Could Your Teen Be a Drug Dealer?

It can be somewhat easy to find out whether or not your teen is using drugs, all you need to do is pay attention to their behavior and significant changes. It can be much more difficult to determine whether or not your child is dealing drugs. If they aren’t using drugs as well, you might not know what to look for in their behavior or when looking through their room. Keep reading for some of the top signs that your teenager is dealing. Continue reading “Could Your Teen Be a Drug Dealer?” »

Drug and Alcohol Users More Susceptible to Sexually Transmitted Disease

stop-teen-drugs-stdsPeople who engage in alcohol or drug abuse are putting their health in jeopardy. Substance abuse can damage almost every organ, and even a short period of using drugs and alcohol can have a long-term impact. As well as the problems caused by alcohol or drugs, there are additional risks associated with the lifestyle of substance abuse. One of these dangers is sexually transmitted disease.

Reasons why substance abusers are more susceptible to STDs including:

  • When people are intoxicated or have a lifestyle of drug abuse, they are more likely to make regrettable decisions such as engaging in unprotected sex.
  • Alcohol and drug use lowers inhibitions and this can make people more promiscuous, and so are those they are having unsafe sex with.
  • The addictive personality includes a number of characteristics that substance abusers tend to share and one of these traits is risk taking. This type of individual is likely to be less cautious when it comes to protection and are more likely to catch STDs.
  • Not only are addicts more likely to catch sexually transmitted disease but they are also more likely to ignore the symptoms. This means that treatable diseases can progress for longer and cause more damage.
  • If a substance abuser is being treated for an STD, their alcohol and drug use may interfere with their treatment as they may not take medication as directed.

How to Avoid Sexually Transmitted Diseases

There are things that people can do to reduce their risk of catching sexually transmitted such as:

  • Stay with one partner and avoid one night stands.
  • Use a condom consistently. The individual only has to have unprotected sex once for them to catch an STD.
  • It is also important to keep in mind that condoms are not 100% effective at preventing STDs.
  • It is recommended that those who are sexually active get regularly tested for STDs.
  • People should avoid intoxication as this increases the likelihood that they will engage in high risk activities such as unprotected sex with strangers.
  • It is important to keep in mind that there are often no visual clues that indicate another person has an STD.

Treatment for STDs

Many STDs can be cured with a course of antibiotics, but some have no cure. Too many people ignore the symptoms of STDs, allowing them to progress and cause damage in the body. Ignoring the symptoms may be due to embarrassment or just lack of knowledge about the risks involved. Addicts are most at risk of ignoring the symptoms of sexually transmitted disease, and they are also highly likely to spread them. It is essential that anyone who is experiencing suspicious symptoms seek a professional opinion as soon as possible.

Are you concerned about having an STD? Contact ARCpoint Labs in the KC Metro area and get tested today. We have locations in Independence, Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City and Overland Park.

Kansas City Teen Charged in Death Caused by Synthetic Drugs

Worried about your teen using synthetic drugs? It turns out that Kansas City teenagers aren’t just trying synthetic substances — they’ve also been caught supplying them to other teens. And in the case of synthetic drugs, the consequences can be fatal.

On January 15, 2014, Krista Meeks was charged with involuntary manslaughter in addition to a previous charge of distribution of synthetic drugs. The Platte County resident is only 17 years old.

Continue reading “Kansas City Teen Charged in Death Caused by Synthetic Drugs” »

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 ARCpoint Labs.

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.

Myths About Molly: Truths About the Drug

Ecstasy is back with a new name

party drugs

The drug called “molly” is not new. The term molly has been popping up in songs and talked about by celebrities lately, but the drug is not a new substance. Molly refers to ecstasy, the drug popularized by clubbers for decades.

Recent deaths at concerts have been connected to the drug. Since there seems to be some confusion surrounding the drug that’s being blasted through pop culture right now, let’s take a minute to point out the myths and identify the true facts about molly.

Myths about Street Drug Molly

1) Molly is a new drug

Molly is simply a new name for Ecstasy, or MDMA. Top songs by Kanye West and Miley Cyrus talk about molly. This drug produces a feeling of euphoria, bonding and social closeness. It’s popular among club-goers and partiers.

