7 Teenage Drug Abuse Myths Exposed

Teenage drug abuse is a serious issue. However, some people, including parents, may not realize the severity because of commonly accepted myths. For parents, it is important to get accurate drug abuse information.

1. Myth: Using prescription drugs is less harmful than street drugs.

Fact: Many prescription medications intended to alleviate pain, depression, or anxiety are just as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs. Because of this assumption that prescription drugs are safer, many children are more willing to start experimenting with these medications. And more often than not, teenage prescription drug abuse is accompanied by alcohol consumption.

Prescription drugs are only safe when taken as directed by a doctor. The wrong dosage and/or potential interactions with other drugs, one’s diet, or physiological makeup may have damaging or even deadly effects.

2. Myth: Using alcohol or marijuana as a teenager is a normal part of growing up.

Fact: Less than half of American teenagers drink alcohol or smoke marijuana. Exposing a developing child to such substances is illegal for good reason. Besides the lasting damage it can cause to the brain, using substances can also harm teenagers’ social development.

In hindsight, people who experimented with substances as teenagers report they were “looking for something.” Trying to have a good time, simplifying social interactions, or solving problems with drugs or alcohol often means they are learning to go to those substances for help. This maladaptive learning process is not easily unlearned.

3. Myth: Drug testing will only further alienate my child.

Fact: If a child is demonstrating signs and symptoms such as isolation, sleeping during abnormal times, becoming increasingly argumentative and confrontational, or easily agitated, then something serious may be wrong. Drug testing is a starting point for discerning what’s wrong and finding a solution. Mending a tumultuous relationship with your child begins with understanding the problem.

4. Myth: Drug abuse only really happens in impoverished or low-income areas.

Fact: Studies have found drug addiction and alcoholism occurs across socio-economic levels and ethnicities. Drug abuse is prevalent in both private and public schools throughout the country. Although rates of substance abuse vary somewhat based on gender, age, and socio-economic status, about one in 10 people who abuse drugs become addicted, which is why some mental healthcare professionals refer to drug use as Russian Roulette.

5. Myth: Drug addiction is a question of moral fiber or character.

Fact: Most addicts start as occasional drug users. While some may view drug use as an immoral choice, drug addiction is a “disease of the brain,” says Dr. Alan Leshner, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. At a certain point, the choice to use becomes a compulsion. Changes in brain chemistry through drug abuse result in uncontrollable drug addiction.

6. Myth: An addict or alcoholic has to really want to be sober for drug treatment to be effective.

Fact: A majority of youth sent to treatment centers are not there through choice. When drugs or alcohol consume a person, the last thing they “want” is rehabilitation. Whether for legal reasons or family reasons, many people seeking substance abuse treatment did not make the choice alone. In fact, those who have been pressured into treatment through a process of confrontation, coercion, or ultimatum appear to do better. Studies demonstrate that the reason someone seeks treatment has little influence on how well they will do.

7. Myth: After a treatment program, an addict shouldn’t need any more treatment.

Fact: Unfortunately, drug addiction is generally a lifelong struggle. Like many diseases, relapse and remission cycles are possible. Although some people can quit immediately, or after one drug treatment program, most require long term plans with strong support and resources and even repeated treatment programs.

Drug Abuse – When it Reaches the Point of no Return

Drug abuse, naturally enough, conjures up a locale which is rather the regular haunt of the addicts. A person may take to drug abuse for a number of reasons like peer group pressure, psychological pressures, or simply for the kick that the habit gives to the user. And, when the person keeps on repeatedly consuming the item(s), drug abuse assumes serious proportions.
However, a person is not deemed an addict unless the person demonstrates certain symptoms which are very typical of the ailment which is progressive by nature. Hence, if a person consumes too much of alcohol or for that matter drugs or even if the general state (physiological and financial) of the person is sliding, in proper medical terminology that person is not at all an addict. This is because these symptoms are mere predictable signs of the ailment but none of them in itself pertains to the disease of addiction.

Drug abuse has assumed alarming proportions across the globe what with the drug barons forcing the grassroots peddlers or their main conduits to entice the youth to fall into their pit of no return. There are also copious instances of nondescript shops selling drugs to school kids and all in the disguised forms of sweet toffees or candies. With time, these children find it absolutely difficult to come out of that vicious cycle. Hence the utmost attempts of the concerned authorities to nip in the bud all such moves to rope in the new generation into the drug abuse closed circuit.

Many western tourists frequent the Asian countries to get their hands on such natural drugs like bhang which is exotic to those places. In fact, the Golden Triangle encompassing the South East Asian countries of Myanmar, Thailand and the subcontinent has long been one of the main sources of the global narcotics substances.

Drug abuse alters the brain’s main sites known as the receptors. Regular drug abuse can definitely change the brain’s sensitive cells and even prevent the brain to utilize the necessary nutrients. These receptors are the primary units for transmission of vital information. Drug abuse further stops the brain from also recognizing the information highways made up by chemicals. The information is transmitted by surges of electricity. Drug abuse strikes this very pillar of mankind’s information technology. Therefore, repeated drug abuse changes the brain’s chemical layout, and even clogs the vital channels of information. The most dangerous aspect of drug abuse is the irrevocable damage caused to brain’s cell.

Facts And Causes Of Drug Addiction Habits

Drug addiction is a serious mental health illness that is plaguing individuals from all walks of life. Some believe that addictive behaviors are the result of genetic predisposition to become an addict. Others believe that a chaotic upbringing is the root cause. Researchers in the field of psychology agree that it is in fact a combination of the two. A genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors coupled with environmental triggers leads an individual to develop addiction.

Depressants and stimulants are two of the most common classifications that are currently in use today. Depressants are substances like alcohol and opioids. Stimulants are substances like cocaine and methamphetamines. Both of these categories can produce overdose and death. Also, both are initially taken as recreational drugs. Dependence and abuse of drugs usually follow after a couple of uses.

Alcohol and opioids are nervous system depressants. This means that they slow down the body and mind. Those who take this type of drug are likely high strung and anxious. They are, in essence, self-medicating. These individuals would likely do well in therapy or through controlled drug prescriptions. They are often unwilling to admit that they have any type of problem that needs treatment and continue to use drugs as a means of “recreation” when; in fact, they are medicating away depression and anxiety.

Drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines are usually taken by those who want to be more hyper-aroused. These are the individuals who need a pick-me-up. Often, individuals who have taken a depressant begin to feel like they want to be active. They then take a stimulant in order to neutralize. This can send these users into a spiral of ups and downs that eventually shuts down various parts of the body causing severe permanent damage.

If addiction to any of these substances is not resolved, individuals will often lose friends, jobs, and money. Addicts will spend every last dollar that they have in order to score their next drug. This is because the mind feels as though it is dying if an individual ceases use of a drug. They will steal from friends and family in order to purchase more of whatever drug they have become addicted to. They will often avoid going into work. Many addicts desire their first high all over again. This is almost impossible. The body begins to build up a tolerance to any drug and the effects begin to deteriorate. The only way to get close to the initial high is to take more of the drug. This often doesn’t work quite well and only causes more of a chance of overdose and death.

In conclusion, quitting is a frightening idea for most addicts. For example, if an alcoholic tries to stop drinking cold turkey, they will likely have a close call with death. Alcohol has the most severe withdrawal of all drugs. If an individual takes cocaine for an extended period of time, they can damage the inside tissue of their nose and, at worst, cause cartilage to completely collapse. Quitting often means that they have to use their sober mind to sort out the consequences of what they have done to their bodies.