Why They Do It: What Makes Adolescents Take Drugs

Why they do it: What makes adolescents take drugs

When kids have their whole lives ahead of them, you may wonder why they would potentially waste their futures on drugs.

By understanding what makes adolescents take drugs, we can hopefully teach them how to better channel their energy toward more productive outlets.


They Want To Fit In

As we know from countless public service announcements, kids feel pressure to take drugs because they believe many of their peers are also engaging in the behavior. Whether a portion of kids in their school are taking drugs is beside the point. The important thing is that if kids believe their friends are experiencing something new, they will want to try it as well.

They Lack Coping Skills

It is difficult for parents to accept that their child does not possess all the skills they need to lead a balanced, healthy life. However, many adolescents struggle with how to moderate their use of substances. Parents of young children who suck their thumbs should be wary of how their “earliest addiction” could be a sign of future dependency issues.

They Want To Do Better

We live in a very competitive society, and children often feel the pressure to be mini-adults. As a result, it is not uncommon to see kids with multiple afterschool activities, demanding grade expectations, and very little time to sleep. A major factor behind what makes adolescents take drugs is the opportunity to gain a competitive edge. Stimulant drugs alter the mind to increase focus and productivity. Adolescents abuse these drugs so they can reach the high expectations put upon them.

They Want New Experiences

Children and adolescents are hard-wired to seek out new experiences and chances for adventure. Drugs give them an easy way to feel something entirely different. Adolescents who are driven by curiosity try drugs so that they can see the world through a new lens. Parents need to explain to their children that although drugs give them a temporary exploration into a different perspective, they will dull the child’s senses over time and make it difficult for them to explore the world.


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