Young people always tend to be one step ahead of the pack when it comes to party drugs. This is especially true when prescription drugs are used, as teens seem to have a special knack for finding substances that can be abused in the home. If you’re a parent or in charge of a household, you must pay special attention to where you leave your prescriptions.
Clonidine is a relatively new addition to the long line of prescriptions drugs that are being used by party goers in high schools and colleges around the United States, and even the world. Although the drug has been used in medicinal treatment plans for four decades, it has recently become popular in young adult culture because of its increased use in many pharmaceutical applications. To understand how to help your young adult relieve himself of the need to use drugs like this casually and without the aid of a doctor, you need to understand exactly why young people use such drugs and how you can determine if clonidine abuse is occurring.
A Look at Clonidine and Similar Prescription Medications
Clonidine is in a class of drugs known as “antihypertensives.” These are prescription drugs used to treat high activity in the central nervous system. Specifically, clonidine is a drug used for the condition of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Properly used under the care of a medical professional, the drug can also lower blood pressure and the risk of heart attack in certain people.
Clonidine is easily accessible to young adults in part due to its many methods of consumption, which include transdermal, by mouth or by injection. Individuals must not be confused by its array of shelf names – Duraclon, Kapvay, Nexiclon and Catapres. They all contain an active ingredient of the same ilk.
Just as with any drug that affects the central nervous system, the consequences of overuse or misuse can be quite severe. A young adult might not have to overdose on the drug in order to induce a negative effect, depending on the genetics of the individual.
The worst effect of the misuse of clonidine can be death. Because the drug affects activity in the heart, lungs and brain, misuse of the substance can change a vital system within the body to the point that it cannot recover. There are many other symptoms of use that can be interpreted as dangerous signs, and these are discussed below.
Signs and Symptoms of Clonidine Abuse in Teens and Young Adults
Certain physical and behavioral symptoms may indicate the overuse of clonidine. Common physical symptoms may include, but aren’t limited to:
– Erectile dysfunction
– Drop in blood pressure
– Dry mouth
– Skin reactions if the drug is administered through the skin
The word “common” indicates that some of the above symptoms were seen in over 10 percent of the people involved in clinical trials of the drug.
Less common and more serious effects of misuse can include:
– Nightmares and hallucinations
– Delusional daytime perceptions
– Weight gain or weight loss
– Pain below the ear or in the salivary gland
– Nausea and vomiting
– Inability to cry
– High blood sugar
– Raynaud’s phenomenon
– General itchiness
There are also many behavioral signs that may indicate misuse of the drug. These can include general confusion, an inability to concentrate, depression, manic behavior, rolling of the eyes and temper tantrums.
Although any one of the symptoms above may or may not indicate the abuse of clonidine specifically, an inclination to many of the symptoms at once increases the possibility that your young adult is abusing a drug similar to clonidine, if not that particular drug. There are many drugs in the class that have the same adverse effects.
If your young adult has access to clonidine, you may be able to conclude that the symptoms are coming from clonidine abuse. Many young adults, especially high school students, will obtain the drugs they use as “party favors” from the prescriptions of their parents or other members of the household.
Seek Help Today
Although teenagers and young adults may reject your advice, you must be patient with them in order to possibly save their lives. Even if your loved one isn’t ready to accept treatment, give the hotline a call at 800-447-9081. Trained operators can offer you some advice on how to address addiction in young adults.
Addiction professionals want to help everyone who’s addicted to any prescription drug. Don’t give up on your loved ones, and addiction specialists will put all of their resources to work on your behalf. Recovery is possible, and can begin today.