Teens, Drinking and Drug Abuse, and the Risks of Serious Injury
Whenever alcohol or drugs are involved, the potential risk of injury increases exponentially. And when the people drinking or using drugs are teens, the risk is even higher.
This is one reason why it’s important for teens to avoid drugs and alcohol, but it’s not the only reason.
In this post, we’re going to explore the overall risks of teen drinking and drug abuse. These risks can have a longer-term impact than most people realize.
Why Teenage Drinking and Drug Abuse is a Problem
If you can remember being a teen, you understand the issue of peer pressure. Being a teen comes with a whirlwind of new emotions, insecurities, and general curiosity. When all your friends are drinking or doing drugs, it can be difficult to be the odd one out.
Teens might tell themselves they will only try a particular drug once or only partake if their friends are doing it, but there is still potential for substance abuse. The more often a teen uses drugs or drinks, the higher the chance they may seek out something stronger.
There’s also a lack of understanding of future health repercussions such as the negative impact on brain development and engagement in risky behavior, which could have severe consequences. These thoughts may not naturally occur to a teen and they may not realize the lasting effects until it’s too late.
Another reason why teens may abuse drugs or alcohol is to rebel from their parents. As kids go through puberty, they’re naturally looking to establish some sense of independence.
In truth, there are many reasons why teens may be prone to drug or alcohol abuse. The following risk factors increase a teen’s likelihood to abuse drugs and alcohol:
- Family history of substance abuse
- Mental or behavioral health condition, such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Childhood trauma
- Low self-esteem or feelings of social isolation
Risk of Serious Injury
Drinking alcohol can lower a teen’s inhibitions, which can put them into more situations where they’re at higher risk of accidental injury.
And when driving is involved, the risk of injury becomes more pronounced. Even the best teenage drivers aren’t as experienced as an adult driver. And even an adult driver is at greater risk of getting into a car accident when they drive under the influence.
How to Prevent Teenage Drinking and Drug Abuse
When it comes to preventing teenage substance abuse, there’s only so much we can do as parents and educators. But we must recognize that we can play an important role in our teen’s decision-making process.
The best thing we can do to prevent teenage drinking and drug abuse is to educate teens about the real dangers. When we combine school programs with at-home teachings, teens can gain a comprehensive understanding of their risks.
But this must be more than a one-time conversation. The “substance abuse talk” must be an ongoing dialog where the teen feels comfortable contributing.
Whether or not to make the choice to engage in a risky behavior is ultimately the teen’s decision, so it’s important that they are actively involved in the conversation to gain a full understanding of the issue, including potential risks.
Teenage substance abuse has been an issue for many generations, but with more information and resources emerging, we can arm teens with the right tools to make smart decisions about their health and future.
Robert Hamparyan is one of California’s most accomplished personal injury lawyers. He first attended the University of Southern California, where he received his B.A. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he proceeded to the Western State University School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor Degree. Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers San Diego, APC was founded so that Robert could bring more of his skill and knowledge to personal injury victims in all types of cases.
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