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3 ways drugs are more accessible than you may think

Nobody wants to think that their own child would make the mistake of getting involved in drugs. Unfortunately, however, parents’ naiveté may only allow the problem to persist and worsen before it turns into a legal issue. According to DoSomething.org, as many as half of all high school seniors view drugs such as cocaine and crack as potentially harmless.

The truth is that drugs are far more accessible to teens than ever before. It is easier than ever for kids — even good ones who follow rules and otherwise behave well — to get in trouble with controlled substances. The following are three ways your teen might be able to get access to drugs.

How marijuana use affects your driving

Many states have changed their laws regarding marijuana use, whether medical, recreational or both. Illinois has not yet legalized cannabis, however, so you need to be aware of the current consequences of using it.

One of the effects marijuana has is weakening your psychomotor skills, which impairs your ability to drive. The extent of impairment depends on many factors, but regardless of your usage, you may face the same severe penalties as a traditional DUI.

3 addictive substances to be aware of

Many young people are first introduced to drugs at a party, at school or by trusted friends. When illegal substances appear in an otherwise familiar context, they may not seem as threatening as they truly are.

It is imperative that parents and young adults alike be aware of the risks associated with the following substances. They are surprisingly addictive, and addiction is one surprise you never want to encounter.

Determining whether or not a warrant is required for drug dogs

Drug dogs are trained to sniff their surroundings and signal to law enforcement if they detect the presence of an illegal substance. These canines are an asset to police who are on the hunt for potential arrests to be made, but you may rightfully wonder about the legality of these practices. It all comes down to whether or not a warrant is required, and this varies based on the situation. Read on for more details on instances where warrants are and are not required for drug dog searches. 

How law enforcement uses social media to get evidence in drug cases

With the continuing expansion of social media use, law enforcement agencies may be finding it easier to find and track suspects in drug investigations. By now, most people are at least somewhat aware of the likelihood of schools and employers checking their Facebook accounts. Police officers across the nation are also getting into the habit of using social media to find evidence of drug use or trafficking.

Could your teen be using drugs?

A scary time in the lives of many parents occurs when they begin to suspect their teens are using drugs. Whatever the causes for suspicion, it is important for parents to remain relatively calm and to take action as soon as possible. Below are a few ideas of what you can do if you think your teen is using.

Medical vs. recreational marijuana: what's allowed?

Laws on the use of medical marijuana vary greatly from state to state, but Illinois is one state that allows medical marijuana under certain circumstances. However, the line between medical and recreational use can easily become muddled if laws are misunderstood.

What are the consequences for marijuana use? What are the differences between using medical and recreational marijuana in Illinois?

Self-medicating with Ecstasy: Is it worth the risk?

Ecstasy--MDMA--is a drug that first gained popularity in the 1980's. The drug, said to make you more empathic, loving and open to self-reflection, was often found at "Raves" or all-night parties. Fearing for the safety of the community, the Drug Enforcement Agency moved quickly to have the drug classified as a Schedule I drug--meaning that it was classified as a controlled substance that had no medical benefit and a high risk for abuse.

Ironically, prior to the drug being fast-tracked to illegal status, it had been used by psychotherapists in conjunction with therapy. These psychiatrists attempted to keep the DEA from completely outlawing the drug, but by the late-eighties, the drug had been banned not just in the U.S., but worldwide.

When heroin is mixed with fentanyl: a deadly combination

Last week, Huntington, W. V. had an unprecedented 26 heroin overdoses in only three and a half hours. While none of the overdoses were fatal--due largely to the availability of nalaxone, a heroin antidote--authorities believe the extraordinary number was linked to a new batch of heroin mixed with highly lethal fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid similar to morphine but 80 to 100 times more potent. It has recently been added to "cut" heroin, meaning that it is added to the more expensive heroin to dilute it. Drug users are often unaware of its presence and, as such, are not able to adapt their use to it. The result is often death.

Avoid a DUI over holidays and throughout the year

Holiday weekends are often filled with a lot of fun, but could also be filled with problems if there's too much alcohol involved. A large number of people are arrested each year for DUI over long holiday weekends, partially due to parties going on and partially due to additional law enforcement on the roads. Those between the ages of 18 and 34 are most commonly arrested when it comes to driving under the influence, but no one who drinks and gets behind the wheel is immune.

Don't Be a Statistic

Making sure you or a loved one doesn't become a statistic is important, but so is knowing what to do if you are arrested for DUI. Being arrested can be upsetting and frightening. The more you remain calm and know what steps to take next, the easier things can be for you and the better chance you'll have of doing the right thing.