The United States is currently stricken with a terrible drug problem, a crippling issue and an inflated concern that now ranks amongst the top most devastating health problems that our nation is currently afflicted with. Multiple organizations have expressed dire concern about the status of the drug problem, indicating that this alone may yet be the greatest health crisis that the American people have experienced in the 21st-century.
With the drug problem being as severe as it is, the American people have been searching intently for a resolution in curbing the drug problem, seeking intently to reduce the sheer prevalence of drug and alcohol addiction across America. Perhaps one of the most underrated and underutilized methods for cracking down on the drug problem has been that of education. Education is the number one most effective prevention technique for reducing a drug problem and for stopping a drug problem before it even manifests in an area.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, when people do not know the truth about drugs and alcohol and just how harmful these substances can be, they tend to allow themselves to be peer pressured into misusing drugs and alcohol, even if they have numerous reasons not to. A lack of information allows for a presence of peer pressure and outside influence to come in and take over the logical area of one’s mind.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducted a research project on this topic in an effort to determine just how bad drug and alcohol addiction had gotten across America and to what extent young people knew about drugs.
According to their research, young people who did not have discussions with their parents about drugs and alcohol at a young age were no less than four-hundred percent more likely to misuse drugs and alcohol than young people who did receive some education from their parents on this topic. Furthermore, when a youngster had one or more friends who misused drugs and alcohol on a regular basis and the individual did not receive some education on drugs from their parents, this resulted in a six-hundred percent increase in their likelihood to misuse such substances.
What we can ascertain just from this information alone is that when young people are exposed to friends who misuse drugs and alcohol, their chances of also partaking in such habits dramatically increases. But on the other side of the spectrum, when young people are able to receive some education and information on drugs and alcohol, their chances of experimenting with these substances reduces dramatically.
At this time, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that only about eighteen percent of U.S. schools have programs that educate students about the risks attendant with drug abuse. And SAMHSA also reports that only about one out of three sets of parents takes the time to educate their sons and daughters about the risks attendant with drugs and alcohol. The first two changes to make in improving the condition of education about drugs and alcohol amongst youth would be to:
Young people should learn about drug and alcohol addiction at an early age. It is crucial for them to understand what is at stake with drugs and alcohol at a young age, all so that they are protected from peer pressure and the influence of others. When young people know what is at stake with drugs and alcohol, they don’t experiment with such substances. Implementing better education and more discussion about drugs and alcohol with our youth would effectively reduce drug abuse statistics amongst this age group.
Emerson has been a CCAPP certified addiction counselor for the past seven years. He’s worked in various mental health settings and discovered that substance abuse counseling allowing him to make a huge impact in the lives of others, while providing him a great personal and professional satisfaction.