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Teen Stories of Drug Abuse

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Teen Stories of Drug Abuse

Of all the stages of life, the teen years has often been recognized as the most challenging for a number of reasons.  In terms of psychological development, this is the time when identities are being form.  The transition from puberty to adolescents also preface a period of dramatic physical changes that create another layer of complexity to an otherwise tumultuous phase.  Depending on a number of variables such as relationships with parents and siblings, the living environment and the teenager’s mental health among others can influence the fears and emotional status of the teenage years.  As such, this is a time of exploration and experimentation out of which teen stories of drug abuse often emerge.   

In Patty’s addiction story her path into addiction, like many others was fueled in part through thrill seeking and the need to feel accepted.  With an older sibling already using cocaine, it wasn’t much of a stretch for Patty to get caught up in a substance abuse lifestyle. However, after years of toxic relationships, jail sentences and homelessness Patty recognized that she needed help. She took the initiative to ask for assistance and was finally able to get into a rehabilitation program with the help of a friend. Eight years into her sobriety Patty says “I am proud of who I have become”. While Patty’s story is one with a happy ending, the National Institute on Drug Abuse highlight stories of 16-year old teenagers like Sam Motsay and Haley Paternoster whose experience with drug abuse ended tragically.  

As an honor student with lots of talent and plans for a career in finance, Sam’s tryst with what he believed to be LSD turned out to be a fatal dose of a highly toxic synthetic drug known as NBOMe. Haley Paternoster was a victim of a heroin overdose.   Both the stories of overcoming drug addiction and those of heartrending loss of potentially rich young people make their own contribution in helping to rescue those lives that may be teetering on the edge of destruction. A ray of hope, in recent years, hinges on the fact that some teens are making a conscious decision to avoid the trap of addiction and recent surveys indicate a modest decline in illegal drug use among teens.  However, in a drug infused society that facilitate easy access to highly addictive substances like narcotic pain pills, prescription drug use among most teenagers continue to be a popular trend. The following highlight the most prevalent teenage drug abuse statistics.   

  1. More than 60% of teens said that had access to various prescription drugs at their high school.
  2. 20% of 8th graders report that they have tried marijuana.
  3. Approximately 15% of 10th and 12th graders have used amphetamines.
  4. There are an estimated 1.8 million current cocaine users who are 12 and older
  5. Most teen arrestees test positive for recent drug use.

When it comes to drug abuse, parents, teachers and community leaders are faced with a formidable challenge to keep children drug free.  According to an NIDA report, communication remains one of the most significant tools in the battle against teenage use of drugs and alcohol. It is important to talk to children on an a regular and ongoing basis in a non-threatening way about the inherent dangers of even experimenting with drugs.  The NIDA provide various educational tools and resources that parents can use to help them open and keep these important conversations going with their teenagers and young adults.   Being aware of the signs and symptoms of drug abuse, dependence or addiction is also critical if parents are to develop strategies that get their loved one the care they need to overcome addiction.  People in addiction often become reclusive, go through a stage of denial or become defensive when confronted with their substance abuse problem.  This often deter parents from taking the steps they need in a timely manner.  In too many teen drug abuse stories, failure to address addiction at the onset or hesitation due to fear of confronting the problem often turn out to be a fatal mistake. To read more about other addicts stories visit us here.  

Sources:

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