cough syrup

We’ve described the risks of misusing cough and cold medicines to get high. Prescription cough medicines that contain promethazine (an antihistamine) or codeine are sometimes combined with soda and candy in a drink called “lean” or “sizzurp.”

Lean is sometimes used at electronic dance music (EDM) parties, and a recent study found that half of the references to codeine use on Instagram were about lean.

Some of lean’s effects come from misusing promethazine-codeine cough medicine in any form (syrup, gels, or capsules):

  • Codeine is an opioid (like morphine, oxycodone, and heroin). Misusing codeine—and that includes using lean—can cause a person’s heart rate and breathing to slow down.
  • High doses of codeine can lead to a deadly overdose, by stopping the heart and lungs from working completely.
  • Mixing codeine with alcohol or other drugs significantly increases that risk.

Other effects can include nausea, dizziness, impaired vision, memory loss, hallucinations, and seizures. And misusing codeine over and over can lead to tolerance and addiction.

 

Teen Vaping

Despite some promising signs that traditional tobacco cigarette use is decreasing among teenagers, unacceptably high numbers of youth are vaping nicotine. NIDA’s 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey of eighth, 10th, and 12th graders show alarmingly high rates of e-cigarette use compared to just a year ago.

Reported past month nicotine vaping among teens in 2019:

1 in 10 8th graders
1 in 5 10th graders
1 in 4 12th graders

It is important for teens to know that most health concerns related to traditional tobacco cigarettes—addiction, lung disease, and effects on prenatal development—apply to vaping as well.

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Teen Depression

The Basics

If your child is between ages 12 and 18, ask the doctor about screening (testing) for depression – even if you don’t see signs of a problem.

Why do I need to get my teen screened for depression?
Depression can be serious, and many teens with depression don’t get the help they need.

The good news is that depression can be treated with counseling, medicine, or a combination of both. When you ask your child’s doctor about screening for depression, find out what services are available in case your teen needs follow-up care.

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steroids

What are anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids are medications related to testosterone (male sex hormone) that are made in labs. Doctors use anabolic steroids to treat hormone problems in men, delayed puberty, and muscle loss from some diseases.

Bodybuilders and athletes might misuse anabolic steroids in attempts to build muscles and improve athletic performance, often taking doses much higher than would be prescribed for a medical condition. Using them this way, without a prescription from a doctor, is not legal—or safe—and can have long-term consequences.

Anabolic steroids are only one type of steroid. Other types of steroids include cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone. These are different chemicals and do not have the same effects.

How Anabolic Steroids Are Misused

When people take steroids without a doctor’s prescription or in ways other than as prescribed, it is called misuse.

Some people who misuse steroids take pills; others use needles to inject steroids into their muscles or apply them to the skin as a gel or cream.

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