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Drug Abuse Is Near The Top Of The List For A Parents Worst Fear

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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.

What Parents Worry About the Most

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:

  • Sixty-one percent of parents expressed concern about bullying and cyberbullying. The main reason for this is because bullying is so prevalent in our society today. While it does not often have lasting implications on a child, statistics do show that almost all children are subjected to some form of bullying in their upbringing. A critical yet often non-discussed factor present in many cases of bullying is drug and alcohol abuse in the household of the bully and the fact that victims of bullying often turn to substances to cope with the horrid experiences.
  • Drug abuse continues to climb the ladder of concern amongst parents, with fifty-six percent of parents showing worry over the subject. There is a valid reason for parents to be concerned about drug abuse in their kids, regardless of their kids’ age. Drug abuse has serious, lasting implications for young people, can harm them seriously later on in life, and can even kill them. Drug abuse amongst young people is growing.
  • Fifty-six percent of parents also expressed strong concern over alcohol abuse amongst their kids. Alcohol abuse, while statistically speaking has not grown as fast amongst young people as drug abuse has, is still concerning and something to contend with in the growing drug problems of the 21st century.
  • Parents worry that many kids suffer from child abuse and neglect, and many of them do. About fifty-six percent of parents are very concerned about this. What is truly interesting here is that in most child abuse cases, (about seventy-five to eighty-five percent of them) Child Protective Services cited drug abuse and alcoholism as being a problem for the parents of abused children.
  • Youth suicide is another growing factor that parents are becoming concerned about, with forty-five percent of parents fretting on the subject. While teens and young adults do not take their own lives with the same frequency that grown adults do, when it does happen it is a tragedy and a horrific loss for the family. Furthermore, young adult and adolescent suicide rates are steadily growing across the United States. In this scenario of suicide, drug abuse and alcoholism often play a role.

Removing Risk

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.

Sources:

https://mottpoll.org/reports-surveys/bullying-and-internet-safety-are-top-health-concerns-parents

https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/childrens-health/parents-top-10-childrens-health-concerns-and-how-to-handle-them

http://parentsecurityonline.com/poll-shows-top-health-concerns-parents-kids/

https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/why-your-medicine-cabinet-needs-a-spring-cleaning-saturday

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