Narcotics are the second most known type of drug use. In fact the number of people abusing the illicit drug has risen sharply in recent years. According to surveys 1 in 5 young people abused painkillers. That accounts to 2.5 million people who are abusing narcotics each year. When compared with other drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy has the highest numbers of abusers which accounts for 5.3 million in 2009 next to marijuana.
School drug testing shows that narcotics abuse is prevalent among adolescents especially high school seniors. However, longer association with narcotics can actually cause risky behaviors and severe physical muddles.
The following are five most commonly abused narcotics among teenagers.
Oxycontin – A survey done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2009, 1 out of 20 high seniors is found to be abusing the drug. Oxycontin is the drug name for Oxycodone which considered as the leading painkiller on the list of commonly abused narcotics among teenagers. Oxycontin is usually swallowed in whole or crushed to get all of the drugs at once. Teenagers become addicted to its long-lasting heroin effect which includes euphoria, pain relief, and relaxation. However, Overdosage of Oxycontin can actually cause respiratory depression, altered mental state, postural hypotension, and worst is death.
Vicodin – Vicodin is the brand name for Hydrocodone which is also one of the most commonly abused narcotics drugs in the United States. National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2002 showed that the number of kids from 8th- graders to 12th - graders has increased to a total of 19.3 percent and is continuously increasing at present. Vicodin is a controlled prescription pain reliever that is basically made up of Hydrocodone which alters the brains reaction to pain; and Acetaminophen which controls the fever. Longer association with Vicodin causes builds up a tolerance to the body causing the person to become addicted. However, Vicodin addiction actually causes various adverse effects and fatal withdrawal symptoms.
Codeine – Codeine is basically a derivative of morphine given by doctors to relieve mild pain. It is a type of opiate that is considered to be Scheduled II and is not prescribed to children below 16 to avoid adverse effects. Codeine is processed in the body like heroin where a longer association of the drug can lead to emotional dependency. According to research, teenagers who abuse codeine for a long time experience its adverse effects which include insomnia, dehydration, muscle twitching and pain, and circulatory problems.
Morphine – Morphine is a type of prescription pain reliever used to alleviate severe pain is a fairly rapid manner. However, morphine’s relaxing and euphoric effect to the brain actually lures adolescents to abuse the drug. According to surveys addicts spend an average of $100 to $200 a day to obtain a satisfactory morphine to soothe the body. However, long association with morphine can actually cause several adverse effects such as anxiety, depression, hallucinations, muscle pains, and problems in the respiratory and circulatory system.
Fentanyl – Fentanyl is one of a type of synthetic opiate analgesic that is more potent than morphine. It is basically prescribed by doctors to treat people who are suffering from chronic pain. This drug can be bought in four color-coded patches fro 25 mg to 100 mg. According to research fentanyl is usually is basically injected through the body, however; some addicts also smoke or smoke the drug. Fentanyl basically creates a euphoric but the longer association with it will lead to various negative effects such as breathing complications, fatigue, sleeping problems, anxiety, and physical disabilities.
How to Detect Narcotics Drug Abuse among Teenagers
Drug testing for narcotics drug follows the guidelines set by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). A teenager who is suspected to have abused to abuse drugs or random drug testing at schools follows the standard testing which includes a qualitative immunoassay detection of opiate metabolites in the urine. Using a urine sample from the subject an opiate drug testing will detect for codeine, morphine, and 6-acetyl-morphine, commonly known as 6-AM, to assess the person for recent narcotics drug use. But since 6-AM can only last for a few hours in the body, drug testing for opiates or narcotics drug will proceed to the confirmatory test so as to deter false positive effect.
Using the opiate drug testing kits, various ways of detecting opiate metabolites in the body have come even more available and accessible. Aside from urine test, the opiate drug testing kit allows saliva and hair sampling to detect both active and passive exposure to opiates. The cut-off concentration for the test is 2000 ng/ml, as recommended by SAMHSA. On the other hand, MS cut-off level for morphine and codeine is 150 ng/ml. For the US militaries who are known to use the narcotics most often, the cut off level is 3000ng/ml.