It’s no secret that teenagers like to experiment with drugs. However, what teens don’t realize is that it only takes one taste for the addiction process to begin. According to U.S. News & World Report, a whopping 90% of adults who suffer with addiction (drugs, alcohol, and tobacco) first tried the substance before they were 18. That’s a pretty staggering statistic. But it gets even more alarming. The study found that 75% of teenagers have tried an addictive substance at least once, and 50% of them use one regularly. The issue of why do teens use drugs is clearly nothing to take lightly.
So what can you do to make sure that your boy stays in the 25% that never even attempts drug use? Well, you need to understand what might tempt him to try drugs in the first place. If you can stop him from taking that first taste, then you never have to worry about him becoming addicted. Of course, each teenager is different, but there are six main reasons that your son may start using drugs:
Curiosity Gets the Best of Him
What is one thing you can count on with your son? If you tell him not to do something, he is going to be curious about it. He is going to wonder why it’s so bad and why you care so much. Eventually, he is likely to give in to his innate inquisitiveness and try the drug. It may start with something like marijuana, but once he realizes what that high is like, he may start wondering about the next drug.
He Falls for the Hype
Whether it’s on his favorite television show or movie, drug use is rampant in Hollywood. However, one thing that is often ignored when creating these shows is just how debilitating and life-altering drug use really is. So when your son is watching these forms of entertainment, he is tricked into believing that drug use will make him cool, and that there aren’t that many harmful side effects to be worried about.
He Wants to Be More Confident
The teenage years are tricky, and if your son is like the majority of teen boys out there, he gets nervous when it comes time to talk to a love interest, tryout for sports, or whatever else he wants to do. But with the help of drugs, he will lose his inhibitions and will finally be able to talk to that girl he’s been crushing on since sixth grade. To him, the risk is worth the reward.
His Friends Convince Him
Your son lives for his friends. He wants to spend all of his free time with them and pretty much trusts anything they tell him. So when his best friend since elementary school tells him that he should just try it once, and it won’t do any harm, your son is likely to believe him. Even if your son grasps the seriousness of teen drug use, he will still feel pressure to fit in. Because the last thing any teenager wants is to be made fun of.
He Needs to Make His Independence Clear
For some reason, teenagers feel like they need to rebel against their parents in order to prove that they are capable human beings. It doesn’t make sense from an outsider’s point of view, but inside your son’s head, rebellion is a surefire way to get your attention and let you know that you aren’t the boss of him. While there are several ways to rebel, all too often teenagers opt for drugs.
He Doesn’t Think it’s a Big Deal
The final common reason that your son might try drugs is because he truly doesn’t comprehend just how serious it is. He honestly believes that he can just try a drug once, experience it, and move on. But as you know, that is very rarely what happens.
Now that you know the most common reasons that your son might try drugs for the first time, you need to know how to prevent them from happening. Luckily, the answer is the same for all of the reasons: education. Yes, they teach about drug use in high school, but they barely touch the surface about the seriousness of it. Not to mention, you hold a lot more clout than your son’s teacher.
Have the conversation with him about how serious drug use is. Let him know that it only takes one taste to become addicted. Paint a clear picture of just how serious drug addiction is. And teach him how to stand up to his peers. Assure him that it’s okay to say no. It’s his life, and no one else’s, and there are some decisions that he can’t take back. Finally, repeat these discussions over and over and over again so it gets ingrained into his brain. He may roll his eyes, but once he is a grown, successful man, he will thank you.