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By LifeLine

Marijuana Use in Teens

Marijuana & Teens

Marijuana use in teens is not a new topic and currently its particularly prevalent as cannabis legalization, for either medicinal marijuana or recreational use, spreads around Utah and across the country. As a result of more cannabis-friendly attitudes nationwide the influx across our southern border has decreased steadily and significantly from 2011 when almost 2.5 million pounds of the federally illegal substance were seized. However, because surrounding state production has increased, its a fact that teen marijuana use and exposure is still quite common.

Thankfully teen marijuana use in Utah is now a declining trend. A survey in 2015 of 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th, grade students found that almost 90% considered marijuana use at their age “wrong to very wrong”. Programs and professionals like Lifeline For Youth are having a positive impact.

A prime reason marijuana use in youth is so widespread is from the climate of the current pop culture. Musical mentions and celebrity promotions, as well as easier availability of “legal-illegal” weed, still make this a pressing reason for talking to your teen about marijuana. Because of the escalating incidence of exposure through these avenues, children and teens in the same study above view teen pot use as “less risky” than it used to be.

Let’s be clear too, that the type of cannabis that we are referring to is the more psychoactive varieties that have a higher level of THC vs the medical varieties that have significantly higher proportions of CBD constituents.

Risks of Teen Marijuana Use

Because this is such a debated subject, fact and fiction are thrown around with abandon. In order to talk to your teen about pot, which we’ll address later, let’s get down some basic facts about how marijuana use effects teens.

Mental Side Effects

Reduced school performance is a real thing with even casual pot use. Affecting the attention levels and memory in all realms of learning for days and even weeks at a time, using weed has been found to alter the neurodevelopment of teens

The primary delivery method of pot use is through inhalation, whether the whole herb, or waxes, cannabis oils, or shatters (used in vaping).  This method especially affects the hippocampus which is responsible for regulating short term memory. Overstimulation of the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain prevents the brain from developing memories.

In chronic marijuana use teens are at risk for developing false memories, and under daily usage for the long term, juvenile brains have shown deformed hippocampal regions by their early 20s. They perform nearly 20% worse in the long term memory tests and verbal memory test and have an overall poorer performance at general cognitive tasks!

Physical Side Effects

Tests have shown damage to neurotransmitters that regulate dopamine receptors. Because dopamine is a natural hormone that regulates happiness, these lower release levels (where impulse control is regulated) can cause depression under long term use. Those who begin smoking weed as teens, specifically from 16 to 20, are more likely to have marijuana dependency problems as adults.

Long term use, even occasional or sporadic use, can cause persistent coughs due to carcinogen damage from the ammonia and hydrogen cyanide found in the plant. Trouble breathing and overproduction of phlegm and mucus are also common with similar results to tobacco use.

THC of today’s strains can be from 6-10 times stronger than the weed of a generation ago. This poses some striking problems for the heart. THC increases heart rate up to 50 beats per minute up to 3 hours. Even though we think of heart problems as markers of those advanced in years,  the possibility of a heart attack, and developing heart rhythm disorders as well as stroke is present in teen pot use as well, especially when combined with energy drinks that can adversely affect the heart. Heart disease doesn’t have to be a factor in THC related heart problems and studies evidence increased acute coronary syndrome, even in the younger marijuana users.

Those youth who may be pregnant at the time of using cannabis pose risks to the unborn child as toxins can easily pass from mother to child via the placenta. Research has found that this can affect the long term memory of the child as well. These effects are also present when using THC products while breastfeeding

Other Side Effects of Using Marijuana

  • Withdrawal can trigger depression, insomnia, anxiety, and loss of appetite.
  • Possibility of testicular cancer relationship. Though studies are not definitive, there is a correlation with observed rates of testicular cancer in men.
  • Possible limiting of sexual function. Contrary to the thought of stimulating sexual activity, tests in animals show that penile tissue is affected and can actually impede the function of the gonads.

