Current Drug Trends and Symptoms of Use


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Some information on current drug trends among teens and some of the symptoms that will indicate use.

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Current Drug Trends and Symptoms of Use

  1. 1. Drug Trends: What’s Current, Signs, and Symptoms
  2. 2.  Methamphetamine—meth for short—is a stimulant drug that is chemically similar to amphetamines. Stimulants are a class of drugs that can boost mood, increase feelings of well-being, and increase energy and alertness—but they also have dangerous effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure.
  3. 3.  Meth is a white, bitter powder and easily dissolves in water or alcohol. Sometimes it's made into a white pill or a shiny, white or clear rock called a crystal. Although most of the meth used in the United States comes from “superlabs”—big illegal laboratories that make meth in large quantities—it is also made in small laboratories using inexpensive, over-the- counter and often toxic ingredients like drain cleaner, battery acid, and antifreeze. Meth in it’s crystalized form.
  4. 4.  How is meth used?  Meth is swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. “Crystal meth,” a smokeable form of methamphetamine, is a large, usually clear crystal that is smoked in a glass pipe.  What are common street names?  Methamphetamine is commonly known as “speed,” “meth,” “chalk,” and “tina.” In its smokeable form, it’s often called “ice,” “crystal,” “crank,” “glass,” “fire,” and “go fast.”
  5. 5.  What are the effects of Meth?  Short Term:  Meth makes a person more awake and physically active (“twitchy”), causes rapid heart rate and irregular heartbeat, and increases blood pressure and body temperature. It can overheat you so much that you pass out; sometimes this can even be fatal.  People who inject meth risk getting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis (a liver disease) if they share used needles. People also can get HIV by having unsafe sex. They may forget to use condoms because they're high on meth.
  6. 6.  Long Term:  Repeated use of meth can cause violent behavior, mood swings, and psychosis. Psychosis can include paranoia, hearing sounds that aren’t there, and delusions (e.g., the sensation of insects creeping on the skin). The paranoia can result in homicidal and suicidal thoughts.  Meth can increase a person’s sex drive and is linked to risky sexual behaviors and the transmission of infectious diseases, such as HIV. However, research also indicates that long-term meth use may be associated with decreased sexual function, at least in men.  Over time, meth use may also cause:  Skin sores (“Pick Marks”)  Severe weight loss  “Meth mouth”  Aging  Problems with thinking, emotion, and memory
  7. 7.  Signs of use:  Meth can give people an excess of energy. They might talk and move around a lot. They might not stop to eat or sleep.  Meth users often scratch their skin, causing sores. They might have burns on their lips or fingers from using a hot pipe.  Meth can cause rapid mood swings. For example, people might seem excited, and then become angry and violent. They might act afraid that someone's out to get them. They might want to kill themselves.
  8. 8.  “Buddah Purple Kush”  Marijuana is a mixture of the dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis sativa plant. The mixture can be green, brown, orange, purplish, or gray.  Marijuana has a chemical in it called delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.  THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.  Over 400 other chemicals are also found in marijuana.  Marijuana’s strength or potency is related to the amount of THC it contains.  Since the 1970’s the percentage of THC continues to increase, and according to measures from confiscated marijuana, it tests around 10% THC on average
  9. 9.  How is marijuana used?  Marijuana is used in many ways. The most common method is smoking loose marijuana rolled into a cigarette called a “joint” or “nail.” Sometimes marijuana is smoked through a water pipe called a “bong.” Others smoke “blunts”—cigars hollowed out and filled with the drug. And some users brew it as tea or mix it with food.  What are common street names?  There are many slang terms for marijuana that vary from city to city and from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some common names are: “pot,” “grass,” “herb,” “weed,” “Mary Jane,” “reefer,” “skunk,” “boom,” “gangster,” “kif,” “chronic,” “ganja,” “dank,” “loud,” “dro,” “hydro,” “sticky,” “sticky-icky,” “purp,” “loud,” and “bud.” Just to name a few.
  10. 10.  What are the effects of marijuana?  Short Term:  Within minutes of inhaling, a user begins to feel “high,” or filled with pleasant sensations.  Brain Functioning:  THC binds to neurons in the brain called cannabinoid receptors.  This then interferes with various functions of the brain, to include learning and memory.  A recent study followed people from age 13 to 38 and found that those who used marijuana a lot in their teens and continued into adulthood had a significant drop in IQ, even if they quit.
  11. 11.  True or False – it’s safe to drive after using marijuana.  False - The cerebellum is the section of our brain that controls balance and coordination. When THC affects the cerebellum’s function, it makes scoring a goal in soccer or hitting a home run pretty tough. THC also affects the basal ganglia, another part of the brain that’s involved in movement control.
  12. 12.  Long Term Effects:  Lungs and Airways  People who use and abuse marijuana are also putting their lungs at risk.  One joint has 4 times as much cancer-causing tar as one tobacco cigarette.
  13. 13.  Addiction  Marijuana, addictive?  About 9 percent of people who use marijuana become dependent on it.  Withdrawal symptoms:  Irritability  Sleep problems  Weight loss
