Drugs & Alcohol

Drugs & Alcohol

No matter where you live or how much you try and avoid it, drugs and alcohol are all around us and sometimes just “Saying NO” isn’t enough.  With so many new drugs hitting the market, increased access, peer pressure and general curiosity, the potential for substance abuse has skyrocketed.   In this section you will learn avoidance techniques, dangers and risks attached to drug/alcohol use, resources if you or someone you know needs addiction support and more.

Drugs & Alcohol

Household Products: How Your Teen Might Be Abusing Them

Household Products: How Your Teen Might Be Abusing Them



Designer Drugs Do Not Discriminate in SCV

Designer Drugs Do Not Discriminate in SCV

Parents:  Are you too cool?

Parents: Are you too cool?

Heroin Kills: The High Is A Lie!

Heroin Kills: The High Is A Lie!

Free Webinar Slated to Help Parents Become More Drug Aware

Free Webinar Slated to Help Parents Become More Drug Aware

Teen Drug Use Number One Health Problem

Teen Drug Use Number One Health Problem

Power Talk21 Day

Power Talk21 Day

Alert:  Designer Drug Targeting Teens

Alert: Designer Drug Targeting Teens

Fake Bath Salts; The Newest Narcotic

Fake Bath Salts; The Newest Narcotic

  • Household Products: How Your Teen Might Be Abusing Them



    We’ve all been warned of the dangers attached to household items, as it  relates to our babies/toddlers … have you ever stopped to think about how  your teens might be abusing those same household items?



    Did you know?

    1 in 4 teens in America has intentionally abuse a common household product to get high by the time they reach 8th grade. This is because paint thinner, spray paint, solvents, rubber glue, and household cleaners are far more accessible and inexpensive than prescription or illegal drugs. These products are more likely to be abused by kids in the 12-17 year age range group because they can easily get them at home or purchase them at any grocery store.

    There are more than 1000 household products that teens can use to get high. Some of these products include: typewriter correction fluid, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, various types of glue, gasoline, deodorant spray, fabric protector spray, whipping cream aerosols, hair spray, and household cleaners. Not only are these items available in the home, teens can walk into any grocery store, hardware store, or pharmacy and purchase them with no questions asked.

    Some Examples:

    “Bagging,” “Huffing, ”“Sniffing” and “Dusting” (Inhalants)

    • “Dusting”- getting high off of computer cleaner by putting the straw inside the mouth and inhaling as the contents are sprayed
    • “Sniffing” is smelling an inhalant from the bottle or container.  Cement glue, gasoline, paint thinner, nail polish remover, whipped cream cans, cleaning fluids, and other aerosols
    • “Huffing” is soaking a rag or towel in an inhalant and putting it to the nose and mouth
    • “Bagging” is when an inhalant is placed in a bag which is then used to cover the nose and mouth and inhaled

    “Robotripping”- Abusing over the counter cough syrup

    • Cough syrup and cold medicines contains DXM, or dextromethorphan, which can make users euphoric and induce hallucinations
    • In high enough doses, it can also cause death.

    “Pharm Parties” are when teens bring a variety of different pills (Ex. ecstasy, valium,  percocet, xanex, etc.) and pills are taken at random

    • Teens are stealing their parents prescription pain pills
    • Risk of not only taking drugs, but also serious, medication interactions

    Hand Sanitizer

    • Teens are imbibing hand sanitizer because it contains alcohol
    • They either drink the hand sanitizer straight out of the bottle, or use salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer
    • Other alcohol based product that are abuse include: mouthwash, vanilla extract, and perfume

    Nutmeg and the Cinnamon Challenge

    • Nutmeg contains a psychoactive chemical called myristicin, which has a chemical structure similar to that of mescaline, amphetamine and Ecstasy.
    • Teens are ingesting large quantities of nutmeg because of its hallucinogenic properties, including a floating sensation
    • The Cinnamon Challenge dares an individual to eat a large, heaping tablespoon of cinnamon without water, and swallow it without spitting it out.
    • In extreme cases, Cinnamon could cause inflammation in the lungs, or collapsed lung from an extreme coughing fit.

