Tweens and Teens

Adolescents most often become poisoned by experimenting with toxic substances to see how it makes them feel.  Some of these substances include alcohol, inhalants, and prescription, synthetic and illicit drugs.  Although these substances may temporarily make you feel good, they are also physically harmful. 

The truth is that these substances can cause seizures, heart attack, coma and even death.  When combined, these substances become even more dangerous to your health. 

It is a good idea to come up with a plan to protect yourself in the event that you are confronted with a situation where you are being pressured by peers to take these dangerous substances.  Try role playing with other friends and family.

Visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Web site to learn more about harmful substances, educational video games included.

Caffeine

Yes, there is such a thing as caffeine poisoning!  Excessive and prolonged caffeine intake can lead to the softening of bones, increased heart rate and blood pressure, heart attacks, seizures, agitation and etc.

Energy drinks may have extraordinary amounts of caffeine in them, sometimes equaling the amount of caffeine in 12 cans of soda!  High amounts of caffeine can be particularly dangerous to adolescents with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, seizures and cardiac, respiratory and behavioral disorders. 

Adolescents should limit their caffeine intake to 100 mg per day--about the amount of caffeine in an 8 oz. cup of coffee.

Alcohol

aapcc alcohol poster

    American Association of Poison Control Centers

Alcohol is a beverage that alters our mental state and lowers inhibition.  While drinking alcohol you are more likely engage in activities that you would not normally do while sober, which can lead to a number of severe consequences.

Alcohol poisoning, drinking more than your body can handle, can cause liver and brain damage, coma and even death.

Prescription Drugs

Although prescription drugs are legal, they can be very dangerous if taken by the wrong person, in the wrong amount or for the wrong reason.  In other words, if you take someone else's medication, for example that belonging to a friend or neighbor, you could be seriously harming your health.  This is because medications are specifically prescribed for an individual at a certain height and weight and for a particular condition.

Abusing prescription drugs becomes even more dangerous when combined with alcohol.  For example, combining alcohol with painkillers, both of which suppress the part of the brain that controls breathing, can easily lead to death.

Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs such as "Spice" and "Bath Salts" are also legal but extremely dangerous.  They can both cause serious hallucinations, dramatic mood alterations, paranoia, increased heart rates and blood pressure, stroke, seizures and death.  There have been reports of people under the influence of these substances causing serious harm to themselves and others.

Illicit Drugs

Illicit drugs are illegal.  They include cocaine, crack, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine, etc.  These substances are highly addictive and can cause a whole host of health problems including stroke, heart attack, shock, paranoia, aggression and death.

Inhalants

Inhalants are chemical fumes that are breathed in to get "high".  Chemicals that emit fumes include spray paint, glues, markers, gasoline and many more.  Make no mistake, inhaling these toxic fumes can cause serious brain damage.

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