Teen Substance Abuse in Ohio – How Bad Is It?

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Teen substance abuse in Ohio is a serious problem and as it is across the country. Teen drinking and substance abuse should never be taken lightly. Many teens start abusing substances at an early age. Some, as early as 12 years old, or even earlier. The reality is that teen substance abuse can lead to adult substance abuse. The results are obvious: severed relationships, physical health problems, jail and criminal records, school suspensions, and academic problems. Mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression can also result from substance abuse and alcohol or drug addictions.

Teens That May Be at Risk

There will always be those teenagers that are at a higher risk than other teens for abusing drugs or alcohol. As a friend or parent, there are a number of factors that may reveal a teen is abusing drugs or alcohol.

1. Teens who are in some type of transitional period such as middle or high school often go through stages of wanting to fit in. This is when they are most likely to be introduced to new temptations and experiences. New social circles and friends can tempt teens who are already using drugs or abusing alcohol.

2. Many teens, suffering from depression or anxiety, can be tempted to experiment with drugs or alcohol to relieve their symptoms. Teens with emotional issues may need immediate attention.

3. There are millions of teens suffering from positive adult influences. If a family member or teen abused drugs or alcohol some teens may view this as an acceptable role model. The cycle of addiction and substance abuse will merely repeat itself until help is sought.

Preventing Teen Substance Abuse

The good news is that government agencies, schools, and local organizations are always looking to implement new ways of helping teens fight substance abuse. While it is still a nationwide problem, progress is being made and addiction rates have dropped in the past decade. More work needs to be done, but it shows that preventative measures are working.

The Value of Educating Teens About Taking Alcohol and Drug Risks

Teenagers are in a rapid state of development. However, their minds are not considered mature until they reach the age of 25. The greatest growth stages occur during the adolescence period. This can be the most effective stage to educate them about drugs and alcohol.

There are currently a number of programs designed for this purpose:

• Selective Programs – These programs work well for at-risk students. A selective education can work wonders in helping inform them about risky substance abuse habits.

• Universal Programs – These tend to be programs aimed at educating all teens, and include developing resistance skills and personal counseling sessions.

Getting the Family Involved

Families have some of the biggest impact and the most positive influences on teens. Setting a positive example and communicating with teens mean they are less likely to try or abuse drugs. These are anti-addiction values that parents can help instill in their children at a young age. Parents can also help educate their teens about media segments that glamorize drug or alcohol abuse. Abstinence can be learned at a young age with the right support and education.

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