It goes without saying that teenagers often do not fully grasp the dangers of experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
Still, the increased use of prescription pain pills among high school students presents a particularly troubling trend, experts say.
These drugs are not only readily available – coming from friends and family medicine cabinets – but teens often view them as safer than street drugs. Students may have even been given a painkiller prescription themselves for an athletic injury or other procedure.
What Ohio lawmakers and school officials want to make sure students understand is that these drugs can lead to addictions, and those habits are increasing heroin addiction. Many of those who develop a heroin problem were hooked on pain pills first.
Do you know what K2 spice or 25i is? Do you know about the latest fad synthetic drugs being passed around middle and high school students? If not, you need to find out about a local organization, Drug Free Collier (DFC) whose focus is to put you in the know.
The nonprofit is dedicated to uniting and mobilizing community leaders, law enforcement, business owners and caregivers “To protect the children from substance abuse.”
Unlike any other major disease, there is a relatively narrow window when addiction develops: it nearly always originates during adolescence. The pre-frontal lobe, the area of the brain where decision-making, judgment and self-control reside, is the last area of the brain to develop, usually in the early 20’s. This makes adolescents particularly vulnerable to alcohol and other drugs. Drugs arrest the development of the pre-frontal lobe and target the brain’s reward system, literally changing brain circuitry. All of this combines to make it nearly impossible for many adolescents to stop use once they start. Approximately eighty percent of those who are currently addicted began using alcohol and other drugs before the age of 18.
SEVERAL RISK FACTORS VASTLY INCREASE SUSCEPTIBILITY TO ADDICTION, INCLUDING:
Early age of first use
Family history/genetic predisposition
ADHD or other learning disabilities
Anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions
THE RESURGENCE OF THE DEADLY DRUG HAS SPARKED A FLURRY OF ACTION FROM GOVERNORS’ MANSIONS AND STATEHOUSES ACROSS NEW ENGLAND AND THE MIDWEST TO SMALL-TOWN POLICE STATIONS FROM NORTHERN KENTUCKY TO WISCONSIN.
In Burlington, Vt., the police chief sees soccer moms hooked on heroin.
In Knoxville, Tenn., addicts desperate for help are waiting six months to get into treatment facilities.
And, in Ohio, the Republican governor who had long called for the repeal of Obamacare has since sidestepped the GOP Legislature to enroll his state in a Medicaid expansion allowed under the Affordable Care Act because the state badly needed the included federal help to treat an overwhelming surge of heroin addicts.
The United States is in the grips of one of the worst heroin epidemics in its history, due in part to a flood of cheap doses of the drug, which can be had for as little as $4 apiece, ordered on dark corners of the Web and delivered to your front door in the suburbs. In some regions, such as the Great Lakes states, heroin is deemed “highly available” by local police in more than three times the number of communities as it was just seven years ago.
(CNN)The face of heroin abuse in America is changing.
Back in the 1960s, heroin users were usually young men, who started using around an average age of 16. They were most likely from low-income neighborhoods, and when they turned to opiates, heroin was their first choice.
Now, more than 50 years later, a study from JAMA paints a very different picture.
Today’s typical heroin addict starts using at 23, is more likely to live in the affluent suburbs and was likely unwittingly led to heroin through painkillers prescribed by his or her doctor.
While heroin is illicit and opioid pills such as oxycontin are FDA-approved, each is derived from the poppy plant. Their chemical structures are highly similar and they bind to the same group of receptors in the brain. (A few opioids, like fentanyl, are totally synthetic but designed to bind with those same receptors).
The signs were there for years. The region was seeing an increase in heroin use as overdose deaths rose steadily.
By 2014, the heroin epidemic that was raging in parts of the country had taken hold in the Glens Falls region, and those who were dealing with it were struggling for a solution.
David Saffer, executive director of The Council for Prevention in Kingsbury, pulled together groups and loved ones of addicts from around the region to put a spotlight on the issue. (It included a push for publicity to bring the problem out into the public, which resulted in a seven-week-long Post-Star series on the issue.)
The result was “Hometown vs. Heroin,” an organization that includes treatment providers, law enforcement, relatives of victims and other stakeholders coming together with a goal of educating the public and improving the response to the problem.
Every weekend, young people gather at college dorms, frat parties and high school get-togethers. They do what young people often do–drink, sometimes to excess. And while many people tell humorous stories of their drinking escapades while young, the fact remains that young people face a high risk for alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking, or drinking as much alcohol as possible, as fast as possible, is the primary culprit.
There are two types of alcohol poisoning. The first, accidental, occurs when someone drinks a substance he or she does not know contains alcohol. Most poisoning, however, happens due to drinking more than the body can handle. Unfortunately, young people are most likely to engage in risky drinking behaviors, sometimes known as binge drinking.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a survey of high school students found that in a 30-day period, 45 percent drank some amount of alcohol and 26 percent binge drank.
Across the country, police agencies are reporting evidence of a new way to disguise illegal drugs, by wrapping them in familiar and innocent looking covers.
“Weed candy” is marijuana cooked into hard candy – and it’s beginning to make its way to Indiana.
“We’ve probably had no more than a handful of cases come through in the past six months. Most of it sprouts from states that have legalized marijuana,” said IMPD Capt. Robert Holt.
The candy, seized by IMPD and stored in plastic evidence bags in the drug property room, is likely homemade, Holt says. The more sophisticated forms of the drug are wrapped to look like Jolly Rancher Candies or, in some cases, candy bars.
“A lot of stuff is coming in the mail. That’s how a lot of kids are getting their hands on these marijuana candy products,” said Nancy Beals, Prevention Project Coordinator for Drug Free Marion County.
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