Parents learned about the growing trend of teenagers using prescription medications to get high at a special presentation Monday.
Retired police officer Joseph Abrusci spoke to parents about the fact that kids are using prescription drugs more and more. They’re also finding creative ways to hide what they’re using.
“We want to prevent your child or somebody’s else child from heading down a difficult path,” Abrusci said.
Abrusci said that, according to national drug usage studies, about 1.1 million 12- and 13-year-olds have tried illicit drugs at least once. Of those, more than 600,00 admitted using inhalants, and 350,000 admitted to using prescription medications, including pain relievers.
Kids will try them in a variety of ways, Abrusci said. They will even grind them up into a powder and snort them like Cocaine.
Pharmaceutical parties are becoming more popular among middle- and high school-aged students. Kids will grab whatever medication they can get and bring it to a friend’s house. Kids often combine medications, creating dangerous, and potential lethal doses of drugs.
“Growing up, you never heard of pharmacies being robbed,” Abrusci said to the 50 parents there.
Medications like Robitussin are also becoming more popular to use.
“If you take four or five cap-fulls, it’s like doing LSD,” Abrusci said.
Abrusci said that clothes created specifically for teenagers to embrace taking drugs are becoming more popular. Stores like Journey’s, and Spencer’s sell apparel that messages about using marijuana.
Companies have also created a number of projects that make it easier for people to hide their drugs. Pens, markers, and bracelets with hidden compartments are just some of the items that are marketed to kids and young adults. A belt buckle that opens up and hollowed-out Pepsi can whose top screws off.
“They are marketing to a specific section of the public, the drug user,” Abrusci said.
Kamelot sponsored the event. The non-profit works to keep Kinnelon kids off drugs. The group meets the second Thursday of every month in the Kinnelon municipal building beginning at 9:30 a.m.