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(1) Drugs & Childs

Drug Addicted Children -Documentary

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Could my child actually be doing drugs?

Yes. Parents have exhibited different responses upon learning that their child has used drugs. This varies from disbelief, denial, surprise, and feelings of hurt and betrayal to stating that their suspicions have been confirmed.

Recently, I had a male adolescent for evaluation whose legal guardian is his maternal aunt. His mother, who accompanied him for the meeting, was reacting indifferently to his drug use. At the same time, the mother acknowledged that her own bouts of drug abuse also contribute to why he is using. Whatever reason that may be, what is important is what you will have to do next.

Is it normal for kids to try drugs?

If you consider whether it is a norm or a passing phase for kids to try drugs, the answer is no. Most kids do not go through such a phase. Contrary to popular belief, up to 80% of adolescents transition to adulthood with minimal difficulties. Adolescence is when major decisions involving education, career, relationships, and lifestyle options are made, often with lifelong outcomes. The understanding of how substance use is embedded in the context of adolescent transition and identifying the context for its initiation and maintenance offers advantages for intervention. About 25% of adolescents who try drugs

do not fare well, with many not receiving the help they need. It is rare that someone first uses illicit substances after he or she turns 20. In addition, the primary causes of drug-induced mortality and morbidity are preventable social, environmental, and social factors. It is more important to address the vulnerabilities that predispose adolescents to develop substance use. A number of adolescents are exposed to gateway drugs, but the majority of those adolescents who use drugs do not develop full-blown addiction. Only a subset of substance-using adolescents meets criteria for abuse or dependence. It is a diverse phenomenon involving different drug classes, patterns, and causes. The adolescents with difficulties have been on a deviant developmental trajectory since an early age marked by the presence of risk factors. For adolescents, there are clear-cut risk factors contributing to development of serious drug use.

Despite the lifetime prevalence of substance use across all age groups and in both genders of approximately 30%, only 6% qualify for a lifetime diagnosis of abuse or dependence.

Peak prevalence of substance abuse/dependence diagnosis is between 18 and 29 years of age. A report in 2006 affirmed that 6% of adolescents between ages 12 and 17 are deemed in need of substance abuse treatment.

Adolescents have responded in different ways about drug use. For marijuana, their justifications include, “It’s not a drug”; “It’s a plant”“; It’s natural, like medicine”; I am not an addict”; “You don’t get addicted to weed.” Some have even mentioned that one is only addicted if one is not able to stop using it. It is not unlikely that marijuana is laced with other drugs like cocaine or heroin, and adolescents would know how they have reacted differently to these compared to marijuana alone.

 

 

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