Schools have begun implementing drug education among younger audiences, even indoctrinating kindergarteners. The controversy over this is clear–isn’t it too early to be talking about drugs? According to addiction experts, it most certainly is not. Education is the key to undercutting the drug epidemic, for it is much easier to prevent drug abuse than it is to treat it.
And according to a recent survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, seventeen percent of high school students–approximately 2.8 million teens–drink, smoke and drug during the school day. Not only that, nearly half of them know someone who sells drugs at school.
So What Are They Using
Marijuana is still the drug of choice among illicit drugs; with ninety-one percent of those surveyed stating that pot was the drug that was sold. Other popular substances include:
• Prescription drugs (twenty-four percent)
• Cocaine (nine percent)
• Synthetic drugs such as Ecstasy, synthetic marijuana, bath salts, and Smiles (seven percent)
Prescription drug abuse has been leading teens to heroin use, as dope is cheaper than pills but gives the same high. As a result, heroin use is climbing among teens.
Alcohol is another hidden influence, being easily justified because parents drink it–and some even promote their children drinking at home, in the hopes that giving it to them will prevent alcohol abuse (the “forbidden fruit” theory). Alcohol is a gateway drug and is known to lead to heavier drug abuse. Not only that, drinking leads to a number of accidents, many of them fatal. Drunk driving is the number one cause of death among teens.
Synthetic drugs became popular because of the false idea that they were a safer alternative to traditional drugs. Before recent legislation, these substances were sold legally in convenience stores across the country. Because they were an unknown formula and were labeled, “Not for human consumption,” law enforcement officials didn’t quite know what to do with them. Studies have shown these chemicals to be extremely dangerous, however, causing mind-altering effects and often making users violent, even murderous and suicidal.
The Problem Is Not Reserved For School Alone
Drug pushers have found a way to reach their fingers into every home in America, inviting teenagers into the clutches of temptation through the Internet. Digital peer pressure is a growing problem, with seventy-five percent of surveyed teens admitting that pictures of friends partying with drugs and alcohol on Facebook makes them want to participate. Drug marketing is also a problem, with tobacco and alcohol commercials rampant, drug chat rooms accessible, and even online stores wherein dealers have found a way to secretly take orders and smuggle drugs through the U.S. postal system.
Addiction experts advise parents not to leave drug education up to the schools alone. Surveys show that the number one reason kids give for not wanting to be discovered using drugs is their fear of disappointing their parents. Teens whose parents speak to them about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol are far less likely to experiment with them. Starting communication about this area early and continuing through college could save your child’s life.
And while a child has to be able to understand what drugs are and be at a point where they have keener decision making abilities, some experts report that speaking to kids as young as 8 is not too early.
It is always best for parents to be the one to help their children learn how to say no to drugs. Programs like Narconon have found that through drug prevention, kids, young adults and teens and teens are less like to get involved in drugs in the first place.
For more information contact Narconon today.