Uppers, downers, rits, crosses, hearts, toots – What does it all mean to your teen?

From marijuana to heroin. It's that easy - and fast!

October 31st through November 6th is National Drug Facts Week.

This is an opportunity to shatter the myths about drug and substance abuse as well as become an educated parent and build a stronger drug-free community.

Stimulants are a common drug of choice for many teens, even college students.

What Are They?

Stimulants are a class of drugs that elevate mood, increase feelings of well-being, and increase energy and alertness.

What Are the Common Street Names?

Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder, known as “coke,” “C,“ “snow,” “flake,“ “blow,” “bump,“ “candy,“ “Charlie,” “rock,” and “toot.” “Crack,” the street name for the smokeable form of cocaine, got its name from the crackling sound made when it’s smoked. A “speedball” is cocaine or crack combined with heroin, or crack and heroin smoked together.

Methamphetamine is commonly known as “speed,” “meth,” “chalk,” and “tina.” In its smokeable form, it’s often called “ice,” “crystal,” “crank,” “glass,” “fire,” and “go fast.”

Street names for amphetamines include “speed,” “bennies,” “black beauties,” “crosses,” “hearts,” “LA turnaround,” “truck drivers,” and “uppers.”

Street names for methylphenidate include “rits,” “vitamin R,” and “west coast.”

How Are They Abused?

Stimulants are abused in several ways, depending on the drug. They can be:

  • Swallowed in pill form.
  • Snorted in powder form through the nostrils, where the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues.
  • Injected, using a needle and syringe, to release the drug directly into a vein.
  • Heated in crystal form and smoked (inhaled into the lungs).

Injecting or smoking a stimulant produces a rapid high—or rush—because the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, intensifying its effects. Snorting or swallowing stimulants produces a high that is less intense but lasts longer.

Powder cocaine is usually snorted or injected (also called “mainlining”), or it can be rubbed onto mucous tissues, such as the gums. Street dealers generally dilute cocaine with other substances (such as cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar), with active drugs (such as procaine, a chemical that produces local anesthesia), or with other stimulants (such as amphetamines). Crack cocaine is often smoked in a glass pipe.

Methamphetamine is swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. “Ice,” a smokeable form of methamphetamine, is a large, usually clear crystal of high purity that is smoked, like crack, in a glass pipe.

Amphetamines and methylphenidate are usually swallowed in pill form.

How Many Teens Use Them?

In 2010, a NIDA-funded study reported that the following percentages of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders had abused these drugs at least once in the past year:

  • Powder cocaine: 1.3 percent of 8th graders, 1.9 percent of 10th graders, and 2.6 percent of 12th graders
  • Crack cocaine: 1.0 percent of 8th graders, 1.0 percent of 10th graders, and 1.4 percent of 12th graders
  • Methamphetamine: 1.2 percent of 8th graders, 1.6 percent of 10th graders, and 1.0 percent of 12th graders
  • Amphetamines: 3.9 percent of 8th graders, 7.6 percent of 10th graders, and 7.4 percent of 12th graders
  • Nonmedical use of Ritalin: 1.5 percent of 8th graders, 2.7 percent of 10th graders, and 2.7 percent of 12th graders
  • Nonmedical use of Adderall: 2.3 percent of 8th graders, 5.3 percent of 10th graders, and 6.5 percent of 12th graders

Do you have a teen that you suspect is using drugs? Have you exhausted all your local resources? Take the time to learn about residential therapy, visit www.HelpYourTeens.com. Each teen and family are unique, there are many teen help programs, knowing how to locate the one best for you can be a challenge, however Parents’ Universal Resource Experts in Broward County, can help, starting with a free consultation.

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