Emerging Drug Trend


While the use of many street drugs is on a slight decline in the US, abuse of prescription drugs is growing.

Among teens, prescription drugs are the most commonly used drugs next to marijuana, and almost half of the teens abusing prescription drugs are taking painkillers.

Why are so many young people turning to prescription drugs to get high?

By survey, almost 50% of teens believe that taking prescription drugs is much safer than using illegal street drugs.

What is not known by most of these young people is the risk they are taking by consuming these highly potent and mind-altering drugs. Long-term use of painkillers can lead to dependence, even for people who are prescribed them to relieve a medical condition but eventually fall into the trap of abuse and addiction.

In some cases, the dangers of painkillers don’t surface until it is too late.


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“Molly" is the powder or crystal form of MDMA, the chemical used in Ecstasy. This drug has been popular at music festivals this year and is growing in popularity among youth. Molly is short for the word molecule and it is considered to be pure MDMA. Ecstasy is a less pure form of MDMA, is typically in pill form and is generally laced with other ingredients such as caffeine or methamphetamine. Molly users tend to be ages 16 to 24.

'Molly' has a high potential for abuse, and no accepted use in medical treatment. 'Molly' causes confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, sleep problems, and drug craving. The drug also can cause muscle tension, tremors, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramps, nausea, faintness, chills, sweating, and blurred vision. Because of where Molly is often used (clubs and music festivals), there are often reports of dehydration. This dehydradation comes from both the drug and the crowded, hot conditions present. High doses of Molly can interfere with the ability to regulate body temperature, resulting in a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia). This can lead to liver, kidney, and heart failure in severe cases.

Potential side effects of MDMA include feelings of sadness, anxiety, depression, and memory difficulties. These can last for several days to a week (or longer in people who use it regularly).

Street Names
Molly, MDMA, Another form of Ecstasy


Learn more about Molly


Latest Drug Trends


Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from opium poppy plants. It is a “downer” or depressant that affects the brain’s pleasure systems and interferes with the brain’s ability to perceive pain.

What does it look like?

White to dark brown powder or tar-like substance.

How is it used?

Heroin can be used in a variety of ways, depending on user preference and the purity of the drug. Heroin can be injected into a vein (“mainlining”), injected into a muscle, placed on tinfoil and inhaled as smoke through a straw or snorted as powder via the nose.

What are its short-term effects?

The short-term effects of heroin abuse appear soon after a single dose and disappear in a few hours. After an injection of heroin, the user reports feeling a surge of euphoria (“rush”) accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth, and heavy extremities. Following this initial euphoria, the user goes “on the nod,” an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Mental functioning becomes clouded due to the depression of the central nervous system. Other effects include vomiting and constipation.

What are its long-term effects?

Long-term effects of heroin appear after repeated use for some period of time. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, constipation and gastrointestinal cramping, and liver or kidney disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health of the user as well as from heroin’s effects on breathing. In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin may have additives that do not really dissolve and result in clogging the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain. This can cause infection or even death of small patches of cells in vital organs. With regular heroin use, tolerance develops. This means the abuser must use more heroin to achieve the same intensity or effect.

As higher doses are used over time, physical dependence and addiction develop. With physical dependence, the body has adapted to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms may occur if use is reduced or stopped. Withdrawal, which in regular abusers may occur as early as a few hours after the last administration, produces drug craving, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps (“cold turkey”), kicking movements (“kicking the habit”) and other symptoms. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 24 and 48 hours after the last dose and subside after about a week.

Heroin abuse is associated with a number of serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV (because these diseases are transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids, which can occur when sharing needles or other injection drug use equipment.)

Barry County Opioids & Heroin Usage Report and Prevention Information


Molly and What's The Danger?

The drug known as 'Molly' has swept through both the party scene and the headlines after four deaths and numerous hospitalizations on the East Coast, resulting in America's Emerging Drug Trend. Discovery News's broadcast below looks at what exactly this drug is, how it works, and the danger it poses.



New Trend Targets Kids: E-Cigarettes (Skittling)

E-cigarettes are increasingly popular battery-operated devices marketed as a safer alternative to smoking conventional cigarettes. They produce flavored nicotine aerosol that looks and feels like tobacco smoke but without the tar or other chemicals produced by burning tobacco leaves. However, while e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, it is still unclear how safe they are. They still deliver nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug. Also, vapor from some e-cigarette products has been found to contain known carcinogens and toxic chemicals. Until more studies are conducted, there is no way of knowing what the health consequences of repeated exposure to these chemicals may be, whether e-cigarettes are any safer than conventional cigarettes, or if they are useful to help a person quit smoking. (

Parents need to understand the potential harmful effects of this risky behavior, the implications for adolescent brain development and the risks associated with nicotine addiction. As many states do not have age restrictions for purchasing this device, parents should talk to their kids about this risky behavior to prevent them from experimenting or regularly using e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. (

Stay on top of the Latest Drug Trends with our Parent's Guide

Youth drug trends change everyday. Yet, our goal is to prevent and stop all forms of sustance abuse and drugs. Below we have compiled a list of what we feel are the most commong emerging drug trends we are hearing about, experiencing, or seeing. We hope that this information will help to inform you and help us to continue to prevent abuse in and around Barry County.