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Warning to Parents: Prescription Drug Use at Highest Rates Ever in the U.S.

Common Household Substances Now Being Used by Teens to Get High

Key Facts:

  • Use and abuse of common household substances to create a “high” is increasing among teens.
  • Abuse of such substances is dangerous and can cause permanent brain damage or death.
  • Lighthouse Network offers parents advice for recognizing potential abuse, runs a referral service hotline to get addicted teens and adults help.

With Fox News’ Dr. Manny Alvarez recently warning the Obama administration about the ongoing dangers of teen drug use, all eyes are on the losing battles we face every day to keep American teens away from substance use and abuse.

But what’s even more troubling is the increasing trend of teens using common household substances in combination or in large quantities to get high. It seems that nearly anything, from the well-known cough syrup to bath salts or even the kitchen spice nutmeg are being used to help teens get high.

The trend toward using common items to create a high is dangerous on so many levels. We live in a culture needing quick solutions or instant satisfaction, so they will reach for anything. People using prescription drugs for ‘off-label’ indications and in quantities that provide the user a high can experience complications ranging from agitation and paranoia to seizures and death. A teen knows his friend’s parent’s medicine cabinet often resembles a candy store for pleasure.

Parents of addicted teens may see a cycle of erratic behavior and withdrawal symptoms that range from fatigue, depression, sleep issues, vomiting, or restlessness to more life-threatening issues like seizures. Often, school studies, finances, health, jobs, and relationships typically suffer based on the addict’s behavior. But don’t be overwhelmed or hopeless, because I want to stress that help is available and freedom from addiction is possible.

At Lighthouse, we often refer patients to combination treatments that provide both medical and behavioral therapy, supported by Christian groups and education. We have found that addicts find and achieve the longest-lasting results when they allow the power of Jesus Christ to start the change on the inside, leading to a full life transformation.

karl-benzio-1Dr. Karl Benzio MD, Christian Psychiatrist, writer, speaker, media guest expert, social issue activist, and the founder and clinical director of Lighthouse Network. Benzio brings scientific expertise and biblical principles together to examine common daily struggles and help people successfully navigate life’s storms. His experiences include teaching pastors, ministry leaders and students about counseling, leadership, parenting, marriage, and conflict resolution skills in traumatized areas like Uganda, Kenya and post-Hussein Iraq. He is currently a member of Focus on the Family’s Physicians Resource Council, the Pennsylvania Director of the American Academy of Medical Ethics, and serves on many other social policy task forces. His specialties include adolescents, addictions, decision-making and infusing spirituality into treatment. Benzio shares psycho-spiritual insights via his Stepping Stones daily devotional, on his one-minute daily radio feature “Life Change with Dr. Karl,” on 425 Christian radio stations and on iDisciple.org.

Email: KBenzio@LighthouseNetwork.org

Twitter: @drkarlb