Drug abuse is a major societal problem in the world today. High school and college students have not been spared either. One of the key factors every school must address is the issue of drug abuse problems at school. Many schools have come up with programs to govern how the issue of drug abuse and addiction should be handled in an attempt to make the learning institutions an advantaged space for development of avoidance and health promotion.
Drug Abuse And Brain Development In Children
A child’s brain develops until when he/she is 25 years of age. Drug abuse is one of the things that disrupts normal and healthy brain development in school age children. During this age, any trauma or substance use greatly affects how their brain develops and can affect the brain function.
Drug abuse eventually affects how the brain processes and retains information. It greatly affects how you think, remember, concentrate, focus and learn. We can therefore say that drug abuse problems at school has a major negative impact on discipline and academic excellence.
Studies show that there is a convinced link between teen drug use and how well they perform in school. Teens who engage in substance use have lower grades, are often absent from school activities and eventually have the potential to drop out of school.
It is therefore very crucial that schools come up with strict measures and policies to curb the problematic drug abuse among teens before it gets into addiction in pupils at the brain development stage. Preventing drug abuse among students can really help curb the issue of substance use and addiction among youths.
Can A Student Use Drugs And Still Get Good Grades?
There has been some misleading myths about substance use and good grades. Actually, this is not typical. In real sense, teens who use drugs do not do well in school.
Many students get tricked that they will get high grades after taking various drugs and to their disappointment, instead of achieving their academic goals, their performance ends up deteriorating.
Let’s Talk About Marijuana Here
According to studies, marijuana – one of the most common drug among youths affects their memory, attention and their ability to learn. After taking the substance, it takes days or weeks before the drug completely wears off. So, daily smoking of marijuana affects the potential for a student to function soberly.
Smoking marijuana is often associated with students getting lower grades and in the long run most students drop out of school. Heavy use of marijuana in the still-developing brains among teens has been found to pose a major impact in a substantial reduction of their IQ.
Can The Problematic Abuse Of Drugs At Schools Stop?
Over many years now, schools have been struggling with the issue of substance use and addiction among adolescents. In actual sense, schools across the world take a strong stance on drugs and alcohol abuse. Though the attempt to curb the issue of drug abuse at school has not be fully successful, schools have managed to control this problematic issue up to a certain level.
However, even with all the efforts put, various types of drugs and alcohol are still available to high school and university students. Peer influence is one of the major factors that has led to increased use of illicit substance among students. What starts as a mere fun ends in a heavy addiction that become difficult to manage and many students drop out of school.
Drug addiction is a chronic mental illness that affects both the physical and psychological health of any given person. Schools should therefore learn how to help those struggling with the mental illness of substance dependency without being judgmental. Schools should avoid initiating stigma on the teens struggling with addiction since this can be very ineffective.
Without becoming judgmental, students suffering from this mental illness can get the help they need. Drugs and alcohol awareness programs at school and showing respect and compassion on those struggling with addiction can bring real change. Punitive and stigmatizing programs no longer works in curbing drug addiction at school. Schools should therefore implement a comprehensive program to address the problematic issue of drug abuse at school.
Factors That Promote Drug Abuse Among Students
There are many factors that might lead a schooling child get engaged into addiction at such an early stage in life. The following are some of the many factors that promote to this vice.
Family history – students who come from a family with the history of alcohol or drug use are at a high risk of getting involved in substance use at a very tender age. Such kids are exposed into drugs and alcohol and they end up using the drugs even before they understand the risks associated with drug abuse.
Environment- the environment under which a child is brought up in plays a major role in a child’s character and behaviour. For instance, children brought up in slums are at a great risk of engaging into sexual immorality and drug abuse at a tender age because this is what they see happening around them every day.
Poverty – students who come from poor family background are at a high risk of engaging in drug abuse. Some of these teenagers might take drugs out of desperation or they might be promised some rewards after taking drugs and because they need money, they’ve got no choice but to bow to the demands of people who want to take advantage of their poverty.
Internet and social media– internet plays a major role in promoting drug and alcohol use among teenagers. Student can now find every bit of information they need about any kind of drugs and where to find them. Students can even order drugs or alcohol online.
Peer influence – when a student joins a company of friends who use alcohol or drugs, the said student will eventually get involved in substance use. This could either be to meet the peer’s demands or to feel the buzz similar to what their friends do.
Effects Of Drug Abuse
It depends with the type of drug being taken since different types of drugs have diverse side effects and different effects on performance. For example, using marijuana can affect the students’ logical thinking as well as lead to short-term memory loss. As a result, there is decreased academic performance.
