Tag Archives: prevention

How Terrifyingly Easy it is to Start Using Drugs

person offering a jointI’ve just read through a dozen interviews from Narconon graduates in which they describe how and why they started using drugs. These interviews make so very clear that it’s incredibly easy for a young person to decide to just go along with what everyone else is doing – drinking, smoking pot, even using much stronger and more deadly drugs.

If a child does not understand clearly and with conviction why using drugs is dangerous and has not made a firm decision to remain drug-free, then anything can happen.

How Kids Can Begin Using Drugs

Let me share a few of these quotes with you.

“In high school, I started smoking marijuana with my friends. They told me there was nothing wrong with it, that it was kind of normal and everybody was doing it. So I just kind of joined in and started smoking marijuana.”

“How I started using marijuana, I was in middle school, around 12 years old, didn’t really know who I was as a person. I looked around to see what I wanted to be like, what I wanted to strive to be. I wanted to fit in, I wanted to be a social person. And that’s one of the reasons I started using marijuana.”

“So I started using marijuana, I was a freshman in high school. I was out partying and drinking and somebody had weed there. So I smoked it. My decisions weren’t the best, I was a little drunk. And then a couple of days later my buddy was like, ‘Hey, you want to smoke again?’ I was like, ‘Sure, I guess.’ I’d done it before.”

But that’s not as far as it usually goes. What should really concern a parent is how easy it was to transition to harder, more addictive and deadlier drugs. Here’s how our graduates described this progression to using heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine.

“As far as the transition from smoking pot every day to using harder drugs, I had run into somebody who said, ‘Hey, I’ve got some opium,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Opium, that’s cool, it’s like pot times ten.’ And before I knew it, we were sitting in my car smoking heroin. And then he’s like, ‘So man, we just did heroin.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ You know what I mean, because I had no idea. But it felt incredible, and I was like, ‘Oh, cool.’”

“I started smoking pot to fit in with everybody. And it looked like everybody was having a good time. And they told me, ‘Nobody’s died from smoking pot.’ So I did it and it progressed into cocaine and heroin and my life was just downhill.”

“From then on, it just kind of snowballed. I became okay with using other things, this that and the other. It’s not like I set out to be a heroin addict, I don’t think anyone does but it ended up that way. Before I knew it I was too deep to pull myself out.”

“My thing with starting with methamphetamine – my best friend started. Her sister started using it, they started hanging out a lot and I felt like I was losing my best friend so my curiosity grew really strong. I was pretty much determined to use it at that point so I could see what they were doing that seemed like so much fun. Yeah, so it was pretty easy to use it after I had used all the other stuff.”

Talking About Substance Abuse in the Home

I know it’s not the easiest thing to talk to your kids about drugs. But these stories show what can happen if you don’t.

The first thing you need to do is to learn about the drugs that are out there right now, drugs that your kids might be offered. And take the time to explain the effects and dangers associated with each drug.

To help you, we have created quick guides to understanding prescription drug abuse…

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/10-things-prescription-drugs.html

… and marijuana.

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/marijuana-facts.html

You can find complete guides to different drugs and how to talk to your children about them below:

Marijuana: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/marijuana/

Heroin: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/heroin/

Cocaine: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/cocaine/

Stimulants like methamphetamine or Ritalin: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/stimulants/

Synthetic drugs like Spice or “bath salts”: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/synthetics/

Alcohol: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/alcohol/

 

How Might Your Child Hide Their Drug Abuse?

teenMost parents want their children to stay away from drugs while they are growing up. But when kids do start to use one drug or another, it’s not like they walk up to their parents and announce the fact. Quite the opposite. In most cases, they know their parents will disapprove and so they are going to conceal their drug abuse.

As this change usually coincides with the age a child starts to spend more time away from home, it can be hard for a parent to spot the changes. Drug use also coincides with the challenges a young person encounters as he (or she) works out how to deal with social pressures, more demanding schoolwork and similar outside influences. It’s not an easy time. Continue reading

Saving Our Youth: Study Finds Most Alcohol, Drug Abuse Starts in Teen Years

Drug Abuse Starts in Teen Years

Recent surveys of teens and young adults have turned up a startling new fact. More than one study finds most alcohol, drug abuse starts in teen years. Just when our young people should be getting educations and preparing for their lives, many are starting to abuse alcohol and drugs and risking addiction.

