Every year, millions of teens primp and prepare for the fall semester. Whether junior high, high school, or college, one of the most common – and potentially fatal – threats looming over our youth is the pervasive peer pressure to experiment with illicit substances.
The reasons behind escalating drug abuse at the school level are many: the rise in stimulant prescriptions for students diagnosed with ADHD, increased prescription drug availability, a mistaken belief that prescription drugs are less harmful and less addictive than street drugs, and the pharmaceutical-chic ethos promoted by pop culture.
“I am not suggesting that pharmaceutical medications are not an important part of mental health treatment,” Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, Clinical Director of The Dunes East Hampton, stated in his Fox News article titled “Back to school, back to drugs? Five things parents need to know. “What I am affirming is that the proliferation of medications and the increased number of prescriptions written – up to 250 million in 2010 compared to just 90 million in 1990 – has made them far more available to teenagers for illicit use.”
5 Tips To Help Minimize Susceptibility To Substance-Related Peer Pressure This Coming School Year:
- The Talk: Discuss facts and consequences surrounding drug use and addiction.
- Mental Health Issues: Keep an eye out for underlying signs of anxiety or depression. Many teens struggling with mental health issues attempt to self-medicate in an effort to relieve symptoms of untreated psychiatric issues.
- Know Their Friends: Peer groups are one of the strongest indicators of drug use. If your teen associates with drug users, chances are much higher that they will participate.
- Extracurricular Activities: Teens who are active in clubs, drama or sports or much less like to experiment with recreational drug use.
- Keep In Touch: Make a point to touch base regularly to maintain an open line of communication. Try setting aside at least one hour of family time each week. Dinner time at the table is best, but quality time such as movies, bowling, the park etc. is always beneficial in the short and long-term.
Substance Abuse Treatment
If you have questions or concerns regarding your teen’s involvement with drugs or alcohol, The Dunes East Hampton is the place to turn. Our addiction treatment specialists are available to answer any questions you may have and are ready to create a custom treatment plan that fits the needs of every client.