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Kids and Drugs - What Parents Need to Know

Aug 30, 2008
As the parents of children growing up in today's society, you may be alarmed to read about the statistics dealing with drug abuse among kids. While many of these adults are familiar with the older drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, the newer ones may be confusing. The following is a brief explanation of some of these "New Age" drugs and the symptoms to look for if your children may begin abusing them.

One of the drugs that you may have heard of is "ecstasy," which is the street name for MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine). This drug causes hallucinations and also acts as a stimulant. Used by many children much in the way that people used LSD in the sixties, the effects of using MDMA are much the same as those caused by amphetamines and cocaine. These include sleeplessness, confusion, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and drug cravings. It also causes muscle tension, profuse sweating, and an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Usually found in a white pill form, this drug is also known as "Adam" and "XTC." If you suspect that your child is taking "ecstasy," you should talk to him and explain the dangers involved in using this particular drug. If a user ceases to abuse MDMA, there are no withdrawal symptoms that are known to accompany some other substances.

While many parents know what cocaine is, many do not realize that crack is also a form of this drug. Powdered cocaine is mixed with water and baking soda and heat is applied, leaving a rock of purified cocaine. This crack rock is then smoked, giving a more intense "buzz" than regular cocaine can give. Due to the activity of smoking as compare to snorting this drug, the effects of crack last for a much shorter amount of time.

The symptoms of crack use are much the same as they are for regular cocaine. These side effects include hyperactivity, increased heart rate, and higher blood pressure. Due to cocaine's effect on the appetite, excessive use can lead to serious malnutrition and a substantial weight loss. Long term or large quantity use can lead to a heart attack, stroke, seizures, respiratory failure, and even death. As the addiction to crack is mostly psychological, there are no physical withdrawal symptoms when the user quits.

Prescription drug abuse is also becoming a growing problem among America's youth. One such drug is oxycontin, a pill that is used as a painkiller. Also known as "hillbilly heroin," young people tend to smash the capsules, allowing them to snort or swallow a more potent dosage of the drug than the time-released capsule will allow. The resulting "high" is compared to the buzz that people receive when doing heroin, thus the nickname. Many drug centers are reporting large numbers of cases of oxycontin addiction in young people, many of which had no legal prescription for the drug.

The symptoms of this drug include euphoria and may be accompanied by stomach and bowel problems. It can also cause respiratory problems and organ failure when used over a long period of time. When a long time user is taking off the medication, they will experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those of other addictive drugs, such as heroin. If you think that your child is abusing oxycontin, you should confront him immediately. If he experiences withdrawal symptoms, you should seek medical help as he may become very ill and disoriented.

These are just a few of the many drugs that seem to be becoming a problem with today's youth. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's possible drug usage, you should talk to a doctor or other health professional to make sure that you have all the information that you will need to help your child overcome his drug dependency.
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Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop our affordable kids furniture. For more information, visit this article on wooden toy boxes.
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