Parents’ Guide to Getting Involved
Signs That Your Child May Be Using Drugs
Since mood swings and unpredictable behavior are frequent occurrences for preteens and teenagers, parents may find it difficult to spot signs of alcohol and drug abuse. But if your child starts to exhibit one or more of these signs (which apply equally to sons and daughters) drug abuse may be at the heart of the problem:
- Withdrawn, depressed, tired, and careless about personal grooming.
- Hostile and uncooperative; and frequently breaks curfews.
- Relationships with family members have deteriorated.
- Hanging around with a new group of friends.
- Grades have slipped, and his or her school attendance is irregular.
- Lost interest in hobbies, sports, and other favorite activities.
- Eating or sleeping patterns have changed; he or she is up at night and sleeps during the day.
- Has a hard time concentrating.
- Eyes are red-rimmed and or their nose is runny in the absence of a cold.
- Household money has been disappearing.
Other Clues of Drug Abuse in Young Adults
- The presence of pipes, rolling papers, small medicine bottles, eye drops, or butane lighters in your home
- Homemade pipes and bongs (pipes that use water as a filter) made from soda cans or plastic beverage containers
Suggestions of How to Handle Suspicion of Drug Use in Your Child
If any of these indicators show up, parents should present a united front. They may also want to seek other family members' impressions. If you suspect that your child is using drugs, you should voice your suspicions openly, avoiding direct accusations. You should talk when he or she is sober or straight and you're calm. This may mean waiting until the next day if he or she comes home drunk from a party, or if their room reeks of marijuana.
Here Are Some of the Most Frequently Used Excuses of Drug Abuse
- I was keeping/holding it for a friend.
- A drink got spilled on me
- I just took a sip - I didn't know it had alcohol in it.
- That smell is my new incense.
- All my friends are doing it.
- It's only alcohol - at least I don't smoke dope.
- It's only marijuana - at least I don't do hard drugs.
- I just tried it once and I'll never do it again.
- It's normal to experiment when you're a teenager.
- My eyes are bothering me - I probably have allergies.
- I'm just tired.
- It's cool to wear sunglasses, even inside.
- At least I don't drink and drive.
- If you think I am bad, you should see what John or Jane does.
- It's not like when you were young - it's a different world.
- They made me do it.
Get Involved in Your Child's Life to Keep Them Away from Abusing Drugs
- Ask about what's been going on in and out of school.
- Discuss how to avoid using drugs and alcohol in the future.
- If you encounter reluctance to talk, enlist the aid of your child's school guidance counselor, family physician, or a local drug treatment referral and assessment center. They may get a better response.
- Explore what could be going on in your child's emotional or social life that might prompt drug use.
Take the time to discuss the problem openly with your child. Knowing that they can talk to you without fear of being turned away is an important first step on the road to recovery. It shows that your child's well-being is crucial to you and that you still love him, although you hate what he's doing to himself. But you should also show your love by being firm and enforcing whatever discipline your family has agreed upon for violating house rules. You should go over ways to regain the family's trust such as calling in, spending evenings at home, and improving grades.
What You Can Do on Your Own to Stop Your Child from Drug Abuse
Start early in your child's life to express your love, to talk frequently to your child, and to be supportive. These are vital ingredients in the prevention of drug abuse and, indeed, in the healthy development of every facet of your child's life. Make sure your child knows you love them.
Courtesy of Momstell.
(Momstell is an organization whose mission is to promote awareness and eliminate the stigma of substance abuse through improving treatment, education, legislation, policy and prevention.)
Know What Your Kids Are Talking About With This Guide To Today's Drug Terms
Is your teen robotripping on CCC?
How would you know if you don't even know what that means?
"It's very important that parents brush up on ... slang, because just like with text messaging, kids use all these abbreviations and parents don't know what they mean. But the more they understand what these things mean, the more they will be able to monitor kids' behavior," says Gregory Pollock, a psychotherapist specializing in addiction at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio.
