You’ve definitely seen the harrowing news reports. “The latest teen trend!” “The kids are all getting high!” “It’s an epidemic in the Midwest!” And then the news anchor goes on to report on some new RIDICULOUS way young people are supposedly slaughtering their brain cells.
Yesterday brought another such lovely dramatic scare-tactic. Did you know kids are getting drunk off of hand sanitizer? (Peep the video here.)
Look, kids in the suburbs. I get it. There’s not a whole lot to do other than invent new ways to get messed up. I was a teenage “rebel” once. My sister and her friends used to pound Red Bull and have “hyper parties.” I had a guy friend who used to try and smoke banana peels. One time, I attempted to get drunk off my dad’s O’Douls (non-alcoholic beer). I know what it’s like to be bored and trying to get f-cked up. But can you stop being so ridiculous about it please? I think we’ve done it, guys. We’ve invented all the ways.
Based on an Internet hoax, the media started reporting that American teenagers were doing a new drug called “jenkem:” fermented human sewage, scraped from pipes and stored in plastic bags for a week or so, until it gives off numbing, intoxicating fumes, according to author Emma Guest.
Yep. The idea supposedly came from a real drug popular in Zambia and reported on in many books about Africa and in articles by the BBC in the early ’90s. Jenkem resurfaced in 2007 when someone on a message board claimed to be making and selling it in Florida. (I’m from there, and I can say that this makes total sense.) Here’s a media report on jenkem. It’s about people huffing poop so… watch at your own risk.
Oh, Lil’ Wayne. Your interview with Katie Couric remains one of my favorite things that has ever happened. (“I’m a gangster, Miss Katie. I do what I want to do.”) In it, you defended your use of a drug called “Sizzurp,” “Purple Drank” or “Syrup.” It’s prescription-strength cough syrup with codeine and promethazine mixed with Sprite, Mountain Dew or pieces of Jolly Rancher candy.
Syrup is mentioned a lot in rap music and as a hilarious punchline, but it’s also dangerous. It killed UGK’s Pimp C, among other users. Lil’ Wayne is really, really addicted. In college, I definitely saw some people trying to emulate their rap idols by drinking cough syrup recreationally. It was not pretty.
“Cheese” is Tylenol PM and heroin. Anything more I could possibly say about “cheese” has already been said hilariously and perfectly by comedian Kumail Nanjiani. I’ll just leave this here:
It sounds like a crazy science fiction story, but it was supposedly real. In 2010, tech blogs started reporting on kids getting high using mp3s that induce feelings of ecstasy. It’s digital drugs and it was deemed “iDosing,” by News 9 in Oklahoma City, OK. Kids were apparently logging into certain sites and getting hooked up with free “doses” of audio files with names like “Gates of Hades.”
I’ve never iDosed, so I don’t know if it actually works. But getting high via the Internet? Without watching a cat do something cute? I’m skeptical.
5. Vodka tampons
Remember this beautiful little viral news story from not too long ago? Teenage girls! They’re terrifying! They’re crazy! They’re soaking tampons in vodka to get drunk! God I love when the masses are scared of the female sex organ. But supposedly, this urban legend has documented cases as proof. Teens think it’ll get the alcohol to their blood stream faster without the barrier of stomach acid and remove any trace from their breath so parents won’t find out.
Watch the above clip from CBS 5 which abuses the “liquid pouring” sound effect and gleefully (gleefully!) overuses the words “rectal” and “anal beer bong.” Anal. Beer. Bong.
6. Bath salts and nutmeg
Snorting bath salts and nutmeg can make you high, and according to news reports from last year, all the kids are doing it. Doing this drug, which is amphetamine-like and mimics the effects of ecstasy, causes delusions and confusion, but also cardiac arrest. Hooray! But were young people actually snorting this stuff? One family blamed their son’s 2010 suicide on an addiction to bath salts. Police in Kansas and Missouri said they’ve found kids with bath salt brands called Cloud Nine, Ocean Snow and Lunar Wave. Personally, I prefer to get high off of Bath and Body Works’ Country Apple, but I’m an old fashioned kind of gal.
In conclusion, the media needs to stop having a field day whenever teenagers figure out a new way to get high. But also, teenagers, stop drinking hand sanitizer. For god’s sake, you’ll be able to legally go to a bar soon and then, all of this will feel silly.