Thank you to freelance blogger,Jane Smith, for providing the following article on kids and illicit drugs. When Jane approached me for a guest spot on Criminal Minds at Work I asked if she could write something that ties in with my upcoming release FATAL ERROR (sequel to THE TRAZ). This article is perfect.
Although my young protagonist was never a drug user, she was involved in drug trafficking and involvement in illicit drugs at any level is extremely dangerous. The illicit drug industry involves big bucks and is run by powerful gangs that don’t hesitate to use violence and terror to quash their competition, to get revenge, to increase their market share, to control others, or simply to uphold their reputations as powerful, callous men.
Young people who experiment with street drugs are vulnerable not only to the dangerous effects of the drugs but to the gangs that run the trade. An addicted youngster, or even just a curious naive kid, can quickly become enslaved to the dangerous criminals controlling the supply.
As young Katrina discovered in THE TRAZ, it’s a quick spiral downward once a gang has you in their clutches. Drug abuse and experimentation by youngsters is not something to be taken lightly by those responsible for their care.
Here are two websites that have more valuable information for at-risk youngsters and the adults in their lives.
· RCMP reports
reports on gangs, drugs, fraud, Tasers, etc.
· Canada's National Anti-drug Strategy
all you need to know about illicit drugs. A government website.
Five Signs of Drug Use in Teens
Has your teen been acting a little strange lately? Your teen's odd behavior might be caused by depression, anxiety, or something else going on in his or her personal life. Or it may be caused by something worse: drug use. Here are five signs of drug use in teens to help you figure out if illegal substances have become a part of your teen's life:
1. Excessive Moodiness
If your teen's laughing one minute and screaming the next, he or she may be experimenting with mood-altering drugs. If excessive moodiness becomes a problem, take your teen to the doctor to rule out health-related causes and have a serious talk with your teen about the dangers of drug use. You may also want to ask your child to take a drug test to prove he or she is drug free, if you suspect substance abuse is the cause of your child's odd emotional responses.
2. Strange sleep patterns
It's normal for teens to go to bed later and wake up later than adults. However, it's not necessarily normal for your teen to stay up all night and try to sleep all day. Stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD are relatively easy for your teen to get, since many of his or her friends may be prescribed those drugs. Stimulants will keep your child up for long periods of time and eventually cause him or her to crash. Don't let your teen lose any more sleep if you discover drug use is the problem.
If your child is hesitant to tell you where he or she is going or to introduce his or her friends to you, be aware that something may be wrong. Teens often don't introduce friends to their parents when those friends are bad influences. Additionally, young people are often reluctant to reveal too much information about what they do with their friends if they're experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
4. Changes in academic performance
If your child always made good grades and is practically failing out of school now, drugs may be to blame. Substance abuse and partying can consume your teen's life and cause him or her to lose sight of what's really important: staying healthy, getting good grades, forming meaningful relationships with likeminded friends, and connecting with family members.
If you catch your child lying about things like skipping school or where he or she is going, something's probably up. Most teens lie to their parents every once in a while, but if lying has become a habit for your teen, it's time to do some investigating. It's common for teens who use drugs to be very dishonest with their parents about what's going on in their lives.
Like Katrina in THE TRAZ, teens can easily get mixed up with the wrong crowd and put themselves in dangerous situations. If you suspect your teen is experimenting with drugs, consult with a therapist and doctor to figure out the best action plan to nip the behavior in the bud. Drugs can cause your child serious physical harm and land your child on a path to jail. You don't want your child to end up with a criminal record that forever haunts him or her or with a serious health problem as a result of chronic drug use. So, be proactive.
A freelance blogger and writer with a special interest in personal, criminal and professional records, Jane Smith knows the value of a thorough criminal background check. Her posts offer tips and information on the subject, and she welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.