As a parent, I worry constantly, but not about drugs and alcohol. I am not there yet as both of my boys are in preschool; however, studies are showing that teen alcohol and drug use is at an all time high. Parents need to be educated and pay attention.

According to www.teenrehabcenter.org young people aged 12 to 20 drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States.  Teens abuse alcohol more than any illicit drug.  Teen alcohol abuse is responsible for nearly 4,300 deaths each year among kids under 21.  An estimated 85 of these teens are South Carolinians. High schoolers admitted that within a month 35% of them drank some alcohol, 21% binge drank, 22% rode in someone’s car that had been drinking, and 10% drove after drinking.  At least 200,000 teens are treated in the ER each year for alcohol abuse.

FIGHT

Underage drinking is a problem in South Carolina.  To learn more about prevention and/ or to fight underage alcohol use visit www.daodas.state.sc.us.  Many parents have the Parent Pledge Campaign pledging not to contribute to underage drinking.  To sign up click here: http://www.daodas.state.sc.us/documents/Parent%20Pledge%202013.pdf

Teen are not just abusing alcohol.  More high school seniors smoke pot than smoke cigarettes.  As of 2015, high school seniors are about as likely to smoke weed as they are to drink.  According to www.teenrehabcenter.org, experts believe around 13% of people who start smoking pot as teenagers become dependent on it.  Nearly 3,300 teens try weed for the first time every day.  It is clear that this is impacting high schools everywhere.  Studies have shown that only 10% of A students have smoked weed recently, whereas, 48% of D and F students are users.

In The State’s (www.thestate.com) article in May, 2016 it reported the following drugs were used by teens:

SALVIA

1.9% of Seniors.  An herb found in Mexico that causes short-lived hallucinations.  Salvia is not illegally, but the long-term effects are unknown and many of the short-term effects have raised safety concerns.

INHALANTS

1.9% of Seniors.  These are chemicals found in common products that people can intentionally inhale to get high.

RITALIN

2.0% of Seniors.  Ritalin can be used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD.  When used inappropriately negative side effects can include irregular heartbeat, panic, psychosis, and delirium.

COCAINE

2.5% of Seniors.  Derived from the coco plant and works as a powerful stimulant.  Cocaine produces euphoria, increased energy and talkativeness.   Overdose is deadly.

SEDATIVES

3.6% of Seniors.  Sedatives reduce irritability and excitement and can lead to slurred speech and slow reflexes.

MDMA (ECSTASY)

3.6% OF Seniors.  This synthetic drugs alters mood and perception by producing feelings of pleasure, high energy and increase empathy.

HALLUCINOGENS

4.2% of Seniors.  Alters one’s thoughts, sensations and awareness of the surrounding area.  Included in this group are LCD, peyote, and PCP.

VICODIN

4.4% of Seniors.  It is used to treat pain and has a high risk of addiction and dependence.  Used inappropriately the active ingredient, hydrocodone, can slow or stop your breathing.

COUGH MEDICINE

4.6% of Seniors.   Can lead to mind-altering effects at high, concentrated amounts.

TRANQUILIZERS

4.7% of Seniors.  Valium and Xanax are two of the most commonly used tranquilizing drug which induce calmness in individuals.

SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA

5.2% of Seniors.  Initially created for use in cannabinoid research, synthetic cannabinoids have hit the streets and are referred to as synthetic marijuana.  It is often marked as a safe alternative to marijuana but these could affect the brain more powerfully due to increased potency.

ADDERALL

7.5% of Seniors.  Adderall is used to treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy but it abused in attempt to increase cognitive function.

AMPHETAMINES

7.7% of Seniors.  Drug that stimulates the central nervous system and are used to treat attention deficit disorder.

MARIJUANA & HASHISH

34.9% of Seniors.  Both drugs are cannabis products.  Hashish is made from the sap of the plant while Marijuana refers to the dried flower buds.  Both drugs are illegal under federal law, however, some states have legalized for distribution to individuals 21 years and old.

GET HELP

If you think that your teen may be in trouble and you live in the Orangeburg area, contact the Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.  TCCADA offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient programs for teens at the William J. McCord Adolescent Facility.

Other programs for teens can be found statewide.  Contact Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services for details.

 

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