Monthly Archives: October 2012

How Much Of A Problem Are Drugs In Schools Today

Unfortunately schools are no longer the academic sanctuary that parents have depended upon for hundreds of years.  Instead, they are becoming a place of business–and the product is deadly.  A recent study shows that approximately seventeen percent of American teens drink, smoke and drug during the day.

They’re smuggling it in in makeup containers, water bottles, electronic equipment, and even soaking gummy bears with alcohol in order to get drunk in class.  Ninety percent of students admit that they know where to get drugs during the school day.  Adderall is popped like candy; smoking pot is for the “in” crowd; and binge drinking is all the rage.

Not only that but dangerous synthetic drugs have also risen in popularity.  These drugs are particularly controversial because up until recently, they were legal.  Teens could buy them at convenience stores across the country; they were labeled “Not for human consumption”.  This resulted in the idea that they are a safer alternative to traditional drugs, which is far from the case.  Synthetic drugs like bath salts, K2 (also known as Spice) and Smiles can have mind-altering effects, causing teens to act very strangely–often becoming violent or even suicidal.

Private schools are affected, too, with more than half admitting that their schools are drug-infected.  This is a huge jump from the thirty-six percent in 2011.  Researchers believe digital peer pressure to be the culprit, with seventy-five percent of students saying that Facebook pictures of teens partying with drugs would encourage others to do the same.  In fact, those who are exposed to such pictures by being connected to social media like Facebook and Twitter are four times more likely to have used marijuana and more than three times likelier to have used alcohol.

What to Do About Drug Use In Schools

You can try cutting out all digital influences (just try!).  You can follow them to school and rummage through their room when they’re gone and watch for signs of drug addiction.  But perhaps the key is not to control them, but to educate them so they can decide for themselves.

Addiction experts and information published on states that it is better and far easier to prevent drug use than to try to rehabilitate someone from it.  More drug education is the key to saving our schools–and it needs to come from teachers and parents.  In fact, parents hold more sway than anyone.  Surveys show that kids hold their parents’ opinions very high and their worst fear in being found out is that they would disappoint their parents.  There have also been studies indicating that a child is 40% less likely to start using drugs if they have had drug education and prevention talks with their parents alone.

Talk to your children about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.  Start early, and don’t just do it once.  Stay in communication with your child about things that might be upsetting him, that might drive him to drugs.  And continue to do so even into college as the business of drugs does not cease after high school. Let you kids ask questions and give them real and honest answers. There are also tools through Narconon drug education like live lectures, video and booklets that break down the dangers of drugs and addiction.

For more information on this topic or help on how to keep your kid drug free contact today.


Did Prescription Abuse Drop Among Young Adults Or Has The Problem Shifted

Prescription drug abuse is an unexpected but very real problem.  For many, it is the start of a long road of drug addiction leading to broken families and battered self-respect.  According to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, however, prescription drug use is down fourteen percent among adults ages eighteen to twenty-five.

This is likely due to recent measures against prescription drug abuse.  Pharmaceutical companies released a new, tamper-proof formula for products such as Oxycontin and Percocet.  The capsules now turn to gel when they come into contact with moisture, which thwarts attempts to snort or mix with water for injection.  Pharmacies have also started cracking down on incorrect use of prescription drugs, implementing strict policies against prescription shopping and training personnel in the signs of drug addiction.

Other survey findings include:

•    Among children ages twelve to seventeen, prescription drug abuse did not change.
•    Under-age drinking rates, including binge drinking and heavy drinking, is on the decline.
•    Marijuana use remains the drug of choice among Americans.

The Problem May Have Shifted

Not everyone is rejoicing over the recent statistics.  Some addiction experts speculate that the problem has simply shifted over to different drugs, particularly heroin.  In the past year, heroin use rose from 373,000 to 620,000.  Users are turning to heroin because it provides the same high as prescription drugs, but it’s cheaper.

