Parents: Talking to your teen about drugs and setting a good example for your teen are strong tools in preventing your child from starting to use drugs. “Has anyone offered you drugs recently?” can be enough to get the conversation started. Below are some resources about positive parenting and drug prevention, as well as facts about drugs as you take on the challenge of talking with your teen about drugs and their effects.
From the National Institute of Drug Abuse- "Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse"
The following five questions, developed by the Child and Family Center at the University of Oregon, highlight parenting skills that are important in preventing the initiation and progression of drug use among youth. For each question, a video clip shows positive and negative examples of the skill, and additional videos and information are provided to help you practice positive parenting skills.
- Are you able to communicate calmly and clearly with your teenager regarding relationship problems?
- Do you encourage positive behaviors in your teenager on a daily basis?
- Are you able to negotiate emotional conflicts with your teenager and work toward a solution?
- Are you able to calmly set limits when your teenager is defiant or disrespectful? Are you able to set limits on more serious problem behavior such as drug use, if or when it occurs?
- Do you monitor your teenager to assure that he or she does not spend too much unsupervised time with peers?
Drugs: What Parents Need to Know- KidsHealth.org
This site provides specific information about common drugs including: amphetamines, cocaine and crack, depressants, ecstasy, GHB, heroin, inhalants, ketamine, LSD, marijuana, meth, nicotine, and rohypnol.
STREET NAMES FOR DRUGS AND DRUG FACTS
Drug Facts: NIDA for Teens- This site gives drug facts and lists the street names for alcohol, anabolic steroids, bath salts, cocaine, cough and cold medicines, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, salvia, spice, tobacco, nicotine, and e-cigarettes.
Facts on Teen Drug Abuse- National Institute on Drug Abuse for Parents
EFFECT OF DRUGS ON TEEN BRAIN
What Are Long-Term Effects of Drugs on the Teen Brain? Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
Brain Development, Teen Behavior and Preventing Drug Use- Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
PRESCRIPTION DRUG MISUSE AND ABUSE
Science News for Students: Concerns Explode Over New Health Risks of Vaping- Researchers link e-cigs to wounds that won't heal and smoker's cough in teens
Dangers Don't Deter Vaping's Appeal to Teens- WebMD
'Dripping' may be a new, dangerous trend for teens who vape-USA Today
With the Jury Out on Vaping, Clinicians Pause to Identify the Cons of E-Cigarettes
Inhalants- Drug Facts- National Institute on Drug Abuse
Products Used as Inhalants
- industrial or household products, including:
- paint thinners or removers
- dry-cleaning fluids
- lighter fluid
- art or office supply solvents, including:
- correction fluids
- felt-tip marker fluid
- electronic contact cleaners
- household aerosol items, including:
- spray paints
- hair or deodorant sprays
- aerosol computer cleaning products
- vegetable oil sprays
- found in household or commercial products, including:
- butane lighters
- propane tanks
- whipped cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets)
- used as anesthesia (to make patients lose sensation during surgery/procedures), including:
- nitrous oxide
- often sold in small brown bottles labeled as:
- video head cleaner
- room odorizer
- leather cleaner
- liquid aroma
Health Effects of Inhalants
- Short-term health effects include slurred or distorted speech, lack of coordination, euphoria (feeling "high"), dizziness, and hallucinations.
- Long-term health effects may include liver and kidney damage, loss of coordination and limb spasms, delayed behavioral development, and brain damage.
Inhaling Whipped Cream Cannisters and "Whippets"
The pressurized containers used to store canned whipped cream contain a propellant gas called nitrous oxide, which can be inhaled quickly by mouth to get a brief but intoxicating rush. Nitrous oxide is also sold in miniature canisters called “whippets” — inexpensive containers that have become popular among teens in search of a cheap high.
In surgical and dental settings, nitrous oxide is used as a short-term anesthetic. Because this colorless, odorless gas can create euphoric sensations, it is commonly known as “laughing gas.” Teens may believe that because nitrous oxide is used in medical settings and has no strong-smelling fumes, it is safer than inhalants like gasoline, paint thinner or glue.
Risks of Nitrous Oxide Abuse
Inhaling nitrous oxide from whipped cream canisters, whippets or balloons can deprive the brain of oxygen, potentially causing unconsciousness, seizures or death.
Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, numbness, slurred speech, confusion, hallucinations and fainting are the short-term side effects of inhaling whippets. Nitrous oxide inhalation affects motor coordination, increasing the risk of a motor vehicle collision or an accidental injury. Teenagers who abuse nitrous oxide on a regular basis may suffer serious long-term complications, including:
- Damage to the heart tissues
- An irregular heartbeat
- Nerve damage
- Bone marrow suppression
"Bath Salts" Drug Trend Q and A- WebMD
Drug Facts: Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts")-National Institute on Drug Abuse
Caffeine Can Kill: The Dangers of Energy Drinks- US News and World Report
Energy Drinks- National Institute of Health
Parents: Facts on Teen Drug Use
Get information to help you talk with your teens about drugs and their effects, and learn where to go to get help.
Find prevention, treatment, and educational resources to help your child navigate peer pressure and drugs.
Brush up on the facts as you take on the challenge of talking with your child about drugs.
Use our step-by-step guide to help a teen who has a drug problem.