Four New Dangerous Drug Trends and How to Recognize the Signs: A Guide for Parents and Counselors

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Cornerstone Recovery Center, an Addiction Treatment Center, Aims to Make Counselors and Parents Aware of New Drug Threats

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Heroin is also making a comeback among teens and young adults. The widely publicized overdose deaths of Cory Monteith and, more recently, Philip Seymour Hoffman, are only the tip of the iceberg.

The drug landscape is changing. The staff at Cornerstone Recovery Center has been monitoring several new trends in drug use by adolescents and young adults, including pharmaceuticals and new street drugs.

Following is some important information on these new drug trends so that parents, teachers and counselors can be aware of the warning signs of use, abuse and addiction.

Cornerstone Recovery Center has recently seen an influx of clients from New Jersey and New York that are suffering from heroin addictions. Some of the rising drugs in today’s culture are synthetic or “designer” drugs and over-the-counter medicines; they are as much a part of recent drug trends as anything else. In some cases, even defining exactly what the drugs are can be a nebulous prospect.

The Unfortunate Comeback of Heroin

Heroin is making a comeback among teens and young adults. The widely publicized overdose deaths of Cory Monteith and, more recently, Philip Seymour Hoffman, are only the tip of the iceberg. The use of this well-known street drug has been on the rise lately, particularly in states like Florida, which have recently cracked down on “pill mills” that liberally distributed narcotic pharmaceuticals like oxycodone. Suburbs across the country in states like New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio are seeing a rise in overdose deaths from heroin. These days, oxycodone (or Oxycontin) can be very difficult to get and is also much more expensive than street heroin.

A person who is addicted to narcotics often has a choice between an all-day quest for a pill that costs $80 versus a 20-minute drive to obtain a 24-hour supply of heroin for $20. Cornerstone Recovery Center has experienced a significant uptick in young adults seeking addiction treatment for this highly addictive narcotic.

Bath Salts on the Rise

The term “bath salts” to most people means something to use for a relaxing soak after a hard day’s work. In today’s world of new street drugs, bath salts means something else entirely, and it is sparking a beehive of activity at poison control centers and drug rehab facilities across the country. Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), a designer stimulant, is the most common psychoactive in ingredient in “bath salts,” but it can contain a host of homegrown chemicals, making it especially dangerous to users. News reports of “zombie-like” behavior have been attributed to the use of bath salts.

These drugs were once sold legally at less-reputable gas stations and convenience stores, and often went by other names such as Magic, Maddie, Cloud 9, Super Coke, Black Rob, Peeve, PV, and demon dust. They have been banned in the United States since 2011, and, in July 2012, the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act was passed, making it illegal to possess, use or distribute many of the chemicals used in bath salts. However, bath salts remain widely available. Guidance counselors and addiction specialists should be particularly aware of this slang so that if they hear it from their clients, they know it’s time to take action. The drug’s effects to watch out for are anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, chest pain, raised pulse and blood pressure, and even suicidal thoughts or behavior.

The Dangers of Spice and Other Forms of “Synthetic Marijuana”

Another new drug that teens use that social workers, therapists and others in the treatment industry need to be aware of is synthetic marijuana. It goes by various other names such as spice, potpourri, or K2. However, the term “synthetic marijuana” is really a misnomer, as it is not related chemically to marijuana in any way; rather, it is made primarily from fertilizer and is mixed with ground up lettuce leaves and other such substances. Like MDPV, spice was often available legally at convenience stores and smoke shops, and legislation has been slow to catch up; it remains legal in many states across the country as of May 2013.

Teenagers nationwide have been admitted to hospitals in a semi-paralytic state, with uncontrolled drooling, vomiting, hallucinations and paranoia. The popularity of spice is often tied to the fact that it doesn’t show up on any drug test, mainly because it is such a new street drug and is not recognized (as of yet) as an illegal substance.

“Triple C” is Sold Legally as Over-the-Counter Cold Medication

Treatment specialists should also be on the lookout for CCC (aka C+, Cordies, and a host of other nicknames), which is available legally at the corner grocery. This is an FDA approved cold medication, which is sold under the name Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold. It contains the drug dextromethorphan, or DXM. This medication is being abused, primarily by adolescents and even pre-teens, because DXM can produce a type of high when taken in amounts that greatly exceed the recommended dosage. In large doses, DXM is known to produce hallucinations and a sense of detachment from reality.

Other popular drugs that have been on the scene for a while include molly, or MDMA, prescription pain killers like Vicodin and Xanax that become especially deadly when mixed with alcohol, and crystal meth. If you suspect that your child or client is using drugs or alcohol, please seek immediate help from a licensed and reputable drug addiction treatment facility.

About Cornerstone Recovery Center

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Cornerstone Recovery Center provides individualized addiction treatment for those suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction and other forms of substance abuse. We cater to out-of-town clients who benefit from a change in location to shift old habits and influences during the recovery process.

Cornerstone, a drug and alcohol rehab facility, is committed to working with family members and clients to ensure that everyone affected by the disease of addiction is treated with compassion and empathy. Our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) features brand new, waterfront housing, and we will provide assistance with transportation to Florida, as well as insurance deductibles for those who qualify.

For information about Cornerstone Recovery Center, addiction information and relapse prevention, visit or call 1-888-711-0354 to speak with a counselor today.

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Ryan Johnston

Jamie Maloney
since: 08/2012
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