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Dear Friends,

We all know that Miley Cyrus has been in the news a lot lately, and being the father of two teenage daughters, and one who takes some pretty long road trips with them, I get to listen to a lot of music which isn't really, how shall I put it delicately, of my generation.  In any case, on a recent road trip, I found myself listening to some Miley Cyrus music.  While I wasn't able to make out all of the lyrics, I can tell you it's safe to say that Ms. Cyrus's  Hannah Montana days are but a distant memory to her. Anyway, listening to her music got me thinking...

No, I'm not going to talk about twerking, (I'll admit it now, I was one of those who actually had to look that up)  I'm going to talk about Miley's song, "We Can't Stop". You might know the one, where she utters the line, "Dancing with Molly." After I heard it, and did some investigation into the expression "Dancing with Molly,"  I started to think; just how knowledgeable am I about the drugs being consumed these days?

So I did a little research, and came up with some sobering facts.  The scariest to me is this; according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy(2010) "National data on emergency  room visits document a dramatic escalation in the number of admissions for non-medical use for prescription and over the counter drugs.  The number of admissions grew from 538,237 in 2004 to 917,974 in 2008 an increase of 81% , contrasted with a less than 1% increase in the numbers of visits involving illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine. 

So just how much do we know about the drugs people are using and abusing these days?  Do we know the difference when someone talks about Triple C's or RISP? Or  are we hopelessly out of it?  We accept that as adults we will always be a bit out of it, but that doesn't mean we are allowed to turn a blind eye to what's going on; it's time to get educated. As for my own education, at least now the next time I hear that Miley is dancing with Molly I'll know she's making a drug reference, not talking about dancing with one of her girlfriends....But you already knew that, right?

BTW, Triple C  is one of the street names for dextromethorphan, or DXM a commonly abused OTC (over the counter) drug,  RISP is runners in scoring position, a baseball stat; go Sox!

'Dabbing' the new drug of choice for teens?

Posted: 09/16/2013

It’s a new twist on an old drug and it’s becoming increasingly more popular among teens in Arizona.
The drug is called “Butane Hash Oil” or BHO.
On the street it goes by many names including shatter, wax, ear wax, honey oil, amber or dabbing. 

Dabbing because you only need a dab.
“It's something that you need one hit of and you’re good for quite a while," said Shane Watson with the “Not My Kid” organization.
Watson helps educate parents on the dangers of teens and drugs. Watson speaks from the heart, because he’s lived with the addiction hash oil can cause.
“I was the good student, I was the good kid, I was smart, I was strong and I was successful,” recalls Watson.
He was the kid no one guessed would do drugs, but he did. He started with alcohol and marijuana, but his curiosity lead him to hash oil and harsher drugs, including methamphetamine and heroin.
“I told myself tales that's not going to happen to me, I can out think it, I can out power it, I can outwork it,” said Watson.
But he couldn't; soon drugs were overpowering him.
“It was intense. I felt like I was walking through wet concrete," is how Watson describes the hash oil experience.
Watson lost a decade of his life to addiction. He hurt those around him and soon found he had lost everything.
“The bottom was waking up in Durango jail here in Phoenix being charged with multiple felonies. In one shot, in one evening, everything was gone,"  recalls a remorseful Watson.

Now Watson and Not My Kid are seeing a rise in the popularity of hash oil among teens, some users as young as 11 years old.
Only in this latest butane form of hash, oil is much more potent.
According to Not My Kid, strong strains of marijuana contain 25% tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, while some butane hash oil can contain upwards of 60-90% THC.

For teens, it’s easier to conceal, easier to carry, but much more dangerous to make.
“It uses butane, a very dangerous and flammable solvent and there have been fires. there have been explosions,” explains Watson.
Watson points out to a recent explosion in a town house in Tucson where cooking a batch of “Dab” set off back-to-back explosions and sent glass flying 15 feet into the air.
Another danger is butane can be left in the oil.
“The person that uses it could be smoking butane which is neurotoxic and very dangerous,”  Watson warns.
The oil is thick like honey and sometimes the same color. It can be a yellow wax like honey combs or ear wax, but it can tar colored.
Watson tells ABC15 teens will often use household items to make “Dab."
Parents should look for items like butane containers, glass or metal tubes, glass baking dishes, isopropyl alcohol, and coffee filters.
“It's a reality out there and it's something parents need to be aware of and wake up to that it is happening,”  Watson stresses.
Watson tells ABC15 teens will often use household items to make “Dab."
Parents should look for items like butane containers, glass or metal tubes, glass baking dishes, isopropyl alcohol, and coffee filters.
“It's a reality out there and it's something parents need to be aware of and wake up to that it is happening,”  Watson stresses.
Watson tells ABC15 teens will often use household items to make “Dab."
Parents should look for items like butane containers, glass or metal tubes, glass baking dishes, isopropyl alcohol, and coffee filters.
“It's a reality out there and it's something parents need to be aware of and wake up to that it is happening,”  Watson stresses.