There are different types of opiates and opioids both legalised and illegal and they are commonly used to mitigate pain or other reasons. Using such medication for a long time leads to addiction. Actiq is a common drug used to treat severe pain like cancer pain and can produce adverse reactions and numerous side effects which can either be extremely dangerous or less serious.
Actiq / fentanyl dose leads to headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, anxiety, weakness and dry mouth and other more serious side effects like extreme sleepiness, slow heart rate, weak breathing and feeling like you may want to pass out and many more.
Therefore, substance use can lead to poor health or even death. There has been some reported sad cases where teens die as a result of taking an overdose on various drugs. Drug abuse in learning institutions should therefore be condemned and controlled by all means.
Another key effect of drug abuse at school is issues with indiscipline. The buzz feelings experienced when under influence of drugs makes pupils behave abnormally and thus adhering to school rules and regulations becomes a difficult task.
Due to students’ indiscipline and unruliness, a school’s academic excellence is affected. Indiscipline may lead to ruthlessness and bully students under substance influence may attack their fellow pupils and thus cause havoc in the learning institutions.
Main Drugs Abused By Students
Drugs like alcohol, marijuana, synthetic marijuana, inhalants and Adderall are the most commonly ones abused by students. Drug abuse awareness should therefore form part of the education program in schools. Schools should work hand in hand with parents to ensure early intervention and treatment to the students before the level of drug dependency becomes so severe to treat.
Parents Play A Key Role In Curbing Drug Abuse Problems At School
Parents and teachers play a major role in curbing the problematic drug abuse issues at school. This happens when parents and teachers engage in open dialogues with the teens to avoid long-term issues with drugs and alcohol.
Education starts at home. Parents are therefore called upon to play a major role in preventing drug abuse among youths. During school holidays, it is the responsibility of a parent to ensure he/she monitors the progress of the teen at home. It is good to know his/her peers and advice accordingly. In case the parent realizes that the child is engaged in a bad company, the parent needs to find time, sit down with the teen and discuss more about the company the teen is engaged in.
Parents should let their teens understand why bad company should be avoided. Many teens engage in drug abuse due to peer influence. Parents should come up with rules that govern the teen’s behavior at home. This is meant to control how the kids behave while at home. Let them know that it is punishable to get home late or to be found in clubs and other bad social places.
Parents taking drugs or alcohol at home might influence their children at a very tender age. Taking alcohol and drugs in the presence of their children should be avoided by all means. If parents fail to curb drug abuse at home, it becomes difficult for schools to control the same.
The Key Role Of Schools In Curbing Drug Abuse
During a teen’s life, most of their time is spent while at school especially if they are learning in boarding institutions. Schools should therefore offer drug education programs at school. This is meant to teach the kids on dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. That’s why we find many schools with zero tolerance policy to curb drugs. A drug free school zone is the best learning institution.
Drug testing procedures should also be implemented in schools. For instance, schools taking procedures to test students engaged in athletics and other extra-curricular activities. This policy is still on a heated debate though.
As a result of continued education and policy enforcement concerning alcohol and other drugs use among students, studies show that substance abuse among students and teens is on the decline. The partnership between schools and parents can keep teen’s drugs and alcohol free.
For a school to succeed in their fight against drugs and alcohol abuse, it is good to incorporate programs with the intention of reducing risk factors among students and the entire community surrounding the school. They can do this through poster campaigns and assemblies or even organised events to promote drug and alcohol awareness as a major societal problem.
Schools should also incorporate selective programs and address the issue of drug addiction among children and teenagers with an increased risk of substance abuse due to exposure to factors like family history of drug and alcohol use, where they live, the community they live in, their level of income and deviant behaviors among others.
Another great achievement a school can reach is offering indicated programs with the key intention of helping those students who are already involved in drug use. This program aids at helping the school focus on reducing or ending the substance use. This can be done by incorporating programs and therapy that boost the protective factors and reduce the risk factors.
Schools should therefore be aggressive on their campaign against drug and alcohol abuse among children to curb the issue of addiction and promote a healthy and safe learning environment.
10 Facts About Teens And Drugs Use
Drugs and alcohol abuse is common among high school and college students since they can get access to drugs from their peers.
Students at this age can save part of their pocket money and buy alcohol or drugs for themselves.
Internet has played a major role in the increase of drug and substance abuse among students. We are living in the information era and students can freely get access to information about drugs and drug stores using internet.
Social media also contribute to bad influences among teens. They see their peers posting updates about how they spent great moments at a night club and share everything about how they enjoyed fun and buzz. Upon seeing this, curiosity takes this teen to a club to join their peers into this great enjoyment.
