Mistaken Beliefs Adolescents Have About Substance Abuse


Mistaken Beliefs Adolescents Have About Substance Abuse

Kids are starting to use drugs in their early teens or even younger anymore and parents are having to talk with their children about the dangers involved with substance abuse at a much earlier age then they use to. Certain types of drugs are more commonly used among young people today when they're experimenting with substance use prescription drugs and alcohol are both high on the list.


Misconceptions

Even if a child has heard that drinking or abusing drugs is dangerous it's not uncommon for them not to take it as serious as they should because their unable to truly understand the impact drugs can have on their life. We can't expect them to understand this at such a young age because many young and older adults don't realize it either. Young people have false beliefs regarding drug abuse which is part of the reason many adolescents are willing to try some drugs in the first place and then continue use them once in a while.

The abuse of prescription drugs is steadily increasing among adolescents and because they're legal medications, most young people think of them as a safer drug to experiment with, especially if they just use them occasionally. Teens don't realize that prescription drugs are just as dangerous and equally as addictive as illegal street drugs because they're young and misinformed.

Most young people also think that trying a drug for the first time or that occasional use of drugs can't lead to an accidental overdose or any other dangerous complications but that's not true either. Drugs affect people differently and many adolescents have experienced serious reactions the first time they tried a drug and sadly, numerous times they've been fatal.

Anyone can have an adverse reaction the first time they take a drug even if it's legally been prescribed to them and they aren't misusing the medication. Adolescents as well as young adults don't understand the risks they're taking when they choose to abuse any prescription drug or over the counter medication.

Underage Drinking: Teens also don't realize they can die from acute alcohol poisoning the first time they experiment with drinking because alcohol like any other drug affects everyone differently. Lack of knowledge associated with alcohol or drug abuse or being misinformed can change a young person's whole life in seconds and unfortunately that's been the case many times.

The abuse of alcohol and drugs at any age can end up ruining a person's entire life. When adolescents start drinking or experimenting with drugs they're just not able to comprehend how this could affect them later on, and that's if they're fortunate enough not to die from an accidental overdose.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Drug and alcohol use can easily lead to addiction with life-threatening results. The risks kids are taking and the problems that can occur when adolescents drink alcohol or use drugs are very serious, and can even be life-threatening. Because young people are often misled by friends they don't even realize they're endangering their life when they drink or use drugs, including legal medications. This is just one of the reasons adolescents try drugs or drink alcohol when they're young.

Many children see their parents, siblings, relatives and other adults in their life abusing drugs and alcohol and sadly this is much too common anymore. When kids grow up around drugs and alcohol especially among people they love and look up to, the message they receive is often loud and clear, 'it can't be that bad'.

The younger a person is when they start using any drug, alcohol included, the higher their risk is of developing an addiction by the time they reach early adulthood and this isn't just speculation. Because drugs and alcohol can have such a serious and negative impact on a person's life, scientific research is constantly being done about their short and long-term effects. We know now due to research that when a person drinks alcohol or does drugs before they're 21 years age, their at a considerably higher risk of developing a substance abuse problem in their early adult life.

Prescription Drug Abuse

The use of prescription drugs among teens is drastically increasing and they're just as dangerous to abuse as any other drug is. Kids get prescription drugs from friends, relatives and even take them from medicine cabinets in their own homes. They may not be as cheap or readily available on the streets as they were for such a long time but prescription painkillers, stimulant medications for treating ADHD and other prescribed drugs still are easy enough to obtain.

The fact is, many young and older teens that started out trying drugs like pot, alcohol, painkillers or other prescription medications eventually moved on to street drugs like meth or heroin. By the time they reached young adulthood instead of enjoying life, many were living on the streets doing anything they could to make money because they were compulsively seeking drugs just to make it through the morning. Do everything you can to keep communication open with your children and be positive role models yourself. Never stop talking to your children either about the dangers and facts about the use of drugs and alcohol and start at an early age. Below are helpful resources that will help parents when talking to their children about the dangers involved with substance abuse.

References
Iowa.Gov
Kids Health.Org
Dare.Com
National Crime Prevention Council

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