The prevalence of teen substance abuse is undoubtedly a major concern among parents – but what about the students who bear witness as their peers succumbing to addiction? Recently, a high school junior from New Jersey decided to speak up on this issue in an op-ed article for local online publication NorthJersey.com.
"As a high school student, I think I can speak on behalf of the majority of high school students in this area when I say today's society has transformed the difference between the accepted and the exception," wrote Sora Lee.
According to Lee, one potential explanation for the widespread use of alcohol and illicit substances like marijuana is that this behavior has essentially been deemed acceptable by society as a whole. Yes, there may be awareness campaigns and anti-drug programs in certain schools, but for the most part, she argues that it is basically taken for granted that high schools students will indulge in these behaviors. And, as a result – she says – they're more likely to do so.
Alcohol and substance abuse are commonly featured in movies and television, Lee notes, which only contributes to the idea that they are just a natural part of growing up. This can seriously undermine the risks posed by binge drinking and experimentation.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the perceived risk that teens associate with marijuana and other drugs has declined in recent years, which likely contributes to increased abuse among this population. If your child has developed an addiction to an illicit substance, contact one of our professional interventionists. We offer youth intervention services specifically intended to help teens get their lives back on track.