DR. MANNY TO OBAMA: WE’RE LOSING THE WAR ON TEEN DRUG ABUSE

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640_CoughMed.jpgBy Dr. Manny Alvarez

The Obama administration has dropped the ball in curbing teen drug abuse.  As a father of teenagers and someone who is intimately involved in my community, never in the history of this country have I seen the amount of illegal drugs that are circulating in the streets – and personally I feel that the federal government is not doing its job.

I don’t care about officially-released ‘statistics’ manipulated to show falling drug rates–just ask any parent what’s going on in their own homes.

The problem is not only illegal drugs, but also the troubling trend of kids switching to household chemicals, or what some bureaucrats like to call legal substances, to get high.  A 2011 study found that one in nine high school seniors abuse synthetic marijuana, while 15.2 percent of teens abused prescription medicines. Let me expand on just a few of these easily-accessible drugs teens are using:

Cold medicines
For years, there have been reports of teenagers abusing common cold medicines such as Robitussin, NyQuil, Benadryl and Coricidin to get high.  The main culprit in these medicines is an ingredient called dextromethorphan (DXM), a cough suppressant which can cause hallucinations when used in large amounts. DXM is present in more than 80 over-the-counter cold medicines. In cases of overdose, users can suffer psychosis, brain damage, seizures and even death.  

Bath salts
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), bath salts typically contain amphetamine-like chemicals, such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV), mephedrone and pyrovalerone.

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