Narconon® Drug Prevention Specialists say teens desperately need information to help them abstain from drug use
There has been a radical change in how drugs are perceived by American adolescents, which has caught some educators and parents off guard. The study was conducted by the Partnership at Drugfree.org (formerly the Partnership for a Drug Free America). The prestigious organization has released the 22nd in a series of annual surveys involving 2,500 high school students in the United States.
Veteran drug prevention specialist Bobby Wiggins at Narconon International says the results of the survey are not surprising. “If drug prevention is not pushed aggressively and consistently, if teens and preteens are not advised of the factual dangers of using drugs, the likelihood that young people will fall prey to drugs before they reach adulthood is substantially increased as we have seen by this report.”
Overall teenage use of drugs and alcohol declined from 1998 to 2008. However, even during that time, the use of ecstasy and marijuana rose. At the same time, the percentage of teens claiming they drink to combat stress also rose.
Wiggins says that kids today are more inclined to encourage their peers to do drugs because they believe they are not harmful. At the top of their “not harmful list of drugs” are no surprise, alcohol, ecstasy and cannabis.
One in four teens smoked marijuana between 2008 and 2010 - an increase of seven per cent. The use of ecstasy in the past year rose from six to 10 per cent. Almost 50 per cent of high school students did not view heavy drinking as a “great risk.” Six in ten said they had their first full alcoholic drink by age 15. One in five claim they drink because of school stress.
Slightly better news – there’s been little evidence of relaxing attitudes regarding methamphetamines, cocaine or heroin amongst those surveyed.“ Overall, teens are wary of drugs they believe are addicting; but it is wishful thinking that this will protect them once they engage in drug use,” says Wiggins. “
The survey also found that parents feel unprepared to respond to underage drinking by their children and almost a third felt there is very little parents can do to prevent their kids from trying alcohol.
“We know that when we give teens straight information about drugs and alcohol they are far more inclined to make the decision to stay drug and alcohol free. But if they lack vital information about drugs and their effects, they are extremely vulnerable to invitations to use drugs,” says Wiggins.
Narconon’s experts urge parents and educators to renew commitment to drug prevention education. Narconon drug education presentations have resulted in drastic change in the attitudes of teens and preteens toward drug taking. For those who have already gotten caught in the trap, Narconon Drug Rehabilitation Centers can help young people get back on track. “It is a terrible thing to stand by while your child’s life unravels because of drugs,” says Wiggins,”It doesn’t have to happen.”
Read more: http://www.narconon.org/drug-information/
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