Drug Addiction

The above video recently went viral with people expressing shock because of the girl’s eloquence.

I have followed the work of Pastor Rapu for some time now. He has for years been going to the slums of Lagos through his foundation “Freedom Foundation” gradually saving lives, bringing young men and women out of a reckless world of drug addiction, prostitution, gangs and other social degradation. There have been many, and I have been privileged to see one or two testify at his church about their transformation.

There was a case of the young boy Lekan who unfortunately was killed in gang violence https://instagram.com/p/BZPG2OdlsNe/. This was one of the popular stories from the work of the freedom foundation, but there have been so many amazing stories of lives transformed by the efforts and work of Pastor Tony and his team.

The reason Lizzy’s story went viral is because of her fluency and the schools she claimed she attended. A lot of the commenters wondered about her parents and what could have gone wrong.It shows that most things in life regarding children still comes back to parenting! The responsibility on parents is huge. Unfortunately, there is no manual for parenting, parents can only try their best by setting good examples, advising, cheering, urging and praying for their Children – if they are of faith.

Most parents dread drug addiction and a child with a drug problem is any parent’s worst nightmare. I looked into what drug addiction is, how to know if a child is into drugs and also how to prevent it from happening.

Drug Addiction.

Drugs are chemicals that change the way a person’s body works. They can be legal or illegal.

Legal Drugs are medicinal drugs prescribed by medical doctors for treatment. Cigarettes and Alcohol are other types of legal drugs. Marijuana is legal in a few Countries or States. Even though they are legal, it is advised by Doctors as well as the Government that they are used in moderation.

Illegal drugs (hard drugs) are any other kind of drugs outside of legal drugs. Examples include crystal meth, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and heroin.

Abuse of legal drugs and the use of illegal drugs (hard drugs) can lead to a drug problem or an addiction.

A drug addiction is a brain disorder characterised by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. Addictions can be prevented and are treatable. They can, however, last a lifetime and may lead to death if left untreated.

How do kids get hooked on drugs

Every parent dreads this happening, statistics show that most kids try something before the age of 20, but not all get hooked. So how do some get hooked?

The truth is parents’ action around their children influences them a lot. Smoking or drinking should be done sensibly and in moderation especially when you’re around your children.

Nothing influences children more than peer pressure. Friends are the major reasons why kids get into drug addiction so the need to watch your child’s circle and place restrictions when necessary cannot be over-emphasized.

Reasons why children could get into drugs

  • Pressure to fit in or be accepted: The pressure to fit in and be accepted by their peers can make a child get into drugs and drinking. Drugs can provide an instant ‘in’ to the popular crowd or a desirable social group.
  • Going through emotional or psychological pain: this could range from parents divorcing to moving, changing schools or death in the family.
  • Boredom: Some kids get into drugs out of boredom or the need to socialise. Drugs becomes sonething new to do and experiment with.
  • Media and popular culture: the music that children listen to, as well as tv shows and movies, could also influence a drug habit.
  • Rebellion: Children can get hooked on drugs as an act of rebellion.

Signs of Drug Use.

  1. Loss of interest in school.
  2. Mood swings and anxiousness.
  3. Change of friends.
  4. Weight loss or gain.
  5. Puffiness or bloodshot eyes.
  6. Uncontrollable coughing and running nose.
  7. Asking to be left alone and indifference to family.
  8. Getting in fights and having problems with authority.
  9. Having trouble concentrating.
  10. Impaired speech or coordination.
  11. Unusual smells or breath.
  12. Hyperactivity or lethargy.

Popular drugs that children take.

Alcohol and tobacco are the drugs most commonly abused by adolescents, followed by marijuana. Other substances used differ between age groups.

Young adolescents tend to favour inhalant substances (such as breathing the fumes of household cleaners, glues, or pens; while older teens are more likely to use synthetic marijuana (“K2” or “Spice”) and prescription medications and stimulants.

