7. June 2012 11:39
The dark underworld of illegal street drugs seems to evolve and change with lightning speed. Just as one drug becomes today's news, another drug starts circulating before law enforcement or health care professionals can get a grip on it's deadly effects. As a parent, teacher or caregiver it is extremely difficult to stay informed and know all the signs or symptoms of illegal drug use. Dental health professionals are trained to look for oral manifestations of substance abuse such as sores or spots around the mouth, burns on the lip, wrinkled surfaces inside the mouth, dry mouth, an unusual amount of decay or unexplained gum disease. Most illegal drugs are ingested through the mouth and your dentist could be the first person to notice any signs of drug abuse since the mouth is his business!
Inhalants are popular with young people, easy to acquire, and have deadly effects. Often referred to as "huffing", "sniffing", or "bagging", abusers can use model paint, magic markers, correction fluid or aerosol keyboard cleaners to get high quickly. All of these toxins are ingested directly through the mouth and nose and can have devastating effects on the abuser's oral health. Inhalants can cause death by suffocation, respiratory depression, or hepatoxicity which is chemical driven liver damage.
Marijuana, Ecstacy, Heroin, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, GHB are all widely available and more prevalant in our communities than most people think. Educate yourself on the dangers that lurk around every street corner. These websites are informative tools to keep you informed about street drugs today and what you need to know:
www.drugs.com (pill identifier)