A form of extreme drinking where teenagers think they can get drunk without showing any obvious signs of intoxication involves alcohol-soaked tampons. Tina Coffelt with New Horizons Sober Living talks with NBC 7's Christine Haas in this report.
A form of extreme drinking where teenagers think they can get drunk without showing any obvious signs of intoxication involves alcohol-soaked tampons.
Tina Coffelt with New Horizons Sober Living in Encinitas, Calif., called the practice a disturbing and dangerous new trend.
For teenagers, it's the rush and the thrill.
"I was 14 when I was drinking with a 12-year-old," said "Tim," a patient at the Scripps Treatment Center in La Jolla, Calif.
NBC is protecting his identity -- because he lives at the center, a place where children and adults come to beat their addictions.
"Most people aren't satisfied with drinking a little," he said. "We all drink to get drunk."
Tim's experimentation began with alcohol and progressed to marijuana, crack and then heroin.
He said that for some teenagers, alcohol and drugs become a way of life.
"It was just a lot easier to get through the day," he explained. "It made things more interesting and more colorful."
Coffelt said that from alcohol-laced gummy bears to infused tampons and enemas, she's heard it all.
"A big reason they do it is you get a faster high and then you don't have the stomach upset so the vomiting is rare," Coffelt said.
It's symptomatic of a festering problem -- addiction.
"Every day, I would at least be smoking pot or bringing alcohol or what not, just whatever you could get your hands on," said Tim.
Substance abuse is becoming an epidemic in schools, and is starting at an earlier age, Tim said.
Current statistics from Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) show 37 percent of kids have consumed alcohol by the eighth grade, and nearly 75 percent by the end of high school.
Coffelt said she's not surprised that teenagers are looking for new ways to experiment, but she said direct insertion of alcohol into the body can be dangerous.
"It is a faster process of how much is going into the blood stream so there's a much higher risk of alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal," Coffelt said.
The growing number of young addicts has left many parents and teens alike all over the Internet stunned.
One YouTube clip showing teens partying offers this warning to parents, “Iif you have a son that has a box of tampons that should raise some flags!"
Fear of dying is what's turned Tim's life around, he said.
"If you can say no, definitely say no," he said. "If you have already said yes, just get as much help as you can and don't be afraid to talk to people."
Scripps offers weekend workshops to help parents be proactive in the fight against drugs and alcohol. More information is available here.