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What encourages children to start abusing substances?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by here2help_27, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. here2help_27

    here2help_27 Member

    Children in 2016 are exposed to pretty much everything, from crime to sex and drugs. Everything seems to be in their reach and somehow, sometimes, they fall victims to the propaganda of partying with a little bit of help from drugs. Despite this, what do you feel is the main reason that children or young adults become addicts? Do you think it elevates their social status or perhaps makes them look "cooler"? Are they taught wrong values or simply look for another way to stand out in society? Finally, how can we protect our children? Feel free to share your opinions and advices here.
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Most kids start using drugs because their friends ask them to. Only a small number of them use drugs because their parents or relatives they know use drugs. I don't think the media is to blame for addiction in kids. Negative peer pressure is the culprit.

    The best way to ensure kids don't start using drugs is by being not just their parent or guardian but also to be their best friend. If you are close enough to your kids you'll know all they are doing and would intervene fast before addiction gets to be a serious problem.
    KaseyHopeMartin likes this.
  3. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    I think a lot of kids start using drugs because they have feelings that are uncomfortable. I think depression and anxiety are huge causes of addiction in young people. They feel emotions that they aren't used to, and are afraid to speak to an adult about them. So they frequently go down the self-medication road. My son and so many other young people I know self-medictated because they wanted to feel "normal." To them, using drugs was better than feeling the way they were feeling. Kids should be encouraged that feeling uncomfortable emotions IS normal, and that talking with an adult or doctor about them is perfectly okay. We need to break the stigma surrounding mental illness so that more kids seek help instead of turning to drugs as a "solution."
    KaseyHopeMartin and Momma9 like this.
  4. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    They want to fit in and be a part of a group. They experience peer pressure at a young age. They also don't know how to deal with their emotions. There are many reasons why they chose to start to use drug and alcohol. Everything is readily available so there is easy access. Sometimes is doesn't matter how they were raised or what morals they have. They make chooses that they think are right at the time. They don't think long term or what the future holds in store. Many of them believe that the way the world is now that they have no future. We can only raised them the the best we can and hold for the best. Keep the lines of communication opened at all times.
    deanokat likes this.
  5. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Mostly, it's due to peer pressure, or the negative influence of their social environment. They are being encouraged to try drugs, alcohol, and other substances because they are being brainwashed that when you consume it, you're going to be "cool," and "popular." That's why parents should always maintain good, and open communication with their children so as to avoid such situations.
  6. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    Children can be influenced by their friends to start abusing drugs. Others start abusing drugs because they see parents abuse drugs. Availability of drugs also contribute to children taking drugs. I think that parents who abuse drugs should do it away from their children. We should also make sure that children never access drugs.
  7. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    I think all the reasons that the others ahead of me stated are basically the main reasons why children abuse substances nowadays. Peer pressure, availability of these substances almost anywhere, family problems, lack of communication inside the home and many other reasons could trigger our children to take in substances that they never should have.

    The reasons might vary among each individual but I think parents still play a big role in preventing abuse from happening. As they say, everything starts from home. It is where a child is initially reared and guided. No matter what a child encounters outside the home, it is the parent's role to be able to guide him/her well about the things that he/she has learned outside the home.

    As what @Rainman said, it's also important for parents to not just be their children's mentor or guardian but it's also important to develop a relationship of trust and openness with our children, for them to be able to know that they can openly talk about anything with us. This way, we would be able to guide them well on the their decisions and actions in life.
    Rainman likes this.
  8. anorexorcist

    anorexorcist Community Champion

    I think that it's all on the environment and how you raise your kid, but at the same time even if you did your best raising your kid, they will always have the social pressure, which plays an important part on the substance abuse especially on young people. As you've said, a lot of them use drugs/alcohol to become more socially accepted and have a place on certain kind of groups.
    KaseyHopeMartin likes this.
  9. LoveEcho