    Playing the Choking Game

    • Involves choking or strangling, manually or with a rope or belt or string, to the point of almost passing out.
    • Some kids choke their friends or hold plastic bags over a friend’s or their own heads, in an effort to achieve a “rush” or feel high.

    Gummy Bears

    • Soaking Gummy Bears in Vodka
    • While teen drinking isn’t new, there are new ways teens sneak booze into school.
    • The risk is that teens have no clue how much alcohol they’re consuming



    Teens who abuse common household products often look and act as if they are intoxicated from drinking alcohol.
    Signs of abuse include:

    • Lightheadedness
    • Dizziness
    • Loss of inhibitions
    • Excitation followed by drowsiness
    • Slurred speech
    • Euphoria
    • Hallucinations or delusions



    Read more
  • Marijuana

    The scientific name for marijuana is Cannabis sativa.  However, marijuan has numerous other names:  Chiva, Chronic, Pot, Herb, Weed, Boom, Ganga, Mary Jane, Aunt Mary, Skunk, Kif, Gangster, Reefer, Bud, Dope, Fatty, Blunt, Sinsemilla, Hash, Joint, Blaze, 420.

    It is comprised of the leaves from the hemp plant. The main active chemical in marijuana is THC.

    What does it look like?

    Marijuana is a green or gray mixture or dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant.

    What are the immediate effects?

    • Distorted perception
    • Difficulty in thinking and problem solving
    • Loss of coordination
    • Increased heart rate
    • Anxiety & panic attacks

    What are the long-term effects?

    • Respiratory problems
    • Memory loss
    • Learning disabilities
    • Addiction
    • The amount of tar inhaled by marijuana smokers and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed are three to five times greater than among tobacco smokers.
    • More than 120,000 people enter treatment each year for marijuana addiction.

    Yes, you can overdose on Marijuana

    Symptoms of overdose include:   fatigue, lack of coordination, paranoia, and psychosis.

    Click here for more information.

    Read more
  • Designer Drugs Do Not Discriminate in SCV

    Teen drug trends have changed drastically over the past 10 years.  With easy access to information on new drugs over the internet, teens are experimenting with a variety of drugs today that weren’t prevalent only a few years ago.

    Spice is among these newly popularized drugs.  Spice is comprised of plant leaves combined with a variety of added chemicals.  These added chemicals are consistently changing allowing drug creators to stay ahead of the law which has only recently made the drug an illegal substance.  By making small changes in their formulas, the drug can be marketed as incense. Teens are utilizing spice as an alternative to marijuana because testing for the drug is not common.  The chemicals used in spice do not show up on most drug tests allowing teens to use the substance without the fear of a positive drug test.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1 in 9 high school seniors have used the drug.  In the first 2 months of 2012 alone, 1200 calls were made to poison centers due to spice.  The drug can cause heart palpitations, respiratory problems, panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting and increased agitation.  The exact effects of the drug fluctuate due to the vast variety of chemical combinations used.

    Spice’s popularity is also due to easy access to the drug.  In an effort to stop distribution of the drug, law enforcement officials searched locations in Santa Clarita suspected of selling the drug.  A sizable amount of the substance was found at a local Mobile Gas station in Canyon Country.   While efforts continue to decrease distribution and use of spice it continues to be a problem for teens and young adults.

    Marijuana use has also increased amongst teens and for the first time since 1981 is consumed more amongst high school students than tobacco.  More than 1 out of 5 high school seniors report using marijuana.


    Excerpt from Sovereign Health Group:

    Spice is one of the most popular brands of synthetic cannabis and is also known as Genie, K2, fake weed, or Zohai. Spice can be found in head shops everywhere and can even be purchased online. It is sold as incense, but users smoke it and find that the effects are similar to those of marijuana.

