Drugs: Parents warned

2010-11-02 00:00

PARENTS of teenagers should be wary of the fact that their children are more likely to become involved in drug use over the festive season, according to Mark Dixon-Seger, head of psychotherapy at the South Coast Recovery Centre in Ramsgate.

“We see a definite increase in the use of narcotics over the festive season,” he says.

Dixon-Seger distinguished between two types of potential drug users over this period; those who are already using drugs and hiding it and those who have not used drugs before.

“For the guys who have never been involved in it before, December certainly represents a dangerous time,” he says.

Dixon-Seger identified LSD, ecstasy, powdered cocaine, CAT and marijuana as the most common drugs currently being used by young adults.

“Most of the ecstasy available these days is laced with heroin so it really is very dangerous,” he says.

“Stuff like crack and heroin is not so readily available, but can still be found if looked for.”

Dixon-Seger encourages parents to look out for some of the signs that might indicate whether or not their children are drug users.

“From a physical perspective, noticing eye drops and glass pipes [amongst other things] in your kid’s possession would be a strong suggestion that they are using,” he says. “They might also have heightened levels of paranoia, be overly manipulative and be avoidant when questioned about their whereabouts the night before.”

Multi-drug screen testing, though, is the surest way to find out whether or not a teenager is using drugs, says Dixon-Seger.

“A simple urine test will provide accurate results in a couple of minutes and this can be done at a local pharmacy,” he said.

“Also, if parents get a gut instinct they should never second guess it. If the suspicion is there it is probably justified.”

With the South Coast being such a popular holiday destination for young people once they have finished their exams and during the New Year, Dixon-Seger explains why it is such a testing time.

“What makes the holiday period critical is that it is a time where the child will attempt to push the boundaries and limits,” he says.

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