Saturday, November 8, 2014

Teens and Drug Abuse

Teens and Drug Abuse

As stress and anxiety is increasing as rigor becomes more difficult in school, college and performance expectations at work, people are starting to have legitimate health problems caused by stress.  There are effective ways to live a successful life and decrease your stress and anxiety in all life situations.

As a special education teacher and a parent of a daughter that is a senior applying for colleges, I am seeing an increase in stress and anxiety in their lives.  Students and adolescents are being faced with higher rigor in school, standardized state testing, being accepted by peers and the competition for being accepted by post-secondary education opportunities.  I have seen an increase in the use of substances among high school students I work with and observe in the school / public setting.  The use of substances has become an epidemic in all schools across the country and the world.  Adolescents and young adults are self medicating to deal with the pressures at school, home and with their friends.  

As school populations continue to grow in numbers, the epidemic is increasingly getting worse by the day, month and year.  As a teacher, I have seen several students being hauled away in handcuffs because of being in possession or using drugs on campus and in the community. The school I teach at has immensely cracked down on tolerance of these behaviors, including truancy and acts of violence. 

I attribute one of the key factors to the increase of drug use and truancy to stress and anxiety (of course peer pressure too).  Society isn't on the 'Yellow Brick Road' anymore and as long as drug enforcement continues to rise, more adolescents and young adults are being incarcerated, attributing to the rise in prison populations. 
I firmly believe that truancy is schools is caused by the use of substances, stress and anxiety of situations.  The youth of this country is becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol at such a young age, their decision making and physical development is becoming altered in detrimental ways that are leading to increased violence and incarceration where they are not receiving the proper treatment for the root cause of the problem. 

"If nothing changes, nothing changes" and it is time for parents of adolescents and young adults to get on board with helping find the solution to this epidemic.  Schools are supposed to have zero tolerance to drugs and alcohol on campus, so this needs to be reflected at home too.

Please review the following links if you suspect or know your teenager needs help with addiction.  There are treatment centers that specialize in the treatment of youth and this will save their life.

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