Kids and young adults who otherwise would never have considered drug use are becoming heroin addicts faster than they can fill a needle.  What starts as pain management becomes drug addiction when the user can no longer function without it.

In The Grips Of Heroin

Once someone gets “in the grips of heroin” it can be virtually impossible to stop using. The key is to prevent the problem from happening in the first place. However if you know someone who has used the drug or think that there may be a problem the most important thing is to watch for signs of heroin use in your children and loved ones. Some of the signs of heroin use include:

•    The “heroin look”: dark under-eye circles, pale skin, and an overall gaunt and angular appearance.
•    Dry mouth and flushed skin, which come with the fast high from injection.
•    When high, the user’s arms and legs will appear to be very heavy and hard to move.  He might feel nauseous and end up vomiting.
•    After the initial high, heroin users go into “heroin nod”, in which the head becomes too heavy for the neck and slumps over onto the chest.  The heart rate and breathing slow down and they slump into extreme drowsiness.
•    Constipation.
•    Depression.
•    Decreased sensitivity, particularly to pain.
•    Needle marks are a telltale sign of heroin use, but these are not always in obvious places like the arms.  Veins can be found anywhere in the body, such as on the feet or between the toes.

Heroin use has many dangers, especially from long-term use.  It can cause collapsed veins, liver or kidney disease, respiratory problems such as pneumonia, and there is always the risk of HIV and hepatitis from sharing needles.  Because it is frequently mixed with other toxic substances, there is also the risk of blood clots, brain damage, organ failure and death.  There is a reason that heroin is also known as “Brain Damage” and “Dead on Arrival” on the street.

Heroin takes many lives every year that could have been saved with treatment. The Narconon program sees this in those who end up not getting help. However with treatment heroin addiction can be completely overcome.

In fact seven out of ten graduates of the Narconon program stay off drugs permanently. For more information on this issue or to get someone immediate help contact us today.

Drug Addiction May Come From Troubled Childhood

There is a bit of a stigma when it comes to teen drug users, a prejudice that compulsive and impulsive behavior leads to substance experimentation.  While this may or may not be true, a recent study shows that it may not be the attitude that causes drug abuse; it may be some kind of childhood trauma that leads to the attitude.  Therefore, a traumatic childhood may increase the risk of drug addiction.

The study revealed that siblings who came from the same kind of abuse or loss did not also turn to drugs, despite otherwise compulsive behavior.  There are those who choose to cope with trauma differently.  The message here, then, is that childhood trauma is not an excuse for drug abuse.  Knowing about it, however, may help parents prevent their children from walking that dark road.

What Kinds Of Trauma Can Lead To Abuse And Addiction

There are many things that could be traumatic to a child.  Physical and sexual abuse are the obvious ones.  Emotional abuse is more surreptitious but can include any kind of criticism or verbal belittling.

Environmental influences can put undue stress on a child.  Domestic violence or even a series of heavy arguments between parents can cause feelings of insecurity.  Violence in movies or newscasts on TV or radio can bring about fear.  Parents and teachers often notice changes in behavior after such influences appear.

You may also check for trouble at school, such as bullying or cyber-bullying, or academic difficulties.  Even those who are straight-A students deal with insecurity and fear for their future.  A 4.0 grade average doesn’t always guarantee success or mean that a child knows how to tackle his future or say no to drugs.

The Connection With School Drug Use

With that being said, it is a sad fact that most kids get their drugs at school.  In fact, ninety percent of students admit that they know where to get drugs during the school day.  Dealers smuggle it in in water bottles, lipstick tubes and electronic devices.  Kids soak gummy bears in alcohol so they can get drunk in class on the sly.

On the other hand, drugs can also be obtained at home.  Another side of domestic influence is the startling number of parents who promote drug use to their children, either by setting a poor example by using drugs themselves, allowing drug and alcohol use at home, or even encouraging it in their children. This happens with alcohol use by minors and underage drinking that is often ignored and even allowed by parents.

