Teens are notorious for pushing the boundaries, and parents do their best to watch their kids for unacceptable behavior. But what even watchful parents might not know is that teens are using seemingly harmless household substances in order to get high.
The Nutmeg High
Nutmeg is one example. This is a spice which sits on the shelf in most American households. Most parents would not dream that it could be used for anything other than spicing pies and sauces. However, people have been using this common cooking ingredient to get high for centuries.
Nutmeg contains a psychoactive ingredient known as myristicin which is a deliriant. That means that if the teen takes enough nutmeg they will hallucinate, with the effects possibly lasting for a day or two. A considerable amount needs to be consumed for the high to be felt, and it can take several hours to take effect, meaning myristicin poisoning involving convulsions, nausea and general body pain is possible.
Cough Syrup – Robo-Tripping
Another common household item being used by teens to get high is over-the-counter cough syrup. Cough and cold remedies contain an ingredient called dextromethorphan, which if taken in large enough quantities can cause hallucinations or the feeling of being disassociated with your surroundings. Too much of it can mess with a teen’s vision, speed up the heart rate, impede muscle coordination and cause nausea. Because Robotussin is a popularly abused brand the habit is called “robo-tripping.”
Using Robotussin or any other cough and cold syrup to get high has been the subject of rap music for some time now. “Purple Drank” is mentioned in rap music as a way to escape life. Following the lead of rappers, teens mix cough syrup with soda and hard candies and then drink the sugary concoction to feel buzzed. Teens think abusing over-the-counter drugs is harmless, but they’re wrong.
Bizarre And Dangerous Ways Alcohol Is Being Digested
Alcohol is the number one substance abused by teens, but it can be hard to detect nowadays because teens are more creative in hiding their use. Soaking tampons in alcohol, for example, is one method teens are using to hide their alcohol consumption from mom and dad.
The alcohol-soaked tampons are inserted either into the vagina or rectum where the alcohol is rapidly absorbed and kids can feel a strong high from a relatively small amount of booze. Plus, parents won’t smell the alcohol on their kid’s breath. What teens fail to realize is that because the tissue in these areas is so thin and sensitive it can easily be damaged by the alcohol.
Another way kids are masking alcohol use is by pouring it directly into their eyes. Vodka and other hard liquors are being poured straight into the eye in order to get a quick buzz without leaving any telltale smell of alcohol. Because the eye is highly vascularized, the alcohol enters the bloodstream quickly, but that is also why it is like playing roulette with eyesight. Alcohol poured into these tender membranes can cause permanent damage.
Believe it or not, teens are turning to hand sanitizer in order to get drunk. Hand sanitizers usually contain somewhere over 60 percent of ethyl alcohol. Sanitizers are cheap, unsuspicious and ubiquitous. Teens drink the sanitizer as is, or sometimes distill the alcohol from the sanitizer and then drink it.
How Parents Can Affect Teen’s Risk-Taking Decisions
Parents should let their teens know that they are aware of these behaviors. Teens want to experiment and try out new things, but they also respond to being monitored. Teens who feel that mom and dad care enough to be informed and talk with them are less likely to engage in these sorts of dangerous activities.
Read More About Risky Behaviors In Teens