Prevention is the key to change.
No age group is more at risk for becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs than teenagers. There is much scientific evidence to support that teenage drinkers and users of drugs become addicted more quickly than adults do. This is partially due to a lack of maturity in decision making, but also at a biological level in relationship to brain and body development. The less developed or fully matured brain simply becomes more susceptible to addiction than an adult brain. Because of this fact, the smoking industry for many years marketed highly to teens but in ways that were not obvious. The alcohol industry is similar in many ways. There is a reason why certain drinks are more appealing to young people than older people. Back in the 80's the "Wine Cooler" was the drink of choice for most high school parties. Now we see a mixture of caffeinated drinks and alcohol which can have a lethal effect.
Adolescents need early education as a way to better understand the risks and consequences associated with drinking and using drugs. Getting this information from parents is helpful, but not enough. Most teenagers are interested, even fascinated by the facts about alcohol and drugs. When this information is presented in a way that is appealing to them, they are more aped to learn and stay interested.
Since most teens are "techies" simply by default of the era we live in, learning this information by computer is probably the most effective route. A simple, yet well constructed Minor in Possession class online is an awesome intervention that every teen should experience.
What can teens expect to learn?
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Risk Factors
- The cost of Abuse and Addiction
- Understanding Narcotics, Stimulants, Prescriptions, Marijuana, Methamphetamine
- Health Risks of Alcohol and Drug Use
- How Drugs effect the Brain, Central Nervous System and Body
- Risk Factors for teenagers
- Diseases associated with alcohol and drug use
- Communication Skills as Prevention
- Skills in Stress Management
- Consequences and Risks of use with Minors
- Understanding Use, Abuse, Addiction, Relapse and Prevention
While the focus of this article is on teen prevention, I certainly do not want to omit the fact that adults need help too. Gaining skills in alcohol awareness and drug education is crucial for becoming a more enlightened consumer. Taking an alcohol awareness class might be your first step in understanding the facts!
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