    Since the effects of Spice are similar to those of marijuana, many people smoke it for the same reasons – to get away from life’s problems and enjoy the high feeling. Many users, in fact, mix the drug with marijuana for a more intense high. Also like marijuana, there are side effects: researchers have found Spice can cause dry mouth, red eyes, anxiety attacks, nausea, increased pulse rate and hallucinations. When smoked over a long period of time, users develop a tolerance to the drug and find that they must smoke more and more to get the same high. As a result, some users develop a chemical dependency.

    Spice has been found to contain JWH-018, JWH-073 and HU-210, all of which are artificial chemical compounds. None of these chemicals are guaranteed safe for human consumption. JWH-018 is a chemical fertilizer that can cause the negative effects of marijuana at much lower dosages, JWH-073 has been listed by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a chemical concern and HU-210 has been found to be between 100 to 800 times more potent than THC, the main active chemical in marijuana.”   For more information



    Read more
  • Parents: Are you too cool?


    How many of us strive to be friends with our kids? Are you always trying to find the one place to bond with them, to earn their respect and trust?  How many times have we heard the phrase, “your kid needs a parent, not another friend”?  Probably more often than we want to admit.  In a recent article on Psych Central, David Sack, M.D. shares the pitfalls of being the “cool parent” and suggests it may be harming our teens and how it impacts drug and alcohol use.

    Why Being the ‘Cool Parent’ Isn’t So Cool:
    “There’s always that one parent that makes the rest of us look bad. You know, the one that buys all the cool tech gadgets, doesn’t believe in curfews, and gets friended by their kids (and their kids’ friends) on Facebook. Although we envy any parent that gets more than one-word answers out of their teenager, is being “cool” worth the cost? …”But if your teen starts experimenting with drugs or alcohol or taking risks that put them in danger, it’s time to take a hard look at what coolness has really gotten you.”

    “If being your child’s friend isn’t the mark of success, what is? I admire parents who will do anything for their child, but not at the expense of what’s in the child’s best interest. Even if you have unknowingly contributed to the problem, there is still time to be part of the solution”

    Click here to continue reading

    Read more
  • Heroin Kills: The High Is A Lie!

    Heroin Kills: The High Is A Lie! 

    Tuesday, August 30

    6:30-7:00 p.m. and 8:30-9:00 p.m. Resource Fair

    7:00-8:30 p.m. Panelist Presentation and Q&A

    Santa Clarita Activities Center


    In recent months, Santa Clarita has experienced a dramatic increase in heroin use, arrests, and fatal overdoses. Many are unaware of the prevalence of heroin in Santa Clarita schools and among teenagers in our valley.  The Heroin symposium will feature valuable information and a diverse group of speakers to help parents protect their children. This event is for parents and teens and the symposium will also include a resource fair.

    Spanish translation will be provided

    For more information call the Community Service Division at (661) 250-3708 or go to

    Download Flier

    Read more
  • Free Webinar Slated to Help Parents Become More Drug Aware

    The Hart School District has scheduled an online free webinar for Thursday, July 14, 2011 from 6 – 7 pm, to educate parents and students about contemporary drugs that are being used by students in local neighborhoods.

    The District’s drug awareness and education program, called CADRE (Comprehensive Alcohol and Drug Reduction and Education), in coordination with Medtox Laboratories have developed a program to help parents and students understand these issues, encourage prevention and provide support.


    Many of the drugs used are 100% legal and are being sold in the Santa Clarita Valley. Through the use of social media, students are informed about what is out there almost as soon as it becomes available.


    The webinar will discuss many aspects of these drugs and the serious health consequences for using and abusing them. If you are a parent and words like “Spice, K2, Salvia, Ivory Wave, Robo-Tripping,” don’t sound familiar, this Webinar is for you. These are all legal drugs available in local neighborhoods and parents and community members need to be as informed as possible to better protect their children.


