Shocking Drug Dangers

Is Your Teen Using Drugs?

How can you be sure? And if so, what can you do about it? Cary Quashen, a certified addiction specialist, offers invaluable insight.

Drug Use on the Rise
A recent study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America shows a significant rise in drug use among school-aged children. Alcohol use is up 11 percent, marijuana use is up 32 percent and ecstasy use is up 50 percent. Watch extremely dangerous new ways teens are using drugs

“Communicate with your kids about drugs,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork implores. “If you don’t, other people will.”

Advice from a Former Addict
Todd Bridges, former child star and recovering addict, shares his story of drug abuse and addiction in his book, Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted.

“I’m 17 years sober,” Todd says. “I did a lot of stuff that probably would have killed a lot of people. And at one point, I was trying to kill myself.”

Todd advises parents to talk to their children about drugs. “Treat your kids like mini-adults,” he says. “Give them respect, treat them with dignity. Don’t just say, ‘Don’t do something.’ Tell them why not to do something. If you enable your child, your child will die.”

Ordering Drugs Online

The greatest threat to your kids may be just a mouse-click away. A new generation of drugs that is easily accessible online. Meow Meow, a synthetic stimulant similar to methamphetamine and cocaine, is sold legally online as plant food or bath salts.

See how alarmingly easy it is to buy K2, a synthetic marijuana substance, sold in corner smoke shops.

Diabetic and Addicted

At 13, Marranda, a type-1 diabetic, was addicted to hard drugs.

The Doctors and Cary Quashen staged an intervention. She went to inpatient rehabilitation for nearly four months, but later spiraled back to her destructive ways.

Is she ready to accept help and turn her life around again?

Hooked on Methamphetamine
Klea became addicted to methamphetamine at age 13 and by age 14 was selling her body to support her habit. Klea’s story was featured on the TLC show Addicted.

Now five months sober, Klea shares her harrowing story and how she finally overcame her addiction. “It’s such a desperate, lonely place to be,” she says. “It’s really scary. You know you’re going to die, but you think you’re going to die if you can’t use [drugs].”

“Methamphetamine deadens the spirit,” Addicted’s drug interventialist, Kristina Wandzilak, adds. “It is poison. More than alcohol, more than heroin, methamphetamine sucks the life out of you.”

Seventeen years ago, Kristina, 37, was a drug addict, homeless and living on the streets. “I never thought, in a thousand years, that I would be sitting here with you today,” she says. “That’s the amazing gift of sobriety and recovery. Addicts can get and stay sober. We do recover. It’s never too late. As long as you are still breathing, it’s never too late to change.”

Will Klea’s story and Kristina’s message of hope be enough to convince Amanda, a 19-year-old heroin addict, to enter rehab? Watch Amanda’s tough decision.

Tough Love for a Heroin Addict

Jordan is a 22-year-old asthmatic who is addicted to smoking heroin. His addiction has landed him in the hospital several times, and doctors fear for his life. Desperate and afraid for his son’s life, Jordan’s father, Mike, reaches out to Cary Quashen, a certified addiction specialist, for help.

With Cary’s encouragement, Mike opts for tough love with Jordan and sends him to Cary’s drug rehabilitation program at Action Family.

“It’s been terrible,” Mike says. “You don’t know if kicking them [your child] out of the house is going to fix it. There’s always that worry that that’s not going to work. There’s always that fear of where he’s at. It’s one of the worse things.”

“If we enable people to do what they’re doing, we’re co-signing their deaths,” Cary says. “So what you did is one of the things that actually saved your kid’s life.”


Jordan's Journey


       Battle with Heroin                Entering Rehab                   Struggle for Sobriety

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OAD 5/3/10