Drugs these days…they’re just not what they used to be. Here are 4 ways drugs are becoming more dangerous.
#1. Chemistry, Not Plants, is the New Fix
Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org puts it like this: “Chemistry over agriculture.”
“It used to be marijuana and all things that were grown. Now, it’s all things made with a chemistry set. It’s a completely new landscape.”
You don’t need to do too much digging to see this new trend in the drug landscape; check out the news – it’s laden with stories about ‘bath salts,’ synthetic marijuana, ecstasy, meow meow, prescription drugs, and other random unidentifiable cocktails. This junk can be ordered online (where you don’t really know the source) and can be cut with household chemicals as well as other stuff that’s not intended to be ingested. “It’s like going into a garage and taking a bunch of lawn chemicals,” Pasierb said. “It’s just insane.”
#2. The Internet: Highway to Getting High
When it comes to the Internet, there are several factors that it is influencing the drug scene.
First, it provides a plethora of information on new ways to get high with already-existing substances. And because the worldwide web is just that – world-wide – virtually anyone, including youngsters, can access this type of uncensored information.
For example, there’s a relatively new trend of smoking alcohol. Just like learning a musical instrument or how to tie a tie, you can simply do a search on YouTube to learn how to vaporize and then inhale alcohol. This is a dangerous trend because, as Pasierb explains, inhaling alcohol instead of drinking it allows the alcohol to bypass the liver and therefore go directly to the brain. The danger lies in that it’s quick and easy way to develop alcohol poisoning because, by inhaling alcohol, you don’t give your body the chance to throw up, which is a built-in defense mechanism when you’ve imbibed too much.
Another factor of the relationship between the internet and drugs is that it’s an easy market for buying illegal and otherwise inaccessible drugs and ingredients for making designer drugs. This might sound far-fetched but there have been cases, such as the Silk Road site that are obvious evidence of this kind of activity.
Lastly, the Internet is a powerful means to spread all of this information and in an immediate way. Whereas information in the past was hindered by transportation and dissemination methods, the Internet is an instant means of posting and spreading information and ideas. People are finding ways to get high from people all over the world. And, as a result, dangerous trends are spreading quickly.
#3. Prescription Drugs Are Surpassing Illicit Drugs
More and more people are getting hooked on powerful prescription drugs – and it’s not just the narcotic painkillers and anti-anxiety meds; users – mostly youth, are turning to so-called ‘study drugs’ such as Adderall and Ritalin to give them an edge in school and also to give them that buzz that other amphetamines like cocaine causes.
One main reason is the easy accessibility. Teens just have to go as far as their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets for “the good stuff” or they can get their own prescriptions by simply knowing what to tell their doctors as far as “symptoms” they’re having. This is easy enough, with coaching from peers or information found online.
#4. Pot: Not the Same as When Our Parents Smoked It
The weed of the ’70s and ’80s was, by today’s standards, ‘shwag’ – full of seeds and low in THC content, the naturally-occurring chemical in marijuana that gives its users the euphoric high. Nowadays, imagine this: weed scientists – who breed different strains of marijuana so as to maximize THC levels. And the frankensteining of marijuana doesn’t stop there. There’s a new trend called ‘dabs’ that infuses weed with butane in order to create an even more potent version of the plant. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.