    “The District is committed to helping our community, parents and students to become drug free and drug aware,” Kathy Hunter, Coordinator of Student Services said. “We will have additional webinars this year and added information on the District’s website to better inform and educate parents.”


    The CADRE program empowers students by giving them a reason to say NO to illegal drug and alcohol use and also provides parents with assurances that their sons or daughters are not using drugs or alcohol. CADRE offers voluntary random drug testing which gives students a reason to say NO to drug use, while promoting a safe and drug-free school environment and encouraging responsible decision making.


    Additionally, CADRE offers seminars to educate students and parents about the types of drugs used and abused in the school community and how to detect signs of drug or alcohol use. CADRE also offers counseling support by an approved licensed drug counselor when drug use has been detected.


    CADRE is a voluntary program of the Hart School District. More information is available on the District’s website:


    The Hart School District works closely with the SCV Sheriff’s Department and the City of Santa Clarita in a pro-active approach to keep students safe and drug free, through education and school and citywide programs.

    Visit: weblink_button to register.

    Read more
  • Teen Drug Use Number One Health Problem


    Researchers from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, or CASA, found that nine out of 10 American addicts started smoking, drinking or using drugs before the age of 18 and one in four of those people become addicted to some sort of drug.

    “We now have enough science to show that adolescent substance use is America’s no. 1 public health problem,” said Susan Foster, senior investigator of the study. “By recognizing this as a health problem and responding to it, we can actually make the difference by improving the life prospects of teens and saving costs in society.”

    Adolescence is a critical period of brain development and experts say the teen years put people at increased danger of addiction because their brains are more sensitive to substances and they’re more likely to experiment and take risks.


    For the complete story

    Read more
  • Power Talk21 Day

    Today Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is holding the first ever PowerTalk21 Day.

    PowerTalk21 will become an annual event on April 21st — a day for parents to start talking with their kids about alcohol.


    Washington, D.C. – Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved Senate Resolution 157 declaring April 21st Power Talk 21 day, the national day for parents to start talking with their kids about alcohol. Research has shown that parents are the number one influence in their child’s decisions about alcohol. So, in an effort to curb underage drinking among America’s youth, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) created the Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence™ program to help parents have the sometimes difficult, but potentially life-saving, conversation about alcohol with their kids on April 21st and throughout the year.

    “Senator Klobuchar and Senator Vitter are to be commended for their leadership in preventing underage drinking. MADD hopes that PowerTalk 21 day will inspire parents to talk with their teens about healthy lifestyles and smart choices — particularly in advance of prom and graduation season — and will ultimately save lives,” said MADD National President Laura Dean-Mooney.

    Teen alcohol use kills 6,000 young people each year, more than all other illegal drugs combined.  Developed with Pennsylvania State University’s Dr. Robert Turrisi, MADD’s Power of Parents handbook is based on more than two decades of underage drinking research, and has been shown to significantly reduce underage drinking behaviors, even in households with below average communication.

    For conversation starters, tips and to get the free Power of Parents handbook, visit




    Read more
  • Alert: Designer Drug Targeting Teens

    (CBS News)  – March 18, 2011A spring break party turned deadly yesterday in Blaine, Minn., because of a mass overdose.

    Police say at least 11 party goers overdosed on a designer drug known as 2 C-E, one of those, 19-year-old Trevor Robinson died.

    The 2 C-E was obtained legally, over the Internet.

    CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains to “Early Show” co-anchor Erica Hill exactly what this drug is and what it does to the body.

    Hill points out that it’s really hard to keep track of these designer drugs like 2 C-E, for both parents and the government. So what exactly does 2 C-E do?

    According to Ashton, part of the reason it’s so dangerous is because it’s part of a class of drugs known as hallucinogens that have psychedelic effects very similar to LSD or ecstasy. Therefore, it works as a central nervous system stimulant.

