Archive for December, 2011

A lot of teenagers are making their plans to have an unsafe New Year’s weekend. Don’t be naive into thinking that they aren’t planning on drinking and doing drugs. If you think this is a bunch of hot air, take a look at the school ski trip bust this week.

Students from five schools from Elko Co., Nevada were heading towards Utah for a student ski trip. Five buses full of energetic kids, headed to a parent-free vacation. It’s believed that there wasn’t a chaperone over 20 years old among the convoy. So when witnesses saw a couple of the teens smoking marijuana from a pipe, authorities decided to search the buses. What they found was a boatload of narcotics. Authorities decided not to file charges, since none of the kids possessed enough to warrant a felony.

Kids don’t need a bus and few days away from mom and dad to plan a drug-fueled party. Kids just need a few hours away from home to get high. Parents have an easy answer to detect the teend rug use.

Here is a video showing just how easy, safe, accurate, and private the Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit is.


The new year marks a change in California when it comes to DXM. Not to be confused with the rapper, DMX, DXM is the abbreviation for Dextromethorphan. It’s the key ingredient of popular cough syrups. It’s also a favored choice of teens who mix the syrup with soda or sports drinks. Kids will also put in flavored candy like Jolly Ranchers or Skittles, to make the concoction more flavorful. You may have heard some of the slang variations like Slizzurp, Purple drank, lean, purple jelly, or Texas Tea.


It’s been popularized by the hip hop community, and has even made its way into lyrics of some songs. If you want to read about the effect of it, Wikipedia has a pretty good explainer right here.

Well California lawmakers have identified the problem with DXM, and starting January 1st, minors will not be able to buy the product, and those syrups will be kept behind the counter, just like cigarettes. And you’ll need an ID to purchase it.

What’s been known as robotripping or skittling, may be a little more difficult to do. And even though an 18-year-old could go and buy cough syrup and give to his or her friends, the stigma with showing your ID at a counter to probably will not be a popular thing. No kids wants to walk into his neighborhood grocery store or pharmacy and be spotted as a habitual buyer of these products. After all, this is likely where the teen’s parents shop too.

Will this stop the trend of teens drinking cough syrup? No. But the new law should help curb some of this activity. Most parents aren’t even aware of just how popular this is. They need to be vigilant to not carry too much cough syrup at home. If kids are willing to steal pills from the medicine cabinet, they will steal cough syrup as well.

You have to applaud California lawmakers for enacting this ban. The state is the first to prohibit minors from buying these products. A state senator talked to the SFGATE.COM about this new law, “”By limiting the sale to minors, we hope to reduce the number of cases where there’s misuse or abuse of over-the-counter cough medications containing DXM,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. “This is really nasty stuff with very serious consequences.”

SAMHSA announces a working definition of “recovery” from mental disorders and substance use disorders

A new working definition of recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders is being announced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The definition is the product of a year-long effort by SAMHSA and a wide range of partners in the behavioral health care community and other fields to develop a working definition of recovery that captures the essential, common experiences of those recovering from mental disorders and substance use disorders, along with major guiding principles that support the recovery definition. SAMHSA led this effort as part of its Recovery Support Strategic Initiative.

The new working definition of Recovery from Mental Disorders and Substance Use Disorders is as follows:

A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

“Over the years it has become increasingly apparent that a practical, comprehensive working definition of recovery would enable policy makers, providers, and others to better design, deliver, and measure integrated and holistic services to those in need,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “By working with all elements of the behavioral health community and others to develop this definition, I believe SAMHSA has achieved a significant milestone in promoting greater public awareness and appreciation for the importance of recovery, and widespread support for the services that can make it a reality for millions of Americans.”

A major step in addressing this need occurred in August2010 when SAMHSA convened a meeting of behavioral health leaders, consisting of mental health consumers and individuals in addiction recovery. Together these members of the behavioral health care community developed a draft definition and principles of recovery to reflect common elements of the recovery experience for those with mental disorders and/or substance use disorders.

In the months that have followed, SAMHSA worked with the behavioral health care community and other interested parties in reviewing drafts of the working recovery definition and principles with stakeholders at meetings, conferences and other venues. In August 2011, SAMHSA posted the working definition and principles that resulted from this process on the SAMHSA blog and invited comments from the public via SAMHSA Feedback Forums. The blog post received 259 comments, and the forums had over 1000 participants, nearly 500 ideas, and over 1,200 comments on the ideas. Many of the comments received have been incorporated into the current working definition and principles.

