Addiction among Teenagers
Hi, I’m Tanya Aggarwal, I am writing a blog on drug addiction. I have talked to many principals about drug addiction, but they refuse to talk about it. Then I called my French school principal, who was eager to discuss drug addiction among teenagers. I’m writing this blog to provide the best information to help parents who are concerned about their teens or young adults. My goal is to help parents find answers to their situation so their children can live healthier lives.
The fact is that schools do not have it in their power to stop smoking, drinking, sex or poor eating patterns. They do have it in their power to improve student knowledge and skills and to encourage the development of defensible values. Equally, they should not be blamed when students engage in health behavior that is less than desirable. They should be blamed, or at least held accountable, if students do not gain essential knowledge and skills regarding health, and cannot articulate a value position.
There are many different possible causes of teen drug use. Many are reacting to peer pressure and believe that turning to drugs and alcohol is how to become popular in high school. Some use drugs to self-medicate from painful feelings.
How teachers can guide students against drug and alcohol related harms?
Young people are likely to spend more waking hours in the school environment around teachers than at home with their parents, making the school’s social environment a key factor influencing the development of young people. Research has shown that a positive relationship with school, which creates a greater sense of community, attachment, and performance, is associated with reduced potential for drug abuse.
Teachers can help a student have a positive relationship with their school by:
- Setting clear rules and boundaries that are consistently enforced in a reasonable and measured manner.
- Keeping an open mind and asking students for their opinions.
- Giving praise and reward for students’ good behavior, achievements, and accomplishments.
- Modelling a sense of optimism and a positive view of learning.
- Encouraging constructive use of time and participation in extracurricular activities.
- Encouraging reading for pleasure outside of school hours.
- Being a good listener.
Schools can assist parents by providing them with information on health and drug issues as a group. Schools working in partnerships with parents remove some of the anxiety parents experience from the expectation that education for drug abuse prevention is their sole responsibility. Further, such programmed have the potential to provide parents with skills and knowledge to broach and discuss the topic of drugs with their children. Parents are also important because families are a primary source of socialization and because parental opinion can either reinforce or countermand the messages of education for drug abuse prevention programmed. Parents are important also as their opinions contribute to community norms about substance use and community support for education for drug abuse prevention.
If you feel that your loved one is abusing drugs, the best thing you can do is to encourage them to seek treatment for their addiction. Be loving and supportive, but also know that they’re likely going to make excuses for their behaviour. Be firm in what you want, and keep encouraging them to get help. Although this isn’t easy to do, it’s a critical first step in helping them achieve a healthy and happy life in recovery.