There are several situations that increase a teen’s risk for abusing drugs or alcohol. These are when:

  • The young person is depressed
  • He or she suffers from low self-esteem
  • The young person manifests early signs of aggressive behavior
  • He or she feels rejected socially
  • Parents do not provide enough supervision or care
  • The family suffers from poverty
  • There are many drugs readily available, either in the home or close by

To prevent the situation where a survey finds most alcohol, drug abuse starts in teen years, as much as possible these risks should be prevented. The other way to reduce teen drug abuse is to educate the young on the serious problems that can result from substance abuse. When a teen sees his or her friends seeming to enjoy themselves or experience excitement or euphoria, this can look very attractive. Especially if he is bored or stressed by his experiences at home or at school.

The Right Time to Prevent Drug Abuse is Before Addiction Begins

Before a person is addicted, they have a much greater ability to set drugs down and walk away from them. If a person has just begun abusing alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, LSD or prescription drugs, if they can be inspired to leave them behind and create a healthy new life, this relieves the family of endless heartbreak and may even save that person’s life.

But young people so often keep their substance abuse habits secrets from family and school, and even from their sober friends. This is why a young person may change friends rather suddenly. If, for example, a young man associated with athletes and then gradually drops out of touch with them and begins to hang out with young people who are not doing very well in life, dress oddly and perhaps do not seem to care for themselves very well, there is a good chance that he has begun to abuse drugs. It is normal for the new drug user to seek out the company of people who are also abusing substances.

Drug Rehab Services Can Turn this Situation Around

When the young person is on a destructive path, it is likely that drug rehab services are going to be needed to put them back on a productive path. This is the service supplied every day by Narconon drug rehab services. In more than fifty centers around the world, Narconon centers help those who lost the battle with drugs to achieve productive, sober lives again.

Addiction is a terribly dangerous habit. Every day presents the risk of overdose death or accidental injury. Even if a person escapes this kind of harm, the addiction itself strips the individual of all self-esteem. He or she becomes someone who is able to harm loved ones and friends. The addicted person commits acts he or she never would have before.

Trust Narconon drug rehab services to provide a lasting sobriety for your loved one. In seven out of ten cases, Narconon graduates remain sober after they go home. Find out just how this alternative program that uses no drugs in treatment gets this result. Call 1-800-775-8750 today.

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/teen-drug-abuse/My01099

http://www.drugfree.org/resources/know-your-childs-risk-level-for-developing-a-substance-abuse-problem/

With More than Half of All High School Students Abusing Drugs, Should Parents be Using More Drug Tests?

Students Abusing Drugs

Parents should take note of recent reports on drug abuse among teens and young adults and also those that find that when parents speak out against drug abuse, drug abuse statistics are lower.

According to the most recent Monitoring the Future report on drug use among our schoolchildren, by the time they graduate from high school, more than half have abused an illicit drug or prescription drug. Is there anything parents should do to prevent drug use among their children or should they just rely on home or school drug tests?

Certainly parents come in all shapes and sizes. Some hope their children will not use drugs, some are too wrapped up in other concerns to pay much attention to the matter and some take effective action to fight drug or alcohol abuse by their children. It can be hard to tell which path is the most effective.

Is the best route to skip drug education and simply administer frequent drug tests? Certainly drug tests are in the news recently, as the Ohio School Board deliberated on the best method of using random drug tests among students in performance and competitive events. And in Florida, debate continued over whether or not it was proper to give welfare recipients drug tests as a condition of receiving their benefits.

On this point, parents can look to recent reports from the National Center on Addiction and Drug Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) for evidence of what methods are available to them to prevent drug abuse by their children.

According to CASA, something as simple as family dinners together makes a big difference. Look at this comparison, for example. CASA compared teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week) with those who have fewer than three per week.

