To protect our kids from drug and alcohol abuse we need to educate them. Teens should know why they need to avoid substances and how to make smart choices.
According to Everyday Health 9 out of 10 adult addicts begin to use drugs and alcohol before age 18. The main reason why teens become addicts easily is that their brain is not completely developed.
Nowadays, many young people have their first experience with drugs and alcohol in junior high. Statistics show that most teens first try cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs when they are 13 years old.
Using drugs at this age may cause serious damage to the developing brain lowering teens’ IQ. This might apply even to less toxic substances like marijuana, which affect those parts of teens’ brains have to do with memory and problem-solving.
Prescription drug abuse is a nationwide problem, and more kids are unknowingly using them as a “gateway” to their first foray into drug use.
According to a report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 15 percent of high schoolers have misused prescription drugs like OxyContin and Percocet. In addition, 90 percent of these kids go on to use other substances.
Inhalants are among the few drugs used by teens. Young adolescents should know that huffing household products like paint thinner or “whippets” can be deadly as well as cause nerve fibers in the brain. It can cause permanent difficulty walking and talking, similar to the effects of multiple sclerosis.
It’s not a secret to anyone that those kids who use drugs have poor grades. Alcohol is still among the most commonly abused drugs among teenagers. One of the most dangerous effects of alcohol on young people is that it causes them to make poor choices that could put their lives in danger. These choices include getting behind the wheel or engaging in risky sexual encounters when drunk.
There are several factors that can exert a significant influence on who will and who won’t try drugs.
• Promoting drugs. Sophisticated, fun-loving, attractive, and famous people widely promote smoking and drinking as enjoyed habits.
• Feeling “high”. Many kids enjoy the way they feel on drugs — at least for a while.
• Coping of parents. Smoking, drinking, and other drug-related behaviors among parents will usually be duplicated in their children.
• Availability of drugs. Finding drugs is not difficult for kids in most communities.
• Friends influence. Your kid’s friends are the most likely reason that your kid will enter into addiction. Friends can be powerful influences, and sometimes you need to restrict who your kids hang out with. In general, one or two kids are generally the leaders, and the others are followers.
• Curiosity. Unless your family lives in total isolation, your child will be aware of smoking, alcohol, and drug use well before adolescence from discussions at school, watching TV and movies, or direct observation.
• The desire for excitement.
• Rebellion. Some children may engage in smoking, alcohol, and drug use as a show of independence from family norms and values.
• Escape from life/relief from pain.
Drugs don’t solve problems. And using drugs often causes other problems on top of the problems the person had in the first place. Once someone is addicted, it’s very hard to stop taking drugs.
Your child is dependent on you up and is reliant on you for support and guidance. While friends change and people move on, their parents remain the same. It’s your guidance that should help them steer clear of addiction. If your teen is falling prey to alcohol, drug, or behavioral addiction, get them help. Call Hathaway today.
Hathaway Recovery Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center
Treatment Center, MD, LCSW, LMFT, ASAM
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (909) 971-3333
Fax (909) 498-9898
1042 East Belmont Abbey Lane, Claremont, CA 91711