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Cape Fear 2020: Teens and drugs

READ MORE: Cape Fear 2020: Teens and drugs
WILMINGTON -- Drugs use among teenagers is a problem nationwide and it's no different in our area. In today's Cape Fear 2020 report we take a look at the use of drugs among teens now -- and what you should be aware of in the future. One Wilmington teen tells us about what's really going on with drugs at school and at parties. She says marijuana and pharmaceutical drugs are used most often. Sixteen-year-old Giulie Bilzi is what you may call your typical teen. She hangs out with her friends, goes to school, has parties. One thing she doesn't do is drugs. But she can't avoid being around them. "At a lot of parties and even at school they're selling it and last night I saw some of my friends that were selling it," Giulie said. "I would say the drug that's most prominent is marijuana. A lot of people are selling it you can get in a school you can get it at parties." The latest trend in teen drug abuse is what's found right in your medicine cabinet. Wilmington Health Access for Teens Medical Director Dr. Tom Martinko said, "I know a lot of people are taking pharmaceutical drugs and snorting them, and a lot of people are taking them, popping them." Martinko says to help keep prescription drugs away from teens parents need to make sure all their prescription drugs are in a medicine cabinet. Have it under lock and key and when you're finished taking your medicine throw it away. "The parents are so not believing that this is going on, they're trusting their kids so much and giving them so much leverage, they don't realize what's actually going on," Martinko said. Dr. Martinko says there are tell-tale signs that a teen is using drugs. "If you find that money is missing, things are missing, they are starting to lie to you there off with friends you don't know or you don't trust -- those are warning signs," Martinko said. "If they're really getting overprotective of their things, that's concerning. If there are changes in their pupils that's kind of a tell-tale sign." Dr. Martinko says drug use will evolve as people find ways to mix legal drugs to get high. Parents also need to talk to their kids about how deadly drugs can be. Many drugs are street drugs -- that means they are not regulated -- so there's no way to know what you're getting or how much is in it. Martinko said, "If you get a batch that's more potent then you overdose and where you thought is was going to be fun now you're dead or your friend is dead." Martinko believes what drugs are shown in movies and television in the year 2020 will also be the drugs popular among teens at that time. But there are ways to stop the abuse before it's too late. Guile says it comes down to communication. "I have dinner with my family every night and that way it keeps them into what's going on with my life, and they know what I'm doing and where I'm going that night and when I'm coming home." Bottom line: Martinko says parents need to know what their teens are doing, be aware of warning signs and talk to their kids about the dangers of drugs. And while teens may think they are just having a good time now, if their drug abuse doesn't stop now they are putting their futures at risk. Another big problem among teens is alcohol. Martinko says it's more common than any other abused substance and just as deadly. For more info visit http://www.whatswhat.org/.

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