There is a common misconception that only “bad kids” use drugs, but according to a recent study, 47% of adolescents participated in illegal drug use by the time they graduated from high school.
This means drug use among young people is more common than you would think and isn’t related to being “bad” or “good.” The answer to the common question of why do people turn to drugs is a little more complicated.
There many reasons why a young person may start using drugs, ranging from trying to self-medicate due to serious issues or just wanting to fit in and be seen as cool. Knowing some reasons behind youth drug use can help address an issue that is quickly becoming a serious problem.
If you have been wondering what makes a young person start using and abusing drugs, here are several reasons why youth drug use happens.
1. Childhood Trauma
Childhood trauma can be a trigger for addiction. Children and teens who have experienced childhood trauma may turn to drugs as a way to self-medicate and help them forget, deal with, or live through their trauma.
Studies show childhood PTSD leads to the development of substance abuse problems.
2. Peer Pressure
One of the most common answers to why do people do drugs is peer pressure.
The teenage years are hard and only made harder if you stand out in some way. Being the only person to say no to drugs can lead to teasing and even bullying. Many young people take drugs just to fit in with their friends.
3. Performance Enhancement
Performance enhancement, whether it is in the classroom or out on a field or court, is one of the reasons why people use drugs.
Young people are using drugs to fuel their all-night study sessions, so they will get the grades they need to be accepted to the best colleges. Young athletes are also using drugs to enhance their performance and increase their chances of an athletic college scholarship.
Some young people simply use drugs out of boredom. Many students have access to drugs at their schools, making experimentation an easy way to pass the time. This is especially true for young people who don’t like to be alone or are always looking for a source of excitement.
Why Do People Turn to Drugs: The Bottom Line
The answer to why do people turn to drugs isn’t one that is straightforward.
A young person may use drugs because they had a traumatic childhood and want to self-medicate or forget their trauma. Another young person may start using drugs because they are bored and want to experiment a little. Or, youth drug use can be caused by a lack of confidence, misinformation, peer pressure, or the need to be able to perform better in class or on the field.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to get your child help if you notice any signs of drug abuse.
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