Through the Recovery Support Strategic Initiative, SAMHSA has also delineated four major dimensions that support a life in recovery:

  • Health : overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way;
  • Home: a stable and safe place to live;
  • Purpose: meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income and resources to participate in society; and
  • Community : relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.


Guiding Principles of Recovery


Recovery emerges from hope: The belief that recovery is real provides the essential and motivating message of a better future – that people can and do overcome the internal and external challenges, barriers, and obstacles that confront them.

Recovery is person-driven: Self-determination and self-direction are the foundations for recovery as individuals define their own life goals and design their unique path(s).

Recovery occurs via many pathways: Individuals are unique with distinct needs, strengths, preferences, goals, culture, and backgrounds ? including trauma experiences ? that affect and determine their pathway(s) to recovery. Abstinence is the safest approach for those with substance use disorders.

Recovery is holistic: Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community. The array of services and supports available should be integrated and coordinated.


Recovery is supported by peers and allies: Mutual support and mutual aid groups, including the sharing of experiential knowledge and skills, as well as social learning, play an invaluable role in recovery

Recovery is supported through relationship and social networks: An important factor in the recovery process is the presence and involvement of people who believe in the person’s ability to recover; who offer hope, support, and encouragement; and who also suggest strategies and resources for change.

Recovery is culturally-based and influenced : Culture and cultural background in all of its diverse representations ? including values, traditions, and beliefs ? are keys in determining a person’s journey and unique pathway to recovery.

Recovery is supported by addressing trauma : Services and supports should be trauma-informed to foster safety (physical and emotional) and trust, as well as promote choice, empowerment, and collaboration.

Recovery involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility: Individuals, families, and communities have strengths and resources that serve as a foundation for recovery.

Recovery is based on respect : Community, systems, and societal acceptance and appreciation for people affected by mental health and substance use problems – including protecting their rights and eliminating discrimination – are crucial in achieving recovery.

For further detailed information about the new working recovery definition or the guiding principles of recovery please visit:


Most people are unaware of all of the drug related stories pertaining to our youth that arise every day. Part of what we do here on the blog is filter all of that information, so that people get a proper understanding of what goes on in communities across America.

Very few people know what goes on in their own communities. Sometimes they just don’t pay enough attention, and sometimes a story is swept underneath the carpet, because people don’t want a certain community to be overshadowed by bad news.

Publicizing drug information from around the world can help parents understand what teens are willing to try when it comes to drugs, and what they are willing to do to obtain that narcotic. We’ve published stories of kids and adults doing stupid things to acquire their drug of choice. We’ve also published articles on the stupid criminal acts kids and people will do to get money to pay for their high. And most importantly, we have shown you the life-threatening things kids and adults will do to not only get high, but to pass a drug test. The most recent shocker was that kids were drinking bleach to fool drug tests.

The story that made my jaw drop today comes from the website. Head shop owners are suing, hoping to overturn a ban on the sale of synthetic substances. After all, they want the good people in Kingsport, TN to have those bath salts for the most relaxing soak ever.

These substances are killers. These sellers know it. But they are making a fortune on them. So now when the government does something good to help eliminate these lethal products, these business people take a stand to fight the move.

Check out this chunk of unbelieveability from

Todd Cartwright opened the White Cloud Emporium at 10 a.m. He still sells products like “Zombie Killa,” “Jungle Juice,” and “White Widow” despite the ban on synthetic drugs.

“[The new law] doesn’t tell us what’s illegal,” said Cartwright. “When we asked the mayor, what’s illegal, or what is legal, he told us whatever we deem is illegal is illegal.’”

Cartwright and Ultimate Smoke Owner Jason Catoe filed a complaint against the ban in chancery court Monday night.

The complainants seek injunctive relief and damages for alleged violations to the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions. Cartwright says the synthetic drug ban is too broad and violates their right to due process.

“If the State of Tennessee comes out with another 5,000 chemicals that we can’t carry,” said Cartwright, “then we won’t carry those 5,000 chemicals.”

How much is the almighty dollar worth? How much profit can you turn with these products? Apparently, it’s a ton. To claim that you aren’t exactly sure what substances are being banned and what chemical combinations are illegal seems a little too foolish.

