Are Youth And Women Hurt The Most By Rapid Drug Use Rise

Substance abuse in our communities continues to be the most important and threatening problem we face as a Nation. More specifically, rising drug use among youth and women makes it necessary to closely examine these demographics and understand what challenge our teens face today with regard to the war on drugs.

Historically, males have been the more prominent drug users. However, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found in 2008 that statistics of drug use among girls/young women were beginning to look similar to and, in some ways, even worse than those of the boys. In 2008, there were more girls that started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana and cigarettes. The uptrends in female drug abuse cannot be ignored, and the idea that men are the more common drug user is quickly becoming an outdated misconception.

All women, but particularly adolescents, possess a unique vulnerability to drug abuse that males do not seem to have. Depression, stress and anxieties related to physical appearance and image, weight, popularity, etc.—these are some of the examples of issues that young women deal with and which can cause drug abuse. In 2008, the NSDUH reported that the number of young women who reported experiencing depression was over three times that of young men. Perhaps because of this, teen girls far surpass boys in the abuse of prescription drugs.

In general, drug use amongst youth has continued to attain new heights. Teens can be highly persuadable when it comes to substance abuse; throw into the mix the new and popular “designer” drugs, synthetic drugs (presenting themselves as “safe” alternatives), prescription drugs, a desire to look cool and a little pressure, and you have the perfect recipe for all-time highs in youth drug abuse.

Why The Use Is Increasing

The reality is that in high schools, it is very common that students (of all ages) use marijuana on a regular basis. There are countless misconceptions about marijuana which underlay its popularity. Many teens think it’s “safe” and “natural,” and that you cannot get addicted to it. Unfortunately neither of these statements are true, and the use of marijuana factually impairs judgment, memory and energy levels; not to mention the ability to learn and perform in school. This commonality of marijuana drives the abuse of other drugs (such as ecstasy and prescription drugs, both popular party drugs), which overall puts our young adults—both male and female—at risk of a desolate future.

Who Is To Blame

While it is easy to blame music, television, radio, movies and other elements of pop culture for the rising drug use among youth and women, the finger pointing can be a waste of time. Surveys done by indicate that young males and females are faced with problems and challenges in life which they may or may not have the tools to tackle head-on. Low self-esteem is extremely common among youth, due to major body transitions, hormones, new school, struggles in class, etc.

The ones who struggle are the ones likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Aiming to look cool, lose weight, relax or even just fit in—these are the young adults that will face consequences of teen pregnancy, early criminal records and failure in school.

They key is giving them tools at a young enough age where they do not engage in drug use and rehabilitating those who are suffering with addiction problems whether youth or female.

For more information or help for a youth or women with a drug problem contact today.

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