atombash.com conducted a series of interviews with teens at Inspirations for Youth and Families (IYF) teen rehab regarding their vaping addictions. The atombash.com also visited three vaping retail outlets to gain further insight on how the marketplace is proliferating the increase in the teen use of ecigarettes.
As the electronic cigarette is luring more and more teens into vaping – according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control – there is a new breed of vaping devices flooding the South Florida market.
It is important to note that all vapor devices are for the most part ecigarettes, but are built differently depending on the use. The vaposphere falls under at least three distinct categories which include:
Ecigarettes for nicotine use: These vaping devices have been around since 2003, but it wasn’t until the last few years that teens have been gravitating to them in terrifying proportions. A study by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention found that two million middle and high school students tried ecigarettes for the first time last year – triple the amount from 2013.
G-Pens: Technically an ecigarette – A G-Pen is much smaller – like the size of a pen. Teens like to bring these to school due to their narrower shape and sometimes use them in the classroom. Just like the more clunky ecigarette, this vaping device does not emit smoke and produces a minimal odor making it hard for a teacher to detect. Unlike the traditional ecigarettes that are used predominantly for nicotine, G-Pens are the teens go-to-accessory for smoking hash oil or wax – a weed concentrate with off-the-charts THC levels.
A study by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention found that two million middle and high school students tried ecigarettes for the first time last year – triple the amount from 2013
Herbal Vaporizers – These vapes are used strictly for dried herbs. There is a compartment for inserting marijuana leaves often referred to as the herbal tank. First, even though it is lumped into the vaporizer fold it does not vape – it combusts marijuana. It sits a top a ceramic base, and it totally burns the bud. Snoop Dogg markets an entire kit with accessories that is an herbal vaporizer.
“I definitely see a lot of people in my high school using electronic cigarettes,” said Christian, who is a 17-year-old at IYF teen rehab, who entered the program because of a marijuana vaping addiction. “It just impossible to know who is using it for drugs and who is using it for nicotine.”
Vaping devices can be used to vape extremely dangerous, highly potent and lethal drugs like:
Synthetic Marijuana – which is legal in many states and is referred to as K/2 or “Spice.” Synthetic marijuana is comprised of a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis) and that are marketed as “safe,” legal alternatives to that drug. But don’t let the advertisements fool you – synthetic marijuana can be lethal.
According to the Fix, a leading substance abuse publication, across the nation, documented effects of synthetic marijuana have included: death, increase in heart rate and blood pressure, muscle twitching and agitation; the occurrence of seizures, psychotic episodes, heart attacks, and strokes; kidney damage and finally paranoia and weight loss.
Dabbing – is inhaling the vapors from a concentrated form of marijuana made by an extraction method that uses butane gas. Dabs, also known as butane hash oil (BHO) are more potent than conventional forms of marijuana because they have much higher concentrations of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, than is found in regular cannabis.
And even harder drugs like meth and the street drug flakka.
“People associate electronic cigarettes with tobacco,” said Cody, who is also entered into IYF for vaping. “But the fact of the matter is teens are using other vaping devices that are made only for vaping drugs. I vaped with marijuana, but mainly with meth.”
“When I used flakka, I knew someone that used a regular e-cigarette to vape it,” said Chris, who is being treated for flakka addiction at the Cove Center for Recovery.
“I break down e-cigarettes into two categories,” said Karen Corcoran-Walsh, owner of IYF as well as the Cove Center for Recovery adult drug rehab. “Ecigarettes strictly for vaping nicotine and what I call Dedicated Drug Vaping Devices (DDVD) used strictly for vaping wax and hash oil as well as other countless drugs that can be vaped.”
One thing is for sure when it comes to teen vaping. There is not one clear-cut way for teens to vape drugs and there are many drugs that teens are vaping with their ecigarettes.