What to Do To Prevent Drug Use With Your Kids

If you are a parent suffering from drug addiction, the most important thing you can do for your children is to get help.  Secondly, talk to your kids about the effects of drugs and alcohol and the effect it will have on their lives.  Studies show that kids whose parents and peers educate them on drugs and alcohol abuse are far less likely to experiment with it.

Watch for signs of childhood trauma and keep communication open with your teen.  Allow him to come to you with questions about any area of life; show him that it is safe to talk to you about anything.  Helping him learn how to overcome life difficulties in a drug-free manner is essential to his future survival.

Narconon recommends having meetings with your child about drugs and addiction and answering questions as a first step. For more information on this topic or Narconon meetings contact us today.


Would Letting Your Kids Drink Early Discourage Later Use

What would you think if someone you knew gave a two-year-old child beer in his sippy cup?  This is just what happened in Pheonix, Arizona in June, and Valerie Marie Topete was arrested for child abuse.  She admitted to giving it to her own child, saying that he kept reaching for it.  Well, what if your teenage child began reaching for alcohol?  Would you allow it then?

Some parents do. In fact some parents (mistakenly) believe letting kids drink alcohol early discourages later use.

The long-time controversy over teenage alcohol use stems from the fact that parents believe their children should learn responsible drinking in the safety of their own home.  A recent study from the RTI International and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined information collected from over a thousand mothers and their third-grade children.  Forty percent of the mothers interviewed believed that forbidding children from trying alcohol only made it more appealing.  Not only that, thirty-three percent of the third-graders had already tasted beer, wine or other alcohol.

The Facts About Drinking

The study revealed that fifth-graders who had been given alcohol by their parents were twice as likely to report alcohol use in seventh grade.  And it doesn’t stop there.  People who begin drinking before the age of fifteen are six times more likely to develop alcohol problems than those who begin in adulthood.

A 2011 national study of twelve-to-fourteen year-old drinkers reported getting alcohol for free from their family.  Yet alcohol is the leading cause of death among teens and is known to lead to harder drug use.  In fact, the majority of those who abuse substances such as cocaine, heroin and prescription opiates report alcohol use leading up to it.

So What Are The Dangers Of Drinking

There are many dangers and problems associated with alcohol use that many are not aware of. Alcohol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream after consumption.  From there, it reaches the nervous system, which controls many vital body functions.  The nervous system is overseen by the brain, which is why drinking during the body’s development in the teenage years is so detrimental to coordination and cognitive skills.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and in small amounts it brings about relaxation and mitigates anxiety.  In larger amounts, intoxication occurs, and even more produces alcohol poisoning.  This is a potentially fatal condition in which there is too much alcohol for the body to handle.  The liver cannot filter all the toxins and begins to manifest symptoms like mental confusion, stupor, or coma; vomiting; seizures; slow or irregular breathing; and hypothermia, bluish skin color and paleness.  If alcohol poisoning goes untreated, death is likely to occur as the gag reflex stops working and the user may choke on his own vomit.  He may also receive brain damage or die simply from too much alcohol in the system.

Not Allowing Drinking And Providing Education Is Key

Parents who talk to their children about the dangers of alcohol will find them less inclined to experiment with it.  Promoting alcohol use will not clear them of the compulsion to try the “forbidden fruit”; educating them will.

Meetings can be held in the household that go over the dangers of alcohol. There are also Narconon video resources and education and prevention programs that can be implemented through the schools.

Besides taking the prevention and education role a parent should never allow his or other kids who are underage to use alcohol. This is setting them up for abuse later in life and comes with many negative consequences of alcohol use.


What Are The Newest Trends Concerning Teen Drug Use

Drug addiction can come from the most unexpected places. As a result, addiction experts are urging parents to stay on top of new trends in teen drug use, as many can substances are being found around the house or gotten easily at school.

