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1.       Energy drinks in elementary school

Energy drinks may seem harmless but this is one of the new dangerous teen drug habits ever. In recent years, drinks that combine alcohol with caffeine, such as Four Loko, have been blamed for the deaths of teens and college students. But a new epidemic involves younger children: elementary school students are drinking highly caffeinated energy drinks to catch a buzz. Even without alcohol, these drinks are dangerous to kids’ health.

2.       Huffing Dust-Off

Our 2nd dangerous new teen drug habit has been around for a while but is making a rise again. Huffing, or inhaling household products, is not a new phenomenon. But experts have started to see an increase in teens huffing the computer cleaner called Dust-Off, a trend that started a few years ago. Dust-Off, sold at office supply stores, can be inhaled to produce a high lasting a few seconds to a few minutes. Inhalants can cause nausea, nosebleeds, impaired coordination and, in some cases, death. According to a study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2010, about 2 million teens ages 12 to 17 had tried inhalants, the most popular being glue, shoe polish or toluene, a solvent. Thirty-seven states currently regulate the sale of inhalants to minors, but many of these products are easily accessible within the home, he said.

3.       Purple Drank

The third dangerous new teen drug habit may sound fun and innocent but it is not. Popularized in the late nineties rap scene, purple drank has been abused by teens for decades. Rap music is still peppered with references to the substance, and more teens have been brewing the concoction at home. By adding cough syrup with codeine to a soft drink and candy (usually Sprite and Jolly Ranchers),teens create what they consider a quick remedy for tension, anxiety, and aggression. The drink can be made with the over-the-counter medications like Robitussin DM, which contains dextromethorphan. Normally used as a cough suppressant, in large doses this substance causes hallucinations. A single use can be lethal to an inexperienced user.

4.      Prescription Pills

Among youth who are 12 to 17 years old, 7.4 percent reported past-year nonmedical use of prescription medications. According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future survey, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are among the most commonly abused drugs by 12th graders. Youth who abuse prescription medications are also more likely to report use of other drugs.

5.       Vodka Eyeballing

This is probably the most new dangerous teen drug habit. Afraid to be caught with the smell of alcohol on their breath, many teens have taken up the vodka eyeballing trend. Instead of throwing back a shot, teens hold the bottle to their eye and pour the liquid directly into the eye, which is laden with blood vessels. Here, the alcohol is quickly absorbed through the mucous membrane and enters the bloodstream immediately through the veins at the back of the eye. Eyeballing may yield a quick buzz without the bad breath but there can be extreme consequences:  Because most vodka is between 40 and 50 percent alcohol, it can scar and burn the cornea, and even cause blindness.

If you or someone you know needs drug or alcohol treatment for their teenager, call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.

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