Ecstasy, marijuana, prescription drugs, alcohol – these are substances that continue to have a presence among local teenagers said members of the Glendora Police department and teen drug counselors and interventionists at Glendora Unified’s Parent Summit Tuesday.
But also gaining in popularity are new drug trends such as Xanax (also called bars) and spice – a narcotic that produces the same effect as marijuana and can easily be purchased online. Harder drugs such as heroin are making a comeback, according to Mike Schaub, director of outreach for social model recovery systems.
Coordinated by the Glendora Police Department and the Glendora Unified School District, the summit focused on the social challenges facing teenagers today, including substance abuse, the impact of social media and technology on family communication and conflict resolution.
“We realized as police and school administrators we are not the panacea for helping our kids,” Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro told parents gathered at Glendora High School. “It starts at home, it starts with you… It’s not our job, by the time we find out that something is wrong it’s already too late.”
Teenagers these days are growing up in a different era, and the use of potent drugs is on the rise Schaub and Robin McGeough, director of Charter Oak Recovery Program, told parents.
According to a survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one out 15 high school seniors smoked pot on a daily or near-daily basis.
But local teen drug use is not limited to just marijuana. Schaub and McGeough also counsel teens at where they say they work with many students who are dealing with drug use, and sometimes drug addiction, with a variety of popular substances.
Alcohol and marijuana remained the most popular intoxicants of choice among teenagers, said Schaub.
However, making a disturbing resurgence is heroin, the highly addictive drug that saw a peak in the 90s. McGeough told parents that some teens will often smoke or snort the drug, falsely believing that it is less harmful than shooting the heroin through a needle.
But substance use can be found among teenagers elsewhere throughout the community.
Current economic burdens are placing stress on families and teenagers are often feeling the impacts, turning to substance abuse as an escape from troubles at home, said Chief Castro.
But surprisingly, there are also studious teenagers who turn to drugs. With increasing pressure to excel in school, Castro said some teenagers resort to drugs to be sharper for exams, or to stay up longer and study more.
The Summit’s message to parents was to remain aware of their teen’s everyday life – knowing who their friends are, where they are and what they do after school.
Schaub suggested that parents keep their children active in after school activities. He also suggested staying involved in their teen’s social media activities by “friending” them on Facebook or following them on Twitter.
“If you suspect something is wrong, you are probably right,” said Castro.
For more parent resources on teens and drug abuse, visit the Glendora Police website.
Check back tomorrow as we cover marijuana use in Glendora.