During the teen and college years, many people want to enjoy their growing sense of freedom by trying new things. These are adventurous years because you are less under the supervision of parents and able to make more and more choices on your own.
It's also a time for all sorts of experimentation. But with every new idea and experience, be careful that a single event, such as taking drugs, doesn't change your life for the worse.
According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), young adults who enroll in college full-time are twice as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than those who don't attend college. The organization attributes that to stress, curiosity and peer pressure. In college, being part of the group means being part of the fun.
However, as CASA points out, excess partying and drug use leads to poor grades, vandalism, violence and in some cases suicide. Sometimes a harmless rite of passage just gets out of hand, and the growth of new, designer drugs can turn your life upside down with a single dose.
K2 and Spice
K2 and Spice are cheaply made forms of synthetic marijuana that use a blend of industrial chemicals sprayed over dried grass and leaves. It affects the brain differently than natural marijuana.
People who use this knock-off can experience "anxiety and agitation, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, shaking and seizures, hallucinations and paranoia, and they may act violently," according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Flakka or Gravel
Flakka, or Gravel as it is sometimes called, isn't something new and is more dangerous than "bath salts." The drug was actually created in the 1960s but has surfaced as one of the most dangerous street drugs and has been banned in the U.S. and other countries because of the horrific incidents it has caused.
In South Florida a 19-year-old college student recently had a psychotic episode on Flakka. He went on a rampage killing two people and was found by police biting the flesh from one of the victim's face, according to The Washington Post. Stun guns had no effect and it took four deputies and a police dog to subdue him. There is a reason many refer to Flakka as "$5 insanity." A small amount can cause body temperatures to reach 105 degrees, psychosis, heart problems, aggressiveness and paranoia. This college Florida student, who may have been just trying something to fit in, now faces murder charges.
At Recker & Recker, we understand that teens and young adults are trying new things and we'll be there to defend them if they find themselves entangled with the law. There is nothing that we can do about the health and safety consequences they suffer. Please be careful when experimenting.