Butane hash oil (BHO)
A hot new product on medical marijuana shelves and on Craigslist is butane hash oil: a potent hash oil most often made at home with the help of DIY (do-it-yourself) YouTube clips and canisters of butane. Also known as amber, honey, wax, earwax and by its initials BHO, butane hash oil is a highly concentrated form of the active ingredient in marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol). Using BHO is often called “dabbing,” because of the way BHO is ingested. To ingest BHO, users place a small dab of the substance on a hot, metal surface, and then inhale the resulting puff of smoke.
Dangerously, the high is much more intense than regular marijuana: It’s not uncommon for people to lose consciousness after inhaling BHO. Dale Gieringer, of NORML, a marijuana advocacy group, told foxnews.com, “Things like this never happened until the popularization of hash oil in recent years. The dangers are dire enough to merit a special warning.”
BHO is especially dangerous due to its flammable nature. BHO is consumed by using portable hash oil pens or water pipes heated with propane torches, which comes with a cost. Oregonlive.com reports, “butane-fueled blasts have sent 17 people to a Portland burn unit with serious injuries in the past 16 months, including one Northeast Portland man who later died from his injuries.” Further, oregonlive.com reports that there were, “nine major BHO-related blasts in Oregon since 2011, four of them in homes or hotel rooms where children, including a newborn, were present. In one case last year, a 12-year-old girl suffered multiple broken bones after leaping from the second floor of a Medford apartment building rocked by a butane (BHO) explosion.”
New drugs are always emerging on the street and two of these are alarming both law enforcements and health care experts: krokodil and 2C-P. Drug users are often inventive and these two substances are proving to be especially dangerous.
Originally confined to Russia, krokodil cases have recently been reported in the United States and other countries. Krokodil is a cheap form of cocaine that is mixed with gasoline, oil, alcohol or paint thinner and is injected directly into addict’s bodies through a hypodermic needle. The high produced by krokodil is reportedly ten times that of cocaine.
Time magazine reported that krokodil (or desomorphine- the chemical name for the main ingredient) is “burning its way through Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. The monster has crossed the ocean.” (Time, December 2013).
Krokodil most often causes dark, green or black scaly patches of dead and decaying skin. This grotesque side effect gave rise to the street name “krokodil,” or crocodile. Those who eventually overcome their addiction to the drug are still often severely disfigured for life; suffering serious scarring, bone damage, amputated limbs, speech impediments, poor motor skills and varying degrees of brain damage.
Also, Fox news recently reported that 2C-P is a little known synthetic hallucinogen with only a brief history of use, but is long-lasting and very potent. 2C-P’s intense psychedelic effects don’t begin until a few hours after a person takes it, but they can last for 10 to 20 hours and are more vivid and potent than those with ecstasy or “Molly” products and much more like LSD, according to law enforcement officials.
Foxct.com reports that there are three reasons why 2C-P is so risky:
“First – there is a delay in onset of action of 2C-P of three hours. So people don’t think it is working and take more or take something else along with it.
Secondly, the difference between good and bad (possibly fatal) effects of 2C-P is only 2 milligrams apart…..
Third, the effects of 2C-P last a long time – like up to 18 hours. So while the effects of “Molly” are wearing off in a few hours, this drug lingers on and on.” (foxct.com)
Individuals should be wary of both krokodil and 2C-P because of their volatility, risky nature and because of the dangers associated with these illegal street drugs.
Early drinking has been linked to later alcoholism risks
When kids are introduced to alcohol before age 18 (early drinking), dangerous consequences can occur. A recent study by the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research reported the following findings:
- Researchers have known that age of first drink (AFD) is associated with the later development of alcohol-use disorders (AUDs).
- New findings show that an early AFD, before the age of 15, is especially risky for later AUDs.
