Substance abuse is very common among Indian children and teenagers. For inhalants, opioids, and cannabis, the “proportion of minors between 10 and 17 years to adults between 18 and 75 years” is of the order of 2.02, 0.85, and 0.27, respectively, according to the recently released “magnitude of substance use in India” report. It has been discovered that both street children and school-aged students in India utilize a variety of chemicals. Prevalence rates as high as 82.98 percent have been found among street youngsters. According to a meta-analysis, the prevalence of substance usage among school-aged adolescents is 18 percent.
Adolescents and young adults in high school and college face a wide range of challenges and difficulties. Due to an immature frontal lobe, the brain region responsible for impulse control, decision-making, and mood management, certain age groups may be more prone to substance misuse.
Students in high school and college may be more influenced by peer pressure and more likely to participate in dangerous behaviors than students of other ages. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 70% of high school seniors will have tried alcohol, 50% will have misused an illegal drug, 40% will have smoked a cigarette, and 20% will have used a prescription drug recreationally or for nonmedical purposes by the time they graduate.
Alcohol and/or drugs may be seen as a way for young people or teenagers to blend in socially. Substance addiction can momentarily lower inhibitions and boost self-confidence. For a brief time, drugs and alcohol can numb or diminish painful feelings, providing a desired escape from reality.
However, abusing drugs or alcohol before the brain has fully grown can result in a slew of emotional, physical, social, behavioral, and interpersonal problems. Abuse of alcohol and drugs by high school and college students might create unique situations in which specialized treatment methods are necessary to promote a healthy lifestyle and long-term recovery.
EFFECTS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE ON GROWING MINDS: Drugs and alcohol cause chemical changes in the brain’s circuitry and pathways associated with managing emotions, making wise decisions, avoiding risky behaviors, controlling impulses, motivation levels, and the way an individual perceives pleasure and reward, according to research. Abusing mind-altering chemicals before the brain has fully formed can cause long-term unfavorable alterations in the brain and its functioning skills.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a person’s brain may not be fully matured until their mid-20s. Using drugs or alcohol before this point can lead to memory and other cognitive problems; an increased risk of health problems or the potential transmission of infectious disease as a result of increased hazardous behaviors such as risky sexual encounters; a drop in grades and difficulties at school; a strain on family relationships; a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities; a drop in grades and difficulties at school; a drop in grades and difficulties at school; a drop in grades and difficulties at school; a drop in grades and difficulties at school.
TREATMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE: High school and college students may lack the cognitive tools necessary to cope with some of the daily stressors that they may encounter, and alcohol or drugs may appear to be the solution. Childhood trauma, genetic variables, and the environment in which a child grows up may all play a role in future substance abuse and addiction.
When it comes to therapeutic procedures, different age groups are likely to have distinct needs. Teenagers and young adults are more likely than older people to hide their substance abuse and deny that treatment is necessary. They may also be less likely to believe they require assistance and recognize that their substance addiction and associated behaviors are concerning.
Treatment for drug or alcohol addiction can be done in an outpatient or residential setting, depending on the individual’s needs. Someone who is very addicted to drugs or alcohol and has been misusing them for a long time may benefit from medical detox therapies and comprehensive residential therapy. Outpatient treatment may be beneficial for someone who has a solid support system at home and has been abusing substances for a shorter period of time and is less reliant on them.
WAY FORWARD: We believe that raising awareness about the impact of culture on substance use, changing the vocabulary surrounding substance use, and fostering open discourse about our interactions with substances will be important outcomes of this research. Shifting culture is difficult, yet it may be the most important thing we can do to affect positive change for today’s youth and future generations.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge