What Your Teen Should Know About Drug Abuse

Most parents believe that their teenager will do the right thing when it comes to drugs and alcohol, but it is unrealistic to expect them to never experiment with these substances. After all, more than 36 percent of 12th graders admit to using marijuana at least once, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicates that 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoke this gateway drug on a daily basis. Because of this, it is imperative for you to take the time to communicate with your teen about the dangers of giving into peer pressure.What Do Parents Need to Tell Their Teens?1. Marijuana can Actually be Addictive – Many people scoff at the idea that marijuana is an addictive narcotic. However, the NIDA reports that 9 percent of all marijuana users in the U.S. have become dependent on the drug to help them get through their day. Sadly, the odds of becoming addicted increase to almost 17 percent if the user starts smoking marijuana while they are a teenager.It is important to note that some users have experienced withdrawal symptoms such as increased aggression, irritability, anxiety and insomnia after making the decision to quit. This drug is also known as a ‘gateway drug’ because its use can lower the user’s inhibitions, lessening normal fears about using even more dangerous drugs.2. Drug Laws are Very Harsh – Getting caught with any type of illegal drug is going to lead to legal issues, and your teen could end up dealing with serious fines and jail time if they have enough drugs with them to be charged with trafficking or intent to sell.It is also important to note that each state has its own guidelines for simple possession charges. For example, if your teen is arrested on a possession charge in Kentucky, they could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. On the other hand, California residents who have a minimal amount of marijuana in their possession will only face up to 180 days in jail.3. Drug Abuse can Ruin their Life – According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 26 percent of all homeless individuals in the U.S. became addicted to drugs before they ended up losing everything. In other words, drug usage can unfortunately become the most important thing in a person’s life, and this could cause them to ruin all of their personal relationships, lose their job and end up living on the streets.If your teen does not seem to be paying attention to you, then it is a good idea to try to reach them on another level such as providing them with an informative book. For example, “The Basketball Diaries” by Jim Carroll tells the true story of a teenager who ruined his life and became homeless after developing a drug addiction.Talking to your teen about drugs might not be enough to prevent them from going down a bad path. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to them for any signs of drug abuse, including extreme changes in their mood, hygiene and school performance. Additionally, if your teenager gets into legal trouble, you should help them obtain a skilled attorney who can increase their odds of receiving a second chance instead of being sent to jail or a juvenile detention facility.

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Prescription Drug Abuse: Popping Pills May Turn Fatal

The United States, which has nearly 4.5 percent of the world’s population, consumes 75 percent of the globally consumed prescription drugs, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This rampant abuse of prescription drugs has left the country limping towards a devastating state, which could devour the population if there is no effective intervention immediately.Prescription drug abuse is also a precursor to other substance abuse for most young adults. According to a 2015 survey, titled “Painkillers Often Gateway to Heroin for U.S. Teens,” three quarters of the American high school students who use heroin started out with narcotic painkillers. The survey which was published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence claims that people who become dependent on painkillers often end up abusing heroin because it is cheaper and more readily available than these pills.According to Joseph Palamar, the lead researcher of the survey and assistant professor of population health at the New York University, “The more times a teen uses non-prescribed painkiller pills, the greater the risk he or she is at for becoming dependent on the drug.”With a situation like this, a prescription drug addiction helpline would always be overworked. The prescription drug abuse treatment, considered the best in the country, witnesses a steep rise in cases of prescription drug abuse.Drugs to watch out forIt is important to have some knowledge about drugs which are more commonly abused by addicts. Few names worth mentioning are:





Pentobarbital sodium,



In fact, fentanyl has become a big concern in Canada because of the increasing number of deaths and near-death overdoses of the drug. Sadly, the abused drug is meant to be used only for treatment of chronic pain, especially in cancer patients.The illegally manufactured fentanyl in the form of pills or powders is more dangerous because there is no quality control or regulation for it. They may contain toxic contaminants or different levels of fentanyl in each batch. Even pills produced in the same batch may have little to lethal levels of fentanyl.Path to recoveryAlong with treatment, educating people and young adults is also vital to eliminating or at least reducing the incidences of prescription drug abuse in the country.Kana Enomoto, the acting administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has rightly said, “Whether people are struggling with alcohol, prescription drugs, or illicit substances, seeking help is a critical step toward achieving recovery.”"Most other drugs are illegal in all contexts, yet these drugs — the most dangerous drugs — are prescribed by doctors and are often sitting there in parents’ medicine cabinets and if teens don’t believe warnings about street drugs, then why would they be afraid to use government-approved, pharmaceutical-grade pills,” Enomoto asked.The SAMHSA administrator believes that treatment helps people with substance abuse problem to regain their lives. And, “as with other life-threatening conditions, this step can be the difference between life and death. We need to encourage people to seek help. Treatment works. People recover.”

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