Is Your Teenager Using Meth?

Methamphetamine has been around for a while. It’s an extremely addictive drug known as speed, crank, glass, ice, or crystal, despite the fact that it never physically looks like the latter three terms. In fact, you never really know what can be in meth — there is the pseudoephedrine that is always present but it can contain random household chemicals (i.e. drain cleaner, battery acid, lye, lantern fuel, and antifreeze), dirt, and even animal feces.  Continue reading “Is Your Teenager Using Meth?” »

First National Meth Awareness Week in Progress

 What: The first national Meth Awareness Week

When: November 30 through December 7

Why: To combat the use and abuse of methamphetamine

Who: The observance is put together by the Meth Project, a prevention program of The Partnership at Drugfree.org

We are in the midst of the first observance of National Meth Awareness Week. The week is dedicated to combating the use and abuse of methamphetamine in young adults and adults.

People in all sectors of our society are affected by meth use.

The drug is not limited to one age group, socioeconomic status or gender.

The U.S. Department of Justice states that meth is a challenge for our nation, noting that education is a vital part of prevention. People that understand just how destructive the drug is are less likely to use it.

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Education and Prevention

You might be wondering how education can prevent meth use, especially in teens. Research backs up the use of education to prevent meth use. Real projects provide even more support.

The research-based program implemented in Montana proved effective. Teen meth use has dropped 63 percent. Meth-related crime is 62 percent less common than before the education program began. Those statistics are encouraging.

The program is being implemented in other states now. We’re eager to keep following the efforts to educate and prevent meth use. Every step toward prevention is worthwhile.

METH – What All Parents Should Know

Thanks to the up-and-down weather of Kansas City this year, sinus congestion is all the rage. And so what did I do the other day when I felt sinus pressure coming on? I hit my local pharmacy to buy an over-the-counter drug that would make me feel better in no time. However, I was taken aback that I had to visit the pharmacy counter to even get the drug, and then once I got it, I had to show my driver’s license and then sign a statement that I wouldn’t use the drug for purposes other than feeling better. And that’s when I started to realize the huge problem we have on our hands.

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Meth is easily made and considered "safer" than cocaine by many teens.

Teens Making Drugs from Over-The-Counter Drugs

Meth isn’t really anything new. It’s a very addictive drug also known as speed, chalk or crystal that has taken the country by storm. Some have even said that more are using meth than marijuana these days. And from the statistics of reported meth lab seizures, it looks like that could at least be true for the state of Missouri.

Meth is a drug that affects the central nervous system. It’s been prescribed in small doses to those with ADHD and narcolepsy. However, many have taken production out of pharmaceutical hands and into foreign and domestic “super labs” … or the basement …  which is creating the wide-spread meth problem we have now.

Meth is one of the easiest drugs to produce at home, and there are literally thousands of recipes out there for production. That’s why when you buy Sudafed or Mucinex D for example, you’ve got to show your ID. The active ingredient pseudoephedrine that’s in many in over-the-counters is one of the main ingredients “meth heads” need.

The Effects of Meth

Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected and taken in pill form. Teens may use meth for a variety of reasons. Meth is said to give you a sense of control and relief. Some experience better performance in school and higher energy levels … at least initially. Others, especially teens, use it as a weight loss aid. Meth is perceived to be “better” and “safer” than the hard-hitting cocaine.

With prolonged use, several serious health concerns arise. Heart problems, brain damage and vital liver, kidney and other organ damage can occur – just for starters. Not to mention “meth mouth” – where frequent meth users lose their teeth and suffer from oral disease and decay. The drug that seems harmless and makes you feel invisible can soon take a turn and have very damaging effects.

Get Drug Tested for Meth

Meth is nothing to mess around with. It’s highly prevalent in the Midwest area, and especially near Kansas City. Rural towns also have high incidence of meth users and production labs. If you suspect your teen may be using meth, make sure to have him or her drug tested today. It’s the first step in assessing the situation and identifying if you have a teen drug problem on your hands.

Learn More about Meth:

FAQ about Meth

Info about Methamphetamine

Meth Lab Incidents in Missouri

Teenage Drug Use … It Might Surprise You

We’ve come across a few articles, blogs and statistics that have changed our paradigm about teen drug use. Sure, some aren’t so shocking – teens begin to experiment with drugs and alcohol very early in life. And they’re more likely to try drugs if they’ve been pressured by their peers.

However, here are a few surprising things we’ve run across lately that have our eyebrows raised. We thought they might raise yours, too…

Black & Asian Teens Have Lowest Rates of Drug Use

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Teen Drug Use statistics might surprise you

Not to blame everything on the local media, however, this is very opposite to what we might think after watching the news. Often times trials, cases and crime scenes show a different story. However this article about teen drug use states that drug use among black & Asian teens is actually the lowest compared to whites and Latinos. It quotes an article from the Archives of General Psychiatry:

“9 percent of white teens and 37 percent of Latinos reported having abused substances in the past year, compared to 32 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Asians. When it came to drugs alone, 20 percent of whites, 19 percent of blacks, and 12 percent of Asians reported using.”

Crystal Meth Has Become the Most Dangerous Drug Problem in Small Town America.

Many in small towns will attest to this growing problem among teens … and even adults. Crystal meth is easily produced with household chemicals, and is a popular drug to produce and use in small towns across the country. This website even quoted that “Kids between 12 and 14 that live in smaller towns are 104% more likely to use meth than those who live in larger cities.”

Many Teens Don’t View Marijuana as Harmful

There’s a growing perception among many teens that marijuana isn’t harmful. We could blame it on popular movies that glamorize potheads. Or the movements to get legalization of marijuana on the ballots all across the country. Or even just the prevalence of its use. But one thing is for sure – teens don’t view this “gateway” drug as harmful like they used to. It’s considered an all natural, common drug and many are falling head first into drug use with it.

Gay Teens Are Turning To Drugs & Alcohol

Drug & Alcohol abuse among teens is high among “high-risk demographic groups” – like the LBGT (lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender) teens. Teen Drug Abuse cites a study by Dr. Michael P. Marshal of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center that revealed:

“LGBT teens are 190 percent more likely to use drugs and alcohol than are heterosexual teens, and that the usage rate is even higher among certain subgroups.”

Illegal Substance Abuse Among Teenager is Declining

Good news, right? While we’re seeing fewer amounts of teenagers use the well-known illegal substances, be aware that they’ve turned to other things. Prescription drugs, synthetic drugs – teens are finding ways to continue to get a buzz or high off of substances not yet “outlawed” in the U.S.

How To Help Your Teen

Don’t be caught off-guard by your teen’s illegal substance abuse. Take action to get your teen drug tested, and find ways to talk about drug abuse with them.

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.