Read this and weep!

by Kathy Radina, M. Ed. | February 3, 2010

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kathy radina Imagine my surprise when he showed me the flask in the bottom of his flip flop.

“Does your mom know about this?” I asked.

“Uh no,… nailed it didn’t I?”

Oh he nailed it all right. The sandals, available everywhere online including, even have a bottle opener. Handy. Just about as handy as the can of Pringles with the false bottom, the hash pipe that looks like a square refrigerator magnet and the alcohol energy drinks that look so much like regular energy drinks underage drinkers can drink them right in front of adults.

If you, or someone you know, are the parent of a teen, then you need to hear what I learned at the Community Awareness Forum called Drug Trends, Paraphernalia, and Concealment. I won’t be able to repeat it all, but I can give you the highlights, and helpful resources.

First, did you know that to avoid alcohol showing up on a Breathalyzer test, someone can inject it, snort it, or “insert” it in any orifice with a membrane capable of absorbing it? (This is as far as I can go in a family newspaper. You will just have to use your imagination on this one.)

And just in case you are one of the 47 percent of Arizona adults who think it’s okay for youth to drink under parental supervision, know this … people who start drinking before age 15 are 40 percent more likely to become alcoholics. Compared to 7 percent who start at age 21.

We owe them! We owe it to our children to help them make it through these important years even though it is hard.

Having said that, did you know that the latest substance abuse craze starts right in your medicine cabinet with pain pills? It’s true, or maybe the pills come from someone else’s medicine cabinet and your child buys them at school, or maybe they come from a pharmacy in Mexico, or a pharmacy on line. At any rate, Vicodin, Oxycontin and other opiates are quite popular, they help the user feel euphoric! And then he/she gets addicted, and the withdrawal is painful, (like all opiates) and if it goes on for too long, our children can start using heroin because it is less expensive than the prescription drugs.

Two years ago Meth was the drug to worry about, and with Meth, it was fairly easy to tell when someone was doing too much. They would sleep and eat less, act paranoid, be agitated and lose weight. Today, someone using “Purple Dank”, “Oscar”, Vicodin, morphine or other opiates acts just like a normal, tired teen with allergies, until he dies because the opiates make his lungs stop working.

The users today are football players, churchgoers, and the kid from that nice family next door.

“Oh that can’t be” you say, and I say, “Sadly, it’s true.”

I can’t end without saying a few things about marijuana, because if you are using it, or making the decision to let your children use it, you need a few facts.

• Canadian grown BC Bud contains 25 percent-30 percent THC or 4 to 12 times more than Mexican grown (4 percent-8 percent THC).
• One Joint has an effect on the lungs equivalent to 20 cigarettes (cannabis smokers end up with five times more carbon monoxide in their bloodstream than tobacco smokers.)
• There are 420 chemicals in marijuana, and more carcinogens than tobacco.
• Smoking marijuana can cause panic attacks later in life.
• Side effects include, increased heart rate, impairment in cognitive function, altered verbal behavior, of course lung function is impacted, and it has the potential for mild paranoia and hallucinations.

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed about now, welcome to the club. Take a serious look at the suggestions I have listed below. Taking action will make you feel better. Trust me.

1. Talk early and often to your teen.
2. Visit Trails or any other head shop to see what is available for sale.
3. Visit a spy store.
4. Learn the physical and behavioral symptoms of substance use.
5. Clean out the garage, kitchen, liquor and medicine cabinets.
6. Keep the computer in a “public area” and monitor it’s use.
7. Surround your teen with fun activities, “healthy” friends and positive adult role models.
8. Take your vitamins. You will need all of your wits and energy to survive the stage of parenting!
9. Copy this and share it with anyone you know who has teens.
10. Remember this quote by Norman Zinberg;

Nobody in the United States is more than one handshake away from virtually any drug they want to take.