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Why are our children using drugs?
Every day children are using drugs to escape the worries and stress in their lives. A parent can do all the right things and still their child can be using drugs. There are no guarantees in raising children. However, if parents do not play an active role in a kids life the odds are that child will be using drugs.
There is a saying, "it is better to make a choice and be wrong than to do nothing at all". If you are wrong in your parenting decisions, those things may be corrected. Doing nothing may kill your child.
The Meth Epidemic
What is meth?
Methamphetamine -- its slang terms include 'crystal,' 'crank,' 'glass,' 'ice,' 'speed' and 'Tina' -- is a powerful, addictive synthetic stimulant that causes the brain to release a surge of dopamine, creating a high that lasts from six to 24 hours.
Like cocaine, meth comes in two forms: powder or rock. The powder form is usually white, odorless and bitter-tasting and can be snorted, smoked, eaten, dissolved in a drink and ingested, or heated and injected. The purer form of the drug, called "crystal," "glass" and "ice," appears as clear, chunky crystals that are usually smoked or injected. Meth can also come in small, colored tablets, but they are less common.
How is meth made?
Making methamphetamine is a multi-step cook process. The key ingredient is ephedrine or its cousin, pseudoephedrine. Both are chemicals found in over-the-counter cold, cough and allergy medicines. Additional chemicals are used to isolate the ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, cook it into meth, and process it into a form for consumption. These chemicals can be cheap, everyday household items like ammonia, lye, and red phosphorus scraped from matchbook covers. Start to finish, the cook process takes about 48 hours and can be hazardous because at one or more stages, the solution needs to be heated, producing toxic fumes and the chance of explosion.
How Meth Destroys the Body
What makes methamphetamine such an attractive high? Meth users report that after taking the drug they experience a sudden "rush" of pleasure or a prolonged sense of euphoria, as well as increased energy, focus, confidence, sexual prowess and feelings of desirability. However, after that first try, users require more and more of the drug to get that feeling again, and maintain it. With repeated use, methamphetamine exacts a toll on the mind and body, robbing users of their physical health and cognitive abilities, their libido and good looks, and their ability to experience pleasure. Here's how the body reacts to meth and the consequences of long-term abuse.
Meth and the Brain
* Meth releases a surge of dopamine, causing an intense rush of pleasure or prolonged sense of euphoria.
* Over time, meth destroys dopamine receptors, making it impossible to feel pleasure.
* Although these pleasure centers can heal over time, research suggests that damage to users' cognitive abilities may be permanent.
* Chronic abuse can lead to psychotic behavior, including paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, extreme aggression, delusions and hallucinations, and even death.
There [are] a whole variety of reasons to try methamphetamine, " explains Dr. Richard Rawson, associate director of UCLA's Integrated Substance Abuse Programs. "[H]owever, once they take the drug
their reasons are pretty much the same: They like how it affects their brain[s]." Meth users have described this feeling as a sudden rush of pleasure lasting for several minutes, followed by a euphoric high that lasts between six and 12 hours, and it is the result of drug causing the brain to release excessive amounts of the chemical dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls pleasure. All drugs of abuse cause the release of dopamine, even alcohol and nicotine, explains Rawson, "[But] methamphetamine produces the mother of all dopamine releases."
For example, in lab experiments done on animals, sex causes dopamine levels to jump from 100 to 200 units, and cocaine causes them to spike to 350 units. "[With] methamphetamine you get a release from the base level to about 1,250 units, something that's about 12 times as much of a release of dopamine as you get from food and sex and other pleasurable activities," Rawson says. "This really doesn't occur from any normally rewarding activity. That's one of the reasons why people, when they take methamphetamine, report having this euphoric [feeling] that's unlike anything they've ever experienced." Then, when the drug wears off, users experience profound depression and feel the need to keep taking the drug to avoid the crash.
When addicts use meth over and over again, the drug actually changes their brain chemistry, destroying the wiring in the brain's pleasure centers and making it increasingly impossible to experience any pleasure at all. Although studies have shown that these tissues can regrow over time, the process can take years, and the repair may never be complete. A paper published by Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, examines brain scans of several meth abusers who, after 14 months of abstinence from the drug, have regrown most of their damaged dopamine receptors; however, they showed no improvement in the cognitive abilities damaged by the drug. After more than a year's sobriety, these former meth users still showed severe impairment in memory, judgment and motor coordination, similar to symptoms seen in individuals suffering from Parkinson's Disease.
