October 9, 2012 by preventyouthdrugabuse
To work alongside regulation, education is important in preventing youth drug abuse. I have mentioned using revenue from taxing drugs to put into marketing materials and educative programs, and it extends beyond what can be seen in the media – it all starts in the home.
Parents who are informed about the risks of drugs and why youth take drugs are in the best position to prevent their children from abusing drugs. The Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base states that one factor that can prevent teens from accessing drugs are the ‘perceived risks’ inherent with using a particular drug. The perceived risks include physical, emotional, social, and aspirational. Parental involvement is very useful in helping youth to understand the risks as family are very influential to teenagers in their developmental stages.
For families, it is not simply knowing of the risks of drug abuse amongst youth, but also about how they can fall into the trap of abusing drugs from a young age. MayoClinic outlines a number of ways which contribute to youth abusing drugs – these range from a family history of drug abuse, low self esteem, lack of parental supervision and feelings of social exclusion.
It was poor social factors, like the ones outlined in MayoClinic’s article that were a major contributor to a Brisbane Woman’s drug abuse that lead to a 14 month crime spree. This woman who was sexually molested by her uncle as a young girl, rejected by her extended family and abandoned by her mother turned to drugs to “forget herself”. Drug use and abuse can often be merely a helpless way for someone to try and escape some of the horrible realities of the real world
This goes to show what a positive influence family can be for a young person. It gives them a sense of inclusion and acts as a support base for when they are in need. It is so important for a young person to have their family close by. So every now and then, give your kids, your sister, or your brother a hug. Something so simple could stop them from abusing drugs.