While electronic cigarette use and drunkorexic behaviors are on the rise, there are some other ways some teens find to get high. While they’re less common or have fewer risks associated with them, parents of teens still need to have them on their radars, in case their kids become at risk.
Yes, you read that correctly: alcohol enemas. This alarming trend among young people isn’t extremely common, but it can easily become deadly. When alcohol is poured directly into the colon, it’s delivered to the bloodstream more quickly, offering a faster way to get a buzz. (The allure is similar to that of drunkorexia, in that way.)
Because the colon lacks the enzyme needed to break down the ethanol in order to reduce its toxicity, the body can be poisoned by it even before it gets to the liver, where it’s processed. While many kids aren’t quite desperate enough for a high to insert a tube into their rectum, some college students and teens are. And they’re dying because of it.
Huffing Cleaning Chemicals
This trend isn’t new, but it is resurfacing. Rags soaked in cleaning fluids are “huffed” when kids breathe in the air surrounding the wet cloth. The chemicals interrupt the brain’s functions in vital areas, such as decision-making (which is an area where teens already face challenges, due to the teen brain’s incomplete development).
Like the behavioral risks of drunkorexia, those of huffing can cause psychological difficulties, as well. The temporary high created from huffing these toxic chemicals is not a sensible trade-off for the sometimes deadly results. Those who do survive may suffer from kidney and liver damage.
Temporary Strangulation or Choking
We’re not talking suicide here; what’s often called “the choking game” is aimed at providing the euphoria that occurs just before a fainting spell. The reason for this mild, temporary high, is that air flow to the brain causes death of cells. An estimated ten kids die from this so-called game each year, according to the CDC.
Kids can use various means to temporarily strangle themselves, so take note of ropes tied to bedposts or doors. Those who participate in this type of behavior often demonstrate visible confusion afterward, as well as significant headaches and bloodshot eyes.
Sizzurp or Purple Drank
The abuse of cough syrup is taking on new popularity, thanks to references in some hip hop music. Cough syrup that includes the narcotic codeine can be used to achieve a high. When it’s mixed with a sugary soda like Mountain Dew or Sprite, it’s often called “purple drank” or “sizzurp.”
Also sometimes referred to as “lean,” the drink offers a high by suppressing the respiratory system, and it can result in seizures like rapper Lil Wayne experienced three years ago. Sadly, he has openly returned to this practice, despite his previous medical problems that resulted from it.