Is your teen abusing medications to get high?


Last week I was a witness to the beginning of another tragic story. I was left shaking my head and wondering where this teenager went wrong, or more importantly, where his parents went wrong.

On Saturday night I was dispatched to a traffic collision involving three vehicles. The call information mentioned that one of the drivers was possibly DUI. When I arrived, I saw an officer walking a male from the street to the sidewalk. From a distance I estimated his age to be about 14 years old. I just assumed he was a passenger from one of the vehicles.

I got out of my car and walked over to where they were. That’s when I found out this kid was actually 16 years old and he was the suspected drunk driver.

He rear ended one vehicle and then crashed into another when he tried to back up. He appeared under the influence and was eventually arrested for DUI. Of course, he didn’t have a driver’s license either.

The driver was under the influence of a dissociative anesthetic. Most people don’t even know what that is. A dissociative anesthetic includes PCP, ketamine and Dextromethorphan (DXM). DXM is the active ingredient in cough medicines. It’s also abused because it’s easily accessible.

This kid had been drinking cough medicine and also had four Xanax pills in his pocket from his mother’s prescription. Talk about a train wreck.

About an hour later I did a record check on his name and discovered he was arrested for DUI three months ago. Could his story get any worse?

I walked by a room where he was sitting and asked him what his blood alcohol was when he was arrested. The kid told me .20%.

I shouldn’t be shocked anymore, but every once in a while it still happens. I told him he was on the road to being a statistic and I warned him of the dangerous path he was heading down. He said he understood and seemed to listen to me.

Did I get through to him? Probably not, but at least I tried.

I leave you with this final thought if you’re a parent of a teen. You might want to watch the cough medicine bottle or other prescriptions in your medicine cabinet. You could be running low and didn’t know it.

Most people think it won’t happen to them, but there’s a chance it could. Don’t end up like some of the people we deal with. They don’t know there’s a problem until it’s too late.