While drug abuse has gone down across many demographics, a staggering 50 percent of high school seniors report that they have abused drugs at some point. Drug abuse among teenagers can be much more dangerous than drug abuse among older adults, and this is why every parent needs to get proactive about their child’s safety. Here is a look at some facts about school-age teens abusing drugs and what a parent’s options are when they suspect that their child is taking drugs.
Stats on Teen Drug Abuse
The Foundation for a Drug-Free World reports that over 2,500 American teenagers will abuse prescription medication for the first time every single day. Unlike other drugs such as cocaine and heroin that have gone down in popularity, prescription drug abuse in children has become an epidemic. More teenagers die from taking prescription medication than from cocaine and heroin combined. In addition to these eye-opening numbers, around 43 percent of seniors admit to having used marijuana, almost 2 percent have tried bath salts, and 60 percent claim that drugs are kept and sold at their school. Other drugs that are popular with high school students include:
- Cough medicine
Drug Abuse and Teenagers
Drug abuse is much more risky for teenagers due to how their body and brains are developing. Children that begin experimenting and abusing drugs at a younger age will be much more likely to deal with addictions for the rest of their life. These powerful chemicals can have a pronounced impact on their cognitive abilities. Being under the influence of any foreign chemicals could permanently change some of the receptors in their brain and alter how they develop psychologically and socially. Every parent should understand exactly what must be done to help their child avoid drug abuse at all costs.
Where to Begin
The first thing that parents need to do is remove their child’s ability to buy and use drugs. This begins with keeping alcohol, prescription medication, and money out of their hands. Parents should also take an active role in knowing where their kids are before and after school and what they are doing with their friends. If you do suspect that they are in fact abusing drugs of some sort, then it is time to seek out professional help. A drug abuse specialist will help you understand some of the most common signs of abuse such as a drop in their grades, personality swings, changing their group of friends, losing interest in old hobbies, or changing their sleep schedule.
Options for Getting Help
Once the drug abuse has been identified, you can then begin exploring your options for permanently helping your child. Many families choose inpatient facilities that will provide teenagers with 24/7 support and a staff that is knowledgeable on teen drug abuse. Once the inpatient program has been completed, your teenager can transition into an outpatient program with all of the support that they need to once again enter back into their daily life.