Sure, it is not easy being a teen. There are so many challenges, the emotions fluctuate and relationships can be hard to deal with. And unfortunately, some peers begin pressuring teenagers to experiment with drugs. Raising a teen can be challenging due to so many factors. Many adolescents are not always in good communication with their parents. When they decide to try something new, like marijuana, alcohol, prescription drugs or even hard drugs like amphetamines or heroin, they won’t tell their parents. Why? Because they know down deep that it is wrong.
Most adolescents don’t continue on to become abusers, but the risk is great. Even a little abuse can lead to addiction. At the very least, it affects grades, interests and relationships with family. The negative consequences are too great to engage in such activity as drug use. Drugs affect the body and mind adversely, Changing moods, outlooks on life and more. When you take into consideration that drug dealers are often intent on getting more people hooked on drugs – to increase their profits from selling the drugs – you have to be aware that there is most certainly a lot of false information circulating about illicit drugs.
Any amount of drug in the system is a poison. It changes the chemistry of the body and thus affects the mind. If you have seen those who smoke marijuana, for instance, lose interest in the things they used to care about previously, this is often an effect of the drug. Poisons in the body also hurt the immune system, making the person taking the drug more susceptible to physical ails. However, they may not even notice, as the drug can block many of the symptoms.
Some drugs also have side effects, and these can be as bad as whatever trauma the person is trying to escape by using the drugs. In other words, if a teen is depressed and unhappy, taking a drug may seem to make him feel less miserable, but when a side effect may be suicidal thoughts, where is taking that drug getting them?
Any drug that an adult can abuse can be abused by a teen. Alcohol is the most common for abuse among the young, but there are plenty more. Parents are usually aware of the dangers of smoking marijuana and how it reportedly leads to doing other drugs. It is a fact that many people entering rehab do so because of a psychological addiction to marijuana. Club drugs are also being used by many kids who get them when attending parties. This includes Ecstasy, which is known for its hallucinogenic properties. It also causes the body to get very hot and kids have died from either having the body heat up so much that their organs fail, or from drinking so much water that they get water intoxication.
Some of the other drugs that can be abused by teens include:
There are articles published on the Internet that state that prescription drug abuse is decreasing, but this is likely only trends in some areas. Generally the abuse of prescription drugs is increasing at truly an alarming rate. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the nonmedical use of prescription and over-the-counter medications is a significant threat for teens. In 2011, there were 15.2 percent of high school seniors who had used a prescription drug not in a medical use within a one-year period. Vicodin and Adderall are among the most common to be abused.
Some other commonly abused prescription drugs include:
If you think your teen is using drugs or drinking, you should act now rather than put it off. The longer the situation goes on, the more likely the teen can become addicted. And no one needs to be reminded of how dangerous and destructive addiction is to a life. But how can you tell if your teen is abusing a drug or drugs?
Changes in behavior will become fairly obvious in someone getting involved in drug use. It seems to demand all of their attention (although they won’t tell you this). Interest flags in areas that used to occupy their attention. They won’t be involved in activities that used to be important to them. Their group of friends may change and their own view of themselves will be veering into directions that seem unrealistic. They may fight more with parents.
Appearance is another gauge of what is going on in a teen’s life. His health may deteriorate. His eyes may be bloodshot, his nose running and he will possibly get sore throats a lot. His weight drops and he doesn’t eat or sleep as well as he did before. He won’t be as concerned with his own appearance or take care of himself.
Some other things to look for:
>Drug paraphernalia around his room
>Lying about where he goes
>Problems with memory
Teen substance abuse can develop from a number of factors. Although some point the finger at the parents and upbringing, it is much better to look to the individual and his or her weaknesses that led to drug abuse. There are thousands upon thousands of children that had rough upbringing or bad home environments that didn’t turn to drugs or alcohol. And there are thousands upon thousands who have had loving and caring parents and beautiful home environments that do turn to drugs and even become addicts.
Teens can be having obstacles in life that are hard to face. They may not be able to talk to parents about these problems. Perhaps they are seeking a new way to look at life. Some kids are impulsive and gullible. Friends tell them to “Try this new drug and feel great! Be cool!” They can get involved with others who don’t have their best interests at heart. False information about drugs is abundant. The teen may be thrill-seeking or simply curious. The reasons may be as many as there are kids out there. But usually they all boil down to one or two reasons for each individual.
All kids, sooner or later, will be faced with the option to try a drug. The question of whether they should or should not go ahead and do it “just once” is too often answered with “Why not?” Drug education is the most effective way to deal with this. And the younger the better! When you care about a child’s future, and want them to be able to make good choices, you will see to it that they really understand about drugs and the dangers of abuse and addiction.
The best drug education out there is the kind that gives easy-to-understand facts about drugs and addiction. When a child understands the effects drugs have on the body and mind, he or she can determine for themselves that drugs are bad for them. There are groups who offer very interactive drug education lectures in schools and at various events. They get some incredible results with the kids pledging they will stay drug-free. (Call us at 1-800-343-0892 to find out who these groups are and when and where the lectures will be offered.)
There are many publications that contain vital information about drugs and can do your work for you. They tell of the various drugs available on the street or in schools and how each one affects the mind and body. Booklets exist that are easy for even the youngest to understand. And parents gain a lot from reading them, because once the parent understands all there is to know about dangerous drugs, the better he or she can enlighten the kids.
When you have discovered your teen has become involved in abusing drugs or alcohol, to any degree, you should get professional assistance to work out what to do. Your teen may only have experimented and not yet entered the drug culture in full. However, if there is a chance they have progressed into heavy and chronic abuse or even addiction, there is no question you should call and get advice. We will be happy to help. You can call us any time at 1-800-343-0892.
In 2008, about a quarter of all 12th graders had used an illicit drug in the last month prior to survey. In 2010, around a third of all 10th grade students had used marijuana, and two thirds said they knew where they could get it. Also in 2010, those 12th grade students who had used cocaine was at 3 percent, those who had used Vicodin was at 8 percent and those who had used Ecstasy was at 5 percent. These figures show a desperate need for effective drug education.
Unfortunately, about forty percent of the teenagers in the United States say they expect they will use a drug sometime in the future. Eighth graders have already tried marijuana – in fact about one out of five have smoked it. Taking into consideration that people who have used illicit drugs almost always started out using marijuana, this fact is frightening.
Get yourself educated on the truth about drugs. Get your kids educated on the dangers of drugs. Addiction is only a step away. Lives are ruined and dreams are destroyed once addiction sets in. If your loved one is addicted, call for help today. We will work with you to resolve this very real problem. Call 1-800-343-0892.