Staff from The Way Out Recovery SCV are talking about the potential dangers when children are allowed by their parents to use vaping products.
Increasing in popularity among adolescents, vaping can make it tough for parents to know if their kid is using THC because of the various fruity flavors that vape products are available in, according to The Way Out Recovery SCV Program Director Bob Sharits.
“If you’re allowing them to vape, they could be using THC right in front of you, and you’re not going to be able to tell by the smell,” Sharits said. “It’s hard to get that across to parents … because even 10 years ago or so, when somebody was smoking weed or they had weed, you knew it because you could smell it.”
For example, retired deputy Travis Sabadin with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station J-Team, or Juvenile Intervention team, recently talked to a mom whose child had been doing drugs at home for months without her knowledge.
Though the mother first insisted her son was not doing drugs, when Sabadin asked if there was anything different in his life lately, she replied that she had noticed a strawberry smell in his room that she thought was from a new air freshener.
“I said, ‘How long has that air freshener been around?’” Sabadin said. “She said for three months. I said, ‘Well I know he’s been doing drugs in your house for the last three months because I’ve got the proof that he has.’ She was just blown away by it, that that’s actually happening in her house.”
Also a potential danger of vaping -- whether it contains THC or not -- is that long-term health effects are still not known, according to Sabadin.
“You’re taking that artificial flavor and you’re inhaling it,” he said. “You have all that going into your lungs, into your throat… What’s it going to do to the inside? There’s no research on it.”
Additionally, Sharits pointed out that regardless of a person’s belief in “gateway drugs” -- which is the notion that starting with things like marijuana or vaping can lead to more serious drug use down the road -- vaping is a sign of future behavior.
“The behaviors behind vaping mimic what they will be doing later on,” he said, adding that even if an adolescent is not vaping with THC now, as they become an adult, vaping products containing THC will be easily available because marijuana is now legal.
“The vaping itself with or without any THC in it is becoming such a concern,” said Sharits. “A lot of kids are doing it.”
When it comes to parents who say to Sabadin that they would prefer their child vapes than smokes marijuana, he pointed out the reality that many adolescents already vape with THC without their parents even realizing it.
“They genuinely thought they were doing what was right for their kid,” he said. “Once you provide that information to the parents, a lot of them are very thankful. A lot of them didn’t know.”
In Santa Clarita, drug issues are a major concern for many. The mission of the Santa Clarita rehab The Way Out Recovery SCV Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Treatment is to provide high quality, effective alcohol and drug outpatient treatment. The drug rehab’s goal is to assist adolescents, adults and their loved ones in becoming happily and usefully whole, free from drug addiction. Those seeking Santa Clarita drug treatment or a teen drug rehab can rest assured that The Way Out Recovery’s philosophy is to teach lifelong coping skills and strategies to assist in improving quality of life and living happily and meaningfully without the need of destructive behaviors.
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Santa Clarita, CA 91350