Parents and Teens Need to Know The Truth About Drugs, Even The Ones They Thought Were Safe

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When it comes to teens, the sheer power of curiosity and a sense of rebellion or even adventure to some is enough to push them into the world of drugs and alcohol. To many teens drugs and alcohol come with little to no immediate consequences, which of course isn’t true but is difficult to explain to a young person who is surrounded by friends who are smoking cigarettes, drinking and using certain drugs on a frequent basis. It is somewhat of a fascination when it comes to substance use among teens. They go from speculating about certain drugs their friends have tried to the experimental phase which for many is the beginning of the end. Dealers often offer firs time or new users “the good stuff” in order to get them hooked, and for a teen doing drugs for the first time who is provided with the best of the best will probably have a lot of fun and desire more, and more, and more until the experimental phase is over and they now have a serious drug problem. All this to say that teens cannot be left to their own devices when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Parents play such a crucial role in the decisions their children make and it’s important for parents to attack this issue with everything they’ve got. An honest conversation about drug use, smoking, and drinking and the consequences such as addiction and ultimately going to a treatment facility is the best way to go to point out the dangers of substance use and abuse.

To some parents, drinking at a party or smoking marijuana is something of a rite of passage. They expect their kids to have a few beers at a Friday night house party or smoke a joint between classes every now and then because they believe that these substances are safe. Part of the reason for that is the fact that pot is being legalized for various purposes left and right across North America, and alcohol is legal so there couldn’t be much harm there. The science doesn’t always agree with this assessment, however, as alcohol has been proven very dangerous in large quantities (binge drinking) and can damage vital organs if abused for a long period of time. Marijuana, of course, can have it’s drawbacks as well as many in the medical community believe it can cause memory problems, concentration problems and can hurt a child’s brain development.

There are other drugs that teens tend to use and abuse. Opioid painkillers, ADHD medications, synthetic pot and even things like caffeine powder in order to stay awake at school or at night in order to finish homework (and of course to get some sort of high).

The most important step in preventing teen drug abuse is education. Too many kids experiment with drugs and alcohol simply because they lack knowledge, and they often have no idea what a drug is or what it could potentially do to them. Drug education is targeted to enlighten youth so they make sensible decisions. For instance, kids who know how drugs and alcohol impair perception would tend to refuse to get into a car with a driver who was drunk or high. Education must be combined with communication. The best type of communication is two-way communication, thus free discourse on the subjects between parents, children and peers should be allowed and encouraged. When a young person has already started abusing drugs or has gotten addicted, treatment may be in order. Drug abuse, dependence and addiction should not be taken lightly and action taken now could prevent a catastrophe in the future.

 

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Sobriety Foundation

Parents and Teens Need to Know The Truth About Drugs, Even The Ones They Thought Were Safe

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