It’s something that many students have to deal with on a regular basis: the lure and temptation of potentially dangerous drugs. Unlike what many administrators and parents hope, the simple attitude of “just say no” is not enough. There needs to be a students’ guide to avoiding drugs that works. The popular D.A.R.E. (or Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program sometimes actually has had counterproductive results. As students grow older, they encounter new situations where simplistic solutions are not always present. To arm themselves, students must learn how to adapt and adhere to a set of principles that can evolve based on numerous situations.
The Complexities of Substance Abuse
The simple truth is that even the concept of a “drug” is somewhat complicated, ranging from the use of heroin to the recreational use of alcohol. Therefore, a guide to avoiding drugs won’t be simple either. If it’s a prescription drug, for example, is it safe? As it turns out, legal prescription drugs like oxycodone are absolutely not safe unless specifically prescribed by a doctor. Many students know that specifically-labeled “bad” drugs should be avoided, such as cocaine and heroin. But new, odd, unfamiliar drugs appear every day; more recent drugs include bath salts, Ecstasy, or meth.
Some of these newer drugs can come in more appealing packages, such as playfully labeled Ecstasy pills, or worse, they can be slipped into a drink. Another confusing aspect is the marijuana debate, where students might find themselves thinking that if it’s legal in another state, why should they have to avoid it here? Also, there is always the ever-present lure of drugs like alcohol and tobacco, which are legal for adults but can sometimes be even more deadly than illegal options.
A Student’s Guide to Avoiding Drugs
So in the experimental stages of a student’s life, what’s really between them and the problems that can arise from drug use, from addiction, to accidents, to death? How can parents expect their children to uphold the moral standard that they taught to them as a child? There are several qualities a student should have to avoid these situations: a sense of self-worth, confidence in their decisions, and the ability to recognize real social norms.
The first is simple; a student with a sense of self-worth would most likely find the practice of using drugs beneath them. This could be for a variety of reasons: They could simply not want the stuff in their bodies, or they could have a real desire to keep up their grades. This trait will allow them to simply avoid parties or scenarios where drugs are present.
Self-confidence relates to whether or not a person will break down under peer pressure. Without a fair amount of self-confidence, many students wouldn’t be able to make their own decisions without the help or influence of their friends. Those who don’t cave under peer pressure will be less appealing to “friends” who desire acquaintances with low willpower. Lastly, there’s possibly the most important consideration: Students often assume that other students are drinking more, experimenting more, and using more drugs than they actually are.
They often fall prey to this imagined peer pressure, and other students follow. Someone who can recognize the actual social norms will know that not everyone actually wants to do or try the “cool” thing. A student who can recognize those real and imagined social norms will know when something’s wrong, who’s doing something they really don’t want to, and when to call the police. If a student doesn’t have these three qualities, perhaps they have friends who do. Rather than hanging out with people with no self-confidence and no self-worth who are unable to recognize when people are uncomfortable, students should strive to be around people with those qualities. Having the right immediate social group can help students avoid many scenarios where they are in actual danger.
Although education on substance abuse and addiction is evolving and becoming more effective, we know that it may be too late for some people. However, Morningside Recovery offers those struggling with addiction a second chance. We offer premiere addiction treatment services, such as alcoholism rehab and heroin addiction treatment, to help victim of substance abuse. To learn more about our programs and facilities, or for our guide to avoiding drugs, call us today at 855-631-2135.