One of the faster increasing areas of drug abuse in our society today is with a class of drugs most commonly referred to a Club Drugs, or Designer Drugs. Though in the whole scheme of drug use this class of drugs remains on the low side as a whole; we have seen a major increase in their use over the last few years. The major reason behind this increase appears to tie in with the increase of all night dance parties or Raves. Once limited mostly to the college aged population we are beginning to see an increase in the use of these substances by high school students.
These drugs are the focus of research at the present time so their exact short term and long term physical effects on a person are not totally known. In law enforcement however we are aware of some very troubling side issues that come about during the use of these drugs. Many of these drugs are odorless, colorless and tasteless. These properties make it very easy for a person to add these drugs to the alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink of an unsuspecting person and produce an unwanted state of intoxication in that person. Once under this state of intoxication victims have been sexually attacked by the perpetrator and his or her friends. In light of the fact that the victim usually is not aware of what happened while under the influence of the drugs these crimes go unsolved and the victim has to live his or her life without knowing how seriously he or she may have been violated and who did it. How can you as a person or as the parent of a teenager that frequents these events protect yourself from being unwittingly attacked?
Know where you are going and who you are going with. If you attend a party and are drinking any type of beverage never let it out of your hand. If you go and dance give your drink to someone that you trust to protect it the same as you would. Don't accept any drinks from a person that you do not know. Many times these incidents happen at what are considered innocent house parties. We all think we are friends but in fact there may be a person at the party that is just looking for an opportunity to take advantage of an unsuspecting person.
As a parent know where your child is going. Know who they are going with. Have a curfew as to when they should be home and monitor it. Check ahead of time to make sure that proper supervision will be at the party your child is going to. Many parents are surprised to find out that their child can go into a bar once they turn sixteen years old and hang with their older friends. It is legal as long as they are not served alcoholic beverages. This is not a good situation for them to be in. Your best defense is talking with your kids and listening to them. Once you have done this, set the rules and expect that they are followed. The danger in these situations is high even if the rate of their occurrence is low compared to other drug use.
To learn more about the different drugs in this class such as Ecstasy, GHB, Speed, and Ruphies; check out the New York State Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services website listed below. For information on how you as a parent can talk with your child about these types of situations and more check out the Office of National Drug Control Policy website also listed below.
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