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Privileged teens at higher risk of developing drug addiction

Privileged teens at higher risk of developing drug addiction

07-19 | CDAH Team

Many teens experiment with drugs due to factors such as curiosity, peer pressure, and emotional struggle or stress. Apart from abusing illicit drugs, many teens are also hooked on prescription drugs, which they usually procure from their family and friends. A 2016 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also pointed at the high prevalence of prescription drug addiction among the young adults, aged 18-25 years, stating that 5.9 percent of the individuals in this group reported non-medical use during a month prior to the survey.

Drug addiction in teens can be attributed to several factors. While changes in the brain chemistry have long been considered as the prime trigger for addiction, environmental and genetic factors also play significant role in inculcating drug-abusing tendency in teens. A recent study conducted by Arizona State University (ASU) emphasized the role of environment in propelling addictive behavior in teens, suggesting that teens coming from affluent communities are at a high risk of drug addiction. This is primarily due to the excessive pressure imposed by their kith and kin who expect them to excel in everything they do. In addition, such children from well-off families have high disposable income to purchase expensive drugs and alcohol.

Factors causing drug addiction in upper middle class teens

A majority of children belonging to affluent backgrounds have parents who typically have advanced educational degrees and incomes much higher than the national average. Consequently, they use their affluence to acquire drugs and other sedatives. “Many kids in these communities have plenty of disposable income with which they can get high-quality fake IDs, as well as alcohol and both prescription and recreational drugs,” found the study.

Such ostensibly privileged youngsters abuse illegal substances not only for their sedative properties but also for increasing their stamina and improving their performance to achieve the set target. Incidentally, their good performance at studies and extracurricular activities keeps the parents unaware about the underlying problem of drug addiction.

Growing menace of drug addiction in teens

To address the problem of teen drug abuse, there is a need for interventions at multiple levels, recommended the researchers. It is important to create more awareness about the harmful effects of drug addiction among the youth.

Parents should be taught and counseled to reduce the enormous pressure that they put on the children unknowingly by asking them to get into the most selective universities. Moreover, students should be encouraged by giving examples of role models who studied in ordinary colleges and worked hard with determination to achieve success.

“A third factor is for leaders in science, public health and social policy to take seriously the fact that youth at high-achieving schools could be a population that is at inordinately high risk for addiction,” said the researchers.

Seeking professional help

In an effort to create awareness about the rising drug abuse among teenagers and in the society at large, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) observes 26 June as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (IDADAIT). Every year, the event aims to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.

Meanwhile, parents should take extra cautionary measures to assure their children are not under any pressure or doing drug for any purposes. If your children or someone you know has developed addiction, you can seek help from the Colorado Drug Addiction Help to connect with the best addiction treatment centers in Colorado. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-218-7546 or chat online with our representatives to know more about the addiction treatment in Colorado.


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