I'm a father of two who used to party my tail off back in the day, but reading what some kids had to say was a big eye opener. One wrote, "Youth are unaware that they are being eaten by their systems. They only care on what they feel now and not what they will feel afterwards." I just wrote a hub on the subject, but missed this factor entirely... Food for thought... How many of us, as adults, still live life with this basic undertone?
For me the thing that can really truly cause the child in drugs through mislead,bad influence from friends and lock of parents guidance which has which has a great in fact for the child's life of guidance.
i have found most alcohol/drug abuse is from feeling your dad/father does not love you. of course, that is not true, as love is always present, it may be present in forms some do not recognize is all.
We tend to forget that what we considered normal, laugh about when we discuss now etc - was the illicit cigarette behind the gym, the illicit bottles of cider that someone who looked old enough (like me) bought for everyone at the corner store - and then getting wasted somewhere - we forget that the equivalent today is a reefer behind the gym and a line of coke somewhere quiet. It is just as hard for a kid to resist today's drugs as it was for us to resist the tobacco and alcohol to which we are still addicted.
As for our Father not caring for us - this, or the perception that he does not care, is just as likely to turn somebody to one of the religions as it is to drugs or booze, and maybe religion is the most damaging addiction of the three.
There's a difference between experimentation, which is a normal aspect of teen development, and drug abuse.
What you say about teens feeling invincible and only caring about this moment vs. future consequences is very true. That's simply part of their psychological development.
There are a lot of factors conspiring today. Easier access to a range of drugs (including scrips) and stronger drugs (today's weed is NOT what we used to smoke in the '70s), for one.
It's easier to get hooked without meaning to...
Other than that, I don't want to be an armchair psychiatrist, but the environmental/familial factors can be complex...
Drugs are fun and easily accessible... Who wouldn't want to use?
I think it's lack of parental love and guidance and verbal, explicit and repeated lengthy and in-depth explanations/warnings/lectures.
They need all that. But sometimes even that's not enough I guess if outside influence is too strong. In which case consider moving if at all possible to help and double or triple your application of parental love and guidance and verbal, explicit and repeated lengthy and in-depth explanations/warnings/lectures.
Kids love those. I call it indoctrinating them with good sense.
So far it seems to be working. The eldest is 19 and no real troubles yet. But I know my 'baby's' gonna be the biggest challenge.
A need to belong to something, to be accepted or boredom and need for expression. A child needs to be directed to their best talent at an early age or any time, better late than never. If they are preoccupied with their heart's interest, they have no need to stay on drugs even if they do experiment a little. They will say no.
Peer pressure, insecurity, wanting to "fit in", wanting to stop feeling anxious like every teenager does, not understanding or not caring about the consequences, society's acceptance of substance abuse . . . and the beat goes on . . .
I had what some may call a 'perfect up-bringing' - Lovely parents, good schools, good well behaved friends. I was raised going to church every sunday and doing all the churchy things... and at age 16 I was determined to become a youth preacher.
Then I turned 18... Found a new group of friends (not so well behaved) and ended up dropping all my morals and spread my wings, I partied, got high on this that and the other, drank alot and lost all motivation to do anything worthwhile in life, I stayed in this scene for about 6 years.
So even with a pefect up-bringing as kids we can screw up, I have no one to blame accept for my own choices - no one made me do it and nothing caused me to do it other than my own free will - Why then did I screw up so bad? Personally I still have no idea and really dont care.
What matters is I woke up to my mis-guided ways took control of my life and held myself accountable for all my past actions, it has been 6 years since I woke up to myself and now I find I have adopted all those morals I had while growing up - I no longer do drugs, I enjoy a drink once in awhile, but dont get drunk and most inmportant my life is going somewhere worthwhile.
It was not low-self esteem, peer pressure, boredom, rebelion or any of those other fancy words we use to create excuses for people, it was free will and my own choice (granted a stupid choice)... but I learnt from my choices and created a great life for myself.
Oh one other thing, I was 24 when I left the drug scene, it took 2 years for my head to clear and my personality to return to normal, and there at age 26 is when I woke up and set to work on creating my life. Now, only at age 30 I look back and smile at the progress I have made in 4 short years.
Many teens will 'experiment' with illicit (and not so illicit) drugs. It is only a very small percentage that will end up in the complex spiral of drug abuse and addiction.
From my experiences personally and professionally, I have realised that those who do become entrenched in drug abuse have poor coping mechanisms - and their brains do not respond the same way as someone who does not succumb to addiction. It has little to do with will power or even peer pressure - they are often just the excuses easily grasped.
When children experience perceived danger (which could be something we, as adults, do not see as fearful) their 'survival brain' kicks in - they go into 'fight, flight or freeze' mode - a very intense space to be in.
This is normally a quick response which is just as quickly shut down by another part of the brain when it realises the danger has passed or is not real. For some reason, for some of us, that end process does not happen and staying in the high anxiety of 'survival mode' becomes our first habit.
It is an unsustainable place to be and we can search around for something to bring us out of that place - and often that becomes dysfunctional behaviours or drugs. Of course once the drug/behaviour wears off the intensity heightens and need for relief comes again - creating a viscous cycle.
There is fascinating new research being done lately into retraining the neural pathways in the brain to help overcome drug abuse, self-harm and other destructive behaviours. Neuroplasticity - an interesting field.
Controlling parents is one.
A lack of parental understanding & empathy is another.
Being abused - using drugs as learned escapism.
These and many, many more.
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