Teens are faced with many pressures coming from peers, parents, and society as a whole. As children develop into teenagers, it is important that they have the correct coping methods to deal with pressures bombarding them. The risk of drug abuse and misuse can happen when poor skills are obtained or never taught at all. The reason for this is that drugs provide an escape from reality and easy way to suppress stress. Unfortunately, involvement with drugs carry the risk of a drug overdose. This must be avoided at all costs, because nobody deserves to loss their children from a drug overdose.
An overdose occurs when either two much of one drug is consumed or a mix of various stimulants are put into the body. This is a very calculated explanation of overdosing on drugs; however, avoiding this event requires engaging issues before they spiral out of control and develop into self medicating. Peer pressure is a major contributing cause of drug use which stems from a teens constant desire to in and be accepted. Parents are urged to recognize this trait in their children and always communicate about the balance of being accepted vs. doing the right thing.
When these behaviors are taught to children then as they grow into becoming responsible teens, they are likely to strengthen their appreciation for doing the right thing and stay on the right track. Also, it is not just enough to re-enforce self value and being wary of negative peer pressure. Teens need to learn risks, such as how to overdose on drugs, why drugs are dangerous, and specifically how to handle peer pressure surrounding drugs. Kids that have some level of understanding about these details will begin to process the information for themselves and gain a positive impact on their life.
Let’s examine a little ore closely the various common pressures facing teens today.
1. Peer Pressure – The gang mentality kicks in and kids feel they must do what the majority of people in a situation have decided to do. It is often the case that when each individual person is removed from the group, their preferable behaviors is contrary to the group. Kids need to be taught young that it is okay to go against the grain if it is not the right thing to do.
2. Parents – Most of the time, parents have good intentions with their kids. However, it is very common that teens do not recognize the good and only react to the pressure. Parents must balance their care giving role with providing enough space for kids to process and incorporate the lessons they are being taught. In several cases, the saying that “too much of a good thing is not good” is st definitely true.
3. Societal Pressure – This topic is huge, but can best be narrowed by selecting one area – digital revolution. There is massive amounts of pressure surrounding social media and instant digital communications. Websites like Facebook and Twitter can cause social anxiety, depression, and therefore contribute to drug use behavior. Why? Peers are constantly comparing friends, posting pictures, and poking fun at each other. In some cases, a bully is even able to taunt their victims via social media.
These are just a few examples of what teens face today and illustrate the enormous pressures. Now let’s be clear, this is not what causes an overdose or drug use – pressure is a part of life and not the root of something as serious as an overdose. However, it’s the coping methods that make all the difference as to how the stresses are handled and their potential consequences. Our goal is that through an understanding of a drug overdose and possible reasons teens get wrapped up in a drug scene will prevent deaths from an overdose.
Starting early with children is best. Here are a few tips to teach kids how to handle stress.
1. Talk about it – When things get bottled up inside and emotions are not spoken about, even small problems can escalate. Kids should be taught to discuss problems, stresses, and new experiences. Drugs are often an attractive option to release from issues not spoken about and increasing the ease of communication is positive all around.
2. Hobby – Promoting an extracurricular activity is a great way for your kids to release stress, but more importantly have the opportunity to meet others and increase their social sphere. This is important so that when peer pressure presents itself in one scenario, kids can understand that there are other friends out there and they will not be isolated. Drug abuse and ultimately drug overdose can be more likely when isolation and depression cross paths.
3. What is a drug overdose? – Educating teens about drugs and their dangers is extremely important to preventing overdose. When kids understand what a drug overdose is and how serious it can be they will be a lot more likely to avoid even getting started with drugs.
Now that we have reviewed what a drug overdose is and how to prevent a drug overdose, it is important to realize that there are many variables in life and there is no direct road to prevention. There are many times in a teens life that demand their self control and to stand strong against impulses and pressure. The lessons they learn and examples they see in life will provide a great start.
One of the most important messages to gain from this article is to promote education and communication when it comes to drugs. It is perfectly normal for parents to be concerned for their kids and want the best for them. Discussing difficult topics like a drug overdose might be uncomfortable, but it is vital that teens hear this from their parents rather than getting exposed to drugs by the wrong people. Creating a comfortable and open environment to speak about these issues is the best move for a safe and healthy relationship.
The reality is a drug overdose is a very scary thing and it should be discussed in a sensitive manner. At the first sign of suspected drug use, parents should not be shy and think this will pass. The situation should be confronted in a positive way, especially if drugs have been a topic of conversation in the past. The goal is to create a positive environment and not a police detective relationship with your child.
As a parent, it is also important to know the other kids’ parents and carefully discuss these topics with them so you know where other parents are positioned on the issue. It is nice to know that you are not alone and other parents are supportive. Also, in the event you fear your child is heading down the wrong path sometimes another parent can help communicate the message. There is an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child – it is very true. Unfortunately drug overdose is hard to eliminate, but through proactive communication, strategic parental involvement, and positive relationships we can hope that drug abuse will be reduced.
Raising kids is not easy and this topic is certainly something all parents would like to avoid. Hopefully this perspective offers a view tips and guidance to keep the next generation on the right track.