Social & Psychological Effects of Marijuana

Real effects teens and youth need to be aware of is how even occasional but long term weed use can change them. Development of social anxiety and general anxiousness are a trait of chronic pot users. Notable personality changes in your loved one can be very concerning and data-gathering has shown the longer weed is utilized, the higher the risk of psychotic illness becomes as well as a drop in IQ and becoming fixed in lower socioeconomic circles.

Talking to Your Child About Marijuana Use

No one wants to see these issues arise. Remain open and available to your child and ask if they have run into the issue of marijuana. Being able to relate to them with instances from your own experience can help a great deal. Avoiding condemning tones and attitudes with the topic will encourage them to be open about questions they may have.

If you have concerns that your child may be using marijuana, and have questions about how to help your child don’t hesitate to reach out to Lifeline For Youth. Our trained personnel can guide you through the maze and help you find answers. Give us a call today!

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By LifeLine

Suicide. Attempted Suicide. Suicidal Thoughts.

Suicide. Attempted suicide. Suicidal thoughts.

All of these terms can make us quite nervous.  As parents, as loved ones, as suicide survivors. 

Nationally Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US with over 1.3 million attempts in 2017 alone. In Utah youth suicide is the second leading cause of youth deaths.

As 5th in the nation for overall deaths by suicide, Utah has seen a 46.5% increase in suicide and attempted suicide since 1999. Every 14 hours someone completes the act, and 2 youth every day succumb to the black ink of statistics.

How did we get here?

Why? Always the biggest question on researchers minds. After several federally funded studies, Utah researchers have found that there is no one factor or theme that runs through every instance. In plain English coping abilities fall short in addressing the stressors of those with mental health conditions.

 

In a positive light though, the many years of study have shown that with intervention, rates can go down, and quickly. There is light, and hope for the youth of Utah!

What do possible suicide indicators look like?

Signs of suicide or suicidal thoughts can be almost nonexistent. So many times loved ones of completed suicide acts can be completely clueless, with little to no leads on why there was no indicators. Look for these most common signs of suicidal tendencies:

1. Talking about suicide or killing themselves. Even the slightest reference to killing themselves should spur an investigation. Never take these references lightly, especially when accompanied by the following:

2. Increased substance abuse, drugs or alcohol. 1 in 3 suicides involves alcohol consumption. The stats are so convincing that those who screen for suicide tendencies immediately take note especially when accompanied by #3

3. Depression/ bipolar issues. 2 out of 3 suicides also have been noted to have strong depression or recurrent bouts of manic-depressive behavior.

4. Anxiety or guilt. Guilt for causing issues within the family and anxiety in all social and home life situations can be a big instigator in suicidal thoughts. Another key clue is feeling trapped or overwhelming feelings of being a burden on others

5. Purchasing a firearm.

6. Researching different methods on how to accomplish suicide. Usually evident in browser history.

What's behind suicide?

With compounding pressures in our modern world, we often overlook several contributing components of a possibly suicidal mindset. Three main categories exist, the health aspect, environmental contributors, and historical precedence.

 

Among health aspects, we find prior or undiagnosed mental health conditions, serious physical health conditions (which often include high rates of pain endurance), and even traumatic brain injuries.

 

Environmental contributors are those things that lead to self-harm tendencies. These often present as prolonged stress, demanding workloads, and harassment. Stressful events like financial strain and crisis, dealing with the breakdown of a family through divorce and other major life transitions, including loss of a loved one, are recurrent thought initiators.

 

Overwhelming mental loads can also be caused by suicide in the family, childhood abuse, and neglect or trauma. Mental pressure is often harder to fight if there have been previous attempts in the child’s past.

Fast Facts

Suicide attempts are 3 times more likely in females but 3 times more successful in males.

Higher elevation has been proven to be a contributing factor in increased suicide rates.

Most attempts at suicide fail – at a rate of 1 successful suicide for every 10-25 attempts.

Treatments need to be customized to each individual. Successful recovery is possible with the right treatment plan like those offered at Lifeline For Youth.

Making connections with others is often one of the best things a person with self-harm thought can do. Building relationships to prevent withdrawing is powerful.

