Most Common Drugs of Abuse
The use and abuse of drugs and alcohol can be a significant problem for families across the United States. Recent studies have shown that our children have the lowest rates of cigarette and alcohol use since 1975, which is good news. However, the use of other drugs leaves room for concern across the board. According to the most recent Monitoring the Future survey – a research project of the University of Michigan conducted every year – use of marijuana is trending upwards among 8th, 10th and 12th graders, as is use of some other common drugs of abuse.
Alcohol: Beer, Wine & Spirits
While the rates of use and abuse of alcohol among school-aged children in the United States is at an all-time low, it is still the most abused drug of choice for all three grade levels surveyed. A full 40 percent of high school seniors admitted to using alcohol in the 30 days prior to taking part in the study.
One of the most significant long-term effects of alcohol abuse is addiction, which can have a terrible, resonating effect on the lives of everyone associated with the addicted individual. In the short term, consistent abuse of alcohol can lead to increased risks of violence, injury, birth defects, and diseases of the heart and liver.
When was the last time you made a point to monitor the drugs in your medicine cabinet? Most individuals who use prescription drugs obtain those drugs from family and friends, sometimes without their knowledge, according to the experts at MSU. According to their data, 57 percent of prescription drug abusers were provided with the drugs by a friend while only 22 percent of users admitted to buying the drugs from strangers or an established source.
Signs That Your Teen May Have a Drug Problem
Drug addiction is a disease as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This chronic disease, like most diseases, has a variety of symptoms that are both physical and social in their characteristics. The following is a list of symptoms that may indicate drug abuse, misuse or addiction and could be cause for concern.
- Lethargy or excessive exhaustion could be a sign that your teen is using drugs that can disrupt normal sleep patterns, tranquilizers or other sedatives, or prescription pain relievers, such as Vicodin.
- Changes in attitude: Has your teen typically been involved in school activities yet recently they have chosen to just “hang out” with friends you don’t know? Changes in the way your teen views their responsibilities could be a red flag.
- Slurred speech, rapid speech, or mumbling: The use of drugs can create a euphoric state that greatly affects speech patterns.
- Inappropriate clothing choices can indicate a desire to hide the physical appearance of injection sites when a teen is using intravenous methods. Wearing long sleeves in the summer, for instance, could be a sign that your teen is using injected heroine or methamphetamines.
Known as “speed,” “chalk” or “ice,” methamphetamine is a highly addictive substance that acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system. According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1.2 million people in the US had used methamphetamines over the course of one year.
Abuse of methamphetamine can lead to many health troubles and risks, such as:
- Increased blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Mood disturbances
- Severe dental decay (meth mouth)
Find Drug Abuse Help
The thought of dealing with the disease of addiction in your family can be an overwhelming one. The good news is that you are not alone. Help is available. Trained professionals with experience in how to handle the issues surrounding recovery and treatment can help guide you through the healing process. To find out how you can get the help you and your family need, call us today.