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this week


By Connor

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a problem for many teenagers. A lot of kids feel invincible and don’t think about the consequences of their actions. Often teenagers want to appear older than they are and think that using drugs or alcohol is a way to do that. Its’ one thing to want to appear older, but the reality is that many teens aren’t mature enough to handle the affects and consequences of drug and alcohol use. This can lead to teens hurting themselves with over use and can cause real health problems in both the immediate and distant future.

Teenagers are more likely to try new things and this can also contribute to drug and alcohol addiction. A lot of the drugs teens experiment with in high school can be seen as gateway substances and may lead to harder and more dangerous drugs down the road. A teenager who tries smoking is more likely to try alcohol. Similarly, a teen that drinks is more likely to smoke marijuana than someone who has never touched a drop of booze. Combine this willingness to try new things with the attitude that none of these new things can actually cause any long-term damage and you’ve got a risk for addiction.

Alcohol is probably the most abused substance with teenagers because it’s the most readily available. Most households have liquor cabinets at home that teens can get access to. Even if there is no alcohol in the home, it’s not too hard to find somebody of age who’s willing to buy booze for some thirsty high school students with a little extra cash. Alcohol is also one of the most dangerous substances in respect to what it does to the body and how easy it is to get addicted to. Girls absorb alcohol faster than boys because their bodies have less water. Water in our bodies dilutes alcohol which means that girls get drunker faster and easier than guys do. Once people drink three or four drinks they will start to feel less inhibited and more relaxed. If they continue drinking past this point their speech starts to slur and they get clumsier. The more you drink, the worse the symptoms get including nausea, double vision, vomiting and increased emotional reactions. For most people they look forward to the relaxation that alcohol offers but it’s hard to stop there. Once under the influence they believe that the more they drink the better it will get, but the opposite seems to happen.

If you think that a friend or family member might be getting addicted to alcohol there are a few signs you can watch for. Signs such as slipping grades, changes in behaviour towards school or taking less effort in personal appearance are signs that somebody might have a problem. They might also seem really tired a lot of the time and even get depressed. When you talk to your friend it’s important to talk to them about their behaviour and how you’ve noticed that it’s changed rather than just making judgments and talking about rumours you’ve heard. Seek the truth rather than accusing them of using.

Alcohol and drugs seem glorious and easy because they get rid of the pain or heartache that somebody is going through but they do this by altering the users take on reality. Once you escape reality it’s a hard thing to be able to come back to. It’s better to face your problems head on and think of a direct and healthy way to cope with whatever is going on in your life that you’re unhappy about. Wouldn’t it be better to spend your time on Earth living life, rather than avoiding it?


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