In an age where explicit content is readily available, it is easy to get influenced by what we see. Now with R-rated movies, you do not have to go through the ticket booth and show that you are of age—now, you have the option to download it or watch online. Or perhaps you had a good high school education, got into a good college, when someone hands you a pill and tells you to take it. The continuous drug use among the youth is a result of a mix between what is shown as ’cool’ and what your friends are doing (peer pressure).
So how can we ensure that our children do not grow up to become junkies? First of all, you must talk to them. As parents, you have to be aware of what they do and what they like, whom they’re hanging out with and who they listen to. This isn’t you being a nosy parent—this is you knowing who your son or daughter is, and if you show that there can be trust with no suspicion, then they won’t hesitate to be open to you. If all you are doing is checking their grades and grounding them for an F, then they might just turn their backs on you and look elsewhere for support. Once they get started on the gateway substances, it is easy for them to move on to hard drugs. However, if it is pot they’re asking talking about, you might want to listen—what was once known as the gateway drug is now showing positive results with zero side effects for various symptoms and conditions (glaucoma, sciatica, insomnia, depression, to name a few.) Do not smother them with ‘No’s’ as they might find ‘Yes’s’ from someone else. Show them that there isn’t a reason to rebel, and no reason to try self-harming drugs.
With the media holding so much power over its audience, telling people to stay tuned, tweet your response, check out our website, and vote now, the influence over a young adult can come from so many different directions. Keeping the right company, the right values, the right mindset and attitude are a sure way to avoid drug addiction. But if by some regretful circumstance, someone you care about falls into that downward spiral, help them out of it as quickly (and as carefully) as possible—stage an intervention, send them to rehab, take all the necessary steps to recovery, and recover with them. It’s tasking and possibly expensive, but it’s better than having to keep hiring the same car accident lawyer for the same D-U-I. Drug addiction can also be a symptom of a bigger problem—they could be depressed or even suicidal, they could be mentally unstable or have a heavy burden to carry, with no one to turn to for help. The best thing to avoid situations like these is really through communication—a support group, healthy relationships, and being honest and non-judgmental are key to a clean lifestyle.