The teenage years are a great period in ones life when you learn many valuable lessons and begin to discover who you are as a person. Unfortunately, this is also a period when you are faced with many choices that may determine the outcome of your future. I’m talking about the choice to use drugs or not to use drugs. Many teens struggle with this topic and, sadly, many do end up using drugs and alcohol.
What does this have to do with the outcome of their future? It has been found that the human brain continues to develop until the age of 25 to 26. This means that anything interfering with this development may have detrimental affects. In fact, in cases of heavy drug or alcohol abuse, the brain can be altered permanently. Drug and alcohol abuse can cause impairment of memory, verbal skills, intelligence and social skills. For example, if a young teen begins using drugs or alcohol in order to cope with being shy or facing stressful situations and continues this use, he will never acquire the ability to develop his own coping mechanisms and other social skills that are very important in life.
In fact teen drug and alcohol abuse affects mind, body and community.
The Dangers of Addiction
The dangers of addiction take a major toll on the mind of the user, the body and the community in general.
Aside from the mental impairments that abusing drugs and alcohol may cause, there are other dangers as well. Being under the influence of substances like these can cause people to behave in ways they wouldn’t normally behave. This may include behaviors such as criminal or sexual activity. Today there are more kids in gangs than ever before and too many gang related deaths that could potentially be avoided.
In addition, teens that are involved with drugs or alcohol are more likely to become victims of rape, assault, robbery and other violent crimes, according to experts. Other physical effects of substance abuse are likely to include lack of calcium absorption, cirrhosis of the liver, lung disease and heart problems that can take a toll on the body.
What Can be Done to Stop the Problem
As a parent, you can make it your responsibility to educate your teens about the dangers of abusing drugs and alcohol. Create a relationship with them that allows them to feel able to come to you with questions or concerns about subjects such as substance abuse.
If they come to you for help, either for a friend or for themselves, don’t overreact or accuse them of wrong-doing. Acknowledge them for coming to you and then take the necessary steps in order to solve the problem.
Remember, as an adult you have more resources than they do and you could really make a difference. Keep an open mind and be prepared for your children to be faced with the choice to use drugs. Better yet, prepare your children for the time when they may be offered drugs or alcohol. Make them aware of the dangers of abusing these substances so that they can make smart, confident choices for themselves. By following these simple guidelines, you can help to keep our future generations bright and able.
In addition to this if there is a problem, don’t “turn a blind eye.” Drug abuse causes many unnecessary deaths in teens every year. This is a treatable problem with rehabilitation services. If your son or daughter is using, get them help. Don’t wait or allow them to put it off.
For more information on how to successfully treat addiction contact Narconon now.