American Youth Missing the Message of the Dangers of Drug Abuse

Recent surveys of American students show that they still do not understand that abuse of drugs can lead to addiction and even to death in some cases.


Each year, the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan surveys thousands of eighth, tenth and twelfth-graders to find out their substance abuse habits and attitudes toward drug use. While statistics on drug abuse go up and down slightly from year to year, there is never very much overall change. We are not getting the message to these young people that drug abuse is dangerous and harmful. Some of these children will wind up addicted and some of them will overdose. More of them will develop illnesses related to alcohol or drug abuse and a few of them will die unnecessarily in accidents related to substance abuse.


That’s not the way we want it, but that’s the way it is going right now. Unless young people get the message about drug abuse dangers clearly enough that these numbers begin to fall and keep falling, we are going to lose some of them.


Specifics from the Report


The results of this survey go back as far as 1975 so we can measure the changes in use and attitude since then. Marijuana use declined through 2006 and then began to grow. Now, there are more young people using marijuana than smoking cigarettes.


In 2011, only about 45% of high school seniors felt that there was a great risk to using marijuana on a regular basis. Is it possible that young people think it’s totally safe to abuse marijuana since the drug is given to sick people? The number of young people thinking that it is risky to abuse marijuana has been downtrending since 1991.


Alcohol consumption is on a downtrend, however, abuse of far more addictive prescription drugs is on the rise. OxyContin abuse remains steady, hydrocodone abuse is down slightly, but Ritalin and Adderall (a form of amphetamine) abuse is growing. Between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of high school seniors who abused a prescription amphetamine or stimulant climbed from 6.6% to 8.2%.


There may be people, both young and old, who think that these drugs can be abused without becoming addicted. And sometimes it’s true, a young person can abuse some of these drugs and then decide to quit. But others take a different path. They can’t quit when they want to. The cravings drive them to abuse the same drug over and over. Their life begins to deteriorate. Grades drop, activities and interests are discontinued. Friends change so the young person is now hanging out with people who use drugs, not the sober ones.


Even marijuana has been proven to be addictive. In 2010, more than 150,000 young people (12 to 17) went to rehab to recover from marijuana addiction. In all, more than a million people of all ages found rehab help after complaining of a primary addiction to marijuana.


When people lose the ability to control their drug usage, when their decisions are based on satisfying their intense cravings, they are said to be addicted. They may see the damage that is occurring, they may realize that they are losing things that have value, such as their families, their honesty, their self respect and the respect of others. But they can’t change the path they are on because of the grip drugs have on them.


This is when a thorough addiction treatment program is needed. This is what Narconon Arrowhead offers.


Recovery at Narconon Arrowhead


The Narconon Arrowhead facility is located in rural Oklahoma, situated in beautiful rolling hills populated with a variety of wildlife. The main lodge of the property overlooks a long lake and a range of green hills. This peaceful environment is the perfect place to focus on recovering sobriety, on creating a sober future, on repairing the damage that has been done.


It takes longer than the 30 days of most short-term programs to recover from addiction. The harm done to oneself and loved ones takes time to repair. It takes time to recover one’s clear perception of self and life, and to restore the relationships that were so hard hit. The Narconon Arrowhead program has eight phases of recovery that enable each person to learn how and why addiction started and leave those problems behind.


A deep detoxification program that utilizes a sauna, moderate exercise and nutritional supplements helps to clean up the physical assault of the drugs. This combination results in the body flushing out old residues that drugs left behind. Those finishing this step often talk about how much their cravings drop after this is done.


It is possible to leave addiction behind and find a new sober life. It is possible to lift off guilt and recover one’s personal integrity. It happens every day at Narconon Arrowhead.


Find out how this innovative program can help someone you care about recover from addiction. Call 1-800-468-6933 today.