By the time kids enter the teenage, they have been exposed to many things out there and it keeps the parents worried. One of the most drastic threats is substance abuse. You think you have given them the perfect environment for their nourishment, yet you someday find them doing drugs. It is one of the most heartbreaking and difficult time for parents. But, if you know what are its risk factors and how you can deal with it, maybe you can save your teens.
Parents often move towards parental control software to make sure their kids are not in trouble. Though it is one of the best ways to protect your kids and save them from the dangers of the world, still some things require a deeper understanding and relationship. Substance abuse has a big impact on teens’ well-being and health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) with the cooperation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made a guide to introduce substance abuse screening in pediatric settings. It helps the pediatricians to address this issue more deeply especially in kids starting at 9 years of age.
Some Facts About Substance Abuse In Teens
We might not be aware of it, but the issue has prevailed so much. Here are some of the facts about substance abuse in kids:
- Adolescents use alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana more commonly.
- Around two-thirds of students have already tried alcohol by 12th grade.
- Half of the kids from grade 9th through 12th have reported that they have used marijuana.
- From grade 9th through 12th, about every 4 in 10 kids have already tried cigarettes.
- Every 2 in 10 kids of 12th grade have reported that they have used prescribed medicine without any prescription.
Here are some of the other facts about underage drinking in teens. It shows that people from age 12 to 20 years are consuming about one-tenth of all the alcohol in the United States.
Risk Factors For Substance Abuse
Some of the most common risk factors of substance abuse in teens are:
- If there is a family history of substance abuse
- If there are signs of any mental health condition such as anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or depression.
- If they are prone to risk-taking behavior
- There is a history of traumatic events such as abuse or an accident.
- Social rejection and low self-esteem.
Consequences Of Teen Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is very dangerous for both the physical and mental health of the addict. There are some of the most common negative consequences of substance abuse found in teens.
Elevated Sexual Activity
Drug use is highly associated with poor sexual activities such as unsafe sex and surprising pregnancy. Teens can also indulge themselves in the STDs if they are not guided and taken care of.
Whether it is about personal relationships or social, teens with substance abuse issues don’t seem to handle them very well. They often end up making wrong judgments and ruining their relationships.
Poor School Performance
It is one of the most visible and common issues with substance abuse. Kids’ school performance is dropped drastically when they are using drugs because they can hardly concentrate on anything else.
- Impaired Driving
If they drive while having drugs, they shouldn’t. Substance abuse clouds the senses of an individual. And, with teens, their minds and easily affected by it. Driving required attention and concentration, but they can’t practice both when they are on drugs.
Mental Health Issues
Substance abuse induces many mental health issues such as depression, aggression, stress, anxiety, etc. If not treated at the right time, these issues can become chronic.
Most of the kids start substance abuse as a recreational activity with friends. But, when they lose control, it becomes an addiction. Addiction becomes hard to deal with and most kids never come out of it.
Here are some other warning signs of teen substance abuse: https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-prevention/teenage-addiction
What Should Parents Do?
If you have seen these signs in your kids, you must check if there is something unusual going on with them. No matter how much you trust them, there is always an opportunity in front of them so keep a close check on them. However, if they have started going down this road, there are some things you can do to make protect them.
Talk to Them
We all know how difficult it becomes to talk to them about such issues. They either don’t want to talk or they think that you don’t know anything. So, try to come up at a common pace and deal with them respectfully. You can have this discussion before they start taking drugs as well so that they can know what dangers they should avoid.
Know Their Activities
Knowing their activities is a must for parents. They shouldn’t avoid what their kids are up to. Kids’ activities define what they are up to these days. So, keep a close eye on them and don’t lose the track.
Establish Some Rules
They need to be disciplined. To make them organized, introduce some of the basic house rules and stick to it. They must know that life isn’t meant to be just lived randomly, some things must be kept in mind to make it reasonable.
Use Parental Control App
Although parents can think they have got everything under control, still there is so much going on in a teen’s life. Especially, when smartphones and internet access, they are introduced to this whole new world. Most of the parents leave it as a new adventure for the teens, but it is not. You must know what they are doing in the online world and parental control apps can help you do that.
Substance abuse is one of the most dangerous health hazards for teens. Things need to be done at the right time to protect the kids from this danger. Parents are the key contributors in it and they can help make their kids better individuals. So, why not take the important step today.
Here is a complete research about how substance abuse is affecting our teens: https://pedsinreview.aappublications.org/content/18/11/394.
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