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Teen Drug Abuse- Marijuana use increasing, can we help?
Coping with the pressure in school to do well academically as teen years are the crucial ones to build up a better future and not just the academics, the inability to cope up socially, infatuations that are likely to emerge in teenage life and the failure to accept it can lead to teens resorting to non-prescribed drugs to the extent of abusing it and the sad part is that they find it a stress buster and that, isn’t the reality.
Statistics have risen considerably till date, The Partnership, an organization working for drug abuse eradication at Drugfree.org in association with MetLife Foundation released its national study on teen alcohol and Marijuana use that has escalated alarmingly over the past three years. Though following a decade of decline of the rate 22nd annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) has confirmed the rise in Marijuana, a disturbing trend among teen drug abuse in America since 2008. Past-year marijuana use among teens increased by a disturbing 22 percent and a new report has further confirmed increase in Marijuana use between 2008 and 2010 and has crawled upwards to 4 percent to 39 percent from previously recorded 32 percent. Arizona is seeing 18 percent increase in marijuana use.
AZ Parents Connect an interactive feature at Drugfree.org provides a helping hand through parent workshops, in-person interactions and community trainings to make kids aware of the harmful consequences as a result of drug abuse and encourage parents to find a cure if their children are under the influence through important steps coming under prevention, intervention and treatment.
Parents get instances on how they can put a stop on ongoing drug abuse of their teenage kid and how schools can play their part in the eradication of Marijuana and other drug abuse. Teens spend most of their time in schools and can be instructed well about the harmful results pertaining to any kind of substance abuse.
An increasing number of teens who believe that certain drugs, such as alcohol and marijuana, are generally harmless can be given the right advice and be informed of the myth they follow and school drug abuse education can make them aware that these drugs can have an adverse effect upon their physical health and well being. Likewise, most popular method of school drug abuse education is through mass school assemblies with more of a didactic approach and studies have proved them to be effective.
Apart from this direct approach influencing kids through scare tactics and didactic preaching there are other sources as well. Advertising, discussions and role models visiting and providing with valuable advice are other viable approach adopted by schools hence joining the movement with enthusiasm and aiming of teen well being provided with the right method to resist academic pressures.
Next best possible thing worth doing is making them aware of real life instances of people going through it to help them analyze the possible risk they might face in near future. True life accounts can stir the feelings of reluctant people those who do not stop abusing drugs.
Here are some of the examples to quote from forum discussions:-
“It’s my life account and my horrifying past. I would hide the runny nose, sleeplessness, stuffy nose, and bags underneath my eyes. Included with this mess I have gotten myself into, I experimented with crack. My whole year of college was ruined last year and I wasted all my tuition money. To this present day I have smoked crack a couple of days ago and suppressed my cocaine usage by drinking every other day and smoking marijuana. I have been smoking marijuana since the age of 15 and recently I revealed it to my Girlfriend who is supportive and is with me to help it out of my life. It was getting tiring for me. I was living a lie. I have lied so much that I have been able to make myself believe my own lies. Its getting out of hand and I have thought it should be revealed now no matter how it is dealt with later on. My parents think of getting me to a rehab but I am afraid of accepting the person that I really am but I want to get rid of my years of hell. Can anyone help?”
More conversations to the above post went like this:-
“Good luck! You will surely succeed in your quest for ultimate cure. I was addicted 27 years ago and haven't touched the stuff since then. I was always depressed and that would give me a feeling of being high and able to conquer the world but it only lasted for a short time and then I was back to being depressed so I knew the drugs were the not answer it was just prolonging my need for help. Please get help you will feel so much better in the long run. Try yourself or get rehab help.”
“I know how it feels to have a life of a drug addict. And the sooner you get out of this trap the better for you. Good thing is that you have admitted that you’re an addict to your girlfriend. But more importantly you have admitted this to yourself. Now then, there are plenty of places and people who are more than willing to help you out in this. Just go and seek help.”
Words from a parent- “I am a mother of two teens who have both been affected by drugs. One has turned around although I do suspect at times that she is using marijuana and have confronted her about this which she denies every time. I am taking a more direct approach with her today actually, and am presenting to her some really good reasons not to do it. Other than the usual standby "because it's bad for you and I said so etc..." On the other hand my son has spent most of his teenage years in some sort of juvenile facility and still turns back to drugs when he gets back home. I am trying to get some sort of juvenile support group locally. The first thing that has to be done from anyone's perspective is there is a problem and be willing to fix it or confront it. Denial by parents, community, and the users themselves create even more of a problem. Be prepared for the truth, work towards a goal and be willing to admit that you are not perfect. Drug use is wrong and harmful in many ways, but putting your foot down and saying your grounded and threatening will push the teen more towards drug use.”
Every parent and schools must be doing it for the cause to make drug addiction something to dread about and not at all be able to a find its place in teenage lives.
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