlete’s drug abuse that began with prescription painkillers and spiraled into heroin addiction. Here are the details KC parents should pay attention to.

Continue reading “Student Athletes Moving from Painkillers to Heroin” »

Teen Drug Use: It’s Not Just an Inner City Thing

You might think that your children and teens are less likely to experiment with drugs if you live in one of Kansas City’s many lovely suburban areas like Overland Park, Liberty, Blue Springs, or Lee’s Summit. But just because your address is in a suburb doesn’t mean that your child isn’t engaged in what you might think are “inner city” activities.

Although many drugs first rose to prominence in more densely populated urban areas, studies have shown that illegal drug abuse among teens is spreading out from the inner city and reaching into the suburbs. In research conducted by Suniya S. Luthar of Columbia and Dr. Karen D’Avanzo of Yale, suburban teenagers reported much higher levels of substance abuse than inner city teenagers. Instances of prescription drug abuse and heroin use by teenages have soared in the past few years.

Although high costs and dangers associated with drug use once kept suburban youths away from illegal drugs, we can’t deny the clear shift:  teen drug use is no longer just an “inner city thing.”

Increased Teen Heroin Abuse in the Suburbs

Heroin use in the United States has skyrocketed since 2002. As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports, there has been an 80% increase in first-time use of heroin by 12 to 17 year olds. And the Drug Enforcement Administration has seized more heroin in 2012 than before: the amount doubled to 2,059 lbs in 2012 from 1,334 lbs in 2008. Teenage drug users are a huge part of the overall heroin increase.Teen Drug Use in the Suburbs Not Inner City | ARCpoint Labs

In particular, cities surrounding Chicago, like Naperville, IL, have seen a remarkable increase in the amount of teenage heroin users in the past few years, demonstrating the shift of teenage drug use from the inner city to the suburbs. In Naperville, 2 of 6 people who died of heroin overdoses in 2011 were teenagers, and more suburban teen drug users have lost their lives to heroin since then. Also in 2011, felony drug arrests among Naperville teenagers saw a 78% increase and a 450% increase in heroin arrests specifically.

Clearly heroin use has shifted from the inner city to the suburbs, but why? Experts say that  it is due in part to the crackdown on prescription drug abuse. As law enforcement and pharmaceutical companies have made it more difficult for suburban teens to access opiates in pill form, they‘ve turned to the less expensive, easier-to-access form: heroin.

Fight Teen Drug Abuse in the Suburbs with ARCpoint

It’s important to be aware of the shifts in teenage drug use from the inner city to the suburbs. Even if your town has a squeaky clean image, there is most likely a teenage drug user in your midst, whether it’s your own child, their friend, or a kid in your neighborhood.

If you have a teenager and you are concerned about their potential drug use, you should talk to them about the dangers of drug abuse. ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City can provide more information about teenage drug use. We also offer confidential testing at our Kansas City  facilities so that you can help keep your teenager clean.

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.

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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.