What starts as just a mere form of fun and enjoyment grows into addiction where the students become totally dependent on alcohol.
Students below the age of 25 years are still in their development stage. Drug and alcohol abuse at a tender age leads to stunted growth. Studies show that that drug addiction leads to impaired physical growth in children.
According to a research carried out, it has been found that there are school students selling drugs to their classmates. Marijuana is one of the common drugs sold within learning institutions.
Schools and parents should avoid judging or stigmatizing their teenagers on drug addiction. They need to handle them with love, care and understanding.
Parent- become friends to your teenagers. The close you are to your child, the more the child feels free to share with you their concerns and they will make you know the first time someone attempts to introduce the kid to drugs or alcohol and it is very easy to offer help at this point.
School should not give up on their efforts to curb drug and substance use among students. The good news is that the problematic drug abuse issue is on a decrease.
How Do You Know That Your Teenager Needs Addiction Treatment?
Teenagers try their best to make their drug or alcohol dependency habits go unnoticed. Due to fear of stigma and shame, it becomes difficult for them to reach out for help.
Schools and parents should keep a keen watch on a student’s behavior. If you notice any signs of addiction, talk to a professional and discuss this issue to find help for your teenager.
Signs Of Drug Or Alcohol Abuse And Addiction In Students
Drug addiction and alcoholism is a serious medical issue with signs and symptoms. These symptoms vary depending on the amount and frequency of substance use. Here are some of the most common signs.
- Slurred or inaudible speech
- Poor balance
- Delayed reflexes
- Stomach pains
- Redness of the face
- Loss of consciousness / blackouts
Progressive increase on the amount and frequency of drug use leads to addiction and can lead to more serious complications.
The following are sings of drug or alcohol addiction in students
- The student loses control over the amount of drugs or alcohol consumption.
- The student neglects his school and home duties
- Insomnia – leads to oversleeping
- Increased expression of anger – the teenager becomes so emotional.
- The teenager displays dangerous behavior that might cause health risk to himself or others.
- Withdrawal symptoms when not able to consume drugs or alcohol
- Significant hangovers
- Profuse sweating even when its cold
- Uncontrolled shaking
Don’t Wait Till It’s Too Late
As a parent, you should not panic when you notice that your teenager is involved in drug or alcohol abuse. There is help. The earlier you find addiction treatment for your child the better because the more the child stays on addiction the harder it becomes to treat the condition.
By talking to a professional, you will be advised on the best course of action to take and find the best drug abuse treatment options available. Depending on the severity of the addiction the doctor will advise whether to take your teenager to an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab.
Drug Addiction Treatment In Teenagers
Drug addiction being a chronic mental illness requires immediate treatment and should only be handled by addiction specialists. This treatment usually takes three major stages. Detoxification, rehabilitation and maintenance.
For a successful addiction treatment, a perfect partnership between teachers and parents as well as the medical professionals and the addicted teenagers is very important. It is good to help teenagers admit that they are in a mess and they need help. Willing students get experience a fast drug recovery.
The detoxification stage is the most difficult part of treatment witnessed by serious withdrawal symptoms. A student should be kept under medical attention at this level to prevent life-threatening symptoms.
Parents and family should be willing to walk with their teenager throughout the entire treatment process for support. They should put their child’s health as their number one priority and never mind what neighbors and friends say about their child.
What Is The Cost Of Drug Addiction Treatment?
There is no standard amount set on addiction treatment. It depends on the severity of the addiction case and the rehab facility you take your child. Different drug rehabs offer different charges on addiction treatment. Find out whether your insurance company offers insurance for rehab. This will help you cut the pocket cost on addiction treatment.
Every parent must be willing to pay the cost to ensure through addiction treatment for their children.
Are You Worried About Your Teenager Drug Addiction?
If your teenager is a drug addict, you need not to worry much. You are not alone. Just like any other chronic mental illness, drug addiction is curable. It might seem difficult in the initial stages but as your kid continues with treatment, you’ll realize that it wasn’t as bad as you thought. Find an addiction specialist for help.
Finding The Root Cause Of Drug Abuse Can Really Help
It is very important for schools and parents to identify and thoroughly address the root cause of drug and substance use among students. This is to ensure that they offer necessary help to the teenager to prevent them from going back to the same habits even after addiction recovery.
Looking For The Best Rehab Centres For Teenagers?
Immediately you notice that your teenager is involved in drug use, find a youth friendly rehab centre for your child for effective drug recovery. Your child is entitled to a great future and you should not allow drugs and alcohol use hinder them achieve their life’s goals.