    “So it can increase body temperature. It can, as you said, cause hallucinations,” Ashton adds. “It is a synthetic designer drug. Part of this family, this 2 C-E family is designated by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) as a controlled substance. Other parts are not. So it is accessible online and people can be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking look, ‘if I can get it on the Internet, it must be safe.’ Obviously, as we can see here, not so. It can be deadly.”

    One of the problems of this designer drug, Hill noted, is that it can lull people into false sense of security — when people take the drug, they tend to keep taking more because they don’t think it’s working.

    “Two important principles with this class of drug and this one in particular, it has a slow onset of action so you can take this drug, not feel any of its effects right away, and then stack it with other drugs, increasing the risk of overdose or take more of it,” Ashton says. “The other concerning principle with this drug is that it has a long half-life, as we say. So it can stay in your system for 12 hours. And then in the cases of overdose, or deaths, affects the heart, affects the kidneys, can increase your body temperature. Again, can be mixed with other drugs in a deadly combination.”

    How widespread is this?

    Ashton says that while it’s hard to get firm numbers on this, it’s “part of a concerning trend.”

    “Ten years ago we saw these drugs used in raves,” Ashton points out. “The fact of the matter is, in medicine we say — this only has to happen once. One death because of this drug is one too many.”


    Read more
  • Fake Bath Salts; The Newest Narcotic

    Statesboro, Ga. — Some bath salts—with names like Ocean Burst and Ivory Wave—aren’t really for bathing. Rather, they are the latest high for naive teens and young adults as well as established drug abusers.

    “Fake cocaine and fake meth are laced in bath salts and sold legally on the Internet and in convenience stores, gas stations, truck stops and head shops in most states. This newest boutique chemical substance is being used for a narcotic effect and often sends users to emergency rooms,” warns Greg L. Jones, MD, addiction medicine physician at Willingway Hospital, a privately owned 40-bed alcohol and drug abuse treatment center in Statesboro, Ga.

    According to Jones, manufacturers are using engineered molecules similar to controlled substances in the fake bath salts, which are labeled “not for consumption,” to skirt the law. The molecules are derivatives of two controlled substances: MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone, which is similar to Ritalin, but more potent) and mephedrone (an amphetamine-like drug). Also known as party salts and party powders, fake bath salts are snorted or ingested to create a stimulant, narcotic effect like that of cocaine.

    “Users are snorting and ingesting the fake bath salts as a stimulant, to create a sense of euphoria and to stay up and party longer,” explained Jones. “However, it can increase pulse and blood pressure to dangerous levels and cause delirium and confusion.”

    People using the bath salts as a narcotic have been treated for paranoia, hallucinations, agitation, hypertension, chest pain and headaches.

    “Drug-naive teens and college students are showing up in ERs across the country because they purchased and used these products. They probably think that since they didn’t buy them from a drug-dealer that they aren’t as dangerous as the real thing, so they load up on them and reach a toxic state,” Jones said.

    As attention is being drawn to this latest drug abuse fad, Jones predicts that, as Willingway Hospital is now doing, facilities will be adding questions about use of party powders and fake bath salts to their drug and alcohol history questionnaires. And, more prevalent use is leading to a ban of these products, such as in Louisiana where two weeks ago, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced that the so-called bath salts are now defined as illegal narcotics under State of Louisiana law.

    For more information, click here

    Read more


The Youth Project prides itself on creating a safe, non-judgmental and confidential setting in which students speak freely and can be assured that the stories they share remain private. However, all students are informed that we are a mandated reporting agency, meaning: if we have reasonable suspicion that a child (under the age of 18) has been mistreated, we are required to file a report with the necessary agencies.

We will report when a student shares information on:
Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Harm to Themselves, Sexual Abuse, Neglect, Harm to Others

All sessions are confidential. However, we are a mandated reporting agency and if a student expresses a desire to harm himself or others or if there is reason to suspect child abuse or neglect, we are obligated to report to the appropriate agency. ALL STUDENTS are reminded of this before every session.***


Share This