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4 Ways to prevent synthetic/designer drug abuse

Published On: 10-16-2015 in Category: Drug Abuse


Thankfully, Billy and his friends can’t purchase a “Build Your Own Synthetic or Designer Drug” kit at the store, but the unfortunate truth is closer to the idea than some realize. The ingredients used in designer drugs can be found at the store. The trends of synthetic drugs are increasing among teenagers and young adults according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA. In 2014, “of the illicit drugs most used by high-school seniors, [synthetic drugs] are second only to marijuana.” Here are four ways to help prevent synthetic/drug abuse in teenagers and young adults alongside seeking treatment.

Lock it up

Bruce Hensel, M.D., spoke on NBC Channel 4 News of Southern California about the topic of spice and other synthetic drugs. Spice is one form of a synthetic drug composed of chemicals and ingredients one can easily buy at a store. In dealing with a teenager displaying signs of drug abuse or a loved one in treatment, Hensel advises, “Try to lock household cleaners, pest control products, and bath salts up.” Hensel adds to keep a record of these substances and, “If your teen acts erratically check to see if any is missing.” If the behavior does not subside, seek professional help from a treatment center.

Knowledge is power

This one may seem obvious, but having not only information about the drug but the effects of using the drug will help teenagers to understand the dangers. Breana Phebus spoke to NBC Channel 4 News about her experiences with a drug known as spice. Phebus described one of her experiences, “I flooded my house one day, had no idea how it happened. Bruises everywhere. It was just a rampage for days of not knowing what you’re doing.” Due to how synthetic drugs are developed, new forms can quickly develop. Explain what the drug can cause the teenager to do, including being a threat to one’s health.

Look for the symptoms early on

The earlier a teenager or loved begins drug abuse treatment, the better. Although one can seek treatment for drug abuse at any point, catching the signs early will aid treatment. Some symptoms of designer drug abuse can include:

1.Inability to be roused due to imbued relaxation

2.Seemingly unnatural elevated mood


4.Extreme anxiety or agitation


Mayoclinic.org explains, “The effects of these drugs can be dangerous and unpredictable, as there is no quality control and some ingredients may not be known.” While one may argue about the notion of relaxation, ask if it is worth the vomiting and hallucinations.

Seek professional help and treatment

The issue with teenage drug abuse and approaching a teenager about it as a parent, is the teenager’s reluctance to listen. There is nothing wrong with attempting to speak to a teenager about the problem before consulting a treatment specialist or doctor, but the teenager may not want to listen. With this in mind, NIDA recommends seeking professional help, as, “Young people will listen to professionals rather than family members, as the latter encounters can sometimes be driven by fear, accusations, and emotions.” The institute adds by and large, teenagers, “only enter treatment when they are compelled to by the pressure of their family, the juvenile justice, or other court system.”

Drugs are proven time and time again by science research to re-wire the mind and cause teenagers to not think clearly. Do not wait until the drug abuse grows out of proportion, seek professional help for a loved one struggling with drug abuse, regardless of the age.

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