Adolescence is the time for risk taking, good or bad. Many teens are doing a very risky behavior in our own schools and communities, illegal drug use. Illegal drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and Methamphetamine or meth. Even though most teens don’t recognize this as a risk taking behavior, it certainly is. There are many reasons why a teen might use or start to use illegal drugs, here are the top five:
1) Stress: A recent study disclosed that 73 percent of teens report the number-one motive for using drugs is to deal with the pressures and stress of school. This is there way of getting away from it all.
2) Social Acceptance and/or Low Self-Esteem: A 2007 PATS Teens study reported 65 percent of teens say they use drugs to “feel cool.” Being accepted by others is crucial in a teen’s life. The same study established that 65 percent of teens use drugs to “feel better about themselves.”
3) Self-Medication: The teen years are tough and many teens who are unhappy or frustrated, using illegal drugs to cope with their symptoms. Many teens have no clue that they might be suffering a mental disorder/ depression, because of this they don’t seek help via a doctor
4) Misinformation: Studies show that teens are widely misinformed about the dangers of drugs. Studies show that 40 percent of teens don’t perceive any major risk with trying Heroin.
5) Easy Access: One reason teens use drugs is simply because they’re easy to get. Nearly 50 percent of teens report that it’s easy for them to get marijuana; 17 percent say it’s easy to get meth; 14.4 percent say it’s easy to get heroin.
Side Effects of Illegal drugs
Many young people do not know the side effects of illegal drugs, others know that it is not worth the risk. The short term side effects of using illegal drugs such as marijuana, heroin, meth and cocaine are Hallucinations, delusions, disorientation, increased heart- rate, nausea and vomiting. In addition to that, there are number of long term side effects like addiction, greater chance of developing cancer, Tuberculosis, Bad teeth, Inflammation of the gums, Constipation, Cold sweats, Itching, Weakening of the immune system, Respiratory (breathing) illnesses, Muscular weakness, partial paralysis, Loss of memory and intellectual performance, Loss of appetite, Insomnia and death due to opioid (a chemical in the brain). As you can see above illegal drugs can very harmful to our bodies, unfortunately those are not all. Illegal drug use is not only a risk taking behavior but a lethal one at times, illegal drug use and abuse causes 250,000 deaths on earth yearly. A total of 47,000 Canadians die annually because of illegal drug use.
What kind of teens are at risk? ...