“I have not just heard, but I have seen very young children without ordinary level trapped in drugs with the motive of being bold or staying alert to study for exams. what has become of our children? It seems to start with a seemingly good motive but ends up as a disastrous addiction.” – Daniel N. Allo
Drug abuse in school circles is just as rampant as flies around a garbage heap with devastating side effects on the students. it is more of a culture among pre-university students as well as those already in university. At least 1 in 10 students is a regular drug user.
But wait a minute, what are some of those most common drugs abused by these kids ?
- Tobacco (cigarettes)
- Tramadol (AKA Tramol)
One question on your mind and the mind of many other concerned individuals is;
What makes youths vulnerable to drug abuse?
Adolescence is a time to try new experiences, take risks and explore new identities. while these developmental changes can be all good, they can also be all bad and disastrous. the latter is particularly true if the teenager falls in the wrong peer group, has a difficult home life or is a victim of trauma. apparently as the days go by, youths have a relative easier access to drugs, giving them the freedom to experiment on these substances.
There are a lot of risk factors that can make a good kid vulnerable to the influence of drugs. Understanding these factors is a step to reducing the prevalence of drug abuse.
- Mental disorders: Teenagers who suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia may use drugs to control their symptoms.
- Low self esteem: If a teenager feels a strong need to fit in with peers in order to reinforce a low sense of self-worth, he’s more likely to take drugs.
- Lack of education about drugs: There isn’t much anti-drug publicity in the media, and parents may not be adequately informed to educate their children on the consequences of substance abuse. These kids need to be educated by parents and teachers about the specific risks of drugs.
- Problems at school: Kids who have learning disabilities, poor impulse control or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a higher risk of drug abuse.
- Problems at home. Abuse of any kind — sexual, physical, verbal — and substance abuse by parents are huge risk factors for drug abuse among these kids. Teenagers whose parents provide minimal supervision, fail to set rules and don’t express concern for a teenager’s welfare are more likely to experiment with drugs.
- What about social media? Let’s find out.
Is there a link between social media and drug abuse?
A lack of support system and intense exposure to peer pressure for example are contributing factors to substance abuse and addiction. Even our social media networks can influence our decision to use drugs or develop unhealthy habits.
Facebook and other social media sites can make binge drinking (the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time) normal as well as other dangerous substance abuse behaviors among youths. Teens who use social media on daily if not hourly basis have seen picture of their peers drinking, passed out or using drugs. Monkey see, monkey do. they are more likely to copy what they have seen their peers do.
The more these teens use social media, the more they feel unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives. Combined with mental disorders such as depressions, low self esteem and anxiety, or environmental factors such as lack of social support, the youths are more likely to turn to substance abuse.
Why Is Drug Abuse So Dangerous for Young People?
- Damage to the developing brain.
- Risk of addiction.
- Long-term health risk
- Behavioral health risk (drunk driving, suicidal thoughts, suicide, etc)
- Impaired social development
OK! How can this be prevented among youths
- Effectively deal with peer pressure. The biggest reason youths start using drugs is because their friends use drugs, call it peer pressure. No one likes to be left out, and youths (and yes, even you too) find themselves doing things they normally wouldn’t do, just to fit in. In these cases, you need to either find a better group of friends that won’t pressure you into doing harmful things, or you need to find a good way to say no.
- Deal with life pressure. We are always overworked and overwhelmed, and often feel like a good break or a reward is deserved. But in the end, drugs only make life more stressful — and many of us most often fail to recognize this in the moment. To prevent using drugs as a reward, find other ways to handle stress and unwind. Take up exercising, read a good book, volunteer your time, create something. Anything positive and relaxing helps take the mind off using drugs to relieve stress.
- Seek help for mental illness. Mental illness and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand. Those with a mental illness may turn to drugs as a way to ease the pain. Those suffering from some form of mental illness, such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder should seek the help of a trained professional for treatment before it leads to substance abuse.
- Examine the risk factors. If you’re aware of the biological, environmental and physical risk factors you possess, you’re more likely to overcome them. A history of substance abuse in the family, living in a social setting that glorifies drug abuse and/or family life that models drug abuse can be risk factors.
- Keep a well-balanced life. People take up drugs when something in their life is not working, or when they’re unhappy about their lives or where their lives are going. Look at life’s big picture, and have priorities in order.