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    Shocking facts about teen addiction

    Teenage addiction is a huge problem for parents and elders who have to deal with this highly sensitive issue and help them come out unscathed. Understanding the problem well and information on how to tackle it can help earlier and better recovery of your child.

    Here is a lowdown on teenage addiction problems that would alert parents and guardians who have teens at home:

    Teens are more into prescription drugs than the other common addictive substances, like heroin and cocaine. It is estimated that teen deaths from prescription drugs outnumber heroin and cocaine combined.

    High school students use more marijuana than smoking. They tend to be drawn more towards cannabis than cigarettes. In 2013, 22.7 percent smoked pot against 16.3 percent who smoked cigarettes.

    The problem with teens’ propensity towards marijuana is that majority of them do not see any harm in using it regularly. Around 60 percent seniors in school feel that it is pretty harmless to smoke pot every day. However, THC – an active ingredient in marijuana that causes addiction – is five times stronger than it previously was.

    Almost one-third of teenagers in the U.S. procure medical marijuana from prescriptions taken from others, be it stolen, borrowed or taken with deceit. Parents need to be vigilant in this regard and be particular about any prescriptions lying at home. They should always be kept at a safe distance from the children.

    Though the United States has only 5 percent of the world population, it has a significant 75 percent population who abuse prescription drugs. Moreover, 60 percent of teen prescription drug users get them from known people who already abuse prescription drugs. It is a dangerous lullaby, and parents should ponder over it. Relatives, friends and elders in the house who misuse prescription drugs should shoulder the responsibility in preventing teen addiction.

    Adderall, which is prescribed to treat ADHD, is a grossly misused drug among teens. There is a trend of a growing prevalence of Adderall misuse among high school seniors from 5.4 percent in 2009 to 7.5 percent in 2013.

    A huge number of high school students do not have any reservations against regular steroid use. Nearly 54 percent of high school students surveyed in 2013 did not cast any aspersion on steroid use. In fact, this is the lowest percentage of such students since 1980, when a higher percentage of students supported it in earlier years. Parents need to address such attitude of their children by counselling them regularly.

    Teens are also quick in adopting these destructive habits. It is found that 28 percent adolescents by the 8th standard have already consumed alcohol, 15 percent smoke cigarettes, and 16.5 percent start using marijuana. This could be really scary for parents. But statistics also reveal that parents who regularly speak to their teenage children about the risks of drugs are 50 percent less likely to abuse drugs than others whose parents do not bother. Parents should guard their children against all possible drug misuse.

    The situation is only turning worse with the number of pot smoking high school seniors growing rapidly every passing year. From 5.1 percent in 2008, it went up to 6.5 percent in 2013. Still, half of the high school seniors do not find it harmful to try crack cocaine or cocaine once in a while.

    Keeping these things in mind, parents should take adequate steps and prevent their children from falling prey to drug abuse.

    Barbara Odozi is associated with Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors for many years. The Helpline provides assistance in finding Substance Abuse Treatment Centers. For more information call 866-300-5857. http://www.coloradosubstanceabuseadvisors.com.

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