Adolescents and Dangerous Behaviors

Now that it’s summer, do you know what your kids are up to? With more free time on their hands, and possibly less supervision from parents, this is the time when many teens first start experimenting with dangerous behaviors, many of which can eventually lead to drug or alcohol abuse.

Drug-Like Behavior

Teens now use anything they can get their hands on to experiment with drug-like behavior. Things like crushed candy and powdered drink mix are being snorted. The burning feeling adolescents get from this may make them think they are legally doing what drug addicts do. Other teens have begun to smoke crushed candy. They inhale the clouds of candy smoke that come out and feel like they are really smoking. Just because the substances they are using are everyday substances doesn’t mean the effects aren’t going to be harmful.

What is the harm in doing some of these experiments if they don’t physically harm the child? Part of the problem is in the emulating of bad behaviors like smoking or drug use. Many people spend their entire lives trying to break free from these addictions and unfortunately a large number of youth can’t wait to be able to try it themselves.

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Teens Abusing Household Substances

Other teens are using household chemicals and products that do actually harm them or help them to get high. Things like cough medicine or rubbing alcohol, paint thinners or even nutmeg are all abused by teens today to alter their minds and give them “a good time”. These items can give your teen a real high, just like street drugs, yet they are found in most homes so teens don’t always see the danger in them.

Gateway to Drugs

While not every teen that smokes candy or inhales household substances will grow up to be a drug addict, it does open the door for the possibility. Kids that have sort of gone through the motions of doing drugs are more likely to try it with real drugs someday. It is a smaller step to take to try drugs when you’ve already experimented with these other drug-like trends.

Fortunately, there are things parents can do. They can first of all be vigilant about what their kids are up to. Kids that are kept busy with positive activities won’t have as much time to get into trouble. Parents can also talk with their kids (over and over) about the risks of drugs, but also the risks of these trends. Be honest with them. Tell them that using household items to inhale or snort can either harm their bodies, or could make it easier to get involved in drug abuse in the future. Parents also need to know what the trends are, and what kinds of temptations are out there for their kids. Go on the internet and check out some of the websites for teens that teach them how to use these chemicals. See what they are dealing with every day. By becoming educated and helping educate their children, parents can help keep their kids safe this summer.

Sources

http://www.minti.com/parenting-advice/5694/Drugs-and-teensNutmeg/

Gregston, Mark Facing the summer with a troubled teen  6/24/2009

http://www.teendrugabuse.us/household_products.html

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