While heroin, synthetic drugs and prescription drugs are common knowledge, there are dozens of surprising ways to get high and unexpected places to hide drugs.  For example:

Freon Gas – Kids are finding that they can inhale or “huff” freon from air condition units to get high.  It produces a feeling similar to that of drinking alcohol, but it can also freeze the lungs or cause brain damage.  It also causes fatal overdose, and there is no way of telling how much is too much.  An indication of freon abuse is if your air conditioner requires frequent repair, but despite lack of refrigerant there appears to be no leaks.  Many teens will even steal wall units for this purpose.

Nutmeg –  That’s right, I’m talking about that good, old-fashioned stuff on your spice rack that you like to sprinkle on eggnog or bake in muffins.  While it’s not a drug in small amounts, it contains a natural compound called myristicin, which has mind-altering effects if ingested in large doses.  The high from nutmeg can last one to two days and has hallucinogenic properties similar to LSD.  It can also be snorted or smoked.  It can take several hours for the user to feel high after taking it, so one might take far more than is safe, thinking it isn’t enough.  About thirty minutes after ingesting it, it can cause severe stomach pains, nausea and vomiting, and it can cause serious heart and nerve problems.

Magic Markers and Whipped Cream Canisters –  Magic Markers and Sharpies contain a poison called xylene which can cause teens to get high when they sniff it.  Whipped cream cans contain nitrous oxide, the same substance that is used in dental offices.  Abuse of these substances can cause seizures, cardiac damage and even something called sudden sniffing death syndrome, an almost instant death caused by overdose.  This is usually caused when the user gets frightened by the drug.  For most people, fear would cause a slight increase in heart rate–for people on these substances, the heartbeat increases to fatal levels.

Drugs Are Often Hidden In Strange Places

Teens find unusual places to hide drugs, such as lipstick tubes and electronic equipment.  Alcohol is smuggled into school in gummy bears or water bottles.  Parents need to be aware of the myriad of hiding places for drugs and watch out for unusual behavior in their children.  They should be aware of how many pills are in their medicine cabinet and how much nutmeg is on hand.

If they notice that canisters of whipped cream are flat; especially new ones they should take care to make sure that they teen is not huffing these chemicals. Doing things like buying the product that is not in a canister is just one simple step.

However the best thing to do is to educate your teen on these subjects and help them to make the right decisions to not use these “new drugs.”

Timely Trends

The beginning of the school year is when drug use is at its highest, teens say.  The stress of new classes, a desire to fit in, and lack of deadlines are the perfect circumstances for peer pressure to bite.  Early in the term, parents should talk to their children about the effects of drug abuse, and using drug education, prevent the unthinkable.

Schools should also have drug prevention and education for all students. This can be done through the Narconon program and is a highly successful way of stopping addiction before it starts.


Everyone Is Affected By Prescriptions Not Just Teens

We all know the dangers of teen drug abuse and with the recent surge in pharmaceutical popularity, parents often have to be more concerned about what they have in their own medicine cabinets than with illicit drug use at school or parties.  But prescription drug abuse is a danger to people of all ages, not just teens.

According to a 2009 report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are around sixteen million people (teens and adults) in the United States who have abused prescription drugs.  Thirteen percent of them are older adults.  They make up one-third of total outpatient spending on prescription pain medication.

Think about it.  Aside from a heavy injury or dental work, what would send an average kid to the doctor for heavy pain meds like Vicodin or Percocet?  Yet how many age-related diseases demand pain management?  Osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, sleep disorders, lung disease, and many other painful conditions require prescription medication.

An Unexpected Addiction

Oftentimes users of prescription medication find themselves dependent before they know it.  Trying to stop use brings on symptoms of withdrawal, which mirror that of illness–runny nose, cough, fever, trouble sleeping, tremors, anxiety and depression.  Taking the drug again gives them relief.  Before they know it, their lives are consumed by a full-blown addiction.

Adults need drug education just as much as teens.  Follow prescriptions precisely as instructed and do not continue use longer than advised.  If you notice signs of dependence in yourself, get help.

