Why Do So Many Teens Choose Drugs and Alcohol?

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The truth is, many teenagers follow trends, whether they see their family or friends doing it. Teens are impressionable, and many things seem appealing to them. This can lead them to try marijuana, use pills, or consume alcoholic beverages.

Many teens don’t understand the impact of these substances on their brain. They consume them because they think it will be exciting. Others may use them due to anxiety, to escape problems, or because of peer pressure. Excessive drug use is a leading cause of suicide among people aged 10 to 24. According to the American Addiction Center, 75% of suicides were linked to some form of substance use. These numbers are alarming. We must ask what is causing this and how we can stop it.

Does Social Media and Television Influence Drug and Alcohol Use?

While it can’t be definitively proven, social media and television do heavily publicize teen drinking and drug use. Many children born after 2000 grew up with constant exposure to technology. This has exposed them to things that weren’t issues for previous generations. The more they see these things, the more normal and acceptable they become. They don’t question seeing another teen smoke or drink because on TV, it’s seen as cool. This shows teens that everyone does it, so it must be okay. Many teens accept that and may eventually try it themselves. This thinking can lead them down a dangerous path, potentially ending in prison or even death.

Can Talking to a Child Change Their Perspective?

Communication has always been effective in guiding children down the right path. Bringing these issues to their attention can help them understand why they shouldn’t choose them. Schools now have classes teaching the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body. Many parents think that if they avoid mentioning these things, their children won’t know about them. However, children have many teachers; friends, social media, television media, to name a few. Parents must be the first point of contact for issues that can affect their children. Sometimes, sharing personal experiences can help children understand the impact of these substances. Don’t hide the truth; spread it. In my opinion, this generation needs more positive influence. The only way to stop this trend is to shine a light on it. We have the power to change the course of these young lives.