Drug use and addiction is a common societal ill, affecting not just the user but also the people around him or her and the public in general. Governments around the world have been seriously taking measures, both preventive and curative, to reduce, if not eliminate, the harmful consequences and the use of drugs itself.
Unfortunately, there is significant evidence showing that drug use is prevalent not only among people of legal age. The drug problem has also reached the youth, and it becomes an uphill battle to end the dilemma at once.
Highlighted in this article are the specific dangers of substance abuse among the younger generation and the practical ways parents can help in solving the problem.
Particular Effects of Substance Abuse
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has illustrated the extent of the drug problem among teens. Aside from alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is the common poison preferred by teenagers, with an estimated half of students through ninth and twelfth grade having used marijuana. Cannabis consumption is said to be the starting point of drug use.
Just like with risks from other forms of substance abuse, the threats caused by substance abuse among adolescents cannot be disregarded. CDC has identified the following risks of drug use among teens, which include effects on their brain development, correlation with other risky behaviors such as unprotected sex and dangerous driving, and contribution to adult health problems. It has also been found that people who started using prohibited drugs in the early stages of their lives have higher chances of continuing the bad habit in their adult life.
Another danger produced by teenage substance abuse is the change it will bring to the academic performance of the user. It has been observed that the use of drugs among teens has serious consequences as to their performance in school, resulting in a decline in grades and participation in school-related activities.
As to why teenagers use drugs despite knowing all the undisputed effects, common reasons include wanting to feel different, peer pressure, relaxation, curiosity and experimentation, and diversion from physical or psychological pains.
Parents’ Role in Ending Teenage Substance Abuse
With parents serving as role models to their children, they have a great responsibility in preventing substance abuse within their households. Parents should orient their children about the adverse effects of using illegal drugs and how it would affect their future.
If parents already suspect drug use, they may purchase available drug-testing kits such as the MDMA test kit, which determines any quantity of methylenedioxymethamphetamine in a person’s system. MDMA, or commonly known as ecstasy, is a synthetic drug that causes alterations in one’s mood and perception, which is usually in the form of a capsule or tablet. It has been known to increase brain activity, particularly three chemicals—dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
Any child is vulnerable to trying prohibited drugs. Check on your teenage child regularly, and give him or her the necessary support and encouragement to handle pressures as an adolescent. With proper guidance and nurture, your kids will surely be all right.