Dr Manny's Notes

Parents Beware! Online Drug Dealers Making House Calls

Yes, I know you probably know all about alcohol, pot, cocaine and heroin. But in this rapidly-advancing world of technology we live in, teenagers are getting more creative finding new ways to get high and putting themselves - as well those around them - in danger while they're at it.

We still have drug dealers walking the streets and preying on the impressionable minds of our youth with their rhetoric. But in 2008, those drug dealers are coming right into your home with the promise to teens that their next high is just a click away. And worst of all_ it's perfectly legal.

If you don't believe me, I encourage you to make yourself a cup of tea, sit down at your home computer, and search a topic like "Driving on Salvia"on Youtube. What you see WILL surprise you.

Now, many of you may be wondering what salvia is. Well, known as salvia divinorum, this leafy "houseplant" is a highly potent relative of sage and mint plants. But unlike its spicy cousins, salvia leaves are sold as a legal alternative to marijuana because of the intense psychedelic effects people get from smoking it.

In fact, according to one federal survey, almost 2 million people have admitted to using it to get high in this country alone, and 3 percent of men aged 18-25 said they'd used it in the past year. The problem is that salvia has an unpredictable effect on many young brains - and those effects could be devastating.

Another drug that's recently made headlines because if it's popularity among teens and young adults on the Internet is a pill called "SNURF." This highly popular pill has been touted by Web distributors as a form of "herbal ecstacy," because it contains mostly DXM, or dextromethorphan, a chemical found in cough medicine. But because "SNURF" pills have 10 to 15 times more DXM than cough medicine, they can have dangerous euphoric and even hallucinogenic effects on users.

So, what's the answer?

Get better informed! Search the Web more frequently. Talk to your children.

And, as it turns out, if you see your houseplants disappearing, you may have a problem!