- To relax and feel better.
- To get out of depression (it does not help!).
- To gain peer acceptance and fit in with a group.
- They are insecure and lack confidence.
- Some of them try it out only once but soon get addicted!
The various types of drugs are listed below.
Marijuana comes from the leaves of the hemp plant. The leaves and flowers are either smoked, eaten or drunk to produce intoxicating effects. Marijuana is fat soluble and hence is stored in the fat cells. The highest concentration of fat cells is in the brain, lungs and liver. Here marijuana acts as a poison damaging the cells in these areas.
For teens the negative effects of this drug are:
- Interference with your ability to perform well in school.
- Loss of interest in hobbies and other activities.
- Becoming paranoid and afraid.
- Developing a dependency on marijuana and being unable to function without it.
- Loss of will power and motivation.
The drugs under this category are:
- (a) LSD–lysergic acid deithylamide
- (b) PCD–phencyclidin
Cocaine is a white powder derived from the cocoa bush. Crack is a form of cocaine that can be smoked. Crack as well as cocaine is highly addictive and the drug user is always left wanting more after the high wears off. People will do anything to get it because if they do not then they face powerful withdrawal symptoms.
The effects of taking this drug are:
- Increased heart rate (this could disrupt your hearts electrical impulses and kill you.)
- Increased breathing and respiration.
- Long term depression, paranoia, respiratory problems and cancer. Appetite deprivation.
Heroin is a drug made from morphine. The use of heroine depresses the central nervous system and slows breathing and heart rate. Tolerance develops quickly with this drug and it is highly addictive. A person can become addicted even after one dose and withdrawal is severe and difficult. Withdrawal symptoms are severe, including sweating, convulsions, dizziness and even panic.
Drug addicts say that they are powerless against the drug. They can only recover with the help of committed professionals and a good recovery program. There is a simple solution to drugs–DO NOT START.
Role of parents in helping their teen recover:
- Create a relationship that is trusting and open.
- Try to understand that he has a problem.
- Be firm but yet supportive.
- Do not blame him or her.
- Do not even blame yourself.
- Curiosity and Experimentation: Young people by nature are curious and wish to experiment with new ideas. With drugs, however, this curiosity is dangerous and sometimes even a single experiment could prove to be the downfall.
- Boredom: The age old saying “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop” is most appropriate here. It can lead to “Bad company” and curiosity.
- Peer Group Pressure: Seniors in schools/colleges or group of friends exert a great influence on their juniors. This may be due to awe or admiration or fear of being bullied. Whatever the reason, if the seniors are into drugs, they can influence their juniors to follow.
- Frustration, Depression: Due to failure in school, at a job or in a love affair. Frustration may be also build up due to one’s unsatisfactory relationship with parents or elders. Add to this the free availability of drugs, peer group pressure and curiosity, it is so easy to slip.
- Parental Pressures: We all accept that life today, particularly in urban metros like Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, is a rat race. Parents and teachers often put tremendous pressure on their wards to succeed and do well in academics and examinations, unfortunately at the cost of emotional and physical development of the child. Besides, directly affecting the emotions such pressures lead to frustration and rebellion.
- Academic Pressure: Our education system is totally oriented towards examinations with little or no importance given to all–round development of children. Such a system puts a great pressure on the students to achieve high percentage of marks. As they progress through high school and college, these pressures keep on increasing cutting into their leisure time. A saying, so true, “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”.
- Lack of Emotional Support: Infants and young children require a great deal of physical support. However, 12 to 18 year olds require emotional support, which unfortunately, at this crucial stage, is often lacking. Parents mistakenly believe that material comforts are adequate. Most drug addicts, however, blame parents for their lack of emotional support and the lack of time the parents spend with them.
- Genetic Factors: Researchers in United States have now identified genes that predispose one to addictions. These include addiction to gambling, drugs, alcohol, tobacco etc. This trait may well be “Hidden” and appear only when circumstances expose the individual to a form of addiction. But we do find instances where the child of addicted parents is free of any addiction.