Building A Drug-free Environment For Teenagers

By Robin Leonardo

Teenagers fall prey to using illicit drugs because they are
tempted to try these drugs. They believe that taking such
drugs will help them attain pleasure and stay active.
Unfortunately, they are unaware of the negative effects
of using drugs on health and are putting their lives at risk.
Drug abuse is harmful for teenagers:

The harmful consequences of teen drug abuse include
increased risk of getting addicted to drugs later in life.
Since their body and mind is still in a developing stage,
their health can seriously get affected by drug abuse.

Short-term consequences of drug abuse include blurred
vision, nausea, glazed eyes, increased fatigue, sudden
weight loss or weight gain, mood swings, etc. Long-term
consequences include kidney, lung and liver failure, brain
damage and high blood pressure leading to heart attack,
stroke and death.

Most common drugs used by teens:
There are different types of illicit drugs that are generally
used by teens. These drugs are very harmful and may
lead to serious health problems. You need to know them
to protect your teen from drug abuse.

Some commonly abused drugs include;
•Tobacco products
•Prescription drugs

Parents and school/college authorities should keep an
eye on teens:

Adolescence is a stage in life when significant changes
in body and mind occur. Teens find it a pleasure in taking
any kind of risk. If they are with the wrong crowd, they
can get into drug abusing habit. Therefore, parents and
school/college authorities should monitor their teens'/
students' behavior. If they notice that the teen is
gradually changing his or her behavior, immediately take
necessary action.

Some common behavioral changes
•Fall in academics
•Rebellious behavior
•Change in friends
•Change in appetite
•Lying to get away with things
•Neglecting physical appearance
•Unexplained need for money

Parents and school/college authorities should watch out
for these changes. If they do notice any of these
changes, they need to confirm the drug abuse. For this
they can take help of drug testing kits. Once drug abuse
is confirmed they need to speak to their children.

Initially, if parents get to know that their teen is abusing
drugs, they should talk to him/her and explain the
negative effects of drugs, because teens at a tender age
are very rebellious. Parents, therefore, should handle the
situation very carefully.

Even after the parents' intervention, if the teen is
adamant and does not want to mend his/her ways, it
would be appropriate to take him/her either to a
counselor or a rehab center.
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