A survey by Monitoring the Future on adolescent drug use and attitudes shows that prescription and over-the-counter medications account for a majority of the drugs most commonly abused by high-school seniors.

Here are the names of the popular dugs to look out for:

Kratom

This drug is easy to order online and is very popular with teens and young adults. Its effects includes respiratory problem, depression and psychosis. It is also highly addictive.

Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs are also very popular with younger people. They include synthetic cannabinoids such as Spice and K2. These drugs are manufactured chemicals that are often sprayed on dried plant material. This allows them to be smoked in a method similar to marijuana. They are also sold as liquids which can be vaporized in e-cigarettes. Common street names include Spice, K2, Genie, Red Magic and Fake Weed.

Synthetic cathinones, commonly referred to as “bath salts,” are similar in that they are manufactured substances. Often used as a substitute for cocaine or amphetamines they can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected and remain popular among teens young adults. Common names include Flakka, Ivory Wave, Stardust, Cloud Nine, Meow Meow, Vanilla Sky, and White Knight or White Lightning.

Since synthetic drugs are largely unregulated and can be highly dangerous and unpredictable, it is imperative that parents familiarize themselves with these substances, which are often mistaken for benign incenses and can be purchased at many local gas stations and paraphernalia shops.

Hallucinogens

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is the most popular Hallucinogen. LSD is often taken as a tablet or “blotter.” Another type is Psilocybin, also known as “Magic Mushrooms,” a naturally-produced psychedelic compound found in species of mushrooms. Dried or fresh mushrooms are often ingested, prepared as a tea or consumed with other foods.

Other substances include marijuana cigarettes, which are dipped in solutions to enhance the hallucinogenic effects of THC, with embalming fluid is among the substances used. As one might imagine, this solution can produce disastrous effects, such as decreased lung function and an increased risk of cancer when used recreationally.

Opioids

Opioids continue to be popular among all age groups, including young adults. Young adults consume more prescription medications recreationally than any other age group, sometimes in combination with alcohol, placing them at increased risk for respiratory failure.

Here are the street names and drug lingo popularly used by teens and young adults:

  1. Beezin- This involves teens rubbing Burt’s Bees lip balm onto their eyelids 😧. The balm contains peppermint oil, which creates a tingling sensation that teens claim enhances the feeling of being drunk or high, helps keep them alert after a long night and increases their attention span. However, this can irritate eyes and even cause an eye infection or swelling. Teens think it’s safe to do this because Burt’s Bees is “natural” and won’t cause any harm, but that is far from the truth.
  2. Sizzurp– This concoction is made by combining soda, candy and prescription cough medicine with codeine in it. This lethal cocktail is highly addictive because of the sweetness and is supposed to provide the user with a euphoric high. But it is extremely dangerous because it can lead to seizures and possibly cause you to stop breathing. Popular culture, including hit songs and Internet videos highlight this drug and refer to it as “purple drank,” “lean” and “syrup.”
  3. Caffeine powder: This powdered caffeine is used by teens to enhance their workouts and accelerate the process of weight loss. This substance is extremely easy to overdose on. Teens assume it’s safe to mix this powder into drinks because caffeine is in sodas, energy drinks and coffee.
  4. E-cigarettes – This electronic form of cigarettes are battery-operated devices that produce flavored nicotine that look and feel like tobacco smoke. Even though e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they still supply nicotine which is a highly addictive drug. But still, e-cigarettes are legal for adults. Some teenagers have used e-cigarettes to smoke marijuana and replace the nicotine with THC. Synthetic marijuana in liquid form can be ordered from the Internet and the user can get a high that is extremely potent because there is no method of dose control.
  5. Club drug: MDMA – This stimulant enchants users because of its euphoric and energetic effect. It can come in a crystallized powder form “Molly” and in pill form “ecstasy”.
  6. Club drug: Rohypnol – commonly known as the “date rape drug.” At parties, people secretly place the drug in drinks. This drug also is referred to as “roofies” and “forget-me pill”.
  7. Synthetic weed – popular because it doesn’t show up in drug tests like regular weed. But it is incredibly unsafe and toxic because as chemists synthesize the weed, it becomes stronger and up to 80 times more potent than regular weed. “Spice,” “K-2” and “Yucatan Fire” are names associated with it.
  8. Bath salts – This substance is not what we put in our bathtubs. People inject it, snort it and mix it with food or drink to receive a euphoric high. But it also can make users hallucinate, execute violent behavior and have suicidal thoughts. Watch out for these street terms: “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” Vanilla Sky” and “Bliss.”
  9. Prescription drug: Xanax – This pill is prescribed to alleviate anxiety and panic disorders. It is extremely addictive and highly abused. Teenagers mistakenly believe that because it’s a prescription drug, it’s safer than street drugs and is free from harmful side effects. The most common street names are “bars” and “Z-bar.”
  10. “Huffing” – This term refers to purposefully inhaling chemical vapors to get high. Users will inhale several household items including nail polish remover, glue, felt-tip markers, spray paint, hair-care products and deodorant.
  11. Palcohol – this new product is freeze-dried alcohol in powder form. It is packaged in small packets which makes it easy to prepare a to-go drink. But the risk of abuse and misuse is high because the accessibility of the packets could stimulate over-consumption of alcohol and lead to drunk driving. This powdered substance can be snorted as well and cause an immediate high with other harmful side effects.

