10 Things for Teens To Watch Out For In 2014

With the rise of various forms of social media and a constant influx of new kinds of drugs and alcohol, it can be hard to keep up with the temptations your teen may be facing. Because the teenage years are often a time of rebellion and experimentation, you teen may not be keeping you apprised of the dangerous things that are out there. It is up to you as a parent to find out the the trends that may affect your child. In addition to the usual things, such as monitoring internet use and social media, here are ten things to be aware of.


1-  Vodka Eyeballing

Most teens are aware that if they come home with the smell of alcohol on their breath, they are busted. This has given rise to a variety of ways to imbibe alcohol without the telltale smell. One of these ways involves pouring vodka directly into the eyeball in order to allow it to pass through the mucus membrane and enter the bloodstream. Although it does result in a quick buzz, repeated use can scar or burn the cornea and in some cases, result in blindness.


2- The Choking Game

This game involves using various restraints to cut off the flow of oxygen to the brain. It results in a momentary high as blood rushes back in when the restraint is removed. Teens who play this game often pass out or lose consciousness. For some, it has even resulted in accidental death.


3- Smoking Smarties

This trend involves crushing up the candy into powder form while it is still in the package. A hole is made in the side of the package, allowing the user to puff the powder and exhale it  like smoke. Although this activity may seem relatively harmless, inhaling the sugar has resulted in chronic coughing, infections and sometimes even choking.


4 – Vodka Gummy Bears

The internet is awash with step by step tutorials teaching kids how to infuse candy with alcohol and therefore consume it in plain view. The deception is successful because it results in a buzz and the alcohol is not readily detected by breath. However, because kids are unaware of the amount of alcohol they are ingesting per piece of candy, this trend can lead to high levels of intoxication, with some reports of teens ending up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning.


5- Distilling Hand Sanitizer

The hand sanitizer sitting by your sink can become an easy way for your teen to consume alcohol. Salt is added to the product to separate the alcohol content, which can then be consumed. However, the amount of alcohol in an average bottle of hand sanitizer equals about a shot. Cases have been reported of teens rushed to the ER for participating in this growing trend. Parents are encouraged to buy foam sanitizer or ones that do not contain ethanol as a main ingredient.


6- Car Surfing

This is exactly what it sounds like; a teen stands holding onto the roof of a car while it is in motion and pretends to surf. Many kids will try to outdo each other by seeing who can surf at the greatest speed. In some cases, this has led to “surfing” on trains or subway cars.


7- Purple Drink

This drink includes a mixture of codeine cough syrup, sprite and jolly ranchers and has, unfortunately, become highly glamorized among rappers in music videos and even some NFL players. The mixture is extremely toxic and can lead to hallucinations, lethargy and unresponsiveness.


8- ChatRoulette.com

This site allows users to interact anonymously with others, bypassing security blocks and filters. This also means that it does not protect users from adult content and images.


9- Bath Salts

Bath Salts are a relatively new drug whose negative effects are only recently realized. Also referred to as “Purple Wave” or “Bliss” this drug is made up of high levels of methyone, mephedrone and MDPV. Combined, these components can be smoked, injected or snorted causing hallucinations. This drug also causes extreme paranoia, suicidal behavior and chest pain.


10- Snap Chat

Snap Chat is popular with teens looking to evade their parents scrutiny because they can share and view videos and pictures and the content disappears within a few moments. This has become a popular forum for sharing sexually explicit videos because teens assume that when it is gone, it is gone. In reality, servers manage and record every processed message. Additionally, it is frequently surveyed by the FBI looking for sexually explicit content sent by minors.


Parenting can seem like a minefield in this day and age, where teens seem to always be one step ahead with the help of the Internet and social media. Be aware, be vigilant and be as communicative with your child as you can to let them know where you stand on current trends. Teens who know that they are less likely to pull the wool over their parents eyes are less likely to try risky behaviors. If you have concerns about your teen's behavior, contact us at Liahona Academy, 1-800-675-6101 to learn more about treatment options and behavioral management programs.


Tyler Clark is the Online Outreach Coordinator for Liahona Academy. Liahona Academy is located in Utah and specializes in behavioral management for teen boys. 

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