Risks in Taking Drugs among Teenagers

22 Sep

Being a teenager is difficult enough as it is. There are school lessons to attend to, the need to fit in with the crowd, changes in the body, and the struggle to be understood and to understand things yourself. However, that life, however seemingly dramatic, pales in comparison to the dangerous existence of a teenager on drugs. For teenagers, drugs may promise fun, excitement and an aura of cool, but the reality is what drugs actually deliver as poor decision, fatal diseases, and in some cases, even death. Below are the risks teenagers face when on drugs.

One drug leads to another. Teenagers may experiment with drugs, both legal and illegal. Of course, we are all aware of potential teen use of marijuana, cocaine, crack, and methamphetamines, which are particularly dangerous for teens at risk. In addition are the dangers associated with use and abuse of legal medications. Some teens sneak into their parents’ medicine cabinets to use drugs prescribed for another person. Others abuse cold and cough medications for a “high.”

Disease transmission. Risky behavior includes sexual intercourse without the use of a condom. Teens have a number of misconceptions about sex: what constitutes “sex,” how you can or cannot get pregnant, and HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, their bodies are developed before their minds. The emotional toll that early sexual behavior can have on teenagers can also be damaging. Teenager may also contract a disease through the sharing of needles.

Proneness to smoking. One study showed that “nicotine is the number one entrance drug into other substance abuse problems.” Teens who smoke each day are more likely to use other drug substances. Smoking is highly addictive and dangerous. There are no safe cigarettes! Teens that smoke as few as 100 cigarettes (about 10 packs) can be hooked and find it difficult to quit. To teenagers who take drugs, smoking will seem like such a low-risk activity.

Underage drinking. Similar to smoking, drinking alcohol is just another “cool” thing to do in conjunction to taking drugs. There are a number of reasons why teens should not consume alcohol, beyond just the legal aspects. A drunk teenager is more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex or driving (or riding with someone) under the influence. A single drink can be enough to lead to lifelong circumstances that cannot be reversed.

Unsafe driving practices. Drinking and drug use is a risky lifestyle; add up driving and you have a recipe for disaster. The biggest risk is that teens would drink and drive. It is against the law no matter what your age. And it takes much less for a teen to exceed the legal blood alcohol limit (usually .08). Other risks include those that result from too many kids in one car, and horsing around. Inattentive driving can result in serious, if not fatal, car accidents.

Eating disorders. Insecurity is common in teenagers and many develop an eating disorder because of it. To help them lose weight, some teenagers use drugs. (Conversely, they may simply reduce their eating because their pleasure senses are already stimulated by the drugs.) Another common eating disorder is bulimia. This involves forced vomiting and/or use of laxatives after eating to “rid” the body of the food and calories. Bulimia may or may not include binging on food before vomiting.

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