Why are parents and schools not doing more to inform teenagers about drugs when studies conducted conclude that the problem with teens and drug use is only getting worse? That is why there needs to be a change in the way things are and the time for that change is now because putting off the subject at hand is never the answer. Parents and schools need to see that the best way to begin to scratch the surface of the problem is through education of the proper information.
There are many websites that have all the information that parents and schools need to get teenagers on the right track but that will never happen if they both are not will to admit there is a problem. Even though programs are available, teens are not properly informed about drugs because schools do not offer enough information and parents are not getting involved. Schools today feel that they are doing their part because they invest money in programs to help keep teenagers from using illegal drugs and alcohol. Another problem is that schools think that they have good students and fall into a false sense of security.
A Texas teacher’s word summed it up when she stated, “He was a good student, he made A’s and B’s, and was very popular,” said Derrick’s English teacher. “I would not have expected he had any kind of problem. ” (Manning, 1997). The problem is that these programs have little to no impact on the teens. While teenagers are enrolling in these drug prevention groups, most of them are only in them to have another extra-curricular activity on their college resume. There are groups of people that go around doing poles in high schools to see what teenagers really know about drugs.
The results from the polls at schools prove that teens are lacking the proper knowledge. Another type of poll that was conducted is one that showed the types of drugs teens use and what percentage of teens that have been using these drugs. As you can see below the number of students that are using Drugs are way too high and the time is now that parents and schools start do something about it! Not only does there need to be a focus on the growing number of teens using drugs but also the fact that the age that teens start using drugs seems to be getting younger and younger.
See there has been studies conducted that show teens are beginning to experiment with drugs at a much younger age. “According to the latest national survey, 40 percent of high school seniors said they had used illegal drugs in the past year. The figure for 10th-graders was 38 percent; for 8th-graders, 24 percent — proof, say experts, that drug use is beginning at a younger age. ” (Manning, 1997). Schools need to wake-up and see the problem for what it is! A good start would be to create new programs that fit the issues facing teenagers today.
There are a few ways that schools could find out what problems teens in the community are facing. One way would be to contact the local police department and work together with them to see what type of drugs that they are finding when having run-ins with teens. Another way would be to contact the local hospitals and see what drugs teens were using when they were admitted to the hospital. Once that information is gathered it would give the schools a upper hand on where to begin fixing the problem. While there is still a problem with drugs like Marijuana, LSD, and inhalants; teens have found another way to get high.
Prescription drugs seem to be the drug of choice among teenagers and schools need to recognize the problem. Teens naturally turn to school for guidance and if schools are prepared then they could have a positive impact on this problem. The thing is teenagers are influenced by their peers resulting in a false sense of security yet they like the fact that there are rules and want to keep it that way. Most feel that the laws are there for a reason and without them the problems we are facing now would only be worse.
While the amount of students that favor prohibitive laws as shown below are not terribly low there is still room for improvement. Getting schools to work on the problem is only half the battle. Now is the time to get the parents involved. Many parents believe that their teens know enough about illegal drugs not to use them and feel if they avoid the topic it will not enter their thoughts. Now if that were the case there would be no reason for this article and we would be living in a perfect world but that could not be further from the truth. Statics prove that illegal drug use among teens is a growing problem with no sign of a decline.
Also the tend to listen to their friends and their opinions on drugs, “What you hear from friends about drugs may be based on myths and false rumors,” says Dr. Volkow. (Junior Scholastic,2009) One reason for the increase of drug usage is the lack of proper knowledge. The excuse some parents use for not talking to their teen is that they do not know what to say to them but the good news is that there are web sites that can help you such as theantidrug. com. Another reason that parents do not bring up the subject is they do not feel that their teenager will listen to what they have to say on the subject.
Well parents that could not be further from the truth and talking to them maybe the only thing that does keep them off drugs or away from alcohol. It is important to remember that it is better to be more of a parent at this age and less of a friend so that they will take you serious. They might not like this now but one day they will thank you for it! Parents of teens also need to be aware of the latest problem in teen drug abuse. They are now stealing, selling, and abusing prescription drugs. Parents need to keep track of their medications or lock them up so that their teens cannot gain access to them.
Parents might think that since they have not heard of this problem before that it must not be that bad, well think again. It has been stated that, “Prescription drugs now are second only to marijuana among teens seeking a high, according to a report released last month from White House drug czar John P. Walters. ” (Omaha World-Herald,2007). Prescription drugs, such as ADHD medications, are what teens are using to get high. What parents do not realize is that teens think that since these pills are from a pharmacy that they are safe to use.
Another fact that might scare you is that teens are having parties that they refer to as pharm parties where a bunch of teens raid their parents medicine cabinets and then everyone pours the pills that they have brought into a bowl. Once all the pills have been emptied then they start reaching in and taking whatever they grab not knowing what it might be or how it will affect them. How can anyone deny that this is a serious problem when studies have proven that prescription drug abuse has increased 76 percent over the last eight years and show no sign of an improvement.
Many parents do not see drugs as a problem because they feel that they raised their teen right and that this in not their problem. Even though this might be the case, it would be a big help if all parents got involved and worked together to educate teens about illegal drugs. While in the past drug use was associated with troubled kids this is not the case anymore. This is part of the reason why the number of teens abusing drugs continues to be on the rise. Part of the problem is that they do not see harm in recreational use and are getting their information from their peers.
What can parents do that will help them to recognize if their teenager is on drugs or not? There are a few signs that parents can look for that will aid them in making their decisions. First off parents need to learn to spot the signs of drug use. ”The three key symptoms of stimulant abuse are hyperactivity, agitation, and increased pulse or blood pressure. ” (U. S. News ; World Report Online,2009). Once you figure out that your teenager is definitely using drugs you would then need to learn the proper way to handle the situation. It recommend that the parent contacts either their primary care doctor or poison control center.
After reading all the reasons why teenagers need to be provided with more information on illegal and prescription drugs, how can any parent or school deny that their methods of drug prevention are flawed? Donna E. Shalala is a woman who is Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, once said “Everyone needs to give our young people the clear and unambiguous message that drugs are illegal, dangerous, and wrong,”(Manning,1997). The place that we need to start doing this is at school and also homes across the country. With the proper information and guidance teens can be living there life drug free and happy! References ) Manning, Steven C. (1997) “Teens ; drugs: how big a crisis? ” Scholastic Update _Retrieved Web. 5 Mar. 2010. From htpp://find. galegroup. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com 2) Omaha World-Herald (2007)”Prescription-drug abuse is a growing problem among students. ” _Retrieved Web. 5 Mar. 2010. From htpp://find. galegroup. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com 3) U. S. News ; World Report Online (24 Aug. 2009) How to Know if Your Teenager Is Abusing ADHD Prescription Dugs. “_Retrieved Web. 5 Mar. 2010. From http://find. galegroup. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com 4) Junior Scholastic (Nov. 009) “Real questions, real answers: leading scientists give teens the facts about drug abuse. ” _Retrieved Web. 5 Mar. 2010. From http://find. galegroup. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com 5) Healthbeat (14 Dec. 2009) “Teens See Less Risk in Marijuana Use, Survey Finds. “_Retrieved Web. 5 Mar. 2010. From http://find. galegroup. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com 6) Teen Drug Abuse (2005) “Statistics on Teenage Drug Use. ” Retrieved March 27, 2010 From www. teendrugabuse. us 7) Choosing Help… Breaking Free (2007) “Teen Drug Use Statistics. ” Retrieved March 27, 2010 From www. choosehelp. com