Experts agree that the onset of drinking behavior should be delayed as last as possible, until 18 years or older. The study warns parents against early drinking and to keep alcohol away from their children as it can lead to struggles with alcoholism later in life. However, some parents believe that teaching a child the responsible approach to drinking will help them develop more cognitive abilities to manage their alcohol use. This is a mistake. According to researchers, youths that drink prior to turning 18 have greater odds of becoming alcoholics. Interesting, it doesn’t take large amounts of alcohol to impact a young brain. In fact, a small amount actually primes the brain to get more enjoyment from alcohol. (attcnetwork.org)
Deborah Dawson, study author at The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that, “some early drinkers become alcohol dependent while still in their teens, a time when those who have not yet started drinking are not even at risk of becoming dependent. By looking at adult-onset dependence, we can see for the first time that the association between early AFD and increased AUD risk … is not time limited, but rather persists into adulthood.”
WHO (The World Health Organization) indicates that the older a person is when they take their first drink, the less likely they are to develop full-blown drinking disorders later in life. Also, most doctors agree that individuals should not drink until age 25 or after (the age at which the brain has fully matured). Further, most doctors also believe that no one under the age of 16 should be given alcohol under any circumstance.
It can be concluded from these findings that early drinking is definitely linked to later alcoholism risks and disorders as well as dangerous consequences.
Having structure in summer can lower drug abuse in teens
Kids love to hear the last bell ring on the last day of school. Summer break is something they look forward to the entire year; it’s an exciting time. But, sometimes having too much free time or boredom can lead to curiosity about or experimenting with alcohol or drugs. In fact, many studies have shown that most teens begin experimenting with drugs or alcohol during the summer months. Interestingly, most teens that have reported experimentation or abuse of drugs during the summer report that it began with boredom. Having structure in your teen’s summer down time can help to avoid these situations.
Many teens benefit from being enrolled in sports camps or other activities that keep their bodies and minds activated. Structured family chores or a paying job can also provide meaning and purpose during summer free time. All kids will complain about boredom at some point in their summer, but when it is excessive or there is too much idle time, it has been shown to lead to drug experimentation or abuse.
It is important to recognize the difference between drug experimentation and abuse. Drug experimentation can be defined as, “the use of a mood altering substance (drugs or alcohol) due to curiosity, and in many cases, peer pressure.” (duffycounseling.com) However, substance abuse is when an individual uses drugs and their behavior has a negative effect upon their performance in social, academic/occupational, family, or settings. Whether kids are abusing or experimenting with drugs in the summer, their behavior in both is risky and worrisome.
It’s been shown that the most commonly used drugs by kids in the summer are marijuana and beer. However, as duffycounseling.com reports, “experimentation can also involve harder drugs such as cocaine, prescription medications, and liquor. Many teens admit that marijuana is “easier to get” than alcohol and that the use of marijuana is rampant amongst their peers.”
Structuring your kid’s summer can lead to less down/bored time for them which can, in turn, place them at a lower risk for drug experimentation/abuse. Being aware of the consequences of boredom in the summer can help you feel closer to your child and help you provide activities for them to meet peers and friends with interests similar to their own.
Article in Deseret News about Suicide Prevention
SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the media and mental health professionals met together Monday to discuss how they can work together to help bring hope, information and resources to those in crisis.
“We can make a big difference when we partner with the media to get the right message out there,” said Kim Myers, suicide prevention coordinator with the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. “I hope we realize the value of partnering together in forwarding these issues. The media can be great partner in that. … (It) can change the public perspective and promote healing.”
Myers moderated a panel discussion on suicide prevention titled “Crisis Response: What Role Does the Media Play?” at the Generations Mental Health Conference at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
The four-member panel was comprised of Liz Sollis of the Utah Department of Human Services; Candice Madsen, KSL-TV producer; Barry Rose, crisis services manager for the University Neuropsychiatric Institute; and Emily Hoerner with the Utah Chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Sollis said the Utah Department of Human Services tries to provide as much information as possible to help combat the barrier caused by the stigma surrounding suicide.
