Parents must be aware of their teen’s activities and social circles, and the potential risks kids face today. Here are the five substances teens most commonly abuse:
- Marijuana: Weed, pot, grass; the same common drug generations past… perhaps that’s why marijuana is the most commonly used drug today (“My parents probably did it, so why can’t I?”) But today’s marijuana is much more potent, and the fact that many kids are trying pot at a younger age means they’ll be more likely to advance to more powerful substances as they get older. It’s not a drug to be taken lightly.
- Prescription drugs: An estimated 20% of teens have used prescription drugs to get high. This growing trend is so troubling because of how easy it is to obtain these drugs; most kids can find them in their parents’ bathroom cabinet. However, parents have been slow to catch on, and now prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in schools. Teens have even begun throwing “pharming parties” where everyone brings a stash from their home to share with the group.
- Ecstasy: This drug is very popular among the dance club scene and is now being marketed to kids, using cartoon character stamps. With its designs and cheap prices, this stimulant has, unfortunately, become a popular pastime.
- Inhalants: The presence of inhalants has become another danger in most teenage homes. Teens and pre-teens have begun sniffing or huffing certain chemicals or household items in order to get high. Oftentimes, teens don’t see this as being anything more than a game, and certainly don’t see it as being harmful.
- Cocaine and heroin: These potent drugs are causing growing concern for parents and law enforcement. Highly addictive, they both cause such a high that users are left craving more. The lives of many teens have already been ruined by cocaine and heroine.
The thing is, teens don’t really see these drugs as being harmful or serious, because they’re still learning and growing — sometimes, there are many things they simply don’t know. Parents need to talk with their kids about drugs, and warn them about the severity of these substances. Perhaps with a little more time and effort spent on awareness, education and prevention, these trends won’t continue to surface among our teens.