Why Drugs Aren’t ‘Cool’
Millions of people every day suffer from drug abuse and addiction, making this a worldwide epidemic. Substance use and abuse can lead to addiction, overdose, and even death. Someone who is abusing drugs will experience negative social, mental, and physical effects. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug abuse, seek help today. The sooner you reach out for help, the sooner you can begin a healthier and happier chapter.
Teens and Drug Use
The teenage years are hallmarked by rebellious, risky, and sometimes very dangerous behavior. Teenagers are known for questioning authority. It is important to keep in mind is that the prefrontal cortex in the brain is not quite developed in teenagers. This does not develop until the mid-twenties. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for problem-solving and sound judgment.
Teenagers are exposed to very sensitive environments that are usually socially driven. High school social gatherings, parties, and sporting events are where teenagers frequent. The social dynamic that is present at these events can really affect how a teen feels. A teen may have an intense desire to fit in and keep their new friends pleased with their behavior.
This leads to teens being especially vulnerable to the dangers of peer pressure. Peer pressure can be intentional or unintentional. A group of friends may all be experimenting with drugs and may tell the other friend, “Come and try! We are all doing it!”. This gives the illusion that doing drugs is cool and is something you can do to fit in with others. Teens often get the wrong impression that using drugs will allow them to bond with their friend group. Unfortunately, teenage drug use can lead to criminal activity, lying, skipping school, and even addiction.
Drugs are also common on college campuses. While the social factor stills play a huge role, so is the process of students self-medicating. Self-medicating is when someone who feels negative will use the drug to feel positive. They could also use the drug to perform better. For example, a student that wants better concentration may take Adderall. In the same sense, a student may drink alcohol in order to help them feel more relaxed. This concept makes it seem like drugs are beneficial to help college students. However, this is far from the truth. Self-medicating can cause students to misdiagnose themselves, leading them to experience adverse conditions.
If you suspect your teen is using drugs, get help as soon as possible to limit the consequences. One of the best approaches is to open the conversation, but do not pry. Explain to your teen that you are always there for them and if they ever need to talk, you will be available without judgment. Saying things like, “If you are ever in a bad situation. Just call me and there will be no questions asked” can raise the trust level between you and your teen.
The Dangerous Consequences of Drug Use
Drug use may be seen as a way to escape your reality, but it has the potential to make your life much worse. Someone who is abusing alcohol may experience dizziness, memory issues, and trouble solving problems after use. This lapse in judgment can be life-threatening. Substance use can cause a person’s heart rate to drastically slow down. The cardiovascular system could begin operating so slowly that it causes the person to pass out. This dangerous condition could lead to death. The use of cocaine can cause someone to become violent or act erratically. Even prescription medications could cause someone to have an irregular heartbeat or suffer from a seizure.
While all drugs are dangerous and have the potential to be life-threatening, it is important to note that every person’s body is different and will handle the drug differently. This means that an amount that would not affect your friend, may cause you to experience an overdose. As someone uses more and more drugs, their tolerance for that drug will build. This means that they will need more and more of the drug to experience the same effects as before.
What Is Addiction?
Addiction is a complex brain disease. There is no set amount of drugs that need to be used in order to warrant an addiction. Addiction can happen at any time and can happen to anyone. When drugs interact with your body, they will overstimulate your brain and create a euphoric feeling. This feeling of euphoria will be short-lived and will require more drugs to maintain it. No other experiences will be able to give you that same feeling, so your brain will obsess over obtaining the drug.
Drugs directly impact your reward pathway, which is the part that will be overstimulated and could cause permanent damage. This rewiring of the brain causes someone suffering from an addiction to act compulsively and often erratically. Signs and symptoms of addiction can vary. However, if you suspect someone you love is suffering from an addiction, there are some signs you can watch for.
You will want to watch for someone who is behaving out of character, experiencing frequent mood swings, is isolating themselves, and has been asking for money repeatedly. The best thing you can do if you suspect someone is suffering from addiction is to seek help. Remember, addiction does not make someone a bad person and they deserve treatment.
Can Drug Addiction be Treated?
The good news is that there is always hope. Addiction is a treatable disease and everyone suffering deserves expert professional help. Taking the first step toward recovery is a huge milestone and needs to be celebrated. If someone in your life has chosen recovery, show them love, positivity, and support. There are several treatment options someone with an addiction can choose from. However, the best programs are those that are individualized. The Arizona Addiction Recovery Center features a dedicated team of health professionals that strive every day to impact the lives of others. They believe that every person suffering from addiction can reach the road to recovery and begin the journey towards sobriety. Risking your life is not worth the illusion of needing drugs to fit in. Get the help you deserve and call today.