In addition to affecting cognitive abilities, these changes in brain chemistry can lead to disturbing, even violent behavior. Meth, like all stimulants, causes the brain to release high doses of adrenaline, the body's "fight or flight" mechanism, inducing anxiety, wakefulness and intensely focused attention, called "tweaking." When users are tweaking, they exhibit hyperactive and obsessive behavior, as journalist Thea Singer's sister Candy did on her meth binges. "When she was high, which was almost always, she had to be on the computer -- diddling with programs to make them run faster, ordering freebies on the Internet," writes Singer. "Then computers faded, and she was obsessed with diving into dumpsters -- rescuing audio equipment from behind Radio Shack, pens from behind Office Depot." Heavy, chronic usage can also prompt psychotic behavior, such as paranoia, aggression, hallucinations and delusions. Some users have been known to feel insects crawling beneath their skin. "He picks and picks and picks at himself, like there are bugs inside his face," the mother of one meth addict told Newsweek. "He tears his clothes off and ties them around his head." The same article told the story of another former addict, who, even after five years of sobriety, can't go to the bathroom without propping a space heater against the door, in case someone is after him.
* Meth abuse causes the destruction of tissues and blood vessels, inhibiting the body's ability to repair itself.
* Acne appears, sores take longer to heal, and the skin loses its luster and elasticity, making the user appear years, even decades older.
* Poor diet, tooth grinding and oral hygiene results in tooth decay and loss.
One of the most striking effects of meth is the change in the physical appearance of meth users. Because meth causes the blood vessels to constrict, it cuts off the steady flow of blood to all parts of the body. Heavy usage can weaken and destroy these vessels, causing tissues to become prone to damage and inhibiting the body's ability to repair itself. Acne appears, sores take longer to heal, and the skin loses its luster and elasticity. Some users are covered in small sores, the result of obsessive skin-picking brought on by the hallucination of having bugs crawling beneath the skin, a disorder known as formication.
In addition, stimulants such as meth cause tremendous bursts of physical activity while suppressing the appetite, an attractive combination for many people who began using meth to lose weight. But while contemporary culture may idealize slim figures, heavy meth users often become gaunt and frail. Their day- or week-long meth "runs" are usually accompanied by tooth-grinding, poor diet, and bad hygiene, which lead to mouths full of broken, stained and rotting teeth.
While a meth high makes users feel more confident, attractive , and desirable, the drug is actually working to make them unattractive. "Some people I have in here over a hundred times, and I can look over a 10, 15, 20-year period and see how they've deteriorated, how they've changed." says Deputy Brett King, from Oregon's Multnomah County Sheriff's Department. "Some were quite attractive when they began to come to jail: young people who were full of the health and had everything going for them
and now they're a shell of what they once were." Curious about this particular effect of the drug, King began collecting mug shots of individuals who had been booked repeatedly with meth in their blood. One of the faces that made a particular impression on him was that of Theresa Baxter: "She came in, and she was quite visibly intoxicated by methamphetamine. She looked horrible. She looked at least 20 years older than she was. Her teeth were missing, and I looked back in her history, and at one time she was a fairly attractive young woman."
* "Meth mouth" is characterized by broken, discolored and rotting teeth.
* The drug causes the salivary glands to dry out, which allows the mouth's acids to eat away at the tooth enamel, causing cavities.
* Teeth are further damaged when users obsessively grind their teeth, binge on sugary food and drinks, and neglect to brush or floss for long periods of time.
A common sign of meth abuse is extreme tooth decay, a condition that has become known in the media as "meth mouth." Users with "meth mouth" have blackened, stained, or rotting teeth, which often can't be saved, even among young or short-term users. The exact causes of "meth mouth" are not fully understood. Various reports have attributed the decay to the corrosive effects of the chemicals found in the drug, such as anhydrous ammonia (found in fertilizers), red phosphorus (found on matchboxes) and lithium (found in batteries), which when smoked or snorted might erode the tooth's protective enamel coating; however, it's more likely that this degree of tooth decay is brought on by a combination of side effects from a meth high.
When meth is ingested, it causes the user's blood vessels to shrink, limiting the steady blood supply that the mouth needs in order to stay healthy. With repeated shrinking, these vessels die and the oral tissues decay. Similarly, meth use leads to "dry mouth" (xerostomia), and without enough saliva to neutralize the mouth's harsh acids, those acids eat away at the tooth and gums, causing weak spots that are susceptible to cavities. The cavities are then exacerbated by behavior common in users on a meth high: a strong desire for sugary foods and drinks, compulsive tooth grinding, and the general neglect of regular brushing and flossing.
The extent of a tooth decay varies widely among meth users. A 2000 report in the Journal of Periodontology found that users who snorted the drug had significantly worse tooth decay than users who smoked or injected it, although all types of users suffered from dental problems. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the degree of tooth decay is not necessarily dependent on the length of drug use. "[O]ne gentleman I saw said he used it for four months and there was nothing except for root tips left in his mouth," said Dr. Athena Bettger, a dentist who practices two days a week at the Multnomah County Jail in Portland, Ore. "Whereas another gentleman I saw said he was using it for four years, and
I think three teeth needed to come out and he needed a couple of fillings because of the cavities."
