Rising drug use in teenagers
The use of drugs by teenagers today is more common than it was twenty years ago. The National Institute on Drug Abuse blames the increased rate of substance abuse on a relaxing of societal disgust towards these drugs. They also blame companies for finding ways to make substance use look cooler. See the use of modern substances like vape pens and vape juice. The numbers they postulate are even worse. They believe that as much as 47 % of teenagers will have used an illegal substance by the time they graduate from high school. The institute also claims that another 863,000 adolescents need substance abuse addiction treatment, but they will not get it. Drug testing tools provided by companies like Health Street are helping parents monitor their children better and stay on top of their habits, but it is not enough.
How are they getting into drugs? Why do teens use drugs?
Proximity to drugs
Peer pressure; Peer pressure is one of the leading reasons why teenagers are using and abusing drugs these days. When impressionable teenagers begin to make friends with other children that use drugs, they feel compelled to try it to fit in. Proximity to friends who use can lower a teenager’s inhibition towards drugs.
Societal pressure; Apart from known friends, societal pressure from radio, television, and social media drives teenagers towards drugs. Their favorite social media personalities and screen darlings openly romanticize drugs, so they pick up the habit. Society as a whole is becoming more lenient with its view of drugs. Campaigns for the legalization of substance use are sweeping different parts of society, and we frown less on drugs these days.
Proximity to drugs; Teenagers want to try things. They are in their most curious yours and they willing to try things, damning all consequences. Some children even start taking prescription drugs from their parents’ cabinets. It is difficult to notice when the odd pill or two go missing. Some families even have a history of substance abuse and this can play a part too. While some people believe that stimulants, opioids, and depressants are safer because of their medical preparation, they are just as dangerous when abused.
Know your kid’s friends
Know your kid’s activities
Keep track of prescription drugs in the house
Talk with your kids
Set stern rules and follow them up with consequences
Know your kid’s friends; With peer pressure one of the leading reasons for drug use among teenagers, you need to check the friends that your children keep. Thoroughly research the personalities and upbringing of the children that hang around your ward. As most children make friends in school, a simple pro tip is to talk to their teachers or school authorities to find out the kind of people your kids are making friends with. If they are not ideal, set boundaries and cut them off from your child.
Know your kid’s activities; Where does your child hang out? Where are they most likely to find your kid when he/she is not at home? Take an interest in the social life of your child and help them modulate it. Do not be overbearing. It can drive them towards the very thing you are afraid of. Even kids at home do drugs. Mamy Mamthings can be accessed online these days. Make sure your child is not ordering drugs off the internet.
Keep track of prescription drugs in the house; If there is a drug cabinet, keep track of everything in that cabinet. Make sure your child is not sneaking into it and stealing drugs for recreational use.
Talk with your kids; Most parents underestimate how sincere and open conversation with their wards helps. Explain the dangers and consequences of drug abuse to your ward. Check in with them frequently and have these discussions with them. Spend more time talking with them and getting to know them. A strong bond with your child will help you bypass any need to monitor and constrict them.
Set stern rules and follow them up with consequences; Raise your kids with strict policies, and there should be punishment for when they break the rules. Curfews, keeping their phone on at all times, leaving location on are some of the rules you can use to keep your child’s habits in check.
Teenage drug use can lead to long-term drug abuse and dependence. If your child is showing signs of drug use then you should seek out professional help immediately. Get a handle on things early enough before it becomes a bigger problem down the line.