Posted: Mar 05, 2013 8:30 AM
Staying ahead of the teen crowd keeps getting harder for parents. Sure, we know about bath salts and drinking hand sanitizer... but what are some other dangerous trends teens are into?

Teenagers will always try to find a way around the rules. Whether it's trying to find an easy, undetectable way to get high or just a bit of dangerous fun, teens are always thinking. Staying one step ahead can be tough for parents. We found a few trends you may not know about — yet.

Cough it up

isolated bottle of cough medicine and dispenserThink drugs and alcohol are the only substances you need to worry about? Turns out that cough syrup from your home medicine cabinet is strong enough to send your teen to the emergency room. Four teenage high school students in Texas were taken by ambulance to a local hospital after admitting that each had downed an entire bottle of cough syrup in the boys' restroom. The boys both had elevated blood pressure and heart rates — and were in obvious distress.

Turns out that dextromethorphan (DXM) — a cough suppressant commonly found in over-the-counter cold medicines like Robitussin and Dimetapp — produces an almost hallucinogenic high when chugged in large doses. It can also lead to loss of motor control, dizziness, seizures and hallucinations, among other serious problems. While it is against the law for minors to purchase products containing DXM in some states, access to cough syrup is not difficult.

Butt chugging

Seriously? Yes, it's exactly what you think — an alcohol enema. In September 2012 a University of Tennessee student wound up in the hospital with severe alcohol poisoning, believed by hospital personnel to be from butt chugging. When alcohol enters the bloodstream so rapidly, the dangers of ingesting too much are greatly increased. The University of Tennessee student had a blood-alcohol level thought to be over .4 — incredibly high and potentially lethal.

Choking game

This is one teen activity that's anything but a game. The choking game involves cutting off the oxygen supply and blood flow to the brain by using a belt, towel or rope. Sometimes a plastic bag is used over the head. The person then hyperventilates until they pass out. The rapid flow of blood and oxygen back to the brain creates a euphoric feeling like a high. Serious consequences of this practice include brain damage, seizures and death. Parents need to be aware of anything they see that's odd in their child's room, like extra belts, shoelaces tied together or anything hanging from a loft or bunk bed.

Staying one step ahead of your teens can save lives. Talk to your teenagers about dangers other than the usual drugs and alcohol, and keep the lines of communication open.

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