Posted by on Apr 28, 2012 in Articles, Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hide The Hand Sanitizer…Really? (Oh and don’t forget the nutmeg)

I was just reading about the latest, or perhaps just the newest (or it’s not so “new”…I’m just hearing about it now), trend among teens.  In the last month in L.A., several teenagers have been brought to the emergency room after drinking…..HAND SANITIZER!  Last year there were 622 cases of this, nationwide and this year there are already over 200 cases reported!  My first thought was “…how bad do you have to want to get high that you have to drink hand sanitizer”?  Then I thought about the other things teens have been known to do….sniff glue, “surf” on the roof of the car, huffing paint, sniffing moth balls and even SMOKING NUTMEG…and remember “the choking game”!!!  Teens have always felt indestructible and have looked for the next thrill.  But, things like stooping to drinking hand sanitizer speaks to a bigger, deeper issue.  If the idea was to just get drunk, there are any number of ways to get alcohol.  So it seems to me that what’s going on here is a need to feel “numb” to the world around them in a more immediate fashion.  “Things look so bad that I just can’t wait for an opportunity to get booze” (not that it would be good in any way either).  Household hand sanitizers are ethanol based making them about 120 proof!!!  it’s like drinking 3 shots of tequila at once!

Dr. Lisa Boesky

We are dads, the keepers and protectors of the castle, we are the guys who put the training wheels on!  So now are we supposed to hide the hand sanitizer?  Well, yes if that’s what it takes in the short term.  But, what about the problem that lies beneath?  Well, that’s where our old friend, communication, comes in handy.  My friend and contributor to the Radio Dad show, Dr. Lisa Boesky, said teens are going to do what they are going to do.  Word of mouth and especially, the internet spreads the latest trend and techniques very quickly and dads shouldn’t fool themselves into thinking that they know what dangers are out there, based on what was around when THEY were teens.  She said in a recent Radio Dad episode, “…dads and moms need to be on the same page when it comes to what’s going on in a teen’s life.  It’s important to get beyond simply hiding all the things that may harm our teens and find out what’s behind the behavior and get inside that head.”  This is where making sure you communicate is important.  Will it be tough?  Yes.  Will you struggle for words?  Maybe.  Do you have to be interested, engaging and willing to take how ever long it takes to find out what’s in that brain? YES!!!

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