Substance Abuse in Teens Today

Teens nowadays have many stresses in their daily lives, because of this, some might try to find solace in substances such as alcohol and drugs. Substance abuse is an addiction that causes a variety of mental and physical illnesses that young people have to comprehend at growing ages. Substance abuse can also lead to problems such as performance in school, is dangerous in certain situations and can hinder close friendships and relationships with family. 

Causes of Drug Abuse Among Youth?

One of the main causes of drug abuse is peer pressure. A vast majority of teenagers with drug abuse problems began abusing drugs and alcohol as a result of peer pressure. Youth give in to the pull of peer pressure because they want to feel like they belong in a clique. Though in most cases having peers can be a positive thing and can help develop a child’s own personality, immersing yourself with the wrong type of people can have an inversely negative impact. This often leads to bad decisions and loss of individuality. Another cause of substance abuse among teens is the mass representation of drugs, primarily vape pens, in social media. Vape pens are glamorized in social media and promote feelings of freedom and anxiety relief. In truth, they cause addictions, interference with relationships and various health problems. Many teenagers who develop substance abuse problems have pre-existing problems with relationships in their lives. Family conflicts can drive teenagers to find freedom abusing drugs and alcohol because there is a lack of healthy communication between families. Sometimes between parents and their children, there can be many poorly explained rules and boundaries among the use of drugs. Teenagers choose to abuse drugs and alcohol also because of emotional distress such as anxiety and depression. They often feel calmer and are more susceptible to the idea that doing drugs can be a long-term venting outlet. 

Some Consequences of Substance Abuse?

Youth that partake in substance abuse are more suseptable than nonusers to health and wellness problems such as depression, suicidal thoughts and permanent personality disorders. Substance abuse also causes physical health problems, the main one being damage to internal organs such as the lungs, heart and brain. The chances of life-threatening disorders such as stroke increase exponentially when using drugs for long durations of time. Continuous use of these harmful substances leads to addictions that compromise your state of mind and sanity. Addiction leads to behavioral problems such as aggressiveness and paranoia, which are especially difficult for young people to manage. 

How do you Prevent Substance Abuse?

The first step to preventing substance abuse is understanding how it develops in people. 

  1. Avoid temptations that could be in the form of social media handles or stores marketing these substances near you. 
  2. Peer pressure is one of the biggest reasons why young people decide to get involved with drugs, choose to avoid groups of people that make you feel uncomfortable with their choices and who do not share the same principles. 
  3. If you have pre pre-existing mental illnesses, seek therapy to reconnect with your spirituality and heal yourself from the inside. 
  4. Start keeping a healthy and balanced life. Include exercise, a healthy diet and community involvement in your daily life. 
  5. Start up yoga. You would be surprised at the mental and physical health benefits. 
  6. Maybe try some essential oils to feel calmer and have a more peaceful state of mind. 

Many young people do not understand the seriousness of getting involved with drugs. As a high school student myself, I am not oblivious to the substance abuse that some of my peers get involved with. What I try to do to avoid precarious situations is first and foremost, know how to assert myself and say no. This might be a simple response but is highly effective and works in any given situation. Here at Green School Canada, you have the opportunity to educate yourself about those around you! Be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to learn more. 

Blog Image Credit: Isaac Quesada


Written By: Maaya Chander




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