Building A Drug-free Environment For Teenagers

By Robin Leonardo

Teenagers fall prey to using illicit drugs because they are

tempted to try these drugs. They believe that taking such

drugs will help them attain pleasure and stay active.

Unfortunately, they are unaware of the negative effects

of using drugs on health and are putting their lives at risk.

Drug abuse is harmful for teenagers:

The harmful consequences of teen drug abuse include

increased risk of getting addicted to drugs later in life.

Since their body and mind is still in a developing stage,

their health can seriously get affected by drug abuse.

Short-term consequences of drug abuse include blurred

vision, nausea, glazed eyes, increased fatigue, sudden

weight loss or weight gain, mood swings, etc. Long-term

consequences include kidney, lung and liver failure, brain

damage and high blood pressure leading to heart attack,

stroke and death.

Most common drugs used by teens:

There are different types of illicit drugs that are generally

used by teens. These drugs are very harmful and may

lead to serious health problems. You need to know them

to protect your teen from drug abuse.

Some commonly abused drugs include;


•Tobacco products






•Prescription drugs



Parents and school/college authorities should keep an

eye on teens:

Adolescence is a stage in life when significant changes

in body and mind occur. Teens find it a pleasure in taking

any kind of risk. If they are with the wrong crowd, they

can get into drug abusing habit. Therefore, parents and

school/college authorities should monitor their teens'/

students' behavior. If they notice that the teen is

gradually changing his or her behavior, immediately take

necessary action.

Some common behavioral changes

•Fall in academics

•Rebellious behavior

•Change in friends

•Change in appetite

•Lying to get away with things

•Neglecting physical appearance

•Unexplained need for money

Parents and school/college authorities should watch out

for these changes. If they do notice any of these

changes, they need to confirm the drug abuse. For this

they can take help of drug testing kits. Once drug abuse

is confirmed they need to speak to their children.

Initially, if parents get to know that their teen is abusing

drugs, they should talk to him/her and explain the

negative effects of drugs, because teens at a tender age

are very rebellious. Parents, therefore, should handle the

situation very carefully.

Even after the parents' intervention, if the teen is

adamant and does not want to mend his/her ways, it

would be appropriate to take him/her either to a

counselor or a rehab center.