Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Warning for the Mamas: NUTMEG!

Leave it to our bored teenagers to find something more stupid than glue and aerosol to get high on...that's right...nutmeg, the new cheap and legal recreational drug of choice. (rolling eyes)

I heard about this on the news, and did a little extra research on my own.  As one who likes to study about brains, neurotransmitters, and the like, I actually found it kinda interesting and wanted to share.

 Nutmeg's narcotic agent, myristic acid, is an MAO inhibitor.  MAO stands for MonoAmine Oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down some amines in the brain, thereby rendering them ineffective.   The specific effect of nutmeg on the brain is that it blocks parasympathetic nerve impulses, with the end effect being hallucinations and a warming sensation in the limbs after ingesting 1-8 tablespoons worth of ground nutmeg.

Furthermore, it is dangerous to combine MAO inhibitors, which can be found in things like sedatives, antihistimines, and even other spices and herbs (like dill) which leads to great a hazard of side effects from mixing drugs inadvertently as well as overdose since the side effects of nutmeg are not actually felt for about 5-6 HOURS after ingestion!

But you may not need to lock the cupboards yet, because even if your kid decides this is a fun thing to try,  apparently its not something that people typically do twice.  The high itself is lacking in the typical euphoric nature offered by other drugs and the hangover is notoriously miserable.  One user wrote that it feels like a supreme being "taking a dump on your soul."  hahaha, sorry, highly inappropriate, but I just had to share that quote.

Well, at any rate, knowledge is power and I figure its better to know what to look for rather than being oblivious in case a problem comes your way. I work with kids and teens in the legal system now so I have to be up on these things :)

Moral of the story: kids and teens are BORED!!  They are so bored that they turn to activities that leave them feeling like death is imminent, just because they can't think of anything better to do.  Growing bodies need healthy physical activities like sports and mentally stimulating activities they enjoy so that they don't end up doing the stimulating themselves via spice cupboard shananagans.  So subtly steer them towards some positive activities- they may grumble and sigh at first, but they'll get over it and their bodies and brains will be better off because of it.  If they want to start a band, support them.  If they dont want to be on the chess club, but are interested in wrestling- that's okay!  Be there for them!  Kids need hobbies and need to realize that they have talents and abilities that they can be proud of so they don't have to seek happiness from sources that leave them feeling worse than before.

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