It seems like each generation has a different trend that they follow when it comes to drugs and alcohol. One year drinking alcohol is on the rise and the in thing to do but two years later the majority of kids are smoking marijuana. Never has the US been faced with the illogical dangers that are present today. There is no proof or evidence that indicates today’s teens are in big trouble except for what has been witnessed thus far.
Teens are seeking out ways to get high that don’t show up on drug tests, are easily accessible, and affordable. This is what they have found, inhalants, steroids, and the new line of designer drugs which include K2 and bath salts. The designer drugs and the inhalants can be bought legally across the US. The reason for this is that these drugs are currently unregulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Consider bath salts, it is loaded with synthetic stimulants and no one knows which ones. Teens think they are fine since they have a legal status and we can only prove what has been seen so far. The US is still flabbergasted and nauseous over the Miami attack where two naked men were found on a highway ramp and one was chewing off the face of the other man and growling. Police came and had to shoot the attacker but that didn’t stop his human feast. A second shot mortally wounded the attacker, who many are calling a real life zombie.
How does this kind of thing happen? The attacker was stoned on bath salts. Recently, Michigan was home to a teen that beat his family with a baseball bat, killing the father. This was an attempt that went bad to rob the parents for money to buy K2 or synthetic marijuana. In 2010, there were only 303 phone calls to Poison Control centers regarding bath salts but in 2011 the number was in excess of 4,000 by July.
Steroids are also being abused by today’s teens. The National Institute of Drug Abuse revealed from studies that not a lot of teens are abusing steroids but the horrific and deadly effects are worth the mention. Steroids may bulk users up but it also stunts their growth by maturing the skeleton much too early. This is what can happen when people who have not grown up all the way use steroids. Steroids will also cause fluid retention, jaundice, high blood pressure, acne, and shakiness. Exclusively, in men steroids will cause the testicles to shrink. Lower sperm counts, cause infertility, man breasts, baldness, and a higher chance at getting prostate cancer. In women steroids can cause changes in the menstrual cycle, facial hair, deepened voice, and an enlarged clitoris.
Inhalants are fairly popular, especially in middle school teens. In 8th grade 65% of teens do not believe that using inhalants on occasion is unsafe. Inhalants are chemical fumes and they can be found in many household products such as glues, aerosols, gasoline, paints, markers, or nail polish remover. Contrary to what might be believed about inhalants they are extremely dangerous. Using inhalants can cause sudden death and heart failure.
It is very important that parents and school officials know what to look for and what it is doing to today’s teens. Education is key to stopping this madness before any more kids die.
Cheryl is the content writer for KLEAN Treatment Center. She is also pursuing her MS in substance abuse counseling.