Did that title grab your attention? I hope so. An email I received on the topic definitely grabbed mine.
The ER doctors at my local hospital recently compiled a list of innocent-sounding drug names currently popular with middle and high-school kids.
My son, who will enter sixth grade in the fall, has already been in middle school for a year. This list, combined with a report that a kid on at least one of the middle-school buses in my town has been dealing drugs, has served as a major eye-opener for me. If I retained any thoughts that my son is still a little kid, I can disabuse myself of that idea now. My son lives in an adolescent world, and he needs to learn how to deal with situations like this one so that he’s prepared when–not if–he encounters them.
After I read the list of drugs and their descriptions below, I felt sick. All of them seem designed to trick the youngest kids, to convince them that whatever substance is being offered is harmless and fun. I’m sharing this list with my kids and explaining its perniciousness to them, and I’m sharing it with you, too:
NEW DRUG NAMES
- Cheese – Cheese is a mixture of heroin and Tylenol. This is a drug that is being marketed to the younger crowd. This low-grade heroin is very cheap. It can be purchased at $2 for one tenth of a gram, or one hit.
- Strawberry Quick – Strawberry Quick is a methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, which is mixed with a fruity flavor and color. It is named after the Nesquik that it resembles. This drug is very popular with young users because the drug’s chemical taste is not so obvious. Strawberry Quick is relatively cheap, although it is more expensive than cheese.
- Blueberries – Blueberries refer [sic] to Adderall, something commonly prescribed for people with Attention Deficit Disorder. This drug is known to increase a person’s energy while decreasing his or her appetite. Teenage girls, in particular, take this type of medication to lose weight. Blueberry can also be a slang term for marijuana with a small tint of blue.
- Molly – Molly is a concentrated or more intense form of ecstasy. It is often sold in gelatin capsule form. Often times this drug can be purchased with an image of hearts, smiley faces, and cartoons on the capsule. It also comes in several different colors. Although this form of drug appears harmless, Molly can cause a person to experience hallucinations.
- Eggs – Eggs refer [sic] to Temazepam, which is a medication prescribed for people with insomnia. It used to be available in gel form, which the younger crowd would inject. Eggs are [sic] known to cause hypnotic effects.
- French Fries – French Fries refer [sic] to a small pill commonly known as Xanax. This form of medication is often prescribed for anxiety. It can be crushed, taken in pill form, or added to water. Some teenagers who abuse this prescription drug also choose to water it down then use a hypodermic needle to shoot up, or even snort Xanax.
- Cornbread – Another term for crack cocaine. This is because like cornbread, it only takes a few ingredients and a little time to turn cocaine into crack cocaine. In most cases, this drug is smoked and not sniffed.
- Butter Sandwich – A Butter Sandwich is a slang term for cocaine. This term for the illegal substance is especially used in the Philadelphia area. Other common slang terms for cocaine include Pepsi, Hamburger, cola, and Chinese sky candy.
- Skittles – Skittles is actually Dextromethorphan, which is a cold medication ingredient that can be purchased over the counter. This comes in the form of a little red tablet similar to the popular candy it is named after.
- Tic Tacs – Tic Tacs refer [sic] to Ambien, which is an extremely popular sleeping aid. Teenagers who take Tic Tacs aren’t consuming candy, but are actually taking 5 to 10 mg of Ambien at a time.
Imagine your kid. Imagine your kid in a new social situation, perhaps on a bus with older kids for the first time, on the playground with someone she’d like to befriend, or maybe at a party with a slightly older kid he looks up to.
“Hey,” says the other kid. “Want some Skittles?”
Why would your kid–or mine–say no?
If you’ve got a middle school kid like I do, the time for sugar-coating is over. I want the consequences of poor choices to be as vivid as possible to my son. I talk to him about addiction, obsession, loss of family, friends, jobs, college, and, to make it more real to my athletic kid, how if you get caught doing drugs, you might not ever be able to play on sports teams again. We talk about forever, and I told him about the tragic, too-early death of Cory Monteith last weekend. We talk about the pressure, and how even a friend who is under the influence of drugs might try to bring you into his world because that’s how powerful drugs are. We talk about how hard it can be to say no.
The list above is, of course, fleeting. Now that those names are out where everyone can see them, I’m sure the names will change. The preferred drugs will no doubt change over time, too. But what won’t change is the need for parents to recognize that our kids are growing up, the world is coming in, and we’ve got to be persistent in preparing our kids to live in it. Even if the conversations go mostly in one direction, we need to keep talking. Because we’re not the only ones who are.