Dentists like Dr. Bettger, who practice in America's prisons and jails, have seen some of the worst cases of "meth mouth, "and state correctional facilities are feeling the impact on their budgets. In August 2005, National Public Radio reported that dental costs in the Minnesota Department of Corrections had doubled in the past five years, mostly due to the extensive dental work performed on former meth addicts. Although there are no quantitative studies to document this phenomenon, anecdotal evidence supports this trend. Dr. Chris Heringlake, a dentist in at St. Cloud Correctional Facility in Minnesota, told NPR that he first saw "meth mouth" eight years ago, and now he sees it every day. Dr. Bettger has also noticed this trend in Oregon: "The general trend that I am seeing is that there is a definite increase.
There are more and more teeth that need assistance and there are more and more [inmates] needing assistance."
Meth's Other Effects on the Body
* Increased heart rate
* Disorganized lifestyle
* Lowered resistance to illness
* Liver damage
* Extreme rise in body temperature, which can cause brain damage
The information above on meth was borrowed from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/ faqs/
A new danger has hit our children. It is called "ROBO TRIPPING". It is derived from the cough syrup named "Robitussin" also called "Tussin". Kids will drink an entire bottle or even more to get a high.
Robitussin contains Dextromethorphan, also known as DXM is a semisynthetic narcotic, which is legally available in the United States and most countries. It is mostly found in cough suppressants especially those with "DM" or "Tuss" in their names, such as Robitussin, which is a combination of guaifenesin, pseudoephedrine and dextromethrophan (DXM). It is the DXM that is sought in robo-tripping. DXM is a distant relative of morphine. It impairs physical coordination, creates a feeling of euphoria, dizziness and causes hallucinations. Robitussin is not the only cough syrup with this ingredient. So parents you need to find out what medicines your children are taking.
The Effects Of Dextromethorphan
* Dextromethorphan's Emotional effects:
Mood lifts, euphoria, giggling and laughing, dissociation of mind from body, creative dreamlike experiences and some users report empathic feelings, forgiveness, and warm feelings toward others.
* Physical effects:
Pupil dilation, visual and aural hallucinations, decreased sexual functioning, confusion and disorientation, skin sensitivity, alters tactile (touch) and zombie-like walk "robo-walking" and discoordination.
* Negative Physical effects:
Upset stomach, vomiting, dizziness, body itching, rash, red blotchy skin, diarrhea, fever, tachycardia (pounding heart) and some users report feeling disconnected, isolated from others. A decreased ability to regulate body temperature, which when taken in a dance-club setting can lead to heat stroke.
There is a series of plateaus which parents can look for to see if your child is "ROBO TRIPPING".
DXM's exhibits "plateaus". In a given plateau, higher doses change the overall effect of the drug. Higher doses means stronger effects, and other effects tend to dominate. There are four plateaus.
The FIRST PLATEAU:
Feeling a little drunk and a little stoned at the same time, colors seem "different", such as deeper or richer.
The SECOND PLATEAU:
Visual hallucinations begin to occur. Hallucinations consist of sheets, swirls and blobs of color that move about. Feelings of a "body high". Negative physical effects, like nausea, often tend to overwhelm the pleasant body buzz. Physical coordination is impaired; double vision is the hallmark of the DXM at second plateau.
The THIRD PLATEAU:
This is where the psychotomimetic (psychosis like) effects of DXM take over. There is an altered state of consciousness that will be the dominating factor of the experience. Sensory is seriously impaired, especially vision.
The FOURTH PLATEAU:
Total mind/body dissociation occurs. Loss of some or all contact with external senses, inability to move or respond to stimuli. Hallucinated contacts with gods, aliens, along with completely irrational thinking. The greatest risk at this level is brain damage.
Th truth is many kids have died from an overdose of a cough syrup. They are even taking cold medications to find a high. Parents and kids need to look through the information in the websites listed below.
Are you a parent who is concerned about their children using drugs?
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Then the websites below are for you. I hope they open your eyes and ears to your child and what they are needing. Lack of parental love, lack of parental communication, lack of parental example, lack of parental supervision, lack of parental time; all may lead a child down the road to being a drug addict.
Use these websites to learn for yourself and then teach your children about the dangers of drug abuse.
Faces of Meth | Meth Photos | Effects of Meth
The Faces of Meth slideshow features pictures of meth users before and after they experienced the effects of meth. These before and after photos of meth ...
http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/DrugIssue/MethResources/faces/ index. html
effects of crystal meth by stop meth addiction.com
effects of crystal meth presented by stop meth addiction.com.