Stopping Prescription Abuse

Another thing that can be done to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place is to properly dispose of your prescriptions so that they don’t get taken and abused. Don’t leave unfinished bottles of medication in places where teens or children can get their hands on it.  Brightly-colored pills can look like candy, and even throwing them in the trash can be risky.  Many places have prescription drop-offs, where you can safely dispose of prescription medication.

Most teenagers who get addicted to prescription drugs such as Ritalin or OxyContin find them, or are given them, by family members or friends who use them.  Peers offer them as relief during stressful times–a glaring reality during those tender years.

However the drugs cannot be taken from a friend or family member if they are disposed of correctly. After finishing a prescription take the drug to your local enforcement drop off station.

Prescription Drug Abuse In The Elderly

Not just teens, but the elderly have also been greatly affected by this problem. Drugs have more of an effect on older bodies due to the fact that their metabolism is slower, so it is harder to break down such substances.  It takes a much lower dose to bring on addiction, and a confusion on this can cloud symptoms of addiction.

Not only that, prescription drugs can prove more dangerous to the elderly by increasing the risk of falls and other accidents, which can be fatal in those with osteoporosis and age-related conditions.

Signs of Prescription Drug Dependency

Watch for the following signs of dependence on prescription drugs and get help immediately:

•    Increase in usage.  Over time, as the body grows tolerant of drugs, it requires larger doses to produce the same effects.  Watch for dosage increases or more frequent use.
•    Personality changes.  The user may find himself experiencing drastic mood swings, deep depression or anxiety, lowered energy levels, and may even have trouble concentrating.  He may become withdrawn and may no longer participate in activities he was once interested in.
•    Continued use even after the physical condition being treated has been remedied.
•    Blackouts and forgetfulness.

For more information contact


Website Visits To Narconon Triple In Just A Few Short Weeks

Since 1966 the goal of Narconon drug rehabilitation and education has been to reach as many people as possible to not only rehabilitate addicts but prevent drug use for individuals of all ages. Our main web-site has been our staple to help us bring the truth about the devastating effects of drugs to millions ever year.  Over the last weeks visits to the site have tripled allowing even more people to have a valid and informative resource on addiction, drugs, rehabilitation and prevention and education.

The site has been translated into nine different languages including Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese and Thai. With plans to add 15 more languages within the next year, it has not only brought the United States, but the world that is necessary to daily living and help with addiction.

This year plans are also underway to expand the drug prevention tools on the site so that it can be a place for teachers and parents to download curriculum to educate youth. And, with reports that more than 17% of kids using drugs in schools daily and 50% who have been exposed to them, the need for the information cannot come at a better time.

The Narconon site has more than 400 resources on the Narconon program and its successes for anyone looking to find treatment or learn more about the life saving technology offered through the rehab services.

Narconon has been a world-wide leader in the drug rehabilitation industry for the last 46 years with over 33,000 thousand graduates who have recovered from addiction. Seven out of ten Narconon graduates stay completely off drugs after completing the residential treatment program.

or more information please visit our site at

More On The Effects On Children With Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is a devastating problem, tearing apart lives and changing users into people they don’t even recognize.  Addiction wracks the body and mind, sending people to extremes that they would never otherwise consider, taking over until all they can think about is how to get more drugs so they don’t feel sick any more.  Beyond the personal disgrace, broken marriages, ruined jobs, pain and suffering caused by drug abuse, in many ways it is children who receive the full brunt of it.  And the blow hits harder because of the nature of betrayal.

Put yourself in the shoes of a child.  Parents should be respected, looked up to; they are to lead you toward a bright future and responsible adulthood.  Not only that, you depend on them for survival.  You expect clean clothes, groceries in the fridge, help with homework and words of encouragement.

Not if your parents are drug addicts.  Instead, you will likely come home to an empty fridge, a week’s worth of dishes in the sink, and a parent or two–and their friends–passed out on the couch.  Worse, you may find yourself the victim of violence or sexual abuse, often part and parcel with drug abuse.

