The majority of persons that grow addicted to drugs have had their first experience with them when they were very young. Statistics say that preteens are the perfect target for the drug dealers, and this is usually the age when the future drug addicts start consuming drugs.
The addiction to drugs is present in all social groups, no matter the financial status, the race or geographical position on the globe. Not even education and religion do not make a spectacular difference.
Kids can be helped to resist the temptation, but this is not at all an overnight process, something you decide to do and gets done within the following 24 hours. The process of helping your kid to be drug proof usually takes many months and sometimes even years.
In order to deal with this issue, one needs to understand why kids take drugs. Specialists are talking about several major causes that can lead to this. First it is the attractiveness of the drugs. As long as the VIPs drink, smoke or take heavy drugs, this represents a huge temptation for the young generation, not to mention that tobacco and alcohol are promoted on a large scale, with huge amounts of money being invested into that. In fact, even the drugs that are illegal are promoted by friends in the peer group. Therefore, we should not wonder why the drugs, be them legal or illegal, represent such a powerful temptation for the kids.
It is also known that during the first stages of addiction, the person feels well, feels pleasure and for this reason he or she wants more and more. So, one other reason why more and more kids try drugs is that they know that these drugs will help them feel very well.
When parents and close friends smoke, drink or even take illegal drugs, the kids will copy this behavior. They see close persons doing this, and they follow a “good” model, doing what they have seen their family members and / or friends doing.
Another huge influence comes from the peer group. Peers put a strong pressure on the kids. Adolescents need to be accepted by their group, and for this reason they will get involved in all sorts of bad behaviors, drug consumption being included. It is very important to understand that for an adolescent that belongs to a group where everybody drinks, smokes and takes illegal drugs, it is almost impossible to say NO.
Parents can help their kids by offering them the alternative to be a part of a healthy, functional group of teenagers that have a similar age, whose set of values is positive. If you discover that your child becomes more and more involved with a group you do not agree with, you have the responsibility to intervene.
It is also important to know that when a kid has a correct self image, and the people around him find values and inner beauty in him, when he has been granted a correct sense of independence, he will be a lot stronger and he will not give up so quickly to the peer pressure, no matter how this can manifest around him.
There are kids that start using drugs because they are looking, in the totally wrong place, for adventure, thrill and new experiences. They want to get excited but they go in a wrong, deadly direction. There are many adolescents that try all sorts of risky activities and do all kinds of hazardous things. The explanation is that they are looking for excitement. And some of them begin to try drugs out of this desire to feel excited.
When kids belong to families where they cannot manifest their desire to be independent, when the rules are strict and are limiting them, some will begin to use drugs as a non direct manifest against the situation in their family of origin.
Adult addicts have learned over the addiction years that drugs can offer a quick escape from the responsibilities and the pain that is sometimes associated with real life. Drinking a single glass of alcohol, smoking an illegal cigar or swallowing a pill can sometimes offer these young men and women a rapid escape. They are no longer in contact with the tough, sad and horrible reality of their life. Drugs can offer relaxation and the false sensation you have somehow managed to get rid of all the pressing problems of your life.
Specialists have identified several stages in the drug addiction process, and all of them will take the person to worse and worse phases. The adolescents do not become addicts once they use a drug for the first time. They begin with occasional use during parties or trips with their class group, and many times they do this out of curiosity and because others are just waiting to see how they will react.
Due to the fact that such a teenager has not developed tolerance to the drug, he will rapidly feel high. Parents looking for signs of drug use should smell their children’s breath, trying to determine if they have used tobacco or alcohol, as well as try and detect abnormal child behavior, which may begin when he or she takes the drug.
Once the use becomes more regular, on a daily basis even, the ingested drug quantities can grow quite fast. The adolescent may experience blackouts, periods when he cannot remember anything, and most of the times the friends he chooses to spend his time with are fellow drug users. Parents should see if the teenager goes out during night, if he misses school and if his school performances are getting poorer by the day.
The change of friends may also be very visible, as all the old friends that do not take drugs are rejected. The addicted adolescent has fewer and fewer interactions with his family members, even with the ones that were closest to his / her heart, and many valuable things, as well as money may start to disappear from the house.
The following stage is the one when the drugs become the center of life for the teenager who is already addicted. He lives his days only to get high once again and the drug tolerance increases. The teen will want to have stronger and larger portions of the drug, and as he is in need of money, he soon starts to get involved in antisocial behaviors. He doesn’t have any friends that aren’t using drugs left. Parents witness more and more conflicts at home, find out that they cannot control their child anymore, and can even discover drugs in the house.
If nothing is done at this stage, the adolescent will rapidly move toward a general state of intoxication, the periods of blackout are very often and the general aspect of the addict is deteriorating. He is now getting his drug doses through injections, and he has more and more thoughts of guilt and the desire to commit suicide. Parents have no longer control in the life of the adolescents that have reached this point, and the entire family is negatively impacted, as the attention of the entire family is directed towards the addicted teenager.
Parents that do not want to go through this terrible experience should start to model the behavior they desire in themselves, so that their kids will copy it. Finding out ways to help the kid get a healthy identity, as well as a real sense of happiness and wellbeing, is also very important. This will help your child resist the temptation to try drugs that are supposed to make him feel better about himself and life in general.
Parents that really want the best for their kids should not postpone the discussions about drugs and their impact on people’s lives. Such discussions should occur many times over the years, so that the information would be present and powerful in the mind of the teenager.
This website is updated by Louis Kraml, CEO of Bingham Memorial Hospital, on a regular basis. Connect with Louis Kraml on Twitter and subscribe to the Kraml Video Channel on YouTube for more information. Check out the Resources page of this website for more useful links that will teach you how to drug proof your kids.