Drug use and abuse is an ongoing problem for many people. Unlawful and excessive use of prescription and illegal drugs can cause the body and mind irreparable harm.
Drugs are designed to alter the body’s ability to function properly as well as the brain’s ability to perceive things and function in a normal fashion. Each type of drug affects people in different ways, but there is no doubt that all of them are harmful. Sometimes, drugs can actually be deadly, causing permanent physical damage or even death. As parents and educators, it is essential that we not only educate ourselves about the dangers of drug use but also our children. This is a guide to what your kids need to know about drugs.
Medicines: Legal Drugs
Prescription medication is designed to help people in pain or those dealing with mental or emotional issues. While these drugs can often be extremely helpful to those who really need them, they can also be dangerous for people who either take them too often or take too many at the same time. Technically, prescription drugs are legal, but only for the person to whom the medication is prescribed. If someone takes medication that is not prescribed to them, not only can it be dangerous, but it is also illegal. If you happen to have prescription drugs at home, be sure they remain out of reach of children and locked away where children cannot get them.
- Prescription Drug Abuse
- Prescription Drug Information for Teens
- The Truth About Prescription Drug Abuse
- Strategies to Stop the Epidemic
Cigarettes and Alcohol
Drinking and smoking are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Smoking is extremely dangerous and is one of the leading causes of heart disease and cancer. Alcohol abuse is not only dangerous to the liver, heart, and brain, but drinking is often the cause of vehicle accidents resulting in death. Both alcohol and cigarettes are usually the first things kids try, mostly because they are more easily accessible than “street drugs.” Peer pressure is also the leading cause of use of both cigarettes and alcohol.
Illegal drugs consist of any number of different substances, including marijuana, cocaine, LSD, “mushrooms,” and crystal methamphetamine, to name a few. If someone is caught carrying, using, or attempting to sell illegal drugs, there are serious legal consequences. Out of all types of drugs, illegal drugs are often the most dangerous because there is no way to know what is actually in them. It is imperative that parents talk to their children about the implications of using illegal drugs. Aside from being arrested or having to pay fines, most people who are caught with illegal drugs also must serve a prison sentence.
Why Are Illegal Drugs Dangerous?
Drugs that are illegal are dangerous in many different ways. A lot of illegal drugs are known as synthetics, which means that they consist of a number of different chemicals. These chemicals can strongly affect the brain and are also highly addictive. There are also real dangers of buying illegal drugs. Most people who sell illegal drugs tend to be more dangerous and participate in criminal activity. Illegal drugs can cause the user to crave more, which encourages them to do things they might not normally do, like buy them from strangers or steal in order to obtain money to buy them.
- What Are the Dangers From Using Drugs?
- The Risks of Drugs
- Health Risks Associated With Alcohol and Drugs
- Dangers of Drug and Alcohol Use (PDF)
Why Do People Use Illegal Drugs?
There are many theories as to why people opt to use illegal drugs. One of the most common reasons is because they give off a more potent high or feelings of euphoria as opposed to alcohol. Most illegal drugs are very addictive, which usually leads the casual user to become more of an addict and develop extremely addictive behavior. While each person who uses illegal drugs may have different reasons for using them, many people opt to use them in order to escape the stress and pressures of everyday life. Past abuse, mental issues, or emotional trauma can also be a reason some people turn to using illegal drugs. Other instances include teenagers wanting to feel accepted and to fit into their peer group.
- Why Do People Use Drugs?
- Why Some Young People Take Drugs and Others Don’t
- Why Do People Take Drugs? (video)
- Why Do Teens Use Drugs?