Hope in a dark time.

Lifeline For Youth wants to shed some light on a dark situation. We encourage you and those you love to seek qualified care with trained professionals. Often suicidal youth avoid condemnation and fear of judgment for having suicidal thoughts. Often the people closest to them can be ineffective because of the fact that they are too invested. Many attempted suicide survivors find confidants in strangers or good non-judgmental friends. Just knowing others have had similar thoughts gives hope that they aren’t alone.

Lifeline For Youth knows that family can cause intense stress making depression rates 11 times higher in children. But we also know that strong social support from the family can lower depression or repeat attempts, and build confidence. With structured care, we work for total mental health recovery leading to successful and constructive futures.

How you can help.

One of the largest misconceptions about attempted suicide survivors is that after they receive help and move on in life, there are no more issues. Low times can and will still occur and its good to know how to handle them. Here is a list of things that you can do and encourage in your survivor.

1. Encourage self-care. Discovering new interests and activities that they can enjoy and use to make themselves feel good.

2. Be a proactive listener. Ask questions and really listen. Interest in what’s going on is a great deterrent. The prime objective is to be able to listen without judgment, looking at the person, not the attempt. Focus on the progress being made.

3. Avoid shame or shameful attachments. Often when “confirmed” of the wrong of their choices they will find further grounds for thoughts that they shouldn’t be there.

4. Find a counselor that fits. Not all counselors or counseling methods fit every child.

5. Give hugs. Let the child know they are valued and wanted. Human connection is a necessary and vital part of good mental health recovery.

6. Offer understanding free from blame and guilt. This is a time to focus on the survivor, make it about their success.

7. Have a success plan to help guide them from despair to safety when things get unmanageable.

Even though a sad, but very real aspect of life, attempted suicide can have a very successful outcome. With proper intervention and continued care Lifeline For Youth can help draw the pieces together and create a beautiful future with promise.

Call today for more information. If you feel you are in an emergency situation please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Safe-UT Hotline at 1-801-587-3000.

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By LifeLine

Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

Raising a teenager is extremely hard because of all the hormone and life changes that your kid is going through. It can be difficult to tell if your child is acting strangely, or if they’re just going through normal teenage struggles.

The teenage years are not only difficult for the parent but of course for the child. High school is a stressful time of growth which can be really scary for some kids.

Unfortunately, the adolescent years are when many kids will turn to drugs as a coping mechanism for all the change going on inside of them.

In this blog, we’ll discuss warning signs of substance abuse in teens so that you can get your kid the help he or she may need.

Signs of Substance Abuse in Teens

It can be difficult to tell if your kid is acting strangely due to hormonal imbalances or because they are abusing drugs. It’s important to know what kinds of changes are abnormal for teenagers to display.

There are three main areas of change that can be related to substance abuse in teens: behavioral, psychological, and physical changes.

Behavioral Changes

There are a ton of behavioral changes that your kid may start displaying if he or she is using harmful drugs. These will likely be the first signs that your child is suffering from substance abuse.

If your teen starts missing school, performing below normal academic levels, or is getting into frequent trouble, these are signs that they could be abusing drugs.

If you notice your child is changing their peer group from people who were positive influences, to other teens who seem to not care about school or get into frequent trouble with the law, this is a common sign your child is using drugs.

Another warning sign that your kid is hiding their drug use is if they start acting very secretive and seem to be avoiding you. If they are demanding more privacy than normal, they may be hiding something from you.

If your child starts defying your rules, not coming home by curfew or disrespecting you, this could also be a warning to you. However, it is also common for teens who are going through a rebellious stage and doesn’t necessarily mean your kid is using drugs.

Psychological Changes

Changes in your teen’s personality or mood are a symptom of drug abuse. These changes may not be apparent right away, but over time your kid’s brain will become more and more affected by the drug use.

If your child starts displaying frequent mood swings, this could be due to drug abuse. Also, extreme highs and lows are a common sign of opiate addiction.

Anxiety is another symptom of drug use, especially if your child is going through withdrawals. If your teen hasn’t had anxiety before, and suddenly starts experiencing it regularly, this is definitely a warning sign.

