Shatter is every bit as frightening as it sounds, and it’s becoming incredibly easy for your kids to get. It’s a new teen drug craze that results in a multitude of potential negative side effects. Kids that take it may feel faint and pass out, fall down a flight of stairs or even destroy your home. It’s a volatile substance and the method of cooking it can cause a massive explosion.
What is Shatter?
You need to be aware of some of the slang used by kids when referring to drugs. This allows you to pick up on any text messages, conversations or casual references made by your children. Butane Hash Oil goes by many names and your kids may refer to it as any of the following:
- Honey oil
- Ear wax
The drug is a highly concentrated form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and it’s much more potent. In fact, A 2009 United Nations “World Drug Report” stated that it can contain anywhere from 60 to 90 percent THC. The natural concentration in marijuana leaves is typically as high as 25 percent. However, by distilling and extracting it, the concentrations end up being much higher. To put this in perspective, one single dab of shatter can contain as much THC as smoking two marijuana cigarettes. That’s enough THC to cause a serious reaction in any user.
The Process of Making Shatter
While shatter can be purchased on the street, many kids have taken to trying to make it at home. The process involves cooking THC at extremely high temperatures for a long period of time. Because of the added heat and the mixture of volatile chemicals, this can result in an explosion. Of course, if your kids are making THC, you have greater concerns than your home. If made incorrectly, Shatter becomes even more dangerous as it can result in some butane being left over in the final paste. Since butane is a known carcinogen, this can seriously impact health as it is inhaled into the lungs. Fumes can also linger in the household for days, and this can make the chances of an explosion even higher.
How Kids Use the Drug
The process of using shatter is called dabbing. After placing a “dab” on a hot metal surface, kids can inhale the smoke and ingest it into their lungs. It’s during this initial inhalation stage that most people become incapacitated. Dale Gieringer of NORML notes that people have fallen on the sidewalk and broken their nose. Other people have fallen on the floor and broken their teeth. If your kids do pass out, it’s likely that they will fall hard and quickly.
Allergic Reactions to Shatter
What’s perhaps more frightening is that just a single use of shatter can kill someone with an allergic reaction. With marijuana, if a kid takes a hit and develops a reaction, they will learn they are allergic and stay away from the drug. With shatter, because the concentrations of THC are so high, there might not be a second chance. It has been reported that a young woman was hospitalized from an allergic reaction to Shatter. Her throat closed up, she couldn’t breathe, and needed immediate medical care. If her friends had not been around to act quickly, it’s possible she would not be alive today.
Looking for Hash Oil
Unfortunately, hash oil is very easy to conceal. Very little quantities are needed and it can be concealed in lipstick or chapstick containers. The substance is dark brown, amber, and sometimes yellow. It has the consistency of honey or tar, and looks like honeycomb. While you might not be able to find hash oil if you suspect your child is using the drug, you can look for other artifacts. Look for any of the following equipment needed to make or use Shatter:
- Butane containers
- Glass tubes
- Metal tubs
- Glass baking dishes
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Coffee filters
Steps to Take if Your Child is Abusing Shatter
If you find out that your child is abusing drugs, don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. Take them in to a qualified treatment center and inquire about inpatient treatment. There are many benefits to inpatient treatment. It works quickly, is intensive and can help to stop a problem from getting worse. Here is a list of a few of the most important benefits of inpatient treatment:
- Structure: Inpatient treatment gives kids structure not available in any other treatment program.
- Controlled Access: Patients have absolutely no access to drugs making it more likely they can achieve a complete recovery.
- Positive Focus: Kids can learn to address the issues that led to the drug use in the first place, and develop techniques to prevent relapse.
- Diet and Stress: Programs provide optimal nutrition. This ensures that patients have the right tools and resources to have the energy to succeed in treatment.
Many kids using Shatter started their journey with marijuana. Care needs to be taken to ensure that your kids don’t continue the path to addiction. By intervening early and getting the right treatment, you can ensure that your child has control over his or her life and doesn’t fall into a cycle of addiction and abuse.