Would My teen
“The risks of teen drug use can include serious illness, injury or death… A weekly ounce of drug and alcohol prevention discussions with your children may be worth more than a ton of heartache and treatment.”
While predicting teen drug use is not an exact science, by studying the research gathered over the years, some underlying causes can be identified. These factors can include abusive parents or lack of parental involvement, traumatic family events (divorce, death, etc.), choice of friends, mental or emotional disorders, family genetics, family income level and location.
Growing up in neighborhoods where more drugs are present – or in parts of the country with high rates of drug abuse – will increase a teen’s exposure to drugs. Males are more likely than females to be drug users, although not by a significant amount.
According to one study, teens in high school that are from wealthy families are more likely to abuse drugs than their less well-off peers. This could be because they have more disposable income, disconnected family structure, and added pressures to succeed. Kids using drugs as early as middle school, however, tend to come from less wealthy families.
A teen’s decision to experiment with drugs is often a perfect storm of these several factors. But in some cases, even the least likely of teens will dive into drug use, simply for the thrill, to stoke their curiosity or to be cool.
The risks of teen drug use can include serious illness, injury or death, suspension, or expulsion from school or extracurricular activities, being arrested, losing friends and damaging family relationships. If they are working, they could be fired and have trouble getting hired in the future and get deep in debt. This same risky activity can lead to thoughtless sexual behavior, not to mention unwanted pregnancy and possibly birth defects.
These things happen to teens – and pre-teens – every day. The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is surely true. In fact, a weekly ounce of drug and alcohol prevention discussions with each of your children may be worth more than a ton of heartache and treatment.