A young woman stares at drugs.

08 Nov The Teen Drug Scene Part 2

‘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.

Entertainment is full of drug use

The average teenager consumes far more media entertainment than they ever have before. Because of this, though, we have to become ever more conscious of how this entertainment is affecting them. A recent study has shown that nearly a quarter of all films show a character using an illicit substance; even moreso for television shows! While this doesn’t mean that all of this entertainment is glamorizing and perpetuating teen drug abuse, it is important to recognize that teenagers look to entertainment for social cues, as they enter their adult lives. As a society, we have to accept the responsibility we have to teens by using media to enrich their understanding of the world, not to pervade it. This doesn’t necessarily mean sugar-coating entertainment and creating something dishonest, but it does mean being mindful of our portrayals.

Getting information about drugs is easier

The drug trade, by nature of what it is, will always need to end with a face-to-face transaction in its business cycle. However, the advent of the internet and social media has completely changed the way that many young people get their information about drugs. Although our sparse drug education programs do something to warn children about the dangers of illicit substances, it is nothing to the sheer volume of information that they can obtain online. The trouble is that much of this information can be misleading, or even persuasive. It also means that if a teenager wants to get their hands on a drug, then they will. There is nothing that can change that fact. The challenge, then, lies in being open with them and making sure that they feel comfortable communicating with you, because at the end of the day, this will go a lot further than trying to control their right to information.

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