It's no secret that drug addiction is a terrible
scourge in our community, and the increasing numbers of addicted
teenagers is surely the most terrible dimension of it.
Drugs affect a teenager's body in different ways.
Plus when persons are becoming addicted as teenagers, it's going to be
much more difficult to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle as they get
Young people in our community are being exposed to
drugs at an increasingly early age. Studies show that by the time
children get into 8th grade, nearly 35 percent have tried drugs. In
some areas, the number of persons who develop a regular drug habit in
their teens is as high as 20 percent!
Teenagerss are also more prone to slide from drug
use to drug addiction because of their life circumstances. Many teens
get overwhelmed at the everyday struggles of life. They have low
self-esteem, suffer from common teenage anxieties, and find that they
can't express their feelings. They feel that they lack of control over
their lives. All of these contribute greatly to drug use and eventually
Drugs kill the pain of a stressful or mundane
life. They destroy physical and emotional pain by changing the addict's
perception of reality. Drugs make the addicted person numb to the pain,
hopelessness, or loneliness that they feel dominates their life.
Do you suspect your teenager has a drug addiction?
Some of the more common signs of drug addiction in teens include:
* Dramatic changes in behavior
* Dull, glassy eyes
* Excessive tiredness
* Failing in school
* Lying or stealing
* Isolation or loss of interest in activities
What do you do when you suspect your teenager is
struggling with a drug problem? Firstly, trust your instincts. If you
feel there is a problem, there probably is. Find a safe time when you
can talk freely with your child and be honest with them about your
concerns. Try to be open-minded about what they are telling you and be
sympathetic to their perception of their problems.
Tell your teen what you are feeling about their
drug addiction. You are probably worried, scared, and frightened about
what might happen to them. Try not to be judgmental or angry: this will
only cause them to shut down and back away. You can also talk about
personal observations or experience you have with drugs. While you may
be hesitant to do this, it will make you more human in your teen's eyes.
Often, those closest to your teen - meaning you -
find it easy to deny that their child has a drug problem. You cannot
afford to do this. On the contrary, if you truly love your child, it is
important that you get them help as soon as possible. Don't give up and
try not to be discouraged if your initial attempts fail. Eventually,
you'll get through and then you and your teenager can start fighting
drug addiction together.
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