Loss of concentration, motivation, or interest in things they used to enjoy are all common signs of drug use. Your kid may only care about getting high and doesn’t have any interest in other things anymore.

Drug addicts often use manipulation to get what they want. They tend to have less regard for other people and will feel okay taking advantage of them to gain access to more money or drugs.

Issues With Health

Drug use can cause a ton of different health problems, ranging from mild to severe.

Changes in appetite or sleep pattern are the two major health changes associated with drug use. If your kid is eating or sleeping excessively, or maybe not at all, then they could be addicted to drugs.

They will try to hide these symptoms from you. If you notice a significant increase or decrease in weight, you should know something is going on.

Headaches, sweating, nausea, and vomiting are common signs of opiate withdrawal to watch out for.

If your kid is experiencing these symptoms, followed by an absence and return to an elated state, they may be using drugs.

Additional Warning Signs

If your child is using drugs, there’s a good chance they are either stealing the drugs from you (such as your prescription painkillers or anxiety medications), or they are stealing cash from you to pay for drugs.

Keep a close eye on your medication and make sure they are stored where your child cannot access them. If you notice medication or money frequently going missing, it’s definitely time to confront your child.

If your teen starts wearing long sleeves, or you notice track marks on their arms, they may be using intravenous drugs and will need your intervention immediately.

If you find drug paraphernalia, residue, or your child comes home smelling like drugs, then this is an obvious sign you need to speak with your child.

What to do for Substance Abuse in Teens

Before approaching your teen, make sure you are certain they are using drugs. Look in their car and room for any signs of drug use, and if you find the proof, it’s definitely time to confront them.

If you discover your teen is using drugs, it will be difficult to find a way to approach him or her about it.

Instead of getting angry and yelling at them, try to understand what has led them to use drugs. There’s a good chance your child will become defensive and deny any drug use, and get very angry with you.

Remain persistent, and try to discuss different recovery options with your son or daughter.

There are a ton of fantastic addiction programs catered to adolescents. You will need to completely support them along the way and understand that addiction can last a long time.

If your kid has decided it’s time to get clean and stop using drugs, contact us today. We’ll discuss what treatment options are available for substance abuse in teens.

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By LifeLine

5 Signs Your Teen Needs Opioid Addiction Help

5 Signs Your Teen Needs Opioid Addiction Help

As a parent, knowing the signs of drug abuse in your teens can be life saving. Here are 5 signs your teen needs opioid addiction help and how to get it.

Are you worried that your teen could be struggling with an opioid addiction?

It’s an epidemic that’s sweeping the country. Around 20,000 people in America die every year from opioid overdoses. That’s why it’s recently been declared a public health emergency.

The signs can be hard to spot. In this article, we’ll equip you with everything you need to identify someone who needs opioid addiction help.

How to Know When Someone Needs Opioid Addiction Help

Read on to find out how to know when your teen is using opioids.

1. Changes in Sleeping Patterns

A teen who is abusing opioids will almost certainly exhibit drastic changes in sleeping patterns.

Opioids have a depressive effect, which also results in fatigue. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be sleeping more. In fact, it’s likely that they are getting much less restful sleep.

Abuse of any substance can disrupt sleeping patterns, and in this sense, opioids are no different. These drugs can cause both sedation and wakefulness, which allows them to wreak havoc sleeping habits, energy levels, and emotional well-being.

The side effects of opioids, such as nausea, restlessness and cold sweats, can prevent an addict from being able to fall asleep. They may suffer from insomnia, and when they do fall asleep, may wake up frequently.

All this contributes to low energy levels, drowsiness, and irritability.

2. Changes in Mood

One of the most telling signs that a teenager needs opioids addiction help is drastic changes in mood or personality.

You may be surprised to find that your once bubbly and outgoing son or daughter has now become withdrawn and anti-social. Mood swings may be frequent, and although they could easily be put down to typical teenage life, they shouldn’t be overlooked.

