7 Teenage Drug Abuse Myths Exposed

Teenage drug abuse is a serious issue. However, some people, including parents, may not realize the severity because of commonly accepted myths. For parents, it is important to get accurate drug abuse information.

1. Myth: Using prescription drugs is less harmful than street drugs.

Fact: Many prescription medications intended to alleviate pain, depression, or anxiety are just as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs. Because of this assumption that prescription drugs are safer, many children are more willing to start experimenting with these medications. And more often than not, teenage prescription drug abuse is accompanied by alcohol consumption.

Prescription drugs are only safe when taken as directed by a doctor. The wrong dosage and/or potential interactions with other drugs, one’s diet, or physiological makeup may have damaging or even deadly effects.

2. Myth: Using alcohol or marijuana as a teenager is a normal part of growing up.

Fact: Less than half of American teenagers drink alcohol or smoke marijuana. Exposing a developing child to such substances is illegal for good reason. Besides the lasting damage it can cause to the brain, using substances can also harm teenagers’ social development.

In hindsight, people who experimented with substances as teenagers report they were “looking for something.” Trying to have a good time, simplifying social interactions, or solving problems with drugs or alcohol often means they are learning to go to those substances for help. This maladaptive learning process is not easily unlearned.

3. Myth: Drug testing will only further alienate my child.

Fact: If a child is demonstrating signs and symptoms such as isolation, sleeping during abnormal times, becoming increasingly argumentative and confrontational, or easily agitated, then something serious may be wrong. Drug testing is a starting point for discerning what’s wrong and finding a solution. Mending a tumultuous relationship with your child begins with understanding the problem.

4. Myth: Drug abuse only really happens in impoverished or low-income areas.

Fact: Studies have found drug addiction and alcoholism occurs across socio-economic levels and ethnicities. Drug abuse is prevalent in both private and public schools throughout the country. Although rates of substance abuse vary somewhat based on gender, age, and socio-economic status, about one in 10 people who abuse drugs become addicted, which is why some mental healthcare professionals refer to drug use as Russian Roulette.

5. Myth: Drug addiction is a question of moral fiber or character.

Fact: Most addicts start as occasional drug users. While some may view drug use as an immoral choice, drug addiction is a “disease of the brain,” says Dr. Alan Leshner, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. At a certain point, the choice to use becomes a compulsion. Changes in brain chemistry through drug abuse result in uncontrollable drug addiction.

6. Myth: An addict or alcoholic has to really want to be sober for drug treatment to be effective.

Fact: A majority of youth sent to treatment centers are not there through choice. When drugs or alcohol consume a person, the last thing they “want” is rehabilitation. Whether for legal reasons or family reasons, many people seeking substance abuse treatment did not make the choice alone. In fact, those who have been pressured into treatment through a process of confrontation, coercion, or ultimatum appear to do better. Studies demonstrate that the reason someone seeks treatment has little influence on how well they will do.

7. Myth: After a treatment program, an addict shouldn’t need any more treatment.

Fact: Unfortunately, drug addiction is generally a lifelong struggle. Like many diseases, relapse and remission cycles are possible. Although some people can quit immediately, or after one drug treatment program, most require long term plans with strong support and resources and even repeated treatment programs.

Drug Abuse in College – How to Get Your Loved Ones Back

Violence is breaking out due to gang wars over drug territory. Are your kids in college safe from this?

Over 75 college students were arrested in San Diego State University in May 2008, for drug dealing on campus. 2 kilograms of cocaine, ecstasy pills, marijuana, illicit prescription drugs, meth, psychedelic mushrooms, guns etc were seized by police.

One half of all college students binge drink, abuse pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs. (ref: National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse or CASA).

College can be a great place to get an education, but if a loved one has drug abuse problems, you should be planning their rehab program 1st. I’ve sent many college students to long-term drug rehab programs that use the social / educational model of recovery after drug abuse was discovered to be ruining a young person’s life.

College students seem to do very well with social / educational methods of rehab as they aren’t expected to admit they are powerless over their addiction. In fact the opposite is true. Social / Education rehab models consider a drug abuser is completely responsible for their drug abuse – but their lives are simply out of control.

What Drugs Of Abuse Should You Be Concerned About?

College students abused pharmaceuticals at higher rates than drugs like cocaine and ecstasy. Pain killing pharma had a 343% increase in abuse amongst students. (ref: CASA)

Anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and Valium had a 450% rise in abuse in the college crowd.

Often drugs like Xanax are used to mask the after effect symptoms of meth and cocaine. So again, Rx use can be a visible indicator of other drug abuse as well.

Drug & Alcohol Abuse Damages The Mind

Drug abuse creates inabilities to differentiate between actuality and delusion. Drug users are purposefully imposing delusion into their lives with drug use. They only get upset when they no longer know the difference between reality and illusion. The line of reality slides over gradually, rarely all of a sudden.

What are the indicators of drug abuse?

The biggest indicators of college drug abuse are slides down of GPA and inability to handle course loads anymore. Communication level and frequency changes when people move from use to abuse. It often looks like depression or apathy or loss of goals in life. Those are symptoms of drug / alcohol abuse as well.

However, the biggest indications of drug abuse is lack of communication, lying and avoiding specific questions from parents or family members. Do your kids resist coming home or having you see them on campus? All these types of behaviors are indications of drug abuse.

Does Drug Rehab Work For College Students?

Yes, absolutely and work well. But if a rehab program hasn’t worked for you in the past, meaning they’ve relapsed, you need to re-evaluate the types of programs available. There is more than one way to achieve success in life and more than several ways to end drug addiction.

But be sure the goal of the program and your loved one is to end their drug addiction for real.

Determining the goal of the drug rehab model as well as the goals of the college student goes a long way in starting on the road to straight living and often straight A’s.

Interested in finding out the fast facts and find out exactly how to find out if your kids abusing drugs / alcohol or getting exactly the right social educational rehab program for them?