Drugs Drug use in adolescents

Parents facing drug use by their children.

Parents facing drug use by their children.

Today, when we talk about drugs, we are doing a perversion with language, because in most cases, our intention is to talk about harmful, toxic or addictive products, and we use the generic name of drugs, to refer to them.

What are drugs? 

However, the word drug according to Wikipedia is a “term of varied use that in medicine refers to any substance with the potential to prevent or cure a disease.” According to this definition drugs are the antibiotics that help us to eradicate an infection.

Drugs would be the drugs through which we manage to lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. They would also be the analgesics and anti-inflammatories that we use in rheumatic diseases and so many and so many others.

But next to these “good drugs” are the drugs that we colloquially know as drugs. These are usually floor-active substances, with high addictive power and in many cases illegal.

These harmful drugs are taken because the individual believes that they will help him feel better. Another reason to consume them is to enjoy a satisfying experience.

From this point on and in order not to confuse the reader every time we mention the word “drug” we will be referring to the colloquial meaning, of daily use in the street, with which we call a long series substances, generally addictive and widely disseminated throughout the world.

Most consumed drugs in the world.

The true fact is that the three most widely used drugs in the world are alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. These three drugs are legal in almost all countries. At a considerable distance, it is followed by other illegal substances such as opium derivatives and amphetamines. The widespread use of drugs is largely explained by their mechanism of action: they are chemicals that alter the functioning of our body.

After being administered by different routes (oral, parenteral or inhalation) they reach the brain through the blood where they can increase or decrease the senses, alter alertness and, in specific cases, reduce physical pain. All drugs produce a varying degree of addiction in which you consume them.

Drug use: Alarming figures.

We can get a fairly rough idea of ​​the severity of drug use in the world in general and among young people in particular by reviewing the figures provided in the 2016 World Drug Report:

“One out of every twenty adults, that is, around two hundred hundred million people between the ages of 15 and 64, used a drug in the last year.”

Of these users, more than 29 million people have drug use disorders. Only one in six people with drug use disorders receives medical treatment.

At least twelve million people take drugs injecting (they inject the drug). More than one and a half million of them are positive for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Six million carry the hepatitis C virus.

The number of drug-related deaths has been in the last year of more than two hundred thousand people. Almost half of them have been due to overdose.

Drug use is very varied.

Drugs in Spain.

Let’s look at figures referring to Spain: Ten percent of Spaniards consume alcohol on a daily basis. Among men this percentage is fifteen percent. Spanish teenagers start drinking alcohol at the average age of thirteen. Alcohol consumption is the second most consumed drug, after tobacco (30% of Spaniards smoke daily). After alcohol go the hypnotics. These are consumed by seven percent of Spaniards. Behind are the tranquilizers consumed by six percent.

The bottle”.

In Spain, seventy-eight percent of adolescents have drunk before the age of eighteen. At least thirty percent of boys between the ages of fourteen and eighteen have gotten drunk in the last month.

More than half of Spanish teenagers have been drinking in the bottle in the last year. It should be noted that the consumption of girls is much more risky. This is because they consume more alcohol and attend these bottles more frequently.

The death a few months ago of a twelve-year-old girl from an ethyl coma reflects the difficulty that exists in tackling the serious problem of alcohol consumption in adolescents.

After this introduction on the concept and nature of drugs, we will focus the rest of this writing on drug use by young people. We will try to find out the reasons that induce them to use it. We will also talk about the best way to prevent its use. we will finish with the early diagnosis and the way in which parents can address this serious problem.

Reasons for drug use by youth.

Reasons for drug use by youth.

Drug use by young people is a multifactorial phenomenon of a complex nature, whose origin may be due to various reasons: curiosity, acceptance by the group, the search for independence or rebellion against the established order, the desire to adventures of risk, the search for new sensations, having fun, forgetting problems that cannot be solved, or simply feeling good for a certain time.

Start in drug use.

Curiosity is the most frequent cause to start drug use, looking for fun surrounded by a group of friends. Although this use will seldom lead to drug dependence, it may happen that the young person who initially experiences it for fun, finds the sensation of escaping from real problems as a side effect. Here there is a factor that can lead to addiction.

When the young person sees that through drugs he manages to forget, even momentarily, problems and difficulties, he runs the risk of resorting to its use, more and more frequently, and thus almost without realizing it ends up generating an addiction. Now drugs are no longer optional, since they need it more and more, it becomes essential in their existence, and this leads to the deterioration of their relationships in all areas: family, school, work and social.

Weekends are the ideal times to meet friends and consume drugs, as it is a practice that enjoys wide social acceptance in its age group.

Young people celebrating a bottle.

How to prevent drug use by young people.

The best way to prevent drug use is to seek a good relationship between father and son, an intermediate relationship between excess authority and absolute permissiveness. The father must show himself with the son always firm, but he must also be reasonable. The father as a model of authority must establish clear and constant standards of conduct. It is not worth that something is allowed today, but it is punished tomorrow.

The child, regardless of his behavior, should feel loved, although sometimes a punishment has to be applied. You must understand that the punishment is the result of your misconduct and not the loss of parental love. The child must feel free and responsible, capable of managing his autonomy, always according to his age.

The importance of the family environment.

It is clear that relationships within the family environment are vitally important. The child cannot see positions or clashes faced between the parents when dealing with these issues. There must be a common position of both parents and there must be an atmosphere of dialogue that encourages communication between parents and children.

All of this will strengthen the confidence of the children and more importantly, if you are ever in a hurry, you will know that you can reach out to your parents, knowing that you can find support from them. It is important to promote the independence of the child, as this increases their responsibility, always under the careful supervision of the parents.

He should be encouraged when he makes the right decisions and not crushed or made useless when he makes a mistake. In short, it is a question of adequately combining autonomy with responsibility.

The attitude of the parents cannot be hypocritical, since any imposture on the part of the parents is doomed to failure. The rules of conduct against drug use must be clear to both parents and children.

Better to lead by example.

The boy will learn as much or more from what he sees as from what he hears. It is useless for a father to prohibit his son from drinking a bottle, if later he goes blind from drinking with friends. The mother cannot tell her daughter how bad tobacco is, while she shamelessly smokes around the house.

Help him learn from his own experiences, and not yours, unless expressly requested. Guide your child about the use of his free time:

– Making him aware of the different activities that exist in his immediate environment.

– Supporting the realization of activities that generate hobbies to fill their leisure time: sports, activities in contact with nature …

– Sharing activities with him.

– Involving you in social tasks, being a member of an association.

– Get acquainted with your child’s friends to find out their tastes, hobbies and activities they carry out. Talk to your child about drugs and their use, making your position clear and highlighting the positive aspects of not indulging in drug use.

Try to give him complete and unbiased information, since isolated or incomplete information on drugs does not prevent their use, but can have the opposite effect, arousing their curiosity and prompting them to try them. After the family, school is the best place to train boys and help prevent drug use.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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