Teens with fewer family dinners are:

  • Nearly four times as likely to use tobacco
  • More than twice as likely to drink alcohol
  • More than twice as likely to smoke marijuana
  • Almost four times as likely to say they expect to use drugs at some point in the future.

CASA’s surveys also show that it is essential for parents to agree on their drug use and alcohol use messages. When parents do not agree completely on their anti-drug message to teens, those children are 3.5 times more likely to expect to use drugs in the future. When parents don’t agree on an anti-alcohol use message, teens are twice as likely to drink as other children whose parents do agree.

Narconon Centers Sponsor Drug Education Classes in Hundreds of Schools to Help Reduce Drug Abuse

Schedule Drug Education Presentation

Along with running centers that provide drug rehabilitation services around the world, Narconon staff from many centers go out into the community to deliver anti-drug messages to young people. From Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma and centers in Southern California and Italy alike, staff teach children of all ages in schools and clubs the dangers of illicit or prescription drug abuse or alcohol abuse. When the anti-drug curriculum is from Narconon, schools can find that their drug problems drop. A peer-reviewed study, published on the website www.substanceabusepolicy.com, reported on the decrease in drug abuse among students who had received the entire Narconon curriculum.

CASA studies report that a young person who does not start abusing drugs or alcohol until he or she is 21 years old is virtually certain never to do so. The best tools to use to prevent drug or alcohol abuse are accurate lessons in the problems created by substance abuse and parental concern, communication and attention.

Call a center near you to find out more about the Narconon objectives used in the drug education presentations.


Resources:

http://monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/mtf-overview2011.pdf

http://www.casacolumbia.org/templates/publications_reports.aspx: The Importance of Family Dinners VII and National Survey of

American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVI: Teens and Parents

http://www.substanceabusepolicy.com/content/3/1/8

http://www.bcrnews.com/2012/01/24/ohio-looks-at-drug-testing-options/ac9ga6f/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/25/florida-primary-candidates-drug-policy?newsfeed=true

Narconon Drug Education | The Way to Happiness

Narconon International has been delivering the Narconon First Step program to The Way to Happiness school children in Mazatlan to help bring drug awareness and drug rehabilitation solutions to their community. One section of the Narconon First Step program utilizes The Way to Happiness to help others live a happier life.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Title

Narconon First Step and “The Way to Happiness” School for the children of Mazatlan.

Opening

A volunteer helps poor children in Mazatlan, State of Sinola, Mexico to learn about ethics and precepts toward happiness.

PATY CAPACETA

As a teacher of The Way to Happiness, I think the book is marvelous.

Really following the 21 precepts, we can flourish and prosper.

GIRL STUDENT:

I learned many things in The Way to Happiness.

I learned that drugs are substances that damage your body

and make you not be in present time.

Also, that you should clear your misunderstood words so you can understand The Way to Happiness.

You should try to speak the truth. You should find the truth that actually benefits you.

PATY

We can be great.

I learned greatly how to detect false data.

And I know how to interpret this for my workshop students.

I let them know that when someone comes and gives them false data about drugs,

it is because of that person’s interest, his own purposes.

It’s for his own benefit. These people only intend harm,

to intoxicate the world with drugs.

Therefore, I let these children know they are truly valuable.

GIRL STUDENT

The book The Way to Happiness has helped me a lot.

For me it is a beautiful book.

It tells us many things to live better.

And the precepts have helped me a lot, too.

to treat others as I would like them to treat me, and to understand life more.

MALE STUDENT

“Flourish and Prosper” –

means “You should not pay attention to other people.

who say you shouldn’t do something

that you can do, just ignore them.

Continue to believe what you believe, not what they say.

PATY

Following the 21 precepts of The Way to Happiness,

they will find something good, shining in their lives.

This is what I think of The Way to Happiness.

Closing

The book The Way to Happiness is one part of the Narconon First Step Program,

a charitable service of Narconon International for rehabilitation centers, schools, and prisons in Mexico.

Get more information on the Narconon First Step Drug Withdrawal