The question of whether or not your child is at risk for abusing drugs in school is a tough one. While parents would like to believe that the school is a safe haven for children, the reality is that studies and statistics show otherwise.
There are several statistics published regarding drug use in schools. From 2016 to 2020, there was a 61% increase in drug use among 8th graders. Another study showed that 62% of teens have abused alcohol by 12th grade. In college students, 43% reportedly use illegal drugs.
Contact Us Today for a Confidential Assessment.
Call (877) 959-5909 Now to Speak with a Specialist
With these statistics, you can therefore conclude that drug use on campus is more common than parents would like to believe. While there is more awareness about the dangers of drug use, an alarming number of kids are still getting their hands on illegal drugs and prescription medication. In this blog post, we will explore why this is happening and what parents can do to protect their children from these dangers.
Why Do Kids Experiment With Drugs?
There are several reasons why teens experiment with different substances. It is not always because they are bad children or they are not concerned about their future. Some of the common reasons include the following:
1. Boredom - Teens who are bored may use drugs as a way to escape their boredom. They want to feel the thrill of doing something illegal or "forbidden." When they get that high, they can live in their own world for some time and be ignorant of the consequences of drug abuse.
2. Peer Pressure - The idea of fitting in can be an attractive draw for teens. When they see their friends using drugs and having fun at parties, they may want to experience it for themselves. The desire to fit in is very strong among teens and this might make them ignore the dangers of illegal drugs.
3. Curiosity - Drug use can be a form of curiosity for some teens. They have been influenced by the media and their peers to try drugs so they may as well give it a shot themselves. It is more common for younger kids to abuse prescription medications because these are readily available in their homes.
4. Depression - It is not uncommon for teens to experience depression or mood swings. When they are depressed, teens may be more likely to abuse drugs as a way of coping with their emotions. These emotions can also be caused by unstable family life or struggles with their social circles in school.
5. Stress - Teens may abuse drugs as a way of relieving stress. Their school curriculum is very demanding and this can cause them to be stressed out most of the time. Drugs are abused as their relief mechanism at times like these.
6. Increased Academic or Sports Performance - Using drugs as a performance enhancer is common among teens who are pressured to excel. Drugs like Adderall, often referred to as the "study drug", are usually found in college campuses to increase concentration during exams. Other drugs like steroids are used by athletes to improve their performance in sports.
Common Substances Teens Try
Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are the most commonly abused substances among teens. But there are other drugs that are also popular among this age group. Some of the popular drugs include prescription meds like opioid painkillers, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, and club drugs like ecstasy or MDMA. Vaping is also now very common with students. The number of young people in the United States who are now vaping has alarmingly increased. Vaping devices are also very inconspicuous because they may look like pens or USB flash drives so parents may not be aware of what their kids are doing. Another risk is that these vaping devices are also being used not only for taking nicotine but also for other more potent drugs like dab weed.
What Parents Can Do to Prevent Their Kids from Using Drugs
Parents must be mindful of the dangers that surround their young children. The fact that dangerous substances are easily available to teens is a serious cause for alarm among parents. Here are some strategies that you can adopt to prevent this from happening to your kid or put them back on the right track.
- Be Available - When parents show that they care about their child's life and listen to him, the kid is more likely to feel comfortable and open up to his parents. As a result of this open communication, your child will know that he can run to you if he ever gets into trouble. This way, it is more likely that your child will come to you if he needs help or if he feels like doing drugs.
- Be Involved - Parents need to make an effort with their children and their activities. If you are not having good communication with your child, then it might be the case that they may hide their drug abuse because of this. You must also ensure to know what kinds of activities your child is involved in so if they ever get into trouble, you can help them right away.
- Be Calm Yet Firm - When you suspect that your child is using substances or if you already see that they are doing so, you must remain calm even though this may be a difficult thing to do. You want them to realize that their actions have consequences and the best way of doing this is by not reacting in a manner where they can easily mistake your intentions. Instead of just shouting and blaming them for everything, talk to them and ask them questions so you can prevent it from happening again. Make sure they understand that you only want the best for them.
Get Help If Your Child Is Struggling With Substance Abuse
Teens these days are more exposed to dangerous substances because of the ease with which these can be acquired. You need to know that having a close relationship with your kids is the best way for you to teach them and guide them about their choices growing up.
If your child is struggling with substance abuse, you need to get help right away. The earlier you get help for your child, the better it will be for their health and well-being. Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.