  14. 14.  Signs and symptoms of Marijuana Abuse:  Rapid, loud talking and bursts of laughter in early stages of intoxication  Sleepy or stuporous in the later stages  Lack of concentration and coordination  Forgetfulness in conversation  Inflammation in the whites of the eyes  Odor similar to burnt rope on clothing or breath  Distorted sense of time passage and a tendency to overestimate time intervals  Craving for sweets  Increased appetite  Use or possession of paraphernalia including roach clips, packs of rolling papers, pipes or bongs
  15. 15. STANDARD DRINK SIZE:  Beer  12 oz.  Wine  5 oz.  Liquor  1 – 1.5 oz.
  16. 16.  Alcohol is generally consumed as a drink.  New trends for alcohol consumption:  Eye Drops  Tampons  Enemas  Vaping
  17. 17.  Short Term Effects of Alcohol  Breathing difficulties  Distorted vision and hearing  Impaired judgment  Decreased perception and coordination  Unconsciousness  Anemia (loss of red blood cells)  Coma  Blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence)
  18. 18.  Long Term Effect of Alcohol  Change in mood and behavior  Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle  Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat  Stroke  High blood pressure  Steatosis, or fatty liver  Alcoholic hepatitis  Fibrosis  Cirrhosis  Pancreatitis  Cancer of the Mouth, Esophagus, Throat, Liver, and Breast  Compromised immune system.
  19. 19.  Signs and Symptoms of intoxication:  Slurred speech  Poor balance  Drooping Eyelids  Drowsiness  Vomiting  Diarrhea  Upset stomach  Headaches  Eye Nystagmus
  20. 20.  Rx Drugs are quickly becoming a serious problem in Nebraska.  4 Categories of Rx Drugs that are abused:  Opiates  CNS Depressants  Stimulants  Dextromethorphan (DXM)  NOTE: Alcohol can change the effects of these drugs
  21. 21.  Opiates  Rx Pain relievers – Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Fentanyl, and Methadone…to name a few.  How are they used?  The pills are either swallowed whole, crushed and snorted, or crushed and melted down to be injected.  What are the effects?  Slows the heart, slows breathing, feeling of relaxation and euphoria.
  22. 22.  Street names for Opiates:  Hydros, Hillbilly heroin, Oxy, OC, Oxycotton, Percs, Happy pills, and Vikes  Signs and Symptoms of use:  Glossy eyes  Slurred speech  Slow reactions  Track marks (from injections)  Constant runny nose or nosebleeds (from snorting)  Can lead to heroin use as a cheaper form of getting high.
  23. 23.  CNS Depressants  Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, and Sleep Medications.  How are they used?  Taken as a pill or capsule whole or crushed and snorted.  What are the effects?  Depressant to the central nervous system, slows heart rate, slows breathing, causes drowsiness, causes an “out of body” like sensation.
  24. 24.  Street names for CNS Depressants  Barbs, Reds, Red birds, Phennies, Tooies, Yellows, Yellow jackets, Candy, Downers, Sleeping pills, Tranks, A- minus, and Zombie pills  Signs and Symptoms of use:  Glossy eyes  Slurred speech  Extreme drowsiness  Slow reactions
  25. 25.  Stimulants  Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall), Methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta)  How are they used?  The pills are either swallowed whole, crushed and snorted, or crushed and melted down to be injected.  What are the effects?  High blood pressure, Increased heart rate, Irregular heartbeat, extremely high body temps, seizures, heart failure.
  26. 26.  Street names for Stimulants:  Skippy, The smart drug, Vitamin R, Bennies, Black beauties, Roses, Hearts, Speed, and Uppers.  Signs and Symptoms of use:  Rapid speech  Dilated pupils  Shortness of breath  Hostility  Paranoia
  27. 27.  Dextromethorphan (DXM)  Over the counter cough and cold medicine – (i.e., Robotussin, NyQuil, Coricidin, and Vicks)  How is it used?  Most commonly drank in the liquid/syrup form. Some will use the pills, and most recently found in some powder forms.  What are the effects?  Feelings of disassociation, impaired motor function, numbness, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure.
  28. 28.  Street names for DXM  Robo-tripping, Skittling, Dex, or Candy.  Signs and Symptoms of use:  Slurred speech  Inability to speak  Drowsiness  Dilated pupils  Delayed reactions  Lethargy
  29. 29.  Spice, K2, Synthetic Marijuana  Herbs that look like potpourri or marijuana and are supposed to mimic the effects of marijuana.  Claims to be the “legal high” – refer toLB298 “Tyler’s Law” and LB811.  Often labeled as “not for human consumption”  How is it used?  Sold as incense or potpourri, but generally smoked like marijuana, or some people use in tea.
  30. 30.  What are the effects of K2/Spice?  Relaxed feelings similar to marijuana  Some cases, extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.
  31. 31.  Street names for K2  Fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, Scooby Snax, and Crazy Clown.  Signs and Symptoms of use  Dilated pupils  Lethargy  Slow reactions  Change in behaviors – increased anxiety, paranoia, agitation, and depression.
  32. 32.  Bath Salts  Synthetic cathinones similar to amphetamines and stimulants.  How are they used?  Swallowed, inhaled, or injected, with the worst dangers being associated with snorting or needle injection.
  33. 33.  Street names:  Labeled as Plant food, Jewelry cleaner, or Phone screen cleaner – sold online by the names of “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” and “Scarface.”  Signs and Symptoms of use:  Extreme agitation, hallucinations & delusions, chest pain, suicidal thoughts, high blood pressure, acute toxicity, hyperthermia, delirium, violent behavior, foaming at the mouth, extreme paranoia, Parkinson-like limb twitching, and severe insomnia.
  34. 34.  Additional trends you’re seeing?  Check social media to keep up to date on new trends.  Set Google alerts to get the latest info.  Visit for updates  Follow us on Twitter @LiveWise_Neb  Like us on Facebook  Coming soon…
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