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A heroin syringe with cocaine.

15 Nov The Teen Drug Scene Part 3

‘The Teen Drug Scene’ is a 4 part series of articles that examines the particular dangers that teenagers face in the postmodern world, as it pertains to drug abuse and social pressures. Using facts and sociological examination, this series will focus on the different factors of the digital age that are adding to teenage drug abuse, such as social media, family life, and simply the pains of growing up. As well as the bad, though, this series will explore the ways that we can help guide young adults through growing up in the digital age in healthy and substantive ways.

The age of social media is about self-image

The fact that teenagers can see other individuals experimenting with substance abuse isn’t necessarily the cause behind why it has such an effect. In order to communicate with our children, we need to know why social media can have such a tight sway on their actions. Social media is about self-image. It allows its users to express themselves and feel some semblance of self-importance. Teenagers today feel a pressure to conform to activities that they might never be tempted to consider. This creates an ever-present environment for peer pressure to grow in a child’s life, and it is one that can be manipulated in a way that purports addiction and drug abuse.

Social media has created a platform for drug dealers

Lots of industries have utilized social media as a business tool. Sadly, the drug trade is no exception. Social media has proven to be a powerful way for dealers to expand their business and reach out to a broader audience. This has also made it easier for them to reach schools and youth groups, which is a market that drug dealers aim for, due to their susceptibility and the potential to get them hooked on their product while they are young.

Less youth are using drugs today

Despite all of the doom-and-gloom that surrounds the discussion of teenage drug abuse, the surprising truth is that youth today are actually using less illicit substances than the generations that came before them. Just in terms of alcohol abuse, about 32% of teenagers has drank in the past month, according to one survey by the CDC. Just a decade ago, that number was routinely over 75%. This continues a notable trend where teenagers are drinking and smoking a lot less, as well as having less sex, than the teenagers of the past several decades. However, these numbers are still higher than we should accept, as a society, and creating more healthy students and well-adjusted teenagers should be a goal we never stop striving for.

Continued in Part 4.

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