Knowledge can help stop teen drug use

According to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, about 1/3 of high a school seniors across the nation reported using some sort of drug at some point in the last year. 


CADAS prevention specialist, Amanda said, "I think people have the concept.  At least I did before I started this job, that you had to look for drugs if you are a teenager.  If you wanted to do drugs, if you wanted to be in that lifestyle, you had to look for it to make it happen and at least not with the teens we work with.  That’s just not the case.  Drugs are so easily available at school or with friends."


Many of the drugs popular in teen circles aren’t illegal.  They can be bought over the counters at drug stores or found in the family medicine cabinet.


Hamilton County Coalition community Outreach consultant Calandra Smith said, "Anything they feel they can get that high from,  Xanax, hydrocodone … Anything that they want to mix with alcohol to intensify that high… So I wouldn’t say there is one particular one, because they are mixing everything."


It isn’t that teens don’t know the dangers of drugs.  They just don’t think it could happen to them.


"Experimentation and not realizing the true consequences they hear about it, but they feel like it can’t happen to me," said Calandra.


In today’s society, we all have access to the world at the tips of our fingers, so limiting exposure may not be realistic .


"I think the idea that if we can just get it out of their reach, they are not going to do it.  That is a very idealistic hope to have.  It is a good thought in theory, but I don’t think in practice it would work.  Me, personally, I would say that education is the best kind of preventative thing," said Amanda.



Knowledge is power.  The more they know, the more likely they are to make the right choice.


For more information on how to talk to teens about drugs, you can check out the link below.


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