Why Do Teens Engage In Drug Abuse? This has become a prevalent question in the minds of most Nigerian parents in recent times, however, the society at large continues to live in self denial about this particular issue.
Drug abuse is the new trend among teens in the Nigerian society and it is fast becoming a medical, psychological and social problem.[40% of Nigerian youths engage in drug abuse].
The fact that drug abuse among students in secondary school and tertiary institutions is on the rise is a matter of great concern. What are our children involved in or what are they exposed to in their various schools?
Drug abuse involves “taking more than the doctor prescribed “. It could bе seen аѕ thе uѕе оf іllісіt drugѕ, оr the abuse оf рrеѕсrірtіоn or over-the-counter drugѕ.
Drug аbuѕе саn bе further dеfіnеd as thе dеlіbеrаtе uѕе оf chemical ѕubѕtаnсеѕ fоr reasons other thаn іntеndеd mеdісаl purposes and whісh rеѕultѕ іn рhуѕісаl, mental emotional оr ѕосіаl іmраіrmеnt of thе uѕеr.
In other words, it is important to note that teens abuse not only hard/illegal drugs, but also legal/prescribed drugs.
It has come to the point where we have to address the elephant in the room. Failure to do so will only endanger the lives of our little jewels (they never stop being little to us, no matter how big they become) and our future as children are the leaders of tomorrow.
Do you remember what it was like to be a teen? You’ll agree with me that understanding is the first step to helping.
Why do teens engage in drug abuse?
Adolescence is a time to try new experiences, take risks and explore new identities. Teenagers are prone to come across and engage in both negative and positive activities. Abusing drugs is one. Why?
To boost self esteem
If a teenager feels a strong need to fit in with peers in order to reinforce a low sense of self-worth, he’s more likely to take drugs. Low self-esteem due to physical appearance or lack of friends can lead to self-destructive behavior.
The media, bullies, and often family put pressure on teenagers to act and look a certain way, and they end up losing confidence in themselves if they don’t meet those high standards. Drugs and alcohol seem like an easy way to escape this reality.
Some teens turn to drugs and alcohol in order to escape reality. Drugs help them forget and feel happier. You may see a sullen attitude as “just being a teenager,” but there may be a deeper depression within.
Also, teenagers who suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia may use drugs to control their symptoms.
Just because it is the new “cool”
They learn about it from a friend who’s doing it and then they want to try it out since “everyone else is doing it,” .
Teenagers often feel a social imperative to experiment and experience all that they can while we are still young. They feel like if they don’t try it now, they’ll be missing out.
Many teens begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol simply because they are curious and want to know what it feels like. And because drugs can become addictive pretty fast, it becomes a regular act.
To loose weight
As unbelievable as it sounds, Female teenagers often turn to harder drugs—such as cocaine—for a quick way to lose weight.
In teenage years, girls become more body-conscious and may become desperate to slim down and attract the attention of popular boys. These young ladies may also be struggling with a co-occurring eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia.
Teenagers are often stressed with a packed schedule of advanced classes and extracurricular activities and they end up seeking method of coping with stress.
They then turn to drugs such as marijuana in order to relax. Cocaine and Adderall are commonly used to enhance energy and focus when they need a little help.
Ecstasy can be used for a lack of inhibition and enhanced sexual experience. Marijuana and alcohol are often used to relax and be more comfortable in social situations.
Problems at school and at home
Kids who have learning disabilities, poor impulse control or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a higher risk of drug abdrugs
In addition, Abuse of any kind — sexual, physical, verbal — and substance abuse by parents are huge risk factors for drug abuse among teens.
Teenagers whose parents provide minimal supervision, fail to set rules and don’t express concern for a teenager’s welfare are more likely to experiment with drugs
Drug abuse can become addictive. At this stage, we have a greater problem on our hands. Some Nigerian teenagers have given their testimonies on how they started abusing drugs, got addicted and couldn’t stop until it nearly ruined their lives.
What can we do as parents?
The dangers of drug abuse are bound to make even the strongest man weep for the youths of our country. Teens start abusing drugs without being aware if the dire consequences.
Drug use аnd аbuѕе іѕ the рrіmаrу reason why mаnу youths have been іnсаrсеrаtеd, as well аѕ being a ѕоurсе оf crime аnd hеаlth problem іn our ѕосіеtу today.
In addition, the long term effects of drug abuse on teenagers is a major reason why we should make sure our teens don’t start it in the first place.
Be actively involved in your child’s life. To avoid asking yourself where you might have gone wrong, make sure you lecture your children about the dangers of drug abuse.
Educating your child on the repercussions of drug and alcohol abuse may extinguish any likelihood to abuse drugs.
Encourage your children to Say No To Drugs. Try giving your teenager more responsibilities or extra-curricular activities to get involved with so that he or she doesn’t have the time to think about substance use.
Encouraging your children to join clubs and sports can also help them make friends in a healthy way and prevent them from falling in with the wrong crowd.
Watch and Pray