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Southern Tier Woman, November/December 2006, page 9.

My name is Dr. Ellen Vachon and I am an addictionologist.   My specialties are adolescents and Meth.  I am writing this article to help you, the working Mom better understand what drugs adolescents in the Broome County area today are doing.

I think the first thing every parent needs to believe  is YES it can and might be your child (ren) using drugs or alcohol.  Broome County for years has reported above state and national level of drug and alcohol use among our adolescents.

Drugs enter every income level, every school, and every town.  Adolescents use for a variety of reasons, perhaps boredom, to feel better, friends/relatives, to gain or loose weight, as a result of a sport injury or maybe just to try a drug or the drug scene.  The list of reasons goes on and on.  The media and music plays a huge part of it as well.

Today, in NYS adolescents are fish bowling.  This is when they go into medicine cupboards take prescriptions drugs mix them in a bowl with their friends and grab pills.  They often take them over a course of an evening; never knowing exactly what they took often alcohol is involved as well.

Dealers are lacing Pot with Heroin in order to expand their market.  Once they have adolescents hooked, they tell them what they have been using. Children have very easy excess to Inhalants, Cocaine, Heroin, Pot and Alcohol. 

Adolescents are frequently using cough syrups and mixing them with power drinks or soft drinks to get high.   They use their pharmaceutical drugs in such ways that allows them to become high; i.e. snorting their Ritalin.

As a parent of three adolescents and an addictionologist I can only urge you to pay attention to your child (ren), to their friends and the parents of their friends.  Wait up for them if they go out, kiss them good night (smelling their breath), see if their eyes are watery, pupils look normal.  Move your alcohol and prescriptions to a secure and unknown location.  If you suspect a problem, there is probably a problem.  Parents never want to believe it is my child.  Get help, get an evaluation.  If I can help, or answer any of your questions please contact me at  Thank you.  Dr. Ln


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