Watson agreed to speak to ABC15 about his drug experiences to help educate kids about the effects and dangers of drugs, and to discourage the use of them.


Can you match the street name with the drug?

1 Molly                         a Ritalin
2 Special K                  b DXM
3 Kibbles n Bits           Ecstasy
4 Skittles                     d Ketamine

Prescription Drug Abuse Up Among U.S. Teens

More than 5 million, nearly 25 percent, said they had abused these medications

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter


The United States appears to be in the throes of a prescription drug abuse crisis among teens, with a new survey showing that 24 percent of high school students -- more than 5 million kids -- have abused these medications.

That's a 33 percent increase from 2008, the survey authors noted. They said that 13 percent of teens acknowledged having experimented at least once with either Ritalin or Adderall (normally prescribed for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD) that was not prescribed for them.

What's more, 20 percent of teens who admit they have abused prescription drugs said their first experience doing so was before the age of 14, with 27 percent mistakenly believing that prescription drug abuse is safer than "street drugs," such as cocaine or ecstasy.

Compounding the problem: The parents surveyed seemed to share in this misconception, with almost one-third buying into the notion that Ritalin or Adderall can boost a child's school performance even if the child is not diagnosed with ADHD.

The findings stem from a nationally representative poll launched in 2012 by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, in conjunction with the MetLife Foundation. The survey involved nearly 3,900 teens currently enrolled in grades 9 through 12 at public, private and parochial schools, along with more than 800 parents who participated in at-home interviews.

"From my perspective, one way to look at this is that we've got a real public health crisis," said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO at the Partnership organization. "And it's not getting better. In fact, it's getting deeper and more complex," he said.

"The key here is that kids and often their parents are buying into the myth and misunderstanding that prescription drug abuse is a safer way to get high, a safer alternative to street drugs, and that they can control it," Pasierb continued. "And it's very important to note that, on this, kids and parents are in the same place. Kids say that they don't think that their parents are going to be upset if they know about this, and parents are essentially saying the same thing," he pointed out.

"Now, if cocaine or heroin use was going up the way prescription drug use is parents would certainly be freaking out," Pasierb added. "And they should be now, because prescription drug abuse is no better."

Among the findings: one-third of teens think there's nothing particularly wrong with the notion of using prescription medications that were never prescribed for them to tackle a specific injury or illness, with almost one-quarter believing that their parents are more concerned about street drug use than the misuse of prescription drugs.

Sixteen percent of parents also said they think prescription drugs are less dangerous than street drugs.

Perhaps this explains another survey finding: While about four in five teens said they had discussed both alcohol and marijuana use with their parents and almost one-third said they had talked with them about crack/cocaine, only between 14 percent and 16 percent said that the topic of painkiller/prescription drug abuse had ever come up.

This was true despite the fact that a parent's medicine cabinet is the repository for 56 percent of the prescription meds teens say they are abusing, the poll found, with nearly half of parents acknowledging that there are no barriers to access at home.

Indeed, 20 percent of parents actually admitted to willfully giving their teen a prescription med that they had on hand, for which their child had no prescription.
That said, Pasierb stressed that the goal of the survey was to draw needed attention to the misconceptions that are at the heart of a rapidly growing problem.

"We know that kids who start abusing when they are very young are much more likely to have an addiction problem as adults," he said. "So, parents need to intervene. They need to control supply and demand by locking up their medicine cabinets and throwing out old expired drugs. And they need to constantly weigh in, starting at very young age, even if they think they have the greatest kid in the world. They need to tell their child about the risks, and make clear how upset they will be if their child abuses these drugs."

One parent speaks from experience.

"I had to learn to set real rules for our home," acknowledged Kat Carnes, a single mom from Houston who has been helping her teenage daughter struggle with an addiction problem that involved a mix of alcohol, street drugs (such as ketamine, ecstasy and cocaine), and prescription meds (including antidepressants).

"She was in 8th grade when all this happened," Carnes recalled. "[But] as I learned more, I discovered that she had been using for a couple of years already, especially during her 7th-grade year, when I was battling breast cancer and not able to focus as closely on her as I probably should have."

Yet, Carnes said the mistakes she made as a parent who initially overlooked her child's growing addiction problem were "pretty common," despite the fact that she is well-versed in medicine and health issues, through her work as a scientific editor and a manager at a major local cancer center.

"I just sort of counted on her to do the right things," Carnes added, "and when she didn't I either tried to minimize it or just hid from it because I didn't know what to do."

Carnes explained that her daughter has now been sober for almost 22 months, with the assistance of a local drug abuse 12-step program and the camaraderie of other families struggling with teen drug abuse. Although careful to describe her daughter's recovery as an ongoing "process," she suggests that much of the progress has been rooted in open and honest communications.

"We hold each other accountable," said Carnes, "for our words and actions."

Answers to drug quiz...
1c, 2d, 3a,4b

Loeta Educational Consultants is a team of independent educational consultants who work with families from around the country to find appropriate academic and/or emotional environments for their children and loved ones.

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