Help for Parents
Ask anyone! The adolescent years are challenging times for every family member. As a parent, you may be concerned about the attitudes and behaviors you see in your teen. Does anyone who begins to use drugs set out to become addicted? What is the difference between normal teenage self-expression and autonomy, versus real trouble or danger?
The fact is young people are being exposed to alcohol, nicotine, and illicit drugs before they enter adolescence. The younger someone starts to use alcohol or drugs, the more likely he or she will develop serious family, school, work, or physical problems later in their life. Addiction is a disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behaviors, regardless of the consequences.
- Few youth see the harm is using drugs. Yet, understanding the harms associated with drug use is one of the greatest deterrents to drug use by youth.
- Young people report that getting alcohol, tobacco and drugs is very easy.
- Young people who use alcohol and drugs are more likely to be the victims or the aggressors in an incidence of violence, engage in unplanned and unprotected sex, experience school failure, be seriously injured in vehicle accidents, or be involved in other risky and harmful behaviors while impaired.
- There was an expansion of the drug use epidemic from the 1960's into the late 1970's, a subsequent downturn through 1991, and a resurgence in use since 1991.
- Over the past 3 years, annual use of marijuana doubled among 8th graders, grew two-thirds among 10th graders, and increased by two-fifths among 12th graders.
- Club drugs such as MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, methamphetamine, and LSD are quickly gaining popularity among young people. The drugs have been shown to cause serious health problems and, in some cases, premature death.
Be sure you know the facts
- Addiction Disease Concept
- Other Drugs
- Treatment Options
- Family Disease Concept
- Tough Love