In spite of D.A.R.E. classes, warnings from caring adults and knowing the dangers of abusing drugs and alcohol, many teens (and pre-teens) are dabbling, or worse. It seems especially difficult to be a teenager these days and they are turning to drugs for more than just 'having fun'.
You need to know know why kids use, what the warning signs are, and what to do about it. If you have any inklings, doubts or concerns about the possibility that your child may be using, YOU MUST TAKE ACTION. If you are wrong, so be it. And if you are right, the sooner you intervene, the better the chances are for recovery. You don't want to take a 'wait and see' parenting approach with this.
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Reason #1: Stress
The Partnership for A Drug-Free America did a study showing that 73% of teens choose drugs to help them handle the stress of academics and school. Most parents, however, do not credit stress as a major factor in this choice.
Reason #2: Social Acceptance
The driving, motivating force in the life of a teen is social acceptance. They will do anything to be accepted by their peers, including using drugs and alcohol. Even though they 'know better', the desire for approval in social circles trumps all.
Reason #3: Low Self-Esteem
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Low self-esteem is a big emotional piece of the decision to use and abuse. Many teens and pre-teens feel that they can't do anything right. They have somehow learned that feeling bad is to be avoided at all costs, so drugs will numb that pain.
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