3 Reasons Teenagers Experiment with Drugs
Peer pressure is one of the reasons teenagers first experiment with drugs. Particularly during adolescence, peer pressure begins to influence young people, and it can be as great, if not greater, than your own. And yielding to peer pressure, like dependency on drugs, can be taught - for example, by the