In some cases, the behavior of addicts may even become aggressive. When you reach out to them in an attempt to get to the bottom of their apparent emotional issues, they can become hostile. This drives a wedge between family members, pushing the distance even further apart.

Depression is another red flag. The links between opioids  abuse and depression are well-documented and thought to be caused by a number of factors. The first is a change in hormones, as well as the way the brain responds to pleasure and reward.

The second is that opioid abuse can lead to feelings of despair, anxiety, and isolation. Those already suffering from depression are especially susceptible to addiction, as they’re likely to use the drugs as a form of self-medication.

Unfortunately, it can become a vicious cycle. Opioid use increases the risk of depression, and depression increases the risk of addiction. Once a teenager is stuck in this cycle, it can be difficult to shake them out of it.

The combination of depression and addiction can cause suicidal thoughts. When opioid addiction help isn’t sought soon enough, sufferers can lose their lives to suicide and overdoses. This is the tragic reality for many families in America.

3. Poor Concentration

A teen who’s suffering from opioid addiction may have trouble concentrating and engaging in conversations and activities.

They often also lose enthusiasm for hobbies and friends they once cared about. They may no longer have any motivation for their studies, or things they once enjoyed.

In fact, they may be completely indifferent to anything and everything. This can be alarming for a parent. Trying to talk to them can be just as frustrating, as it may seem fruitless.

When questioned, opioid-addicted teens are often quiet and unresponsive. This makes it impossible to get through to them. As a result, parents are left feeling powerless to intervene.

If you’re having trouble connecting with your teen, it’s best to seek professional opioid addiction help. A licensed therapist can work with them to accept, evaluate and treat their addiction.

4. Lack of Personal Hygiene

As well as emotional red flags, there will be a number of physical ones, too. The first is a displayed lack of personal hygiene.

When opioid addiction takes hold, the sufferer usually begins to stop taking care of their appearance. As the drugs become more and more of a focus in their lives, hygiene takes a back seat, and it starts to show.

If your teen isn’t taking care of themselves like they used to, be on the lookout for the other warning signs on this list, too.

5. Health Problems

A teen who’s hooked on opioids may experience nausea and vomiting. This is because opioids affect the digestive system.

They cause the appetite to be suppressed, and this, combined with vomiting and an inhibited metabolism, can result in dramatic weight loss. Of course, addicts may also feel compelled to spend money on drugs instead of food, and therefore eat much less.

You may be able to spot abrasions or track marks on their skin, which will signal use of intravenous drugs. This may lead to other skin problems, such as rashes or infections.

Other health problems may also arise, as your teen’s immune system can be suppressed by drug abuse.

You may also notice that they are less responsive to pain. They may feel numbness from time to time, or unable to feel pain altogether. This is because the opioids attach to receptors in the brain, effectively blocking the feeling of pain.

This is how opioids are intended to help people. They provide relief from severe and chronic pain. However, it causes the harmful high that allows addiction to develop rapidly.

Seek Professional Help

Opioid addiction can be devastating for a teenager and their family, but it doesn’t have to ruin their lives. With professional help, your teen can put overcome their problems and put substance abuse firmly in the past.

At LifeLine for Youth, we offer dedicated programs to provide treatment for troubled teenagers. This also involves education, so they can get back on track with their studies and transition back into school life.

Don’t just take our word for it. To find out how LifeLine has helped to free other young people from the confines of addiction and take control of their lives, see our client testimonials

By LifeLine

How do I know if my teen is using drugs or alcohol?

“How can I tell if my teen is using drugs or alcohol?”

Drugs leave physical and behavioral symptoms, just like a cold or chicken pox, and if present, can be indicative of use. Depending on what type of drug or drugs your child may be using, different markers may be present. Let’s look at some of the signs of teen drug use. We’ve broken them down into 3 categories: Physical, Behavioral, and Psychological.

