Cunning, baffling and powerful are the words used to describe the disease of addiction. On September 5, 2015, CNN published a story depicting the latest trend for covert drug use, vapor pens. A vapor pen, also known as an e-cigarette, heats a liquid substance that in turn is inhaled. The beauty for cigarette smokers is that the vapor pen creates steam instead of smoke which makes it easier to hide the habit. Police in Deerfield, Florida are finding more and more illegal substances being smoked using vapor pens, because of its non-detectable odor. “Thirty-three people have died in Broward County from synthetic drug use, some involving vapor pens.” Additionally, mental health facilities in south Florida are seeing an increase in admissions from those who have psychotic symptoms as a result of smoking synthetic drugs.
Even more frightening is that the Deerfield police report social media sites, such as Instagram, to show people using vapor pens which could contain other harmful and possibly lethal substances. Vapor pens have become more of a fad than help to quit smoking or stop the nuisance of cigarette smoke. It seems the disease of addiction has taken yet another good intention and twisted it to claim more lives and send more people to mental health facilities. In south Florida, and as a society, we need to become even more aware concerning the behavior of our loved ones. If you believe there is more than nicotine being used in their vapor pens, ask questions.
Take time to inform yourself about vapor pens, synthetic drugs and which mental health facilities in south Florida treat this addiction. Vaping: The latest scourge in drug abuse
Rachel Rowitt, Ed.D, LMHC, CAP has worked in the field of clinical psychology for 15 years. She is a freelance writer who specializes in educating the community about the effects of mental illness, addiction and how to make effective changes. She has been affiliated with Lifeskills, a residential treatment facility for mental illness and addiction, for over 5 years.