When it comes to protecting your children from getting involved with illegal drugs, knowledge is power.

As a parent, I understand the challenges of keeping up with all the drugs that young people can be exposed to. It seems like every day there are new drugs, including some that are known in other states and countries but may not be common (yet) in Maine. Keeping up with all of it is tough, so it's important to have as much basic knowledge as you can.

I remember when my kids were in middle school. My then-husband and I attended a D.A.R.E. presentation at the Holbrook school and immediately became confused when the officer said that one of the things they'd be discussing was 'huffing.' We had never heard the term. How is it that we, who felt we were pretty 'hip' to the drug scene, were completely in the dark about this? We were not the only parents in the dark until we left that very informational session.

In order to make this list as complete as possible, I consulted the National Drug Enforcement Agency's website. Not all the drugs on this list have made their way into Maine, but it's probably just a matter of time. Again, knowledge is power. If we know about them before they get here, we may be more equipped to recognize them and their effects.

Before anyone mentions it, I did include marijuana on this list, even though it's legal in Maine. It's not legal for everyone and is still not legal on the federal level, so worthy of this list.

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