Teens At Risk - The Problems Of Drug Abuse
Teens get involved in drug use for many different reasons. For some it's experimental or peer pressure related and for others it gives them an escape from issues of low self esteem and confidence. The teen years can be a very difficult time where children on the edge of adulthood are trying to deal with social and societal pressure and make important choices about the future. The use of drugs amongst teens is on the rise and effective tools are needed to combat the problem of drug abuse.
What Are The Signs Of Drug Addiction In Teens?
Communicating with your children about the risks and impact of drug use is thought to be the most effective tool of prevention. Look out for self-destructive behaviors in your child such as coming home drunk or high, gambling, using computer and video games obsessively and eating badly. These behaviors can indicate a child at risk of becoming involved in the self destructive cycle of drugs. If you want to help a teenage friend or loved one who is hooked on drugs, try reading teen drug abuse articles online to get a better understanding of their condition.
The following is a list of signs that your child might be taking drugs. You cannot jump to conclusions that it proves drug use. It should be used as a helpful guide and if you think your child fits the profile of a drug user, help should be sought.
- loss of appetite/ change of eating habits
- stealing money/ objects from the home
- loss of interest in the family, becoming withdrawn
- unhappy or depressed
- coming home late, unaware where they are
- sudden apathy about school and grades
- overly tired or hyperactive
Common Drugs Used By Teens
Marijuana - in the US more than 50% of students will try marijuana before they graduate high school. Marijuana is seen by many as a less potent drug and its use is taken less seriously. Teens claim that it helps them to relax and deal with the stress and pressure of the teen years. However marijuana is often called a gateway drug as studies of drug abuse have shown that users almost always began with marijuana.
Meth, Crystal Meth or Speed - these drugs can be swallowed or snorted and they give users a fast high which makes them feel confident, alert and energized during the high. This high is very addictive and ultimately the body and mind can get burnt up by continued use of these drugs.
Cocaine - this drug can be snorted, injected or smoked and is highly dangerous and addictive. Cocaine affects the chemicals in the brain that control the sensations of pleasure, sight, touch and sound. Regular users find they need to take more of the drug just to feel normal.
What Can Parents Do?
Parents should make an effort to be involved in their teen's lives and get to know their friends and interests. Set clear boundaries and rules, so that teens have the freedom to make choices but understand what it means to be accountable. Parents should seek help immediately if they think their child is involved with drugs.