By: Ronin Leon
Do you have any friends that abuse drugs? Drug abuse is a multidimensional problem that a lot of people face, this problem is especially bad in teens. Numbers of adolescents using drugs have been skyrocketing consistently. From the years 2016-2022 with a 61% increase of 8th graders incorporating drugs into their lives.
Why would young adolescents abuse drugs? They could use them for a variety of reasons. These reasons could include being influenced by a peer or a family member. A person also may have family history of using drugs and can bring someone into the cycle of using drugs. Teenagers may also have a mental or behavioral health condition such as depression which could get them into using it. Teenagers could also just do them for their own enjoyment, to feel good, ease their pain, satisfy their curiosity, or to fit in with a group of friends.
How do you prevent yourself or your child from using drugs?
Ways to avoid using drugs is to communicate or to converse with a trusted person. Just by having a simple conversation can really impact someone. You could be a good influence and set a good example for someone and get involved in their life more. There are also multiple help lines to call and to get professional help.
How do I know if my friends or family are abusing drugs?
There are a plethora of warning signs a person may show.
This includes changes in physical appearance, or change in emotion. Some examples are increase in the number of arguments kids get into, especially family, and a decrease of interest in school. There are different noticeable effects for each kind of drug. For instance, depressants can cause people to slur their words and have lack of coordination, opioids can cause constipation, nausea, as well as slowed breathing, and stimulants can cause high body temperatures and irregular heartbeats. Not all of these effects are caused by drugs, but it's better to watch out.
A primary consequence of drug abuse is major health issues, but some other outcomes of drug abuse are having to depend on drugs in the future, an increase in sexual activity (YAY), mental health disorders, and a change in school performance. These effects may not apply to everyone, but abuse of drugs typically ends badly, and you must be really lucky to escape these results.
By 12th grade at least 2/3 of students have tried alcohol.
Half of 9-12th grade have tried marijuana.
4 out of every 10 9-12th graders have tried cigarettes.
2 in 10 12th graders used prescription medication without an actual prescription.
8th graders using drugs went up 61% from 2016-2022.
62% of teenagers in 12th grade have abused alcohol.
50% of teens have misused a drug at least once.