Continue reading “Myths About Molly: Truths About the Drug” »

Encouraging Your Kids to Handle Peer Pressure

In our society, the masses tend to make the moves, and most of us follow. Peer pressure is a tiny example of the way our society generally works.

Peer pressure is a daily reality for most children and teens. Your children are preparing for the new school year where they will face daily pressure from their classmates and friends. The type of pressure they experience during the school year is unlike that during the summer.

Continue reading “Encouraging Your Kids to Handle Peer Pressure” »

Summer Music Festival Guide: Drug Slang 101

It’s summertime, and it seems like each week brings a new music festival. Music festivals are great fun and, as always, they’re a magnet for music-loving teens and young adolescents. Sadly, these music festivals are sometimes also a mecca for drug use.

Music festivals, commonly referred to as “festies,” attract a unique set of party drugs. And just as these festivals draw certain types of drugs, they also have their own special drug slang.  Parents, if your teen is thinking about attending a music festival this summer, make sure you’ve done your research. The first step? Start by knowing what drugs may be available and what they’re called in these environments.

summer music festival drug use

Music Festival Drug Slang

  • Candy Flipping – while this sounds like good, safe fun, it’s not — it has the potential to be very dangerous. This term refers to an experience that’s achieved when combining LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) with ecstasy. As with too much of anything, this euphoric, upbeat experience has all the ingredients for disaster.

  • Molly – if your teen is asking about “Molly,” they may not be talking about their friend from school. Molly is a common nickname for the ever-popular party drug MGMA. Molly is the active and ingredient in ecstasy and it’s often sought out for it’s purity. And, yes, when you turn on the radio and hear Miley Cyrus singing about Molly, note that she’s not referring to her BFF — she’s talking about drugs.

  • Special K – although the Special K cereal you find in supermarkets is tasty and nutritious, we can’t say the same about this drug. In the drug realm, Special K isn’t a healthy afterschool snack. WebMD elaborates saying, “A medication used as an anesthetic in humans and animals, ketamine is sometimes abused as a ‘club drug.’ It can cause hallucinations and euphoria in higher doses.” And if abused, as it often is recreationally, this drug can be fatal.

These drugs can be scary, but music festivals don’t have to be. If your teen is wanting to attend a summer festival, talk to them about the dangers of using these illicit drugs and know some of the warning signs of drug use. We’ve provided you with some information, but it’s up to you to take the initiative and get the conversation about these party drugs going. For drug testing, contact one of our local ArcPoint Labs today.

New Dangerous Fad in Drinking

The term “drunkorexia” has been floating around for years now. It refers to teens and college students who restrict food intake before a night of binge drinking. “Saving” calories for alcohol can be extremely dangerous, and now there is a new way drinkers are finding a way to help keep weight off while still feeling the full effects (and more) of alcohol. Smoking alcohol is a disturbing new and very dangerous trend being promoted as a good alternative to those who are dieting.

teen alcohol useSmoking/Inhaling Alcohol

The combination of dry ice and liquor create alcoholic vapors. By pouring the alcohol over dry ice, users are able to inhale the fumes that are produced. Users say it gives them the full effect of chugging a beverage without any calories or sugars. Another product called the Vaportini is being marketed in which users heat alcohol in a glass ball and inhale the vapors through a straw. Both methods are very dangerous because users don’t know how much alcohol they are really consuming since the liquor stays in the container.

Effects

By smoking alcohol, the vapors go directly to your lungs rather than passing through the stomach and liver. The liver metabolizes liquor and makes it less potent. By circumventing these organs and entering the bloodstream directly from the lungs, the consequences could be deadly. Vomiting is a common bodily reaction to rid the body of toxins when you’ve had too much to drink and is a sign of alcohol poisoning. However, when alcohol enters the body directly into the bloodstream, users feel the effects much more quickly and intensely. The body is then unable to expel excess alcohol, leaving everyone unaware of alcohol poisoning.

This growing trend is just one of many new ways people are abusing alcohol. Take a look at our previous blog post to educate yourself on more creative ways teens and others are getting high and drunk. Be aware of the negative effects alcohol and drugs can have on your body, and let ARCpoint labs help point you in the right direction if you’re struggling with addiction.

 

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.

Alcohol

Eyeballing

  • 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.

Drugs

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.

Other

Inhalation

  • 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 Arcpoint Labs in Kansas City. We can run drug tests and help your child begin to make the right decisions.