MONITOR: Become aware of how many pills you have. Track refills. Control your child's prescription dosages and refills. Make sure other relatives are aware of risks. Talk to heads of other households where your teen spends time to make sure they're aware of the importance of safeguarding medications.
SECURE: Take prescription medications out of the medicine cabinet and hide them. Keep all prescription and over-the-counter medications locked away. Have relatives and friends do the same.
DISPOSE: Properly discard expired or unused prescription drugs by mixing them with undesirable substances such as coffee grounds to keep teens from fishing them out of trash cans. Do not flush down the toilet. Remove identifiable information from prescription bottles and packages before disposing of them.
Slang Terms in Prescription Drug Abuse (From The Partnership for a Drug-free America)
Big boys, cotton, kicker -- prescription pain relievers.
Chill pills, French fries, tranqs -- prescription sedatives and tranquilizers.
Pharming -- getting high by raiding parents' medicine cabinets for prescription drugs.
Pharm parties -- parties where teens dump various prescription drugs into a huge bowl and grab a handful.
Recipe -- Prescription drugs mixed with alcoholic or other beverages.
Trail mix -- a mixture of prescription drugs served in a bag or bowl at pharm parties.
These blends of herbs and spices, sprayed with synthetic chemicals, are sold as herbal incense. They're legal in most states, even though the smoke they produce is chemically similar to smoke from marijuana, hashish or other forms of cannabis.
In 1995, John W. Huffman, an organic chemist at Clemson University in South Carolina, who had been researching cannabinoid receptors in the brain, created a synthetic cannabinoid in his laboratory, which was termed JWH 018. Huffman has said that biologically, it's similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
In 2008, researcher Volker Auwater and colleagues at University Hospital in Freiburg, Germany, tested Spice Gold and found it contained at least two synthetic cannabinoids.
The problem is, these compounds haven't been tested in humans, so users can't be sure how their bodies might react. These drugs can dangerously increase heart rate and blood pressure, lead to loss of consciousness, paranoia, hallucinations and trigger psychotic episodes.
Other Product Names
Red X Dawn
In the very risky practice termed "the choking game," youngsters use belts or ropes, or bare hands, to cut off blood flow to their brains. The action produces lightheadedness, followed by a rush as blood flow resumes. This effect also can be achieved by pushing the chest on a hard object to cut off breathing, or by hyperventilating.
The sensation can be addicting, but the practice can kill or cause brain damage. Although statistics are imprecise, a Web site devoted to the subject, called Games Adolescents Shouldn't Play (www.gaspinfo.com) says that as many as 250 to1,000 American youngsters die each year playing a variation of the game, although those deaths often are reported as suicides. Emory's Kaslow said she's worked with a family where a college-age child was accidentally asphyxiated this way.