Avoiding Mood-Altering Drugs
Nothing can be more detrimental to your physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, financial, and occupational wellness than the abuse or even occasional use of mood-altering drugs, including prescriptions, and illicit drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and others.
The risk of drug abuse increases a great deal during times you’re under transition. These can be the loss of a job or a divorce. The truth is that addiction can wreak havoc on your life, relationships, and health, and often leads to serious medical problems and even death.
For teens, risky times include changing schools or moving. In the early teen years, when kids go from elementary school to middle school, they face new and challenging academic and social situations. During this period of time, kids are exposed to illicit drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes for the first time. When they get into high school, teenagers might come in contact with mood-altering drugs, social activities where drugs are used, and drug abuse by older teenagers.
In addition, many behaviors that are a normal part of their development, such as the need to take risks or try new things, may increase the tendency to try illicit drugs. Some teenagers may give in to drug-using friends in order to share the experience with them. Others may believe that using drugs, such as steroids, will improve their athletic performance or improve their appearance. They may believe that abusing substances such as MDMA or alcohol will decrease their anxiety during social situations.
Many teenagers are abusing stimulants, such as Adderall to help them lose weight. Teenagers are still developing decision-making skills and judgment that may decrease their ability to assess the risks of taking mood-altering drugs.
Using drugs of abuse at this age can interfere with brain functions in critical areas of the brain, such as those parts of the brain that control behavior control, judgment, learning, memory, and motivation. Therefore, it isn’t unexpected that teenagers who use drugs and alcohol often have social and family problems, involvement with the juvenile justice system, health-related problems, and poor academic performance.
If you have a problem with drugs talk with your doctor, recovery is possible, and quitting is a must, people do it every day to greatly improve their life and wellbeing.