Dangers of Drug Use

Dangers of Drug Use

The Onslaught and Dangers of Drug Use!

We need to educate children on the dangers of drug use. In our media-saturated society, children and teenagers are bombarded with images and messages on the glories of alcohol and drug use: television and movies where the heroes knock down drink after drink; advertising featuring young attractive people with liquor in hand; social media rampant with accolades on the hip new drugs of choice. This onslaught is combined with the environment of the child: public schools, the neighborhood or a circle of friends where drug use is accepted and encouraged. The scenario is further compounded by the vulnerability of the child or teenager. For a person in the formative stages of life – where their bodies, minds, and priorities are changing rapidly – the barrage can be overwhelming.

Education!

How do we convince youth that drugs and alcohol are not a good idea? How do we teach them that despite friends Dangers of Drug Usesaying how awesome it is, taking drugs will not help them get along in life. The answer is education! What if the child knew more about the drug than the person offering it? What if they knew that the pipe of weed could be laced with PCP? What if they knew that meth was cooked using lantern fuel, antifreeze, battery acid and drain cleaner? What if they knew that 70 people die daily of drug overdose? These facts and countless others can be used not to scare or intimidate, but to arm the child with the truth.

Simply telling a child to “say no” may work for some, but this can be too simplistic for many others. You want to educate as to WHY they would say no. A rough outline would go something like this:

  • Make sure the child or teenager is in good communication with you. You want to achieve some kind of rapport or trust. This could take some work.
  • Get educated yourself! What drugs are school kids doing nowadays? You should know about the new drugs and trends that have been hitting recently. There are a slew of drugs that are “legal” (not regulated by DEA or FDA) due to loopholes and the fact that legislation can be very slow. Examples of these “legal” drugs:
  • Synthetic marijuana – Packaged as “K2”, “Spice”, “herbal incense”, “plant food” and marked as “not for human consumption.”
  • Salvia – A hallucinogenic plant popularized on YouTube.
  • “Bath Salts” – Has nothing to do with what you’d put in a bath, it is a highly dangerous synthetic drug similar to methamphetamine, also packaged under other “harmless” names.
  • Prescription drug abuse – While it is illegal to hand out a drug that was not prescribed, prescription pills are way too easy for kids to come by and have become very popular. Antidepressants, painkillers and the like can be swallowed, crushed, snorted or injected to give an instant “high”. Deaths from drug overdoses are now estimated at 70 per day largely due to the rise in prescription drug abuse.
  • Educate the child! Give them the lowdown on how drugs are made, who sells them, what they do to the mind and body, the dangers of drug use, and other vital facts. Materials can be obtained online that describe each drug in detail and its effects. One thing that can go a long way is information from peers. Interviews with those that went down the road of drug abuse and what happened. Kids who took the one hit and it was enough to get them hooked. Alcohol and its direct link to teenage drunk driving deaths. Pot smoking and its direct link to a dulled mind and the desire for harder drugs. We live in an audio-visual age, so video goes a long way in educating our youth. At the end of this article, we have listed sites for your use.
  • You’re going to need to find out if they have been doing drugs or what could motivate them to do so. Kids experiment with drugs or alcohol for a number reasons, such as peer pressure, desire toDangers of Drug Use fit in or be cool, easy access to drugs, personal or familial problems or just plain having nothing else to do. Through communication, get to the bottom of this. Maybe the child has no goal in life and is just drifting along. You can help them to set goals and start reaching toward them. They can realize that the momentary highs and inevitable lows of drug use do not measure up to the thrill of real accomplishment. Help them to channel their energies!
  • Then you want to assist them to connect all this information with real life. Many kids will do what their friends do, or are too shy or withdrawn to express themselves in a positive way. You can do some coaching in a role-play format. What would they say when offered drugs? They say “no” and their “friends” laugh? What then? Maybe they can start to educate their friends on what they are putting in their bodies. The youth will have to “make the information their own” meaning they can use it to deal with real life.

Knowledge is your greatest weapon!

Too many of our youth are lost to drug and alcohol abuse. Educating them – as well as ourselves – on the truth about drugs and alcohol and the dangers of drug use will go a long way toward a drug-free existence. Ultimately, it is the child who has to make the decisions. By arming them with truth, we lay the foundation for a life of real accomplishment, not one clouded or cut short by drugs or alcohol.

Sources for this article and sites for drug education:

http://www.drugfreeworld.org/#/interactive

http://www.drugabuse.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/synthetic-drugs-k2-spice-bath-salts

http://rxdrugaddict.com/

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