Physical Signs of Substance Abuse

The Eyes

Have you ever really looked into someone’s eyes? Almost every type of substance abuse presents physical changes in the appearance of the eyes- from very enlarged pupils (pupil dilation), to very tiny pupils, called pinning. Also, other common effects seen in the eyes are redness, called “bloodshot” eyes (Conjuctiva), and watery or “glossy” looking eyes. Common with some stimulants like amphetamines (think Ecstasy and MDMA) are blurred vision and rapid eye movements or quivering (called nystagmus). Half closed and droopy eyelids register a “stoned” look that is all too common.

Rapid Changes in Weight

You’ve been accustomed to the thick and thin of your teen’s weight fluctuations since they were born. Weight is put on to supply growing bodies with the nutrients it needs to progress, resulting in thinner bodies after the growth spurt is over. However if you start noticing rapid changes in weight without the added increase in height or muscle mass, it may be time to pay attention.

Certain stimulants like Adderall used for ADHD and the like, if abused can cause weight loss.

Also the use of other substances can cause a dulling of the senses and lack of awareness to hunger and inattention to the needs of the body, thus affecting weight loss.

Changes In Hygiene and Grooming

Some teens don’t pay much attention to the details of physical upkeep, especially during times when their bodies are changing considerably. However,  a decrease in attention to appearance can be a clue to the puzzle if your teens habits take a drastic turn. Look for out-of-the-ordinary smells. Pay special attention to their breath and clothing. If they have developed a sudden interest in air fresheners or perfumes, they may be trying to hide the smell of drugs or smoke.

Paraphernalia

This is the most obvious of the signs of drug use in teens. Indisputable are the tools of the trade, and they can range from small cases and tins to unsuspected items like gum wrappers, modified pop cans, cut up straws, or dollars curled up with residue. Snack size bags and zip-lock style plastic bags can hold all types of drugs, from marijuana to prescription pills. Pay attention to kitchen items your child may be taking off to their room and not returning.

You are your child’s parent, not their friend so that means you have every right to look through their room and belongings! Especially if you suspect something like substance abuse is a problem for your teenager.

"You are your child’s parent, not their friend so that means you have every right to look through their room and belongings! Especially if you suspect something like substance abuse is a problem for your teenager."

LifeLine for Youth

Behavioral Signs of Substance Abuse

Decline in School Performance

Big changes in grades and attendance that happen within a short time and have no explanation (family stress, sickness etc.) and are atypical of your child, might mean an intervention could be necessary. Combined with other physical and behavioral markers, poor grades, attendance, downturn of participation in class and sports, or getting into more trouble (fights, arguments) than is normal can be a big red flag for drug use in teens and young adults.

Changes in Social Circles

During the time of discovering one’s autonomy likes, dislikes and interests will change. With this vacillation of interests will come changes in the friends your child hangs around with. This is to be expected. But drastic changes in the number of friends, either increase or decrease should raise some eyebrows. If you see your child wanting to isolate themselves or withdraw from family that may be a sign of substance abuse. When a child spends a lot of time with unnamed friends and acquaintances, or several that you’ve never heard of or seen before, pay attention, parent! Teens will fall in with those that share their interests and it merits your attentive eye.

"If you see your child wanting to isolate themselves or withdraw from family that may be a sign of substance abuse."

LifeLine for Youth

Missing Money or Prescriptions

News flash – drugs cost money. When you’re a teenager, you don’t have a ton of disposable income lying around. So, if money or valuables or prescriptions seem to go missing in your home, or your child is asking to borrow more than usual this may be a red flag.

Problems with Family

Among all the ups and downs of a child learning to become an independent young adult, one of the most frustrating is the disagreements and fall-outs with parents and those in the family. Heightened and unexplained anger, paranoia, blaming others for problems, and an overly emphasized amount of time alone or out of the house means serious business. Wanting to be alone, isolated, withdrawn, or silent is an indicator that something is wrong.

Psychological Signs of Substance Abuse

Mood Swings

True, mood swings are just part of the changes that come with puberty, but the keyword here is DRAMATIC mood changes. Is your child suddenly irritable for no good reason? Often they will develop a lack of interest in things they previously enjoyed that appears out of the blue.

