Drug use among teens has always been an issue parents are concerned about. Some the the drugs that are out there today are much different than the drugs available decades ago. What are some of the drugs that teenagers tend to abuse?
Marijuana affects the senses through the chemical it contains, known as THC. The potency of marijuana has increased over the past few decades due to a rise in the amount of THC content.
Marijuana can be like most drugs can be addictive and cause issues with teens’ health, school work, and social life. Withdrawal from marijuana use can cause symptoms such as irritability, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, anxiety, and cravings for more of the drug. Because teens who use other drugs are likely to also use marijuana, seeking professional help may be necessary.
Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in teen populations. They are easily accessible through family and friends. Because they are prescribed by a doctor, many teens think they are safe to use.
Teens typically abuse opioids, depressants, and stimulants. Opioids include drugs that relieve pain like Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine. Depressants relieve anxiety and include Valium and Xanax. Stimulants are used for patients who suffer from ADHD and include Adderall and Ritalin.
Prescription drugs affect the brain’s pleasure centers by increasing the levels of dopamine. They can be extremely addictive and dangerous to detox from. To detox from these types of drugs, a medical professional must be contacted.
Inhalants are drugs that are found in everyday household products. They are particularly dangerous because they are easily accessible to teens. Just one use can affect their brain permanently. Teens use inhalants by sniffing, snorting, or huffing them.
Inhalants prevent the brain from receiving necessary oxygen. This can result in brain damage or even death. Inhalants are not usually addictive and withdrawal may only be noted by a craving to inhale again.
MDMA, or a Ecstasy, is a drug created in labs. It has the properties of both a stimulant and psychedelic. It’s popular for teens who frequent night clubs. It typically comes in a pill or capsule form.
Ecstasy works by affecting different neurotransmitters in the brain to alter the user’s consciousness. It may contain other drugs like PCP, cocaine, and stimulants. Users can die from ecstasy because it affects the body’s ability to regulate temperature, giving users a high fever. This causes organ failure and can be fatal. Research is still undecided on whether ecstasy is addictive. Some users report having withdrawal symptoms including appetite loss, depression, loss of focus, and fatigue.
Steroids increase testosterone, the hormone responsible for sex drive, muscle mass, and growth. Users take steroids to increase muscle strength and growth, and to improve athletic performance. Steroids can be taken in pill form or injected into the muscle.
Steroids affect the limbic system. This system controls mood and often makes users aggressive, paranoid, and jealous. It can also create delusions and the feeling of invincibility in users. Apart from affecting mood, there are serious health consequences associated with steroid use. They affect the heart, liver, kidneys, and sex organs. In teens, steroids can stunt growth and affect height. Teens can get addicted to steroids. Typical withdrawal symptoms include severe depression and thoughts of suicide.
Knowing what kinds of drugs are available, even in your own home, for teens to abuse is the best defense in preventing addiction issues. Preventing drug abuse is often as simple as spending time with your teens. Make sure you are engaging with them on a consistent basis. Doing so can help them avoid drug abuse and the need to visit a detox center.