Connection Between Drugs And Child Abuse

Children whose parents are addicted to drugs and alcohol are thirteen times more likely to be abused and neglected.  This can happen in many ways:

•    Physical abuse
•    Sexual abuse
•    Emotional abuse
•    Babies born to substance-addicted mothers
•    Neglect, such as being left alone at home, not being fed or clothed properly, and so on.

Children of parents who abuse drugs typically demonstrate poor academic performance and have a higher rate of ending up in foster care.  They also have a much higher likelihood of turning to drug and alcohol abuse themselves.

How Prescription Drugs Fit Into The Equation

The most shocking scenario is when parents who were once totally clean become addicts, as is the case with prescription drug abuse.  Addiction to prescription opiates is becoming more and more predominant in the United States.  It often creeps up unexpectedly, starting out as pain management and leading to full-blown drug addiction.  There are several signs of opiate dependence to be wary of if you are on prescription medication such as Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycontin or morphine:

•    Signs of withdrawal when decreasing or stopping use of the drug (including cough, runny nose, muscle aches, insomnia, diarrhea and stomach aches and extreme thirst)
•    Cravings
•    Feelings of depression or anxiety when not on the drugs

Eventually, users will become consumed by the need for more drugs, not worrying about cost or consequence–all that seems to matter is getting more drugs.  For a child, watching a competent parent turn into a desperate drug addict can be devastating.

It is vital that parents suffering from drug addiction get the help they need–for the safety of themselves and their children. Narconon urges any parent with a drug or alcohol program to get immediate help. A long term program is best and even though it may be a few weeks or months away from loved ones, it can provide a lifetime of recovery.

To allow an addiction to continue can only cause heartache and loss for the entire family. Narconon can handle any type of drug or alcohol abuse problem and seven out of ten of our graduates are able to stay permanently drug free.

Contact us today for more information.


Next Progression Of Prescription Addiction Is Heroin Abuse

In recent years, prescription drug abuse has skyrocketed.  Products like Percocet, Vicodin and Oxycontin have been leading users down a darker path than they ever imagined.  The most recent fork in the road has led them to heroin use–a place many users swore they would never go–for the plain and simple fact that it is cheaper.

The Dark Side Of Prescription Drugs

Prescription opiates are very addictive, particularly when used incorrectly or over long periods of time.  One of the most dangerous things about these drugs is that addiction creeps up on you, grabbing hold when you least expect it.  Many people don’t know they’re addicted until they try to stop using them.

Opiate tolerance is when the body gets used to having the drugs in the system, so much so that it requires more drugs to produce the same effects.  Signs of opiate tolerance include symptoms that are similar to that of illness, but this condition is called “dope sick”.  This includes:

•    Cough
•    Muscle aches
•    Trouble sleeping
•    Runny nose/congestion
•    Diarrhea
•    Stomach cramps

Eventually, opiate tolerance can turn into addiction when the user finds himself craving the drug, feeling depressed or anxious when not on the drugs, and noticing that his life suddenly revolves around the drug.  Cost and consequences no longer matter–all that seems to be important is how to get more drugs.

The symptoms of opiate abuse include:

•    Exhaustion
•    Appearing unbalanced and clumsy
•    Slurred speech
•    Nodding off or being unable to keep the eyes open
•    Contracted pupils

Understanding the symptoms of opiate addiction may save your life.  When caught up in full-blown addiction, there are only two ultimate results: death, or withdrawal and rehabilitation.

Why Do So Many End Up On Heroin

For those hooked on prescription pain meds, six or seven pills lasts about a day.  Sell those pills, though, and you can get yourself a gram of heroin for the same amount.  That gram could last you six or seven days.

Heroin is another opiate, a synthesized offshoot of morphine.  It is sold as a white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance, and it is typically injected–although it can also be snorted or smoked.  Anything to get it quickly to the brain, where it produces the same effects as prescription opiates–euphoria, numbness, and clouded mental capacity.