SOURCE: Deseret News – SALT LAKE CITY
With the legalization of marijuana in some states, and the government statistic that marijuana is the most abused drug among high school students, some wonder what the difference between marijuana and spice is. Simply put, spice is synthetic marijuana. It is the second most commonly abused drug among high school students. It is composed of a “wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana. Further, spice is sold under names such as K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and is often labeled “not for human consumption”. Spice contains dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that are responsible for their psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. A disturbing finding is that spice is being marketed to buyers as a safe and legal alternative to marijuana.” (drugabuse.gov).
Drugabuse.gov reports that, “Spice products are popular among young people; of the illicit drugs most used by high-school seniors, they are second only to marijuana. (They are more popular among boys than girls — in 2012, nearly twice as many male 12th graders reported past-year use of synthetic marijuana as females in the same age group.) Easy access and the misperception that spice products are “natural” and therefore harmless have likely contributed to their popularity. Another selling point is that the chemicals used in spice are not easily detected in standard drug tests.”
Further disconcerting is the fact that because spice is synthetically made and the ingredients change to allude law enforcement, the actual effects of spice are not officially understood or documented. However, many spice abusers report confusion, vomiting, agitation, hallucinations and rapid heart rate. Spice has also been shown to raise blood pressure and reduce blood supply to the heart. Regular spice users see withdrawal and addiction symptoms as well.
Because of the unknown factors of spice, the actual effects remain mysterious. But drugabuse.gov reports that, “one public health concern is that there may be harmful heavy metal residues in Spice mixtures.” The bottom line is that abusing spice is especially dangerous due to the many unknown factors of exact make up of each package of spice as well as the unknown effects of abusing spice.
The Path of Alcoholism
Most people don’t begin drinking with the intent to end up being an alcoholic struggling against a painful strong addiction. Most people begin with just a sip here, a drink there. So, some may wonder, “how does an individual go from casual drinking to alcoholism?”
Recent studies have shown that there are some specific factors that may contribute to a teen’s beliefs about alcohol use in their early teenage years. For example, some factors that can influence a teen’s attitude towards alcohol use and/or abuse may include:
- Alcohol related attitudes and actions of parents and other family members
- Alcohol related attitudes and actions of other adults encountered outside the family unit
- The attitudes toward alcohol use held by a teen’s peer group
- The actual level of alcohol intake happening in a teen’s peer group
- The amount of exposure to pro-alcohol and/or anti-alcohol messages through various forms of media
Many kids who head down the path toward alcoholism are influenced by their peers and begin to experiment with alcohol. This experimentation often leads to initial positive effects, which may be followed by negative long-term addictions. Regardless of how alcoholism originates, it is a very serious and dangerous disease that knows no boundaries and can cause many problems in any individual’s life.
Recently, covenanteyes.com reported some startling statistics in regards to the prevalence of pornography. They indicate that by 2015, “mobile adult content and services are expected to reach $2.8 billion per year, mobile adult subscriptions will reach nearly $1 billion, and mobile adult video consumption on tablets will triple.”
At the time of this blog, the counter on the covenanteyes.com website indicated that the number of searches for pornography since the start of 2014 was 899.937,931.
They report some shocking facts: (content directly quoted from covenanteyes.com)
- 9 out of 10 Internet porn users only access free material, whether it be samples of pay material, illegally copied versions of pay material, or amateur material
- 1 in 5 mobile searches are for pornography
- 24% of smartphone owners admit to having pornographic material on their mobile handset
- In 2006, estimated revenues for the sex-related entertainment business were just under $13 billion in the US. These estimates included video sales and rentals, Internet sales, cable, pay-per-view, phone sex, exotic dance clubs magazines, and novelty stores.
- The porn industry generates $13 billion each year in the US.
- Internet porn alone is a $3 Billion per year business.
- 79% of porn performers have used marijuana, and 50% have used ecstasy.
- 88% of scenes in porn films contain acts of physical aggression, and 49% of scenes contain verbal aggression.
- 69% of pay-per-view Internet content market is pornography.
- 32% of adult membership websites and 58% of free adult websites come from outside the U.S.
- Global porn
- Porn revenues have declined 50% since 2007 due to the amount of free porn online.
For more information or for a complete pornography statistics report, go to covenanteyes.com.