Everybody reacts differently to drugs, but watch for the two extremes:

  • Suddenly becoming hyperactive or exteremly agitated. Your child seems to have developed an unhealthy sense of paranoia, irrational fears, and anxiety.
  • A sudden loss of motivations and inability to focusRelated to mood swings is a sudden or dramatic change in sleeping habits or appetite.

If you feel like there is an unexplained, abrupt change in attitude or in personality, it may be time to intervene.

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You are not alone!

Raising children is difficult, no one will contest that. Second guessing yourself becomes second nature. Sometimes taking the time to second guess your teens odd behavior could have critical, and perhaps even deadly consequences. When you see questionable behavior out of your already moody teen, it can lead you to wonder “How can I tell if my teen is using drugs or alcohol?

Thankfully, according to a 2016 report teen drug and alcohol use are declining. Sadly though it was reported that still nearly 40% of teens had “been drunk” within the year. When these substance use and drug abuse behaviors touch your household, the effects can be devastating. Knowing where to turn and who to trust for youth care in Utah can be confusing. Lifeline for Youth can help families overcome the crisis of substance abuse, depression, and provide restorative addiction treatment for teens and their families.

Hiding a drug habit involves a lot of subterfuge so we thought you might appreciate a little help with some of the more popular slang that exists:

DRUG SLANG 101:
• Dexing: Abusing cough syrup.
• Triple C: This stands for Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold.
• Special K: Ketamine – a medication used as an anesthetic in humans and animals.
• Crank: The stimulant methamphetamine.
• Antifreeze: Heroin.
• Crunk: This is a verb that means to get high and drunk at the same time.
• Snow: Cocaine.
• X: Ecstasy or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

For a more detailed list of drug slang, download it here: dea-drug-slang-code-words-may2017

So, what do I do now?

Bringing up the topic of alcohol or drug use with your teen as soon as possible is important, but should never be done before you are prepared to do so, while you are angry, or while your child is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Check out this article for some great tips on how to effectively communicate with your teen.

If you and your child have an open line of communication already, talk with them about the issues they are facing to determine if they need therapy or support. Remember, just because your child is using drugs or alcohol doesn’t automatically mean you are a bad parent or that your child is a bad kid. So, do your best to set your personal feelings to the side while you discuss the issues with your child.

There are many reasons teenagers begin using drugs or alcohol. Some begin using them as a coping mechanism to help deal with unpleasant feelings such as anger, depression, boredom, anxiety, trauma, or confusion. Drugs and alcohol are often used to simply escape the problems they face related to simply growing up. If anyone else in the family uses drugs or alcohol, research shows teenagers are more likely to experiment with them themselves. Family members are role models for children, whether it’s good or bad. Even if family members do not use drugs or alcohol, teenagers are also influenced by their environment and most especially by their peers.

"Bringing up the topic of alcohol or drug use with your teen...should never be done...while you are angry, or while your child is under the influence...."

LifeLine for Youth

Talking with your Teen

Once you are ready to talk with your adolescent, about using drugs or alcohol, don’t be afraid to be yourself. They need to understand that you are the parent and you are trying to look out for their best because you love them. Let them know you are truly concerned while also helping them understand that you want to support them and help them with any issues they may be facing. Never beat around the bush, though, because that may cause confusion and give them a way out of admitting their problems with drugs and/or alcohol.

It is very possible that your teen may react angrily. It is only natural for anyone to put up walls immediately to keep from having discussions that may be hard. Continue talking with your teen though, so they can be assured you are looking out for their best. It is likely you will need to use outside support to help your teen and family deal with the substance abuse. If your child is willing to move forward with help, it is important to have a treatment center ready immediately to get them on the road to recovery.

Check out our article about how to talk with your teen.

Parents, we want you to know that Life Line for Youth is there if know or suspect your teen has drug addiction or behavioral issues and you need help. We’re here to lend a hand with supportive youth care to help repair the damage done when families don’t know where to turn. Each child deserves a chance, each family deserves a future. Contact us today for more information

Each child deserves a chance! Each family deserves a future. Reach out to us today!

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