Adolescents who experiment with drugs jeopardize their health and safety. Prevent teen drug abuse and usage by discussing the repercussions of drug use and the significance of making healthy choices with your teen.
Why do adolescents use or abuse drugs?
Numerous variables may influence adolescent drug use and abuse. First-time usage often happens in social situations when drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes are readily available.
Persistent usage may be motivated by anxiety or by the need for social approval. Teens may believe they are invincible and may be oblivious to the repercussions of their behavior, prompting them to take hazardous drug risks.
Several common risk factors for adolescent drug addiction include the following:
- A history of drug addiction in one’s family
- A psychological or behavioral health problem, such as depression, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Behavior that is impulsive or reckless
- A history of stressful experiences, such as being involved in a vehicle accident or witnessing abuse
- Insecurities about one’s self-worth or fear of social rejection
- Consequences of adolescent substance addiction
Negative effects of adolescent drug usage may include the following:
- Dependence on drugs. Teens who abuse drugs are at a higher risk of developing severe drug problems later in life.
- Imprudent judgment. Adolescent drug use is linked with a lack of judgment in social and interpersonal relationships.
- Sexual behavior. Substance abuse is linked to high-risk sexual behavior, unsafe intercourse, and unintended pregnancy.
- Disorders of the mind. Substance abuse may exacerbate or heighten the risk of developing mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
- Driving when impaired. Driving when impaired by any substance impairs a motorist’s motor abilities, endangering the driver, passengers, and other road users.
- Changes in a student’s academic achievement. Substance abuse may impair academic achievement.
- Drugs’ adverse impact on health
Substance abuse may result in addiction, significant disability, sickness, and death. The following are some of the health concerns associated with frequently used medications:
- Cocaine – Heart attack, stroke, and seizure dangers
- Ecstasy – Increased risk of liver and cardiac failure
- Inhalants – Long-term usage may cause harm to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.
- Marijuana – Risk of impaired memory, learning, problem solving, and attention; risk of psychosis later in life – such as schizophrenia, delusion, or paranoia – linked with early and regular use.
- Methamphetamine – Long-term usage or large dosages may result in psychotic behaviour.
- Opioids – Possibility of respiratory discomfort or death as a result of an overdose.
- Electronic cigarettes (vaping) – Similar to cigarette smoking, exposure to hazardous chemicals; danger of nicotine dependency
Discussing adolescent drug usage
You and your adolescents will almost certainly have numerous discussions regarding drug and alcohol usage. Pick periods when you are unlikely to be disturbed – and leave your phone at home. It’s also critical to understand when not to have a discussion, for example, when you’re upset with your kid, unable to answer inquiries, or your youngster is intoxicated or high.
To talk about drugs with your adolescent, do the following:
- Inquire about your teen’s perspective. Avoid lectures at all costs. Rather than that, listen to your teen’s thoughts and concerns regarding drugs. Assure your adolescent that he or she is capable of being truthful to you.
- Discuss the reasons why you don’t use drugs.Avoid fear-mongering techniques. Emphasize how drug use may impact your teen’s interests – such as sports, driving, health, and attractiveness.
- Discuss strategies for avoiding peer pressure. Discuss with your adolescent how to reject drug offers.
- Prepare to speak about your personal drug usage. Consider your response if your adolescent inquires about your own drug usage. Justify your decision not to take drugs. If you did take drugs, explain what you learned from the experience.
- Additional preventative measures
Consider the following additional methods for preventing adolescent drug abuse:
- Are you aware of your adolescent’s whereabouts?Keep a close eye on your own location.Determine which adult-supervised activities your adolescent enjoys and encourage him or her to participate.
- Establish guidelines and associated punishments. Explanation of your family norms, such as leaving a gathering where drugs are used and not traveling in a vehicle with a drugged driver. If your adolescent violates the rules, impose consistent penalties.
- Meet the friends of your adolescent.If your adolescent’s peers experiment with drugs, your teen may feel pressured to do so as well.
- Maintain a record of prescribed medications. Make a list of any prescription and OTC medicines you have in your house.
- Assist. When your adolescent succeeds, provide praise and encouragement. A solid connection between you and your adolescent may assist your teen to avoid drug use.
- Set an excellent example. Consume alcohol in moderation. Take prescription medications exactly as prescribed. Avoid the use of illegal substances.
- Recognize the warning symptoms of adolescent substance abuse.
Keep an eye out for potential red signals, such as the following:
- Impaired judgment, irresponsible conduct, and a general lack of interest
- Violations of the rules or withdrawal from the family
- The presence of medication containers in your teen’s room, notwithstanding the absence of sickness or drug paraphernalia, is a problem.
- Seeking assistance for adolescent drug abuse
- If you have reason to believe or know that your adolescent is experimenting with or abusing drugs,
Speak with him or her. Never interfere too soon. Casual drug usage may develop into compulsive use or addiction, resulting in accidents, legal difficulties, and health complications.
Encourage forthrightness. Speak quietly and explain your worries. Provide specifics to substantiate your suspicions. Confirm any assertions he or she makes.
Concentrate on the behavior, not the individual. Remind your adolescent that although drug use is hazardous, it does not always imply he or she is a terrible person.
Regularly check in. Spend extra time with your adolescent, be informed about his or her movements, and follow up when he or she comes home.
Seek expert assistance. If you believe your adolescent is engaging in substantial drug use, get assistance from a physician, counselor, or other health care professional.
It is never too early to start talking about drug addiction with your family.Today’s discussions may assist your adolescent in making future healthy decisions.