Teens, Drug, and Alcohol Use Essay

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Teens, Drug, and Alcohol Use

There is no simple answer to why a teen might begin using drugs or alcohol. Many times, it is a combination of several things. They may turn to drugs to escape stress or loneliness or to overcome shyness in social situations. They may want to be seen as grown up, or they may simply be curious. Teens often want to be like their role models as well; so, if their favorite music group or a "cool" friend at school uses drugs or alcohol, they may also use drugs or alcohol to be like them. (Teen Health)

Adolescence is often a time of low self-esteem, which can develop as a result of not being able to grow and change as quickly as desired. A young person with low self-esteem may feel they are not as smart,
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Among 10th graders, Ecstasy use rose from 4.4 percent to 5.4 percent; and among 12th graders, from 5.6 percent to 8.2 percent. (2/3 Teens try drugs)

A survey released in 2002 from the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University indicates that 95 percent of teens that smoke cigarettes start at or before age 15. Ninety three percent of teens that drink alcohol start at or before the age 15. In addition, 86 percent of teens that smoke marijuana start at age 15. (CASA)

If a parent suspects that their teen is using they may feel the need to catch them. So, they search their room, or control their activities and friends. Which are normal feelings, after all parents want their kids to be safe. However, it might be more helpful to talk with them and let them know of the changes they have observed and what the cause is. (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission)

Preventing teen drug use is possible; parents and guardians need to learn the warning signs and dangers. They may ask themselves, how can I know if my teen is using? Well, here are some warning signs:

Mood swings
Personality changes
Self-centered
Change in dress or friends
School problems
Being paranoid
(Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission)
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