Tuesday, March 26 2019
In our 16 years in the business of testing teenagers for drug abuse, we have never been so motivated to issue an alert like this!
Right now drug dealers everywhere adding a deadly component to prescription and street drugs that is unbelievably dangerous and even deadly. To make their drugs “better” and more addictive, they are adding fentanyl and carfentanyl to heroin, opiates, and benzodiazepines. Obviously, any kind of pill or anything you purchase on the street is dangerous. You actually have absolutely no way of knowing what is in it to start with. Even if someone tells you it's hydrocodone and even if it looks like hydrocodone (for example), there's no way to know if that's what it really is. It could be tampered with in many ways,
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is not detected on any traditional multi-panel drug screens. It has now been synthesized by drug dealers and is frequently “cut” or mixed with heroin or cocaine (often without the user’s knowledge)and goes by ominous names like Bomb, Drop Dead, Flatline, and Lethal Injection. One gram of pure Fentanyl can be cut into approximately 7,000 doses for street sale, and manufacture of the drug requires relatively little technical knowledge.
Fentanyl is thought to be even more addictive than heroin, and users become hooked very quickly. Use of this drug is on an enormous rise among teens. If you currently test a teen that could abuse opioids, you absolutely should check for Fentanyl in addition to the other tests for opiates and oxycodone. Fentanyl testing requires a separate drug test kit.
Most of us are familiar with names like Oxycodone, Oxycontin, or Percocet- but we may not know much about the drug that is killing thousands across the U.S. sold under the brand names Actiq, Duragesic and Sublimaze, Fentanyl is the strongest opioid approved for medical use in the United States, rated as 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse. As a pharmaceutical, Fentanyl is the go-to drug to dull the crippling, otherwise-untouchable pain experienced by many patients with advanced cancer. Fentanyl is so powerful that it is administered in micrograms instead of milligrams, and we have read that it was never intended to treat chronic pain. It is said that it was originally formulated to be used to make some death experiences faster and less painful. Even very small amounts can be fatal.
Law enforcement and doctors agree that it is extremely over-prescribed and highly sought after by addicts. The drug is medically administered in a variety of ways, including a spray form taken orally, the adhesive patch, and a lollipop (which are sold in some areas under the street name of "Perco Pop"), a frighteningly popular item. It is also taken intravenously or made into a powder and snorted, similar to cocaine. Some heroin dealers mix fentanyl powder with heroin to increase potency or compensate for low-quality heroin. Once the fentanyl is in the user's system, it is extremely difficult to stop its course because of the nature of absorption.
The overdose and fatalities related to fentanyl are staggering. Users can be convinced that pure fentanyl and other opiates mixed with fentanyl are “better”, but the reality is that users have no idea what they are getting. Death from fentanyl can be so quick that the Narcan shot to reverse it or CPR often come too late. The deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Prince are attributed to Fentanyl.
To order this test or others, or to learn more about drug testing teenagers, please visit DrugTestYourTeen.com.
Thursday, March 21 2019
You may even be wondering, “What is a Juul, and what does Juuling mean?” A Juul is a type of e-cigarette (short for electronic cigarette). The majority of adults can’t even identify a Juul and say that they have never tried one, but the same cannot be said about most teens. Juuls are easy to hide and use discreetly since they don’t produce smoke, vapor or generate much smell. A Juul looks like an ordinary thumb drive. Juuls come in appealing flavors like mint, cucumber, creme, and mango. The typical Juul delivers a lot of nicotine, and it goes down easy. The most popular Juul Pod is about 5 percent nicotine — which is roughly as much nicotine as is in a pack of cigarettes, according to the company.
A 2017 survey conducted by the Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative found that 25 percent of teens aged 15 to 17 and 29 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 recognized a Juul device. Between 10 and 12 percent reported both recognizing and having ever used a JUUL, and 8 to 10 percent reported recognition and past 30-day use. E-cigarette use has risen to 77 percent among high school students and 50 percent for middle school students, respectively, from 2017 to 2018. The estimates show that more than 3.5 million minors vaped at least once in 2018.
Juul is now considered a leader in the e-cigarette market. Since 2017, two years after the first release, sales of Juul kits increased 680 percent; sales of refills increased 710 percent.
In May 2016, the FDA banned the sale of vaping products to children under 18 years old. But there’s still concern that teens are using e-cigarettes and Juuls in growing numbers. Juuls can be purchased at gas stations, convenience stores, and smoke shops. Experts believe that young e-cigarette users face an increased risk for both starting to smoke and becoming long-term users of cigarettes and/or other tobacco products.
Studies show the chemicals in Juuls and other e-cigs can wreak havoc on the respiratory system and contribute to health problems like severe respiratory illness and irritation to the eyes, skin, and mucus membranes. Studies suggest that Juul devices, vaping, or e-cigs can lead to problems with brain development, lung damage, and an increased risk for high blood pressure and an increased risk for nicotine/smoking addiction. According to a 2018 report published by the American Physiological Society (APS), these chemical components seem to be capable of becoming embedded in the lungs, causing inflammation and leaving the lungs vulnerable to infection and numerous other health problems — one potentially being addiction to nicotine and withdrawal effects.
Teenagers like to repeat what they have been convinced by peers and the folks that sell these devices. The favorites are that they are “all natural”, “harmless”, and “non- addictive”. If this were true, the FDA would not be so concerned about getting these things out of the hands of teens.
What is a parent to do? First, make sure your kids understand that these innocent, cool, deliciously flavored things are actually time bombs! Show them the research, and make them understand that they are just smoking cigarettes in disguise!
Next, don’t kid yourself that you will know that your child is using nicotine products, or that you will smell it, or that your kid just knows better, or the line that they all use- “you know that I think smoking is disgusting”.
It is so easy and so very smart to begin testing kids (around 6thgrade, sadly). It demonstrates to them that you are not playing around and that they can be caught and made to suffer some heavy-duty consequences if they do ever test positive. Testing is easy, inexpensive, accurate, and can be performed in the privacy of your home.