The makers of these products alter the chemical compositions to skirt the bans placed by the federal government. If you can’t have chemicals A-B-C together, then they modify it and make a product with A-B-D. When that fails, they move on to A-B-E. Ultimately, the government will need to outlaw any combination of chemicals A-Z, to stop the production of these substances.

Users continue to buy them, and they continue to stockpile them, knowing that one day these products will be off store shelves. Sadly, store owners will continue to sell them, until they are severely prosecuted. As the article mentions, sellers would only face a $50 fine for selling them. That’s probably less than a full day’s profits.

If you are unaware of what bath salts are, or how they can kill kids, you can search for them in our blog. I also recommend a blog from a mom who has lived and fought addiction through her son. A longtime heroin addict, her son now says bath salts is his latest fix, and it is the scariest substance ever.

Her name is Barbara. She is very honest and speaks from the heart. Her blog is Please visit it.

Before marijuana legalization activists go batty, let’s preface this conversation with the fact that his discussion is about children using drugs.   We are not talking about 18-year-old adults.   We are talking about our kids.  


The New York Times offered up to debate the topic of which drug is least harmful for children.   You can read it by clicking HERE. The researcher, Professor Robert Gable, can be commended for his quest to discover the facts about the substances in our society.  

First, while Professor Gable was research ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, codeine, LSD, and alcohol, new product hit the streets, like bath salts.

But let’s stick to the substances that he did measure.   Putting out research that states that marijuana is safer for kids than alcohol and other drugs, arms kids with this faux knowledge that pot is just fine.

Just hours after the professor’s research hit the internet, numerous articles surfaced about legalizing marijuana, and the harmlessness of it when it comes to children.  

We need to remember that children’s brains aren’t fully developed.    A 12-year-old smoking marijuana is causing irreparable damage to their brain.   If an adult wants to smoke pot, that’s their right.   But when it comes to kids, parents need to be vigilant. 



The people at Monitoring the Future have released a frightening, but not all that surprising survey on the spike in synthetic drug use by our teens.   According to the study 11.4% of the high school seniors had used the synthetic substances, often packed as potpourri or herbal incense and sold in convenience stores, which mimic the effects of marijuana.


And while 40 states have banned the sale of these products, and the DEA has banned the chemicals used to produce these products, they remain readily available.   These synthetic products have taken the lives of many children.   And the use of marijuana has climbed again.

Marijuana remains the most popular drug among teens. Marijuana use increased for the fourth year in a row after a decade of decline. Nearly 7% of high school seniors report smoking marijuana daily, the survey found.

“It’s the highest rate we’ve seen in 30 years, so something is going on,” researcher Lloyd Johnston told the USA TODAY. He added that growing numbers of teens don’t see marijuana as dangerous.

“That’s a very bad indicator,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Either we do something to change that, or we will continue to see increases.”

Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office on National Drug Policy, attributed the gain with the state legalization of marijuana.

“We’re sending young people the wrong message when we call it medicine,” he said.

Half of high school seniors reported having tried an illicit drug at some time, 40% reported using one or more drugs in the past year, and a quarter said they had used one or more drugs in the past month, the survey found. Among 10th-graders, 38% said they had tried an illicit drug.

For more information on the facts released by the good people at Monitoring the Future, click HERE.

I have seen numerous surveys on teen drinking and drug use released from local media sources.   The communities are diverse.   Fast paced Southern California and Florida to slower rural areas in Ohio and Nebraska.

The surveys all seem to say the same thing.   Children are speaking openly and honestly about their drug use.   The use of marijuana by children can be anywhere from 30%-60% and the teen drinking studies have been as high as 80%.

Most of the groups initiating these surveys are parent, community, or local media groups.   They often focus solely on alcohol and marijuana, but there is more serious drug usage to also be concerned with.    Prescription drug usage is soaring among young Americans.

Home drug testing is one way to check what your teen maybe doing.   Smelling for alcohol and marijuana is not enough.

Try to protect your teens as they head into winter break.   Don’t let them become the latest victim of drug abuse.

According to the recent SAMHSA survey, there were 81,863 clients under age 18 in substance abuse treatment on March 31, 2010, some
7 percent of the total 1,175,462 clients in treatment on that date.

Almost 82,000 children are struggling with substance abuse and are receiving treatment here in America.   The bigger concern is how many thousands of kids are habitual substance abusers and are not getting treatment?

Protect your children.  Home drug test them.

Click HERE if you need information on home drug testing or where you can find one.