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Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

2011 Wild Child Conference: Drug Use Update

Every year in September in Marion, Ohio there is a conference known as The Wild Child Conference. The goal of this conference is to keep educators and organizations that work with teens in the know about teen life, culture, and the topics that impact their lives. For the third year in a row, I have the honor of being a part of the board of the Wild Child Conference. The 2011 WCC looked at addiction in the lives of teens.  Here, local authorities gave a rundown of some of the current (current as of September 2011) drugs popular with teens.

Information about the 2012 Wild Child Conference
Interesting Note: US makes up 4.6% of the world population.
We use 80% of the opiates in the world.


Gateway Drugs:
Use of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana before the age of 15 significantly increases the likelihood of cocaine use.

Opiates and Heroin:
Heroin addiction has decreased among the adult population but is increasing in adolescent populations. In teens, opiate addiction often begins with kids stealing prescription drugs from parents or other adults. When prescription sources become to expensive, teens often switch to heroin due to increased availability. Almost all Black Tar Heroin used in the U.S. comes from Mexico. Most people using Heroin today are between the ages of 21 and 30. Heroin addiction starts at home with medicine from your medicine cabinet.

Starter Heroin – “Cheese”
Heroin laced powder known as “Cheese” is showing up in middle and high schools. “Cheese” is a mixture of ground up cold medicine (usually Tylenol PM) and a small amount of heroin. It is up to 8% heroin. Once under the influence the user will first feel euphoric and then sleepy, lethargic and hungry.

Pharm Parties
Teens gather in a group with the pill they have access to and throw the pills into a bowl. Then each person takes at random a bunch of the unknown pills.

Spice – K2
Spice is a popular marijuana herbal replacement with the main ingredient JWH-018, a synthetic psychoactive substance chemically similar to TCH. Can cause “Couchlock” which is the inability to move. Imported for China since 2006. Kids find the disempowerment of couchlock empowering.

Bath Salts – MDPV
A CNS stimulant. Both MDPV and mephedrone are found in this designer drug and mimic cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy and methamphetamine. Snorted, swallowed, smoked and injected. Sold on the Internet, convenience type stores, gas stations and truck stops. Bath salts will be illegal beginning in October.

2 C-I & 2 C-E
Designer drugs that produce hallucinogenic experiences more exaggerated than the experiences described by LSD users.

Cocaine cute with Levamisole
Smoking or snorting cocaine diluted with the veterinary drug, levamisole, can cause serious skin reactions (dark purple patches of dying flesh). 82% of seized cocaine contains levamisole. Studies in rats suggest the drug acts on the same brain receptors as cocaine and thus, it might be added as a cheap way to enhance or extend the cocaine’s euphoric effects.

Xanax – Zany Bars
Teens are becoming more involved with Zany Bars because it is becoming more and more difficult to botain Oxycontin and Vicodin. Some addicts refer to Xanax as “alcohol in a pill” because of its calming ability to slow down the central nervouse system. It also triggers the release of dopamine in the brain’s reward center to produce euphoric feelings. Xanax is orally ingested or crushed and snorted in line. Most Xanax is obtained by stealing from parents and considered safe because it is found at home.

Eye Drops and Sexual Assualt
Eye drops are being used to incapacitate women as a mechanism for sexual assault. The products (Visine, Murine, etc.) are added to a drink. Eye drops contain one of the three drugs called Imidazoline decongestatns. Tetrahyrozoline, Naphazoline, and Oxymetazoline are in high enough concentration in the 1/2 oz bottle that a few squirts causes abrupt loss of consciousness.

Inhalants and Sudden Sniffing Death
SSD can happen to any user at any time. Thre out of 10 SSDs occur the first time inhalants are used.
Identifiers of inhalant users: Look for rags, balloons, handkerchiefs, and paper or plastic bags.
Risk seeker kids tends to be at higher risk for SSD.

There are major mood swings (especially towards violence) as the user is coming down off the drug. Slurred speech, slowed reactions, listlessness, impaired judgment, gi complaint, dehydration, headaches, psychosis, confusion.

Cold Medicines
According to the DEA, teens are using OTC cold remedies as recreational drugs.

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