At Instant Urgent Care, we’re here to provide any help necessary in order to make sure you and your families are as healthy as possible! Below we’ve put together a list of common drug and alcohol facts to help keep your teenagers safe. Make sure you sit down with your kids to explain some of the dangers of early drug and alcohol use:
Early alcohol use can lead to behavioral and developmental issues in young adults
MedLine Plus, an extension of the US National Library of Medicine, explains that there are a number of behavioral risks as a result of early-age drinking, these include drunk driving, violent interactions, risky sexual behavior, and legal trouble.
Early drinking also correlates to declines in overall health and wellness. Health issues that may stem from early alcohol use are memory loss from damaged brain cells, depression, disrupted puberty, and even liver damage and cirrhosis from long-term chronic alcohol use.
Organizations including Al-Anon, student health centers, counseling, and psychiatric professionals can help address the root of your child’s alcohol use and teach healthier behaviors over time. Seek out one of these organizations if you believe your child is starting to drink alcohol.
A history of behavioral issues and mental health concerns can lead to more frequent drug use
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids explains a teenager’s risk of using drugs increases based on their family’s mental health history, predisposed mental disorders, trauma, and impulse control problems.
But a teenager’s mental health risk factors are not the most important indicators of drug use. A mix of behavioral, emotional, and social factors are most likely to cause teenage drug use.
For example, teens are more likely to use drugs based on peer pressure, cultural influence, boredom, or to cope with a traumatic event. These events in combination with one another likely increases drug use.
E-cigarettes and vaping is growing among high school students, but can lead to health problems
The American Lung Association found that e-cigarette use, commonly known as “vaping,” has surged among high school students and is the most common form for tobacco use among teens.
Products including JUUL, vape pens, and similar e-cigarettes are usually marketed as safer for consumers since they don’t contain similar tar and additives of normal cigarettes. However, vaping can still increase the risk of developing lung diseases since many e-cigarette products expose the user to some potentially toxic materials.
E-cigarettes, JUUL, and vapes pose a significant risk among younger generations due to their exploding popularity and viral social media attention. Recent advocacy action has lead to lawsuits against JUUL and other e-cigarette manufacturers for exposing youth to the products, but parents should talk to their children about the facts regarding e-cigarette use.