Drugs have penetrated the American society deeply and have left no socioeconomic group untouched. The most commonly abused drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, methamphetamine and prescription medications, have a long-term negative impact on the physical and mental health of a person.
According to the 2015 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), illicit drugs abuse cost the country nearly $193 billion, annually, in terms of crime, lost work productivity and health care. However, many communities across the U.S. are working toward eradicating drug abuse and dependence. As a result, many drugs have been banned and strict rules have been enforced against illicit drug trafficking.
Youngsters finding new ways to abuse drugs
Lately, many youngsters have been trying to find newer ways to use drugs. In fact, there has been a perceptible shift from illegal drug use to prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Of late, there has been a significant rise in prescription painkiller abuse as these drugs are easily available in comparison to other illicit drugs.
Some of the unique ways in which youngsters abuse drugs are:
- Pharming parties: Pharming parties or “punch bowl parties” is the term used for social gatherings where teens pool in various prescription drugs, such as painkillers, nerve stimulants and narcotics stolen from medicine cabinets at home or ordered from online pharmacies. These drugs are then placed in a bowl, mixed properly and then ingested randomly by everyone to get high. Often, these drugs are consumed along with alcohol and other drugs such as marijuana. The unstipulated doses and the imprudent blending of various pills can be deadly.
- Bath salts: These are recreational designer drugs that are often camouflaged as plant food, hookah cleaner and other products, in order to make them appear as normal products. The most common ingredient in bath salts is methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), along with other stimulants such as mephedrone and pyrovalerone. The exact chemical composition of these substances is not known clearly making them hazardous and addictive. Bath salts can cause an array of side effects such as sleep deprivation, self-destructive propensities, paranoia and hypertension.
- Purple drank: Purple drank has been abused by teens for decades, with more and more teenagers brewing the mixture at home nowadays. It is made by adding cough syrup with codeine to a soft drink or soda. Teenagers consume this cocktail under the misconception that it is a quick remedy for tension, anxiety and aggression. But, when taken in the large doses, the substance causes hallucinations. Other possible side effects include drowsiness, inability to concentrate, slowed physical activity, constipation, nausea, vomiting and slowed breathing.
- Ayahuasca: The drug produces strong and intense audio-visual hallucinations in its users. Its abuse can lead to altered mental states, which can have harmful consequences. A person can commit unnatural activities under its influence, such as picking up a rifle and shooting into crowds, etc. Higher doses of this herbal drug can be lethal.
Seeking professional help
In case of drug addiction, the earlier the prevention is initiated, the better it is. The aim of prevention programs should be to stop young people experimenting with drugs.
If you or someone you know is battling to overcome an addiction, you can seek help for the best addiction treatment centers in California. The California Drug Addiction Helpline can assist you in finding the best drug rehab centers in California suiting your needs. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1946 or chat online for further information on drug treatment centers in California.