Drug usage among teens is a major problem all over the world. The prevalence of drug abuse among the youth has greatly increased in recent years. Thus, if you find yourself wondering why your teenage son, daughter, cousin or neighbor is abusing drugs, there’s a likelihood that their habit stems from one or more of these reasons:
- Peer pressure
The pressure to look and act a certain way is quite immense during the teenage years. For most youngsters, being able to fit in is one of their top priorities, hence you can often find that if the ‘cool clique’ in school is experimenting with drugs, they are likely to fall into the same temptations.
This is another major cause of drug abuse among teenagers. Due to the fact that their emotional and psychological resilience has not yet fully developed, teens often find it more difficult to cope with high amounts of stress. Whether it is caused by friends, school or even family difficulties, stress and depression among teens is one of the main reasons why they opt to escape from the real world by delving into drug addiction.
- Easy access to gateway drugs
Alcohol is considered one of the main gateway drugs among teenagers since it can often lead to addiction to heroin and other narcotics. When teenagers engage in substance abuse at a young age, they quickly get used to the high caused by alcohol and other milder drugs. Hence, they will often look for a stronger alternative thereby leading to addiction.
- Bad role models
Research has shown that teenagers who have parents, guardians or family members who are drug addicts are often more likely to fall into the same addiction. However, the presence of bad role models doesn’t have to be in their immediate surroundings. Actors, singers and other celebrities who make drugs look ‘cool’ can also contribute a great deal towards addiction among teenagers. This is because many young people look up to these public figures and can often try to emulate them.
- Too much extra time and money
It’s no secret that drug addiction is an expensive habit. So when you see teenagers falling steep into addiction, it begs the question ‘Where do they get the money to support their habit?’ Unfortunately, some parents or guardians give their children huge amounts of cash without being concerned about how it is spent. In addition, idleness among youth is another catalyst of addiction.
There are countless drugs in the pharmaceutical industry which are used to treat both physical and mental health problems. Unfortunately, when abused, prescription drugs can be just as addictive as narcotics. Many teenagers can turn to self-medication as a way to escape emotional pain or certain physical ailments, thereby leading to addiction and dependency on prescription drugs.
The YOLO (You Only Live Once) culture among youth has caused many teenagers to succumb to drug abuse. Ignorant to the many dangers of addiction, many teenagers begin experimenting with drugs during parties and social events only to wake up one day and realize that they are hooked.