Life or Meth - Effects of Meth
Meth does a lot of damage to people who use it. (As a matter of fact, death may not be the worst of its potential effects.) And you can find out about that ...
Crystal MethamphetamineJust the Facts ... Also called jib, crank, meth, crystal, ice, speed.
The only way to stay completely safe is not to take crystal meth at all.
Drug Rehab and Treatment CentersDrug Facts/Statistics Alcohol, Heroin, Cocaine, Meth, Marijuana,
Inpatient drug rehab centers offer support and structure for men and women seeking help
Meth Abuse.net- Information on Methamphetamine, Crystal and Meth
methamphetamine, crystal meth, meth abuse, rehabilitation, treatment, meth addiction treatment, meth abuse treatment, drug addiction treatment.
Fetko said she had yet to discover how he came across the pain medication, Duragesic, but his journals indicated that he had tried robo-tripping several ...
Dextromethorphan and Cough Medicine Abuse
You already know about the dangers of illegal street drugs like ... Terms for using dextromethorphan include: Robo-tripping, and Skittling, among others. ...
Is Your Teen Abusing DXM?
... cough syrup with alcohol is known as robo-dosing or robo-tripping. ... Talk to their children about the dangers of all types of drug abuse.
https://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard/ transform.jsp?requestURI=/healthatoz/Atoz/dc/caz/suba/tnsa/ alert07202006.jsp
Teens abusing cold remedies in record numbers to attain PCP-like ...
... or "robo-tripping" to describe its hallucinogenic effects, similar to PCP. ... Because the product is at every pharmacy, the dangers are easy to dismiss ...
Drugstore Dangers. Even 10-year-olds are "robotripping" on cough medicines by Megan Othersen Gorman. print this article · email this article ...
Is My Child Using Drugs or Alcohol?
This screening quiz for parents can help determine if your child is exhibiting some of the tell-tell signs of substance abuse.
Why Children Use Drugs
Parents often think that friends or drug dealers may have pressured their child into taking drugs. But children say that they choose to use drugs because ...
Children and drugs
How to guard against your child taking drugs, what to do if you discover your child is taking them, plus descriptions of the drugs available.
http://www.ivillage .co.uk/ parenting/teens/teencon/ articles/0,,186626_532355,00.html
Ten Talks Parents Must Have With Their Children About Drugs and ...
Ten Talks Parents Must Have With Their Children About Drugs and Choices By Dominic Cappello and Xenia G. Becher, MSW, CSW.
Families Worldwide News Articles
The age at which children start using drugs, alcohol and tobacco has been ... If there is an active alcoholic or drug abuser in the family, children will ...
Your Children and Drugs
children and drugs. ... Legal Issues: Your Child & Drugs. drugs Do your children know the legal implications of using or being found with drugs? ...
Talking to children about drugs, risky behavior in teen, parenting ...
Teenage substance abuse prevention. Youth self-discipline, positive youth behavior, effective parenting Family Guide.
Talking to Your Child About Drugs
Just as you inoculate your children against illnesses like measles, you can help "immunize" your children against drug use by giving them the facts before ...
http://www.kidshealth.org/ parent/ emotions/behavior/talk_about_drugs.html
Talking With kids: Drugs
Steps to take to discuss drug use with your children.
Answer Back: Children's views on drugs education
Agony aunts are to give guidelines to parents on how to advise children about drugs - so what advice would children listen to?
http://www. childrens-express.org/dynamic/public/answer_back_drugs_080101. htm
Children and Drugs: Learning about them
CHILDREN AND DRUGS: PART 2 - LEARNING ABOUT THEM ... If you want to help keep children off drugs, find out what you can do at: Children and Drugs: Part 3 ...
Kids And Drugs
Free Help for your Kid on Drugs! Live A Happy Good Life Again.
Reduce Teenage Drug Abuse
Boost Knowledge of Drug Prevention. Unique, Proven, Practical Methods.
Talking to Children About Drugs
The HPE leaflet A Parents Guide to Drugs and Alcohol gives practical information and advice on how to talk to children of all ages about drugs and ...
Featured Tips: Help Your Children Combat Drugs
Children and drugs. Combine these two words and most parents shudder. While children will inevitably become exposed to alcohol and drugs, we hope and pray ...
Let's Talk guide helps parents talk to their children about drugs
It is clear that caring adults have the best chance of helping children grow up to be drug free, and our new guide is designed to give them the tools they ...
Books on children and drug abuse!
Search the box below for more information on children and drug abuse or any other subject.
Follow this link, Children and Drug Abuse, for more on this subject.