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The Dangers of Club and Prescription Drugs Among Teens

Posted on 20. May, 2014 by in Alcohol & Drug Abuse

It’s almost a cliché to think of drugs when you think of teens. It’s common for adolescents to want to experiment, to feel the pressure of their peers, and to be faced with the challenge of having to say no or yes to drugs.

There are many reasons why a teen might say yes. On the one hand, despite knowing the dangers that accompany the use of alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, or other drugs, they might just want to experiment and have fun. On the other hand, those dangers alone can keep teenagers away from drugs, especially if their home and school life is relatively healthy. And some adolescents may want to experiment with drugs to satisfy their curiosity.

There are often feelings, thoughts, and beliefs that ultimately lead to trying and then using a drug on a regular basis. Alcohol and drugs induce an altered state and therefore provide an escape from the tumultuous inner atmosphere that a troubled adolescent might have. Some feelings are hard to bear, especially if they are intense, and particularly if a teenager feels that he or she cannot express those feelings without being reprimanded or hurt in some way.

Common feelings that precede adolescent drug use include sadness, frustration or irritation, anger, shame or embarrassment, and nervousness or anxiety. When these feelings fester inside, expressing them might become more and more difficult. This makes finding an escape from these emotions, as in drug use, versus articulating them the easier choice.

Sadly, two types of drugs that are gaining popularity among teens are club and prescription drugs. Club drugs, as they are called, have far more severe effects than getting drunk. These include LSD (also known as acid), Methamphetamine (meth), MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB, and Ketamine. Prescription drugs are those that teens get a hold of and use in a way other than how they are prescribed. This way of taking prescription drugs is considered abuse. Research indicates that 20% of teens that have abused prescription drugs reported that they did so before the age of 14. Also, 33% of teens believe that using prescription drugs not prescribed to them is okay. However, the abuse of these drugs, particularly by at-risk youth can easily lead to irreparable consequences.

If your child is already prone to risky behavior, it might be worth exploring the dangers of each of these drugs with him or her. And if the communication with your teenager isn’t at its best, which is common in adolescence, then perhaps you might request your teen’s therapist to explore the subject with your child. If your family is not working with a therapist or psychologist, then invite a mentor in the community, an aunt or uncle that your teen trusts, or a teacher or counselor at school to open the conversation. Of course, it is essential your child has a positive and trusting relationship with this adult or the conversation may not go very far.

With this in mind, it is important to include an examination of these feelings when treating addiction. Having your teen participate in individual or group therapy can be an essential part of the treatment plan. In fact, some adolescents welcome therapy because of the opportunity to safely express their emotions, communicate their problems, and bond with a trusting adult. A therapist or psychologist might also serve as a model for your teen that is searching for a safe and secure path into adulthood.

By educating both teens and their caregivers about the symptoms and effects of drugs, perhaps drug use might be curtailed and other forms of coping mechanisms can replace them when confusion, sadness, or anxiety arises. Discussing these drugs with your teen is a conversation that could save his or her life.



Johnson, L. (May 1, 2013). Teen abuse of prescription drugs up 33 percent includes Ritalin, Adderall. Natural News. Retrieved May 19, 2014 from:



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