By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It has been called a classic case of good kids gone bad — students who turn to legal drugs or substances for a high because they don’t want to do anything illegal. Some are reaching into the medicine cabinet and they’re taking parents’ prescription pills. They’re loading up on cough medicine.

The sad fact is that these so-called legal alternatives can cause similar if not worse health issues.

Another example is huffing. It has rapidly become one of the most popular methods for teens to get high. Despite the numerous risks including brain damage, it’s estimated that 1.1 million adolescents inhale lethal substances like Freon and butane every year.

In addition to brain damage, huffing can lead to kidney, lung and bone problems, as well as an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

The message needs to be sent to teens and young adults that substance abuse is always wrong because it can cause serious harm.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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