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Intake of drugs by the underage is among the major challenges that many families have to deal with worldwide. The use of drug and alcohol by teenagers is a subject that the youths aged 12-20 learn from movies, internet, family members, and friends. They think that it is a good thing and a symbol of maturity. They do not understand the problems that drug and alcohol taking can bring to their lives. Besides the health issues caused by drugs and alcohol at a young age, victims also experience many physical and mental injuries. It is the duty of schools, members of the general public, and parents to work hard and prevent teenagers from drugs and alcohol consumption.
Consumption of alcohol by the persons younger than 21 years old causes major health problems. In all nations, it is unlawful to sell alcohol or any drugs to persons who did not reach the age of 21 years. Nevertheless, statistics indicates that alcohol is one of the most abused substances among teenagers. Different organizations had conducted a survey and proved that alcohol consumption among young people aged 12-20 is extremely high. In 2011, Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicated that more than forty-one percent of the young people use alcohol. National Survey on Drug Use and Health also outlined that twenty-five percent of teenagers in America are reported to be users of alcohol. Statistics also indicates that most teenagers start consuming alcohol when in schools and during family gatherings. Numerous young individuals do not understand the problems associated with alcohol consumption.
Alcohol and drug abuse expose the underage to many physical injuries. It occurs when they are drunk and hence unable to control themselves. Recent statistics indicates that above 60 percent of the minor injuries reported among teenagers occur when they are under the influence of drugs. Cases of major injuries are also common and often lead to disability or even death.
Problems Associated with Alcohol and Drugs Consumption
Alcohol and drugs cause problems to schools such as a high rate of absence and failing or poor grades. Social problems are also reported in schools where youths engage in alcohol abuse. These social problems include the lack of participation in school activities and fighting among students. Physical problems are also witnessed including illnesses and hangovers. It is evident in Many institutions are known to report cases of sexual assault; early pregnancies are also common. Many cases of suicide and homicide also occur because of alcohol and drug abuse.
Tips How to Avoid Alcohol and Drug Abuse among the Underage
It is the responsibility of diverse stakeholders including parents, schools, families, and friends to prevent the underage from abusing alcohol and other substances. Some of the tips how to avoid underage drinking and drug abuse include:
- School strategies
Schools should base their strategies on behavioral theory. They should enlighten the underage on the risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse and assist them to consider protective factors. It can be achieved by developing a compulsory course for all offering information regarding alcohol and drugs. Schools can also develop social and personal skills in young people that will enable them to resist the negative influences. Schools can also apply their strategies through interactive techniques of teaching.
- Extracurricular strategies
To assist the underage resist engaging in drugs misuse, it is significant to enhance supervision of positive adults who act as role models. The youths should also be given leadership opportunities by reliable individuals among them. It is a factor that will make them responsible and committed. Intensive programs can also assist since they ensure that the underage are busy throughout the day and do not have time for idling; thus, they will be too busy to learn and adopt drug usage.
- Family strategies
All families have the responsibility to contribute towards preventing the underage from abusing alcohol and other substances. It can be achieved through improving the relationship between a child and his/her parents through a positive reinforcement, communication, and listening as well as problem-solving skills. It is also the duty of family members to ensure consistent rule-making and discipline. Children should be monitored in all their activities during adolescence. All members of the family should work towards strengthening the bonds of the family. It will enable the children to understand the risks of drugs and hence avoid them.
In conclusion, consumption of alcohol and misuse of drugs is very common among the underage. Statistics has provided reliable data regarding the issue stressing on the need to address the problem. However, if all members of the society will play their roles and make efforts to solve the problem, the underage will be saved.