In the last fifteen years, drugs have become far more available to young people than they once were. More than twenty-four million Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol with hundreds of thousands more becoming addicted every year. Unfortunately, young people are the most at risk for substance abuse nationally. This presents big problems for parents.
When we look at the bigger scope of drug use amongst young adults and adolescents, the sheer range of drugs available to young people entails far more than just the illegal substances that could be obtained from a dealer. There are other places that kids can get their “fix” from now.
Though it strikes fear into the hearts of American families everywhere, the home medicine cabinet is one of the most common sources of addictive medications for youngsters. When parents now have to worry about their kids abusing drugs within their very home, this spikes the concern that parents have for their children. With prescription drug abuse being as common and as popular for young people as it is, the medicine cabinet is where many young adults report obtaining such pills.
Parents historically have much to “worry about” when it comes to their kids. This is all a part of being a parent, really. Parents worry about their kids, as is their nature. In 21st century America, parents seem to have far more to worry about with their kids than perhaps they once did. Now, parents find drug abuse as being one of the top concerns for their children, regardless of their kids’ age.
The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, located at the University of Michigan, conducted a National Poll on Children’s Health to determine what parents were most concerned about regarding their children. From birth to full adulthood and beyond, parents will always be concerned for their kids, and the following is what they are currently most concerned about:
Looking to the future, we have to figure out how to remove risk and how to get parents to be less concerned about drug abuse problems within their families and immediate environments, From what we can see in the top five concerns that parents do have for young people, many of them relate directly back to substance abuse of some kind.
Our mission going forward needs to be on removing drug abuse as the obvious problem. When we effectively bring drug abuse problems down a notch, other concerning issues will also reduce. As we move forward into the 21st century, we need to come together as a nation, as communities, and as families to ensure that substance abuse statistics actually do come down amongst young adults, adolescents, teens, and children. Only in this way will we begin to see real, positive change in the reduction of health risks that young people face.