Teenage is an important chapter of life. This is the phase we begin to develop skills to shape the entire life. Teens are making new social connections and love to do experiments. If they do experiments with drugs, the consequences could be life-threatening as the vulnerability is so high to get addicted.
Teenage drug addiction is becoming an issue all around the world than ever; access to drugs is not as difficult as it used to be before 15 to 20 years.
Why teenagers experiment with drugs?
- Peer Pressure
Teenagers tend to experiment with drugs because of peer pressure; they think “no, I won’t be caught into the trap” in the initial stages, but most of them try drugs for the first time because they think it is essential to fit in.
Naturally, most of the teenagers want to know how it feels. Even they learned and know drugs are harmful; they are not ready to believe anything can happen to them. Studies say Alcohol is the number one go-to substance at the beginning, followed by Marijuana.
Hectic study schedules and lack of coping ability can lead teenagers to explore substances to relieve stress. Marijuana is such a drug they often use.
- The feel of “now or never.”
There is a belief within the younger people that experiments are imperative during this age. They think they are not going to get opportunities to test these drugs once they take up their responsibilities. Unfortunately, though, they won’t take up responsibilities if they get addicted.
- Enhance the situation experiences
Teenagers use substances like Cocaine, Ecstasy, and Marijuana, to feel maximum out of certain experiences. In situations like parties, during sex, or other social events, they want to be more active by using these dangerous drugs.
Boredom is another common thing that forces teenagers to use drugs. When they run out of activities or interests, Alcohol becomes their friend. If you are a parent, you should avoid such circumstances by providing them with enough responsibilities or should encourage them to a sport or a hobby.
- Family and Genetics
You can’t blame them all the while; they are teenagers and bound to make poor choices. If your family has a history of drugs, they are more likely to experiment with drugs. It would be best if you had an honest discussion with them about the bad side and the consequences your family faced because of the drug use.
How to identify whether they are using drugs?
- Red Eyes
When your teenager returns home, pay attention to them, especially to their eyes. Most of the time, the eyes get reddish, and pupils dilate if they are on drugs.
- Mood changes
Most teenagers find it difficult to handle themselves while on drugs, as well as the day following. As a parent, it should not be difficult to identify your Child’s unusual mood changes.
Once your teenager returns home after spending a day with his or her friends, have a face to face conversation. If they have been using drugs, it won’t take much time to notice with the smell of their breath and clothes.
Above mentioned methods can be used for a particular type of drugs. Also, not all the time they return home when they are on drugs too. You have to be much more vigilant to spot whether your Child is using drugs or not.
There can be more possible signs.
- Poor hygiene
- Memory issues
- Poor marks on studies
- Less care in personal appearance
- Abnormal emotions
- Changes in the physical body
- Distancing from family
- Unusual social connections
Don’t take things for granted, and another important one is checking your Child’s room if you observe one or a few from the above signs.
Consequences of teenage drug addiction
- Impact on the brain
The first effect of drugs is felt to the brain. Continuous usage of drugs can damage the functions as well as the structure of the brain. Considering that teenage is when the brain is still developing, these substances can have a long-lasting impact. Prolong usage can kill decision-taking skills, reasoning, logic, and memory. In the long term, mental health issues are inevitable.
- Impact on heart
Even a small usage of drugs causes the heart rate to go up and disrupt, and all these drugs deliver their “feel” at the expense of invaluable heart health. Addiction would amplify the risk. Cocaine considered one of the most dangerous drugs to cause heart attacks, and it is widely famous among teenagers, especially when they are partying.
- Impact on the immune system
Continuous Alcohol and drug usage can cause numerous issues to the immune system, like,
- Digestion problems
- Insomnia and exhaustion
- Lung damage
- White blood cell count reduction
- Liver damage
- Impact on Education
It is very much impossible for a drug addict to be successful in school or college. Drug-addicted teenagers are not worried about their education, and it is going to backfire their whole future. They find it challenging to show up on time for the classes, or they skip classes and fall behind the syllabus. Catch up is never going to happen.
- Law Issues
Teen drug consumption is always associated with legal issues. Researchers say four out of five teenagers found to be on drugs while they commit a crime, and 90% of them are addicted to a specified drug.
All in all, they are playing with their entire future.
What should you do as prevention?
First of all, before they abuse drugs, you should educate them that they don’t need Alcohol, Marijuana, or other substances to be cool or fit in. Teach them how to say no to their friends, enjoy life without drugs, and, most importantly, don’t let them isolated.
If you sense they are already into it, you should be mindful of getting involved as soon as possible before it becomes late. It will help if you take the matter to a professional immediately. This could be your Child’s counselor, family doctor, or rehab professional.
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