Concerts and Drugs: Avoid the Risks

shutterstock_151512185It’s summertime, and that means it is summer concert season. Massive music gatherings happen all over the country during the summer months, often attracting large numbers of teenagers.

Unfortunately, this can also mean experimentation with drugs. There have been numerous cases of young people dying in recent years from ecstasy or other substances at music festivals. A few examples:

It’s easy to point out that drugs and concerts have been connected since the Woodstock era. But the potent nature of modern drugs can translate to major concern for parents of teenagers looking to attend these festivals. Here’s a look at the dangerous ties between concerts and drugs. [Read more…]

Lies and Drugs: Tips on How to Approach Your Teen

shutterstock_232628977When parents realize that a child is blatantly lying about something, it can be a disheartening moment. When that lie has to do with drug abuse, it can be a devastating one.

A study in the journal Pediatrics showed how common these kinds of lies can be. As reported by Val Willingham for CNN, Wayne State University researchers surveyed “high-risk urban teens” and their parents about drug use. Then they took hair samples and tested them for opiates and cocaine. A key result: “The data found that young people were 52 percent more likely to test positive for cocaine in their hair samples than they were to actually report using cocaine on their questionnaires.”

“They are giving socially acceptable responses,” said Dr. Virginia Delaney-Black, the study’s author, in the CNN story. “People are not willing to admit to drug use so freely as they are other things. … We’ve known from other studies that adults downplay their drug use. This is the first time we’ve documented it in teens.”

What can parents do when they realize their children are using drugs and lying about it? Here are a few tips. [Read more…]

Steps for stopping addictive teen behavior

shutterstock_483300244Once the Christmas rush slows down, the holiday season can be a time of reflection. For parents of teenagers that are using drugs and alcohol, the time may be useful to contemplate this dangerous path, and to make a plan to stop the teen’s behavior before it gets worse. The way parents interact with the child is essential, and it may be necessary to examine the possibility of a treatment center.

Here’s a look at some of these potential steps for parents. [Read more…]

Dissociative hallucinogens & the risks

shutterstock_57380377In our last entry, we examined hallucinogens including LSD, mescaline and psilocybin and their effects. These are the “classic” hallucinogens, as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Another brand of hallucinogens is known as dissociative drugs.

As reported by the NIDA, the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 33,000 Americans (ages 12 and older) were current users of PCP, one of the most well-known dissociatives. A Monitoring the Future survey four years prior showed salvia as a popular dissociative, with 5.9 percent of high school seniors reporting use in the previous year. (On a positive note, the NIDA states those numbers dropped to 1.8 percent in 2014.)

Like other hallucinogens, dissociative drugs can have dangerous effects, which are all the more frightening for parents concerned about teenagers experimenting with drugs. Here’s a look at some of these drugs and their impact. [Read more…]

“Classic” hallucinogens & the risks

shutterstock_376416799Of all the drugs that teenagers could experiment with, hallucinogens may be among the most frightening. The thought of such drugs, like LSD, may conjure up images of the 1960s Woodstock era, with young people “tripping” in reality-distorting ways.

Hallucinogens are much more dangerous than how they can be portrayed on television and in movies. With short- and long-term effects, hallucinogens pose serious risks to teenagers looking to experiment.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes the usage of hallucinogens, citing a 2013 study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. It showed that 229,000 people in the United States, ages 12 and older, used LSD within a month of the survey. And it references a 2012 study that showed the U.S. “ranks first among 36 nations in the proportion of high school students ever using LSD or other hallucinogens in their lifetime.”

Our focus for this entry is hallucinogens like LSD — “classic” hallucinogens, as the NIDA calls them. In our next entry we’ll examine dissociative drugs, which include PCP.

[Read more…]