Although you might think your home is drug-free, your teenager might know otherwise. Many of the current substance abuse and addiction trends among teens today are shocking simply because they involve household products that are readily available. Back in the day, it was hairspray and Sharpies that were worrisome. Now there are a dozen more substances out there that are just as dangerous, if not more so. Let’s take a look:
To begin, in California, half a dozen teens have found themselves in emergency rooms as the result of drinking alcohol extracted from hand sanitizer. This self-made moonshine had a dangerous 60 percent alcohol content. You might want to think again before supplying your kid with hand sanitizer. Good old soap and water works just as well, if not better, and it’s much safer.
Teens are also getting high off of simple spices often used in baking, so you’d better think twice before leaving the kids alone to make cookies after school. Videos of teens drinking, ingesting, and smoking large quantities of nutmeg have been popping up all over the Internet. The spice contains myristicin, a natural compound known to cause hallucinations and euphoria when taken in large doses. You may have also heard of the “cinnamon challenge,” which is also popular on YouTube. In this dangerous trend, kids try to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon in less than a minute, and many have ended up in hospitals after damaging their throat and lungs from choking on the spice.
Digital drugs are another major concern. These are digital audio files that are proven to alter the brainwaves and disrupt the mental state of listeners, essentially producing the same effects as narcotics. While tracks are available for sale online, many are readily available for free on YouTube. Although this trend may not sound that dangerous (the tracks sound similar to white noise with special effects), some teens have gone to the hospital after experiencing strange physiological effects due to I-dosing, or “Internet overdosing,” on digital drugs.
Bath salts are one dangerous teenage substance addiction trend you probably have heard of, so it’s a good idea to be wary of what your teens are purchasing on their shopping sprees. Although the product names may sound harmless—”Bliss” and “Vanilla Sky,” for example—it’s easy for your teen to sniff these dangerous products, which contain amphetamine-like chemicals. Although they might not always be available over the counter, teens can easily access them by ordering online, so it’s a good idea to monitor Internet activity.
Cough syrup is another way teens are getting high. Robotripping has become a scary trend among teens who are drinking multiple bottles of cough syrups, such as Robotussin, to get a high from the active ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM).
The next trend is a hard one to monitor, but if you’re noticing a serious lack of tampons in the bathroom cabinet, they might just be being used as vodka tampons. This strange trend involves teenagers dipping tampons into hard alcohol such as vodka and then using them, which apparently results in a long-lasting intense high because the alcohol is absorbed directly by the bloodstream. Even if you don’t have a daughter, be wary. Your son might be inserting these into his rectum.
If you love the sweet fragrance of potpourri, your teen just might too. This fragrant spice and flower mixture that is often found in the bathroom at Grandma’s house is actually being smoked by teens. In addition to paranoia and hallucinations, it’s also known to cause dangerous heart palpitations.
The last thing you would have thought your teen would be getting high off of is the air conditioner! If it’s been breaking down a lot, you may just want to investigate. A current trend involves teens prying open the machines with screwdrivers and smoking the Freon that gives air conditioners their cooling ability. The results are slurred speech, frostbite, and even brain damage.
Dust Off is another dangerous household substance your teen might have discovered. This popular keyboard cleaner can be used for “dusting,” but not just your keyboard! “Dusting” in the substance abuse world is snorting the gas of keyboard dusters to get high.
Whip-Its, which are basically any aerosol spray cans of whipped cream, are an easy way for teens to get their hands on nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas. This is the same substance sometimes used by dentists to knock patients out for their wisdom teeth operations. This substance causes a high that can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, but it can be dangerous if taken in large doses. Even actress Demi Moore was said to be abusing Whip-Its before she was hospitalized.
Given these current substance or drug abuse trends, it would be best to monitor the household products you keep in your home and perhaps even teach your teenager why they might be dangerous. Call our helpline today for more information about the effects of drug abuse and options for drug abuse treatment.