A Big Reason Why Teens Abuse Alcohol and Drugs
In the past, many teens used and abused alcohol and drugs simply to “have fun.”
But today, it’s more complicated.
Teens are abusing drugs to solve problems in their lives.
Why? A whole range of reasons explains this shift, but high on the list is stress.
The sources of stress vary from teen to teen.
For some, factors include school demands and frustrations, negative thoughts and feelings about themselves, or changes in their bodies. For others, it’s problems with friends at school, unsafe living environment, or separation or divorce of parents.
In fact, one study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America showed that 73 percent of teens report the main reason for using drugs is to deal with the pressures and stress of school.
The good news is that stress can be dealt with. Here are a few ways to overcome it for teens:
-- Exercise and eat regularly.
-- Avoid too much caffeine, which can increase feelings of anxiety and agitation.
-- Take breaks when feeling stressed. Do activities like listening to music, talking to a friend, drawing, writing, or spending time with a pet.
-- Build a network of friends who are truly friends and can listen, talk and help you cope in a positive manner.
-- And, of course, avoid alcohol and drugs.
Feeling stressed is a normal part of growing up. What’s important is that you keep stress under control. Don’t let it overtake your life.
Just remember that maintaining good health is absolutely vital at this point in your life.