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What Parents Need To Know About Teen Drugs, Alcohol


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On Wednesday, June 29, the Verona Municipal Alliance Committee (VMAC) is sponsoring a presentation for parents about several dangerous substances that may be tempting their teens: bath salts, alcopops and bowling or pharming parties.

Bath salts, which have nothing to do with the perfumed salts adults use when bathing, are a drug that is sold in convenience stores and on the internet. The powders often contain mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates, severe chest pains, jerky motions and suicidal/homicidal thoughts and actions. Bath salts, which costs as little as $20, were banned in New Jersey in late April and are being confiscated from retail shelves by state and local law enforcement officials.

Alcopops are the sweet alcoholic beverage of choice for youth, especially young girls, and, according to VMAC, they often serve as a conduit to greater alcohol consumption. Nearly one in six teen girls were sexually active after drinking alcopops. In New Jersey, it is estimated that 154,050 youth drink alcopops annually, with 65% of 12th graders having consumed alcopops, which have roughly the same alcohol content as beer.

In so-called bowling or pharming parties, kids bringing different prescription pills from their home medicine cabinets and throw them into a big bowl, which is then passed around at a party. Everyone then takes different colored pills from the bowl to get high.

The presentation is being conducted by Essex Prevention Services in the Fireman’s Room upstairs in the Verona Community Center. For more information contact VMAC or Essex Prevention Services at 973-571-2324.

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