Some substances of abuse have recently taken on different forms. Are you aware of them? With the legalization of marijuana in several states, discovery and popularization of different strains and methods of delivery have excellerated. Historically marijuana has been relatively tame compared to modern day strains. between the 50s and 70s the average THC concentration in marijuana was 0.5 to 2%. Marijuana available today can have a THC content of up to 23%! Sometimes parents confronted with a child who is using marijuana are unaware of this increased potency.
Something that has become an issue of concern are dabs, also called waxes, honey or budders. Dabs are wax like blobs of concentrated THC that has been rendered from marijuana. People who use dabs typically inhale fumes through a bong or vapor pen. The big problem with dabs is that they can have THC concentrations of up to 73%! This is such a high potency that users can actually experience psychotic breaks.
(source: Jon Daily, LCSW, CADC II from Recovery Happens)
Waxes, Dabs, honey, or budders
Another new trend in substance abuse involves a new form of alcohol. Several years ago somebody came up with a way to make alcohol in powdered form. As of March 2015 “Palcohol” is legal to be sold in the united states. A problem that is repeatedly encountered by alcoholics is the availability of alcohol and new forms of alcohol. In The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, one of the founders of AA talks about an experience that many alcoholics can relate to. He had been sober for a long period of time and then thought of a different way of drinking alcohol (in his case with milk) and then relapsed. When someone is an alcoholic, things like palcohol can be difficult triggers that lead to relapse. Similarly, this has happened in the past with alcoholic ice cream and alcoholic whipped cream. As I’m writing this I am reminded of Taco Bell. I don’t particularly care for Taco Bell, but they come out with new things every month or so and I always feel compelled to try them! Imagine what an experience like that would be like for someone struggling with an eating disorder. Similarly, products like palcohol can be triggering for alcoholics.
Lastly, another thing that has come out relatively recently is called “smoke buddy”. Smoke buddys are small, wallet sized devices that smokers can exhale smoke into to neutralize the smell of nicotine or marijuana. This has become an issue in schools where adolescents will smoke marijuana in bathrooms and avoid detection through the use of a smoke buddy.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, it may be helpful to seek counseling and therapy. Often times substance abuse is a symptom of underlying problems that can be addressed in counseling. If you feel you or someone you love needs help please give me a call and/or click on the “resources” tab at the top of this website to explore resources available to you in your area.