Flakka is dangerous new strain of synthetic drugs, which have become popular out on the market. On the street, it's also called "gravel" for its white, crystal chunks. In the lab, it's known as a stimulant with the amphetamine-like effects of Molly and Ecstasy. In the media it's been dubbed "the insanity drug."
Indeed, flakka has fueled a recent, bizarre a wave of public behavior, all occurring in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. On April 4, a man who had smoked flakka ran naked in the streets, claiming people had stolen his clothes. In March, a man on flakka impaled himself on a spiked fence outside the police station. He survived. In February, a man on flakka tried to kick in the police station door, claiming cars were chasing him. (http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/flakka-attack-new-synthetic-drug-joins-list-spanning-lsd-molly-n341506)
It is important to know about this new drug so you can educate adolescents on the dangers of these deadly synthetic drugs that are readily available and easy to access via the internet.
Here are five things to begin the conversation:
Teenagers drink for various reasons. Parents may get frustrated or feel overwhelmed when they find out their teenager has been drinking. Parents may chalk it up to good 'ole rebellion. However, there are many reasons teenagers drink and some can be quite serious. It is important to deal with the root causes of WHY your teenager is drinking to help them stop and avoid it in the future.
Rebellion. Although rebellion isn't the ONLY reason a teen will drink. It definitely can be a factor. Some teenagers want to push their boundaries-- especially if the teen is experience a life event in their family that leaves them feeling out of control i.e. divorce, house move, school move, death in the family. The important things to remember is--if you can figure out the trigger for the need to be rebellious than you can usually help your teen through this issue instead of them acting out.
Peer Pressure. Teenagers can feel powerless when it comes to peer pressure. It is often very difficult for them to make their own decisions when their peers pressure them to drink alcohol. Their friends may call them names, make fun of them, or make them feel excluded from the group if they do not engage in alcohol use. It is important to empower your teen by discussing the reasons they may be feeling peer pressured. It's best to have these conversations preemptively, but better late than never.
Confidence. Some teenagers have issues with self-confidence and self-worth. They may be using alcohol to self-medicate. Alcohol becomes a way to not have to emotionally digest certain issues going on in their life. Drinking could be a way of escape and a way to have “liquid confidence” when they cannot seem to have it sober. It is important to deal with this issue it can quickly turn into adult alcoholism if they do not learn how to appropriately deal with their emotions and process different feelings.
It is vital to talk with your teen to determine why your teen began drinking in the first place. It is also important to talk with them about these different issues BEFORE you even notice them struggling in these areas. If you can help them identify the area of WHY they drank or want to drink then you can help them not only avoid the harmful effects of drinking, but help them to become more emotionally healthy.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and it is vital you have conversations with your children about drinking. Although alcohol use among teens was reported at a decline in 2014 it is still a very real danger among youth. Just having the conversation can help empower them to make wise decisions in avoiding alcohol and could result in saving their LIFE down the line. Here are 3 ways your conversations about alcohol could help empower them for the future.
As parents, educators, and guardians we can sometimes feel powerless about where to start the conversation. We can toil over when, where, how, etc. However, the most important thing to remember is you cannot afford to not have the conversation with your teen.
A Positive Approach to Teen Health (P.A.T.H) is a 501(c)3 organization that reaches seven counties throughout Northwest Indiana. Since 1993, A Positive Approach to Teen Health has been working to empower teens to make healthy choices regarding drugs, sex, alcohol, and violence.