That's why WebMD went directly to the experts on the front lines of teen drug abuse to get a better handle on the today's teenage drug slang.
Here's what you need to know about teens and drugs today:
Cold Medicine Abuse
Dextromethorphan (DXM): This is a drug contained in over-the-counter cough suppressants. After 900 milligrams, it becomes a hallucinogen. Synonyms for DXM include Candy, Dex, DM, Drex, Red Devils, Robo, Rojo, Skittles, Tussin, Velvet, Poor Man's X, and Vitamin D. "Tussin is a very popular name that has been catching on lately," says Pollock. "Cold medicine abuse is a very serious problem, from what I have seen, because it is so available."
Syrup heads: Users of DXM
Dexing: Abusing cough syrup. Synonyms include robotripping or robodosing because users tend to chug Robitussin or another cough syrup to get high.
Triple C: This stands for Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold. "The triple C or CCC is something that we are seeing a lot of, and that is specific to Coricidin, but anything with DXM is abused today," adds Kevin M. Gray, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
More Teen Drug Use Terms
Special K: 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. Synonyms include vitamin K, breakfast cereal, cat valium, horse tranquilizer, K, Ket, new ecstasy, psychedelic heroin, and super acid.
Crank: The stimulant methamphetamine. Synonyms include meth, speed, chalk, white cross, fire, and glass. "Crystal methamphetamine is called ice," says Cleveland Clinic's Pollock. "Crystal meth is smoked, but meth can be injected, snorted, or taken as a pill," he explains.
Antifreeze: Heroin. Synonyms include Big H, brown sugar, dope, golden girls, H, horse, junk, poison, skag, smack, sweet dreams, tar, and train, according to the web site of Phoenix House, a national alcohol and drug abuse treatment and prevention facility.
Crunk: This is a verb that means to get high and drunk at the same time.
Snow: Cocaine. Synonyms include Charlie, crack, coke, dust, flake, freebase, lady, nose candy, powder, rock, rails, snowbirds, toot, white, and yahoo, according to Phoenix House. "After all this time, alcohol and pot are still the most used drugs by teens, but cocaine is really a strong third, especially with females, because of the weight issue," says Janice Styer, MSW, a clinical coordinator-addictions counselor at Caron Treatment Center in Wernersville, Pa. "The drug of choice among women with eating disorders is almost invariably cocaine." A stimulant, cocaine can decrease appetite.
X: Ecstasy or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Synonyms include Adam, E, bean, clarity, essence, lovers speed, MDMA, roll, stacy, XTC, according to the Phoenix House.
Georgia Home Boy: This refers to Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a central nervous system depressant can produce euphoric, sedative, and body-building effects. Other synonyms include Gamma-OH, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid E, Liquid X, Organic Quaalude, and Scoop, according to Phoenix House.
Roofies: This refers to rohypnol, a.k.a. the date rape drug. Synonyms include the forget pill, La Rocha, Mexican valium, R-2, rib, roachies, roofenol, rophies, roche (pronounced roe-shay), and rope.
Kibbles and bits: The attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug called Ritalin. It is sometimes also referred to as pineapple, says Pollock.
Teens and Drugs on the Web
Cheese: This is a hazardous mix of black tar heroin and Tylenol PM or other medicines containing diphenhydramine). It looks like grated parmesan cheese -- thus the name. There were more than 20 teen deaths in Dallas and surrounding neighborhoods that have been attributed to Cheese since it was identified in 2005.
Candy flipping: This term refers to a high that's achieved by combining LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) or acid with ecstasy. "The new thing, especially with kids on the Internet, is which drugs are best and safest to combine," explains Styer.
A new study by the Caron Treatment Centers found that one in 10 messages on the Internet involved teens seeking advice from their peers on how to take illicit drugs. The messages were posted on common online message boards, forums, and social network sites such as MySpace.com.
When it comes to teens and drugs, "You will never know everything, but you don't want your kids to think you are an idiot," Styer says. "You need to keep communication open and talk to your kids about the dangers of the Internet."
Courtesy of WebMd.