Sadly, teen drug use is not an unusual thing. It is estimated that 51 percent of students in 12th grade have tried alcohol. Two out of 10 eight graders have tried tobacco at least once. Additionally, half of teens have experimented with marijuana.
Many children start using drugs long before their teenage years. In fact, one report showed that 21 percent of elementary students have tried alcohol.
Teens and Drug Use in the Media
Media has a major influence on teens. The average teen spends 8.6 hours engaged with electronic media daily. Only 1.2 hours are spent reading books or magazines. Ninety-three percent of the movies that teens watch contain alcohol use. Twenty-two percent of the movies contain illicit drugs.
The television shows that many teens watch also contain illicit drugs and alcohol. Seventy-seven percent of shows that are geared towards teens contain alcohol. Additionally, it is estimated that a music video that features alcohol use is shown every 14 minutes.
Not only are movies, television shows, and music videos showing alcohol and drug use, they are also showing it in a positive light. Thirty-three percent of the drinking scenes on television portray drinking alcohol as something fun and cool to do. Only twenty-three percent of alcohol scenes on television portray alcohol use in a negative light.
Effect of Media Exposure to Alcohol and Drugs on Teens
While there are many factors that affect whether or not a person will become addicted to drugs, studies have shown that the media does play a role. A study done in Germany showed that 10 to 16 year-olds who were exposed to movie smoking were more likely to become smokers. Studies have also shown that teens who watch an hour or more of music videos per day were 31 percent more likely to drink alcohol.
It is also important to note that social media seems to have an effect on drug and alcohol use also. Many teens like to post photos of themselves drinking alcohol online. A study showed that 75 percent of teens who saw photos of their peers drinking stated that they were more likely to drink themselves.
What Can Parents Do?
It is nearly impossible to completely shield a teen from all of the alcohol and drugs in the media. However, parents can have a discussion with their teens about why it is important to avoid drugs and alcohol. Studies have shown that teens are less likely to use drugs and alcohol if their parents educate them about the dangers of them.
How Teens Can Benefit From Inpatient Rehab
Teen drug and alcohol users face a number of challenges. Fortunately, inpatient rehab can give teens the help that they need to get sober and remain drug and alcohol-free. One of the many great things about inpatient rehab is that people get the supervision and care that they need. It also allows people to get the support that they need.