    LoveEcho Community Champion

    It doesn't matter when or where they're born. If they are raised badly and exposed to drugs, they're likely to start using. They only need exposure and motive.
  10. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    There could various reasons or factors like peer pressure, exposure to it whether in the family or community, and media. Right that being a "friend" to your kid could easily give you clues whether what they are up to and they are more open to you on almost all subjects in their lives.
  11. darkrebelchild

    darkrebelchild Community Champion

    I think the society is condoning a lot of things that is harming our children. There are few initiatives and movements to discourage youths from taking substances. Their role models who are young musicians are taking and they also follow suit.
    It is left to the parents and guardians to watch their children closely and strictly. If the society is not disciplined, then the home should be.
    KaseyHopeMartin likes this.
  12. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    I think the main culprit is media. Children are easily attracted to advertorials. If they see their favorite actors using substances in movies, they seem to be tempted.
    Second culprit is home environment. If the parents are using substance, they will be tempted to try it.
    Third culprit is their friend circle.
    KaseyHopeMartin likes this.
  13. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    Children are lured into abusing drugs by what I refer to as the age set continuum. Children have slightly older siblings or agemates and this hierarchy continues all the way to old age. Those higher up tend to be role models to their younger counterparts. Those immediately below them adopt their actions. Children are in a very impressionable age and tend to have a copycat mentality in order to appear superiors to their peers.
  14. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    I think society's pushing of prescription and over-the-counter drugs gives children a bad message. I do not take or give my children any type of drug unless they are extremely sick and there is no other option (which is rare). They know that drugs are bad for you unless you are truly in need of them. I also teach them natural ways to recover from simple sicknesses an ailments.
  15. Bunnyriffic

    Bunnyriffic Member

    Personally, my addictions and tendencies toward things that are not so good for me are fueled by trauma and the desire to numb the feelings that trauma gives me. Now that I am older I understand this fact. Children and teens, on the other hand, probably have no idea why they do what they do. They just do it to do it. At first it was peer pressure that may have caused them to even start drinking, smoking, etc. in the first place. Now they may just be trying to fill a void they never realized was there with those things they are more comfortable with doing now.
    KaseyHopeMartin likes this.
  16. Iconoclast85

    Iconoclast85 Member

    It's partly cultural. Drugs are made glamorous and "cool" by TV, musicians and celebrities. Nihilism is also rampant in today's social landscape and for people who are impulsive and/or have a need for escapism due to psychological issues, this can lead to drug habits very easily. So it's a confluence of all these factors
  17. Hmm. When I was younger, I was particularly a sad and depressed child. I had been abused, and after coming to live with my mom, it took years and years of deprogramming to help me. When I got married and he turned abusive, it shattered all the progress my mom had made with me. I wasn't addicted to substances, I was a cutter though. It turned my emotional pain and expressed it physically.

    Now that I am older and I am on the healing path again, I understand this is not actually the case.

    As stated, there are a lot of reasons why kids these days turn to substance abuse. If it's in their home environment with their families, naturally they are going to think it's okay. If they are being pressured by their friends or bullied into it by other kids their age, they are going to want to fit in and try it. If they see too much of it on TV they might think it's something they might want to try.

    What steps can we take however to try and HELP these "lost boys" (and girls)?
    I think the biggest key is that they need someone to reach out to them and reach out to them quickly. They need a strong influence, and any body can become a good role model for them. My boyfriend used to be a hardcore drug user, and alcoholic. Now he's actually a group leader to help troubled teens and try to get them off of that path (which is funny if you knew Elliot, he's very gruff on the outside, covered in tattoos but he's got a heart of gold, and he's gooey on the inside, and an excellent teacher). I think the most important thing for any kid is to have at least one person who is a good role model, a good friend, and a strong influence with sound advice.

    If you know a troubled kid, put the effort into becoming their friend and getting them to trust you. Teach them things. If you're a mechanic and they're interested in it, teach them. If they like plants or animals, make it your interest too. Its a lot of work, but one person can make a difference! So step out of your comfort zone if you have to, because they are the future of our world, and every kid deserves a chance.
    deanokat likes this.
  18. monty

    monty Active Contributor

    First, of all their parents should talk polite to their child and child must not think that his parents don't love him if they scold then it is for their child's well-being. and if they take any kind of drug then they should talk with their child about their problems and then motivates them to leave this and be their good child like they used to be earlier.