As per the findings of The Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey (funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse) illicit drug abuse among teenagers is on the rise. Fuelled by an increase in marijuana consumption, the drug use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders has increased significantly. According to the survey, approximately, 36% of 12th graders have experimented with marijuana. The percentage has gone up significantly and it reflects the worrisome trend increased marijuana consumption in the society. Many teenagers believe that marijuana is a ‘safe drug’ and they can get away with it easily. Also around 15% of high-school seniors have consumed a prescription drug without any medical supervision in the past one year. Considering the potential harmful effects of prescription drug abuse, this poses a serious threat to the health of young students.
While these figures have painted a grim picture of drug abuse among youngsters, there is a silver lining. The use of inhalants has decreased significantly. The consumption of cocaine has also reduced among teenagers. The findings of the survey have once again highlighted the importance of taking some substantive measures to check drug abuse among teenagers. Drug abuse can affect the lives of teens in more than one way-
Bad academic performance
When we talk of drug and substance abuse among teenagers, academics is the first casualty. Numerous studies have established a link between drug abuse and poor academics. Young students who abuse drugs are more likely to perform badly in exams. Bunking classes and ignoring studies is common among students who experiment with drugs and alcohol. Drug abuse also makes it difficult for students to concentrate and reduces attention span. These factors lead to a bad academic performance.
It has been found that students who abuse drugs and alcohol are more likely to commit serious crimes. Students with drug abuse problems may indulge in theft and stealing to arrange money to buy drugs. Date rape crimes are also a direct fallout of drug abuse among students. Many students may also drink and drive posing a serious threat to the safety of others. Drug addiction also leads to uninhabited behavior, increasing the chances of students committing crimes.
Drug abuse alters the behavior and thought process of young students and they have a hard time adjusting among their friends. Many of the students alienate themselves and show anti-social behavior.
Drug abuse can prove to be detrimental for the overall well-being of a teenager.
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