Why do People use Drugs Anyway?
Adolescence is a difficult and challenging period of life. Stresses associated with growing up and becoming an adult can seem overwhelming. Adolescence is also a time when “fitting in” becomes very important and young people can mistakenly believe that “everyone” is trying marijuana or other drugs. Everyone isn’t doing it, but perceptions matter, and in the case of drug use, perceptions can result in very dangerous behaviors.
It’s human to feel some kind of void; something missing or a feeling of incompletion. Sometimes people don’t feel like they are good enough, don’t fit in, or feel like something is wrong with themself. Just about everyone has a coping device or “idol” to deal with life’s challenges. Some fill the void with food, sex or work while others take up running, reading or television and then there or those who use drugs and alcohol. Steering our children to a less destructive coping mechanism is a good idea until they are ready to deal with themselves at a deeper level. As a parent, helping your teen avoid the big mistakes can make a big difference.
Most people get handed their first drugs from either friends or relatives. The idea that children are corrupted by “sinister looking men who hang around schoolyards” is a myth. More often than not, it is a peer or a family member, who wants to “share” the experience. Having an open line of communication can make a huge difference when avoiding the pitfalls of drug use.