What Parents Can Do

The availability and quantity of drugs has changed. It’s not nearly as hard to obtain drugs today because it’s more accepted and isn’t criticized as much by parts of society. It is therefore imperative to talk to children from a young age about the dangers of taking drugs.

Parents should make sure that their kids are aware they shouldn’t take any drug that’s not prescribed by their doctor. Prescription instructions should also be followed.

They should be made to understand that just because a friend is doing something doesn’t mean they should be doing it too. Let them know that a prescription is only for the person who has been prescribed the medication from a doctor and should be the only person taking the medication.

It is important to sit down and talk to your children about these issues. Parents can also try the following:

  • Find activities for their children to do which can help them socialise. This should be in a safe and healthy environment and parents of teens and young adults should regularly text or call to check on them.
  • Get to know your children’s friends as well as their parents. Ensure any friendships that are no good are cut off. Advise them to call you the moment they find themselves in an uncomfortable position.
  • There should be curfews, late return should not be tolerated.
  • Engage your senses fully, sniff around when they come home to make sure they don’t smell of any substance and if they do, have a talk with them immediately. (smell clothes, hair and look around their room regularly).
  • Give them chores to do, make them responsible for things around the house.
  • Be involved in their life, ensure they do their homework, have family dinners as often as possible, talk to them about your day and some of your challenges. Ask for their opinion on appropriate matters etc. This promotes trust and encourages them to open up about their own challenges.

The Role of the Internet in Drug Use

Today, the internet continues to be a primary source of information about drugs for many young people. There are sites devoted to explaining drug use.

Additionally, young people often report obtaining drugs from site on the “Dark Web,” a part of the internet that requires special software or authorization to access and is not found on regular search engines, making them largely untraceable.

These drugs are sent via mail, sometimes to an address where they can be received without a parent’s knowledge. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin may also be a source of payment, creating a largely anonymous purchase experience.

Conclusion.

A home with a caring parent(s) fosters confident children. A confident child is harder to influence and is more likely to discuss matters with their parents.

Please Show interest in your child’s life – be present. Monitor internet activities. There are different spy wares in the market now that can be used. This does not mean you should invade their privacy, just monitor the sites being visited and make sure they stay safe.

Aunty Lulu.

https://instagram.com/p/Bdh0-XjFL0b/

Credits:

#tonyrapu

www.bigthink.com

Www.checkupnewsroom.com

www.kidsheath.org

www.drugrehab.com

www.firststepbh.com

www.pixababy.com

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