Drug and alcohol abuse; it surrounds individuals on a daily basis and unfortunately can be introduced into children's lives at younger ages than we would enjoy. While some children are just reminded it exists, some dabble in the use of drugs or alcohol before they enter middle school or high school. In many high school surveys, many students admitted that they have drank alcohol before the legal age of 21. The problem in today’s society regarding the drinking of alcohol is that the laws restricting it do not do their jobs when it comes to the world’s children. Even though the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, young adults will get fake ids, steal liquor from friends or family, or pay individuals old enough to purchase alcohol to get it for them. By teaching children the facts while they are young, we might be able to help reduce this problem.
Drug And Alcohol Abuse Facts You Need To Know
There is a delicate way to approach the issue though. Think back to when you were a child...if your mom said not to eat the cookies on the counter, what would you do… you would eat the cookies!!! The struggle with this issue is that we need to inform young adults about the dangers of alcohol and the consequences it can lead to without directly saying, “no, do not drink”. If we can show the pros and the cons of this activity, without telling them they cant do it, it might allow them to make the decision to avoid it all on their own. When we are trying to teach our children the right and wrong things that can occur in life, we cannot think like the parent-we need to step into their shoes and imagine how our message sounds. If we are thinking back to what we would believe when we were 15, and we don't believe it, there is no way that our children should be expected to buy it either.
Another reason why teen drug and alcohol use is on the rise and is continued to be experimented with is because of peer pressure. When we are growing up, we are in a developmental stage that is very malleable to outside forces. We are still determining who we are and who we want to be. It is so easy for someone to enter our life and change our perception because when we are in that young and impressionable age, we want to do what is considered cool in order to be liked. Unfortunately, the ability to rationalize that we receive from our prefrontal cortex in our brain isn't fully developed until around 22. If we look back out some of our life choices when we are older, we might think “hmm, maybe i shouldn't have done that”, but in the moment when we were young, it probably didn't seem too bad. When we are maturing, we tend to have a lack of judgement and are very day to day instead of looking at things long term.
The types of substances used by underage children is shocking. Drugs being taken by today's youth is not just marijuana anymore. Among 8th graders, they have used inhalants, marijuana, hallucinogens, cocaine, ecstasy, tranquilizers and more. Experimentation is normal for young adults, but when it involves harmful substances, it can jeopardize their future and life. Although some drugs such as Ritalin or adderall may be prescribed to a young adult in order to help with their ADD/ADHD, even those over the counter drugs can cause harm if taken in excess.
In a recent study, it was discovered that boys have tried alcohol before girls have. Teen alcohol abuse began at age 11 in this study. On average, students enter middle school at around age 12 and the younger the drinking begins, the more likely those children are to abuse alcohol. Alcohol and marijuana are the most used illegal substances by students in middle/high school.
Some common symptoms of alcohol poisoning include the following:
- Cold, clammy skin
- Loss of consciousness
- Irregular, slow or stopped breathing
- Loss of skin tone (paleness)
Some common symptoms of drug overdose include the following:
- Chest pain
- Loss of balance
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
Drug and alcohol addiction can affect any individual no matter how old or how young. Drug and alcohol education needs to start to ensure addictions do not begin at a young age. Addiction is a disease, not a choice, and it will destroy anyone who comes into its path.
If you believe your loved one is suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, or is using substances they shouldn’t be, we are here for you. At Landmark Recovery, we are experts in the field of drug and alcohol recovery. We have various programs including IOP, SMART recovery, guided meditation, partial hospitalization and more. If you are concerned about your loved one, it is a good idea to take the steps to help them get better. With Landmark Recovery, we can help you take those steps to help get them back on track.