As the use of drugs and alcohol continues to plague our youth, it is the duty of not only parents, but educators, counselors, and government officials, to keep abreast of the latest trends and statistics.
The Positive Side
When researching the current statistics of teen drug use, we often turn to Monitoring the Future (MTF), which is a survey that measures the way teens feel about drugs and alcohol, along with their use of these substances. MTF has been surveying teens since 1975, which gives a more reliable look at teen drug use.
The research shows that teen substance abuse is declining when it comes to cigarettes, alcohol, and methamphetamines. Each has dropped at least 1% over the last few years. The research has also shown the awareness level of these substance’s harmful effects has increased, thus showing that teens are receiving the message of the grave dangers of these drugs.
The Negative Side
On the other side, Marijuana use has increased by an astounding 6%, as well as the abuse of hallucinogenic drugs, inhalants, and prescription medications.
Because Marijuana is becoming so acceptable to society, and there is always talk of its legalization, the fact that most teens don’t even consider it a drug comes as no surprise. We have to consider the message we are sending to our youth when we rally up to pass certain bills.
The abuse of Hallucinogens has risen alongside the attendance of all-night dance parties by teens, and has also begun to seep out of those club doors and into the realms of teenage parties. The accessibility to these hallucinogens, such as ecstasy, has become much easier.
Inhalants are commonly abused by teens because they are easy to acquire, cost little money, and are easily hidden. Household cleaners, gasoline, or even paint, can be quietly huffed. Most teens who abuse drugs are looking for an easy way to get high without getting caught.
Neck and neck with the rise in marijuana use, is the rise in the ever so available prescription drug. While most people have prescriptions to treat the many ailments that seem to plague our society, a parent easily becomes the unknowing dealer to their child, or even their child’s friends.
What the Community Can Do
First and foremost it is important to realize that not all teens are abusing drugs and alcohol. The message on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse is getting through, to some. As people in the lives of children and teens, it is crucial to persevere when it comes to drug education and awareness. We need to not only stay on top of the latest facts and trends, but also be aware of the warning signs of drug use. Sometimes being just a little more attentive to actions and behaviors can prevent a major problem from developing.
As far as continuing to educate our youth, all community members must take an active role. We need to continue educating at home by talking openly to our children, starting at a young age. We also need to continue that educations in schools, not only by alerting teens of the dangers of drug use, but also by lending support to those who abstain, letting them know that they are by no means alone in their healthy decisions.
Where Narconon Vista Bay Stands
Narconon Vista Bay plays an active role in educating the community. Often going into the schools and presenting tons of information to the youth, as well as attend and support many drug free community events. By working with those addicted to drugs and alcohol, they are constantly learning new ways of preventing drug and alcohol abuse.
If for some reason, despite the efforts and education, you or someone you know becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, you must get help. The Narcanon Vista Bay Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program has reported a 76% success rate. This program is designed to get you off drugs, rid your body of drug residuals, and give you the skills necessary for living a life free from drugs and alcohol.
This post was written by Daniel Manson. Daniel is dedicated to helping those with addiction problems recover to live a fulfilling life. A graduate of the Narconon cocaine treatment program Daniel has been sober for over 8 years. Daniel writes for the Narconon Drug Treatment Network.
- High School and Youth Trends (drugabuse.gov)
- National Survey on Drug Use and Health ( samhsa.gov)
- How Many Teens Actually Smoke, Drink, or Do Drugs? (teens.drugabuse.gov)