Heroin abuse causes serious health problems.  Chronic users may experience collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and liver or kidney disease.  There is a risk of HIV/AIDS if users share needles–and anyone who has been addicted to heroin knows that you don’t care about clean needles when you’re aching for your next fix.  There is also a high risk of fatal overdose.

Someone addicted to heroin will experience severe withdrawal symptoms if he reduces or stops using the drug abruptly.  The symptoms include:

•    Restlessnes
•    Muscle and bone pain
•    Sleeping problems
•    Diarrhea
•    Vomiting
•    Cold flashes with goose bumps
•    Kicking movements
•    Severe craving, usually leading to relapse

Withdrawal typically peaks between 48 and 72 hours after the last use, and it usually subsides after one week although in some cases it can continue for months.  This occurs as the individual will continue to have physical cravings for the drug long after they stop taking it.

The Narconon program removes all traces of the drug from the fatty tissue of the body, thereby reducing the likelihood of long-term withdrawal. For more information on this process or overcoming a prescription or heroin addiction contact us today.


What Problems Occur When Drinking Starts Early

Drinking is an indelible part of American social life, and parents often give their children the first taste in the hopes that they will teach responsible drinking.  While alcohol use does prove safer in the home, that first sip may turn into a weekend of drinking with friends and soon those enticing spirits may be calling upon your child several times a week.  Research shows that early drinking puts kids at greater risk for alcohol abuse later in life.

The Facts About Drinking

A recent study of more than 1,900 children ages twelve and thirteen revealed that thirty-six percent had their first taste of alcohol with their parents.  Of that group, twenty-one percent ended up experiencing alcohol-related problems one year later.

A different study examined forty thousand adults; of those who got involved with alcohol before the age of twenty, nearly fifty percent became alcoholics by the time they reached adulthood.  In addition, only nine percent of those who tried alcohol after the age of twenty-one became addicted to the substance when they became adults.

Alcohol is the most prevalent drug among adolescents, and it has the highest death rate.  Forty percent of teens report alcohol use by eighth grade, and fifty-five percent report being drunk at least once by their senior year.

Studies show that the younger the age of drinkers, the more likely they are to binge drink–be it from irresponsibility, peer pressure, or simply being misinformed.  And while the number of kids getting hooked on alcohol is decreasing, nearly seventy-three percent of American adolescents report having tried alcohol at least once in their lives.

The truth is, those who abstain from alcohol use as teens are far less likely to become reliant on drugs or alcohol as adults.

Problems With Early Drinking Including Alcohol As A Gateway

Many believe that alcohol is the most harmful drug because of its availability and social acceptance.  Certainly, statistics show that the majority of drug addicts started out on alcohol.

Alcohol depletes the body of vital nutrients, particularly vitamin B1, a nutrient involved in proper functioning of the nervous system.  A vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to problems like muscle weakness, memory problems, numbness and tingling in the body, heart failure and even dementia.  Lack of B1 is also known to cause depression, which may be one of the reasons alcoholics turn to heavier drugs for a greater high.

A recent study revealed that alcohol, in 57% of cases, led to prescription opiate abuse.  Prescription drug addiction is a growing problem–overdoses of medical opiates kill more Americans every year than cocaine and heroin combined.

Whether alcohol truly is the worst gateway drug is a matter of debate, but the truth remains that alcohol prevention is drug prevention.  Experts at Narconon locations across the country urge parents to set a good example for their children, discourage drinking, and talk to them about the devastating effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

Parents should also set an example for their children by not participating in binge or excessive drinking. Temperance should be used with alcohol if one is of legal drinking age. Those under the age of 21 should not be using the substance and be educated on why it is dangerous to participate in early drinking.

For more information on how to prevent early drinking or to help someone with an alcohol problem, contact one of our Narconon locations today.