History tells us that teens of any generation are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. The thought is that they are in the frame of mind where they just want to have fun. Others have pointed to the fact that teens want to start showing their independence and break away from their parents. Another frequent belief is that teens believe they are “indestructible” and that the consequences of using drugs won’t happen to them.
However, new studies are shedding new light on the teens of today. They are no longer using drugs for fun, they’re using them because they have problems and they think drug use can help them.
This information is critical for parents to understand. Knowing the reasons that are more likely to make your teen turn to drugs can allow you to step in and provide the help they need before they make that drastic decision.
Here are the top 5 reasons that cause teens to turn to drugs.
Too Much Stress
More than 70% of teens who use drugs indicate that the reason they started was due to stress. Compare this to the fact that only 7% of parents believe stress could cause their kids to use drugs. Parents need a much better understanding of what their teens are going through and they need to help them deal with these stresses.
Many teens give in when their friends start using drugs because they want to fit in. Along similar lines, they also admit to using drugs because it makes them feel better about themselves.
There is no question that the teen age years can be tough. Teens are dealing with a lot and in many cases, they don’t have the tools that are needed to deal with their complex emotions and frustrations.
A study completed in 2009 indicated that nearly 70% of teens actually suffer from clinical depression at some point in their teenage years. However, most of this goes undiagnosed. This causes these teens who are struggling to cope to turn toward drugs as a form of self-medication.
Another problem is that teens really don’t understand that using drugs really can have dangerous consequences for them. They believe that trying a drug a few times is completely safe the first few times. They also believe that it is much safer to abuse prescriptions drugs than it is to use illegal drugs. We need to do a better job of educating our teens.
Another reason teens use drugs has been around for a long time. They are just too easy to get for teens. One study shows that more than 50% of teens know where to get marijuana and nearly 20% know where to get heroin.
Talk to Your Kids
Despite the belief that kids don’t listen to their parents, they do. They may not want you to know they’re listening to you, but they are.
Studies show over and over that if kids learn about the dangers of drugs from their parents, they are 50% less likely to use them.
Talk to your kids about the dangers of drugs and also talk to them about the stress and pressure of being a teenager. Make sure they have safe and healthy ways to deal with this stress.