The increasing trend of drug abuse in youngsters.
Many educators recognize that drug and alcohol abuse among students are significant barriers to the achievement of educational objectives. Drug and alcohol abuse are important problems that affect school-age youth at earlier ages than in the past. Young people frequently begin to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs during the middle school years. By the time students are in high school, rates of substance use are remarkably high.
We have been experiencing an alarming increase of drug abuse among the youngsters in recent years. Every now and then we read in the newspapers that teens are being held for consuming drugs and most of them are usually aged between 17-20. Indian society is experiencing such a dilemma where more of the teenagers and youths are involved in unethical and unproductive activities like substance or drug abuse.
What do you mean by addiction?
Drug addiction is a chronic disease. That means it stays with you for a long time, even if you stop using for a while. It is when you can’t stop taking the drug even if you want to. The urge is too strong to control, even if you know the drug is causing harm. The addiction can become more important than the need to eat or sleep.
The addiction replaces all the things you used to enjoy. A person who is addicted might do almost anything—lie, steal, or hurt people—to keep taking the drug.
Reason for addiction in youth.
Young people use drugs for similar reasons that adults do – to change how they feel because they want to feel better or different. Other reasons may include:
It might begin with experimenting. In the early stages, one might really find it helpful to erase some problems or make one’s life better, which leads to more and more consumption of drugs. But as addiction reaches a step further, it becomes more of a need rather than just a problem solver.
The friend’s circle in which a young individual stays also influences his/her activities. A boy/girl who has a company of friends who are into drugs and alcohol tends to repeat the same.
Difficult family situations or lack of a bond with your parents or siblings may increase the risk of addiction, as can a lack of parental supervision.
People who have untreated mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety are more likely to become addicted. They might use drugs to try to feel better.
Failures at school or work, or trouble getting along with people, can make life hard. You might use drugs to get your mind off these problems.
When kids use drugs, it affects how their bodies and brains finish growing. Using drugs when you’re young increases your chances of becoming addicted when you’re an adult.
Effects of drug abuse.
When you use drugs for a long time, it can cause changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well. They can hurt you:
- Decision making
- Ability to learn
The drugs that may be addictive target your brain’s reward system. They flood your brain with a chemical called dopamine. This triggers a feeling of intense pleasure. So you keep taking the drug to chase that high.
It damages the immune system, which increases susceptibility to infection. Drug addiction causes cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks and collapsed veins. It also leads to nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, liver overexertion or liver failure.
Drug abuse can have a number of damaging consequences on an addict’s social and emotional well-being, including loss of employment, relationship loss as well as financial troubles.
The sad truth is that more deaths, illnesses, and disabilities are caused by substance abuse than by any other preventable health condition.
What should be done?
Half the problem is resolved when one shows the desire to give up the addiction. There are no parenting skills or behaviors that guarantee a young person will never touch drugs. However, parents and guardians can reduce the possibility of a young person experiencing drug problems in a number of ways.
Foster a close and trusting relationship with your child from an early age, and support and encourage positive behavior. Establish agreements and guidelines about what is acceptable behavior around alcohol and drugs.
Encourage a healthy approach to life, including good food, regular exercise, and sports. Allow your child to practice responsibility and develop good decision-making skills from an early age. Keep yourself informed about drugs and educate your child about the dangers of drug use. Do not exaggerate or make information up.
Some people, particularly teenagers and young adults, experiment with drugs just to portray a cool image in front of others. Not giving in to peer pressure can and will prevent drug addiction.
Learning to cope with life’s pressures will go a long way when it comes to helping people stay away from drugs and alcohol.
Also, there are many reliable treatment centers that may prove to be immensely useful in this regard.