If you are parenting a teen, you might want to know why they would engage in risky behaviors like drug abuse. It’s important information to consider, as it helps you be both aware and supportive of their situation.
Generally speaking, there are many reasons why teens engage in drug abuse. They might encounter drugs at a party and be peer pressured by friends. Alternatively, they might use drugs as a form of rebellion—simply to break a rule. Perhaps they feel excluded or shy in social circles, making the drug-induced boost of confidence alluring. These are some specific reasons you can look out for in your teen, but also be sure to educate them them on the risks and consequences of drug abuse and help them to seek support if they need it.
In Atlanta, Georgia, heroin, methamphetamine, alcohol and prescription drugs are some of the most commonly abused stimulants. Prescription drugs are important to consider because they might be easy for your teen to access—even in your own home.
Compared to the rest of the country, Georgia has relatively average statistics in drug abuse amongst adolescents. Approximately 23 percent of students state they have tried alcohol before the age of 13, while 35 percent have had a drink within the month of a study conducted by the Office of Adolescent Health. Furthermore, 38 percent of students indicated they have tried marijuana at least once and 6 percent indicated they have abused prescription drugs.
These facts and figures are important to consider, especially when examining the drug culture in your area. However, it is also important to promote open communication and understanding with your own teen to be better aware of their habits, risks and strengths when facing drugs.
Feature image Mike Boening Photography