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Beyond opioids: Other substances you should know

With education on opioids and opioid addiction on the rise, some teens are turning to different kinds of drugs, said Jessica Hutchings. She runs Kids Escaping Drugs’ Face 2 Face Program, which provides early education and addiction intervention.

One of the main substances that kids in the early stages of addiction are using currently is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — oil in vaping devices. THC is the chemical that gives marijuana most of its psychological effects.

There are also some synthetic drugs that are popular right now, said Hutchings. Molly, or ecstasy, is one of them.

Molly alters perception and mood, producing boosts of energy, emotional warmth, pleasure and distorted time and sensory perception, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“In the past, you heard stories on the news about synthetic marijuana and synthetic amphetamines,” said Hutchings. “They were these little blips on the news that you heard about and then they weren’t covered anymore so everyone thinks they went away. They didn’t go away.”

She also said she’s seen an increase in young people’s crack and cocaine use.

Look out for these substances, as well:

Four Loko. One 23.5-ounce can of this trendy caffeinated alcoholic beverage contains 12 percent alcohol by volume, which is equal to 4.7 shots of 80 proof vodka, 4.7 glasses of wine (5 oz.) or 4.7 beers (12 oz.).

Wax or dabs (marijuana concentrates). It looks like ear wax or amber colored glass shards. It is 60 to 80 percent more THC-potent than smoking marijuana.

Cough syrup and Triple Cs: Can cause a sense of euphoria and hallucinations or dissociative effects. It can be bought over the counter.

Lean (known as purple drank or sizzurp): A combination of cough syrup with jolly ranchers, soda and codeine. It causes hallucinations and a sense of euphoria that can last for three to six hours.

Source: Kids Escaping Drugs

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