Kindergarten may be too early to start drug education, but the average age at which kids are being exposed to drugs is creeping lower and lower. The number of kids who are introduced to drugs at school continues to skyrocket, with seventeen percent of high schoolers drinking, smoking or doing drugs at school.
A recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University revealed that nearly half of public school students know someone who sells drugs at school. Private schools are no longer the exception, with more than fifty percent of private school students admitting that their schools are drug-infected.
Drug marketing is even invading the home through the Internet. Digital peer pressure is a growing problem, with a number of students admitting that pictures of friends and classmates partying with drugs or alcohol on Facebook makes them want to do the same.
What Drugs Are Being Used
Marijuana is the most popular illicit drug among American youth. It is touted as a safer substance, being naturally grown, not made in a lab. However, it is known as a gateway drug, opening the door to heavier drug use. It is also detrimental to developing brains, causing academic trouble, decreased athletic performance, and lowered I.Q. later in life. It also gains popularity because it is cheap, easy to get, and it has less of a stigma among parents because it’s “just a little pot” and many of them experimented with it as teens.
Adderall is another popular drug because it is used for a variety of purposes–to increase confidence and make it easier to socialize, to stimulate the brain and enhance studying, and to get high. It’s also “cleaner” because all you have to do is swallow a pill, not shoot, snort or smoke it like other drugs.
Prescription opiates such as Oxycodone, Vicodin, Valium and Percocet are becoming increasingly popular. Due to the numbing effects, it helps with anxiety, insecurity, nervousness about tests or social problems, and brings about a high.
Best Way To Stop Use Is To Talk To Your Children
The solution is not to shy away from the problem or sequester your children. Studies show that kids whose parents discuss the dangers of drugs and alcohol abuse at an early age are far less likely to experiment with them. Experts advise continuing to communicate into college, as the drug influence does not end with high school.
Discussions do not have to be long, drawn-out lectures. Even something as simple as mentioning it in the car on the way to school or letting kids know that they can ask questions can be enough. Spending quality time with your children is key, as they may need you for other things such as questions about academic difficulties, trouble with peers, or insecurities and uncertainties about life. These are all issues which can also lead to drug abuse.
Addiction experts agree that it is far easier to prevent drug abuse problems than to handle the problem through recovery. Even though it is possible to completely overcome the problem with treatment, much is lost through weeks, months or years of substance abuse. With the right amount of education, prevention, help from parents and positive influence from schools and activity groups the issue can be completely prevented.
To get more information on this issue or to find help for someone struggling with an addiction contact us today at www.narconon.com.