Helping Addicted Pregnant Mothers and their Addicted Babies
According to reports from Ohio.com citing The Akron Beacon Journal, four programs in the state of Ohio will give grant money that will help pregnant mothers addicted to heroin or other opioid drugs to receive treatment. The three-year, $4.2 million program will benefit some 300 women in Cuyahoga, Athens, Franklin, and Hamilton counties, who will go through drug treatment and counseling in order to protect their unborn children.
Brad DeCamp, program chief for the state’s opioid treatment policy is quoted saying, “If we can intervene early and make an impact, then the more likely we are to create a situation where the mom is not as reliant on crisis services and emergency services, and the same for the young child.”
Like many other states in the US, Ohio has seen a sharp increase in heroin addiction and overdoses, especially among pregnant mothers. In 2007 alone, fatal drug overdoses surpassed fatal car crashes as the state’s top cause of accidental death. Further, Ohio has seen a drastic rise in the number of drug addicted babies, rising from 14 per 10,000 live births in 2004 to 88 per 10,000 live births in 2011 (Ohio state data).
Babies who are born to mothers addicted to painkillers or other opiates can experience neonatal abstinence syndrome. Symptoms of neonatal abstinence include drug withdrawal, respiratory complications, feeding difficulties and sometimes even seizures.
Also, health-care expenses associated with treating babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome topped $70 million in 2011, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. The program will also continue drug treatment for addicted mothers after birth with the hope of preventing relapse.
“Women in the project will undergo a combination of counseling and medication-assisted treatment for their addiction; along with help to prevent relapses after their babies are born. They could get vouchers for transitional housing as well as transportation or brief baby-sitting for medical and treatment appointments.” (Ohio.com)
Caring for addicted babies can be costly as well as heartbreaking. DeCamp hoes this new program in Ohio will help get addicted mothers off drugs before their babies are born. If this happens, their stay in the intensive care unit after birth could be shortened. Also, for addicted pregnant mothers and their babies, the program will also continue drug treatment for the addicted mothers after the birth of their babies with the hope of preventing relapse.
Teen depression in Boys
Interestingly, more and more teen boys are succumbing to depression. What was once thought to be a female only issue, has crossed over into teen boy’s lives as well. Rates of anxiety disorders and depression are soaring among teen boys. For the first time, depression among males is nearly as prevalent as among females in this group.
During the adolescent years, teen boys are learning to be men. They get ideas about how to do this through television, movies, books, friends and from older men. However, when teen boys are fighting depression, they do not feel like confronting it because it doesn’t seem “manly” or sometimes even allowed. This can make detecting teen depression difficult.
Unlike girls, who often cry or express emotions outwardly, teen boys generally hold their feelings inside. Their depression may be expressed as anger or outbursts. Sometimes teen boys detach or cant’ concentrate. But mostly, they stuff their feelings or ignore them when teen boys are feeling depressed. Some may not realize they are dealing with depression. They may just feel weak and attempt to hide the feelings of weakness they are dealing with.
According to rightstep.com, “Boys ignore depression by zoning out in TV or video games. They ignore it by spending hour upon hour in their room listening to music. Rarely will adolescent boys verbalize their struggles. Instead (they adopts a mask to cover the pain (they are) feeling.”
Ellen McGrath, of Psychology Today, reports of teen depression that, “Perhaps the biggest problem with today’s young males is that they often have mild to moderate alexithymia—they are unable to identify their own (and others’) feelings and thus unable to communicate about them. They never learned how from absent or overworked fathers.
However, the ability to communicate feelings is an increasingly important survival skill. It is certainly required for stable interpersonal relationships throughout life—at school, at work, and in the families most expect eventually to create…There is an immediate need to take action. If not, our sons face life-threatening consequences—drug and/or alcohol addiction, self-destructive behavior and accidents, suicide, and violence towards others. Such problems are already rampant.”
Although there is a rise in depression among teen boys, there is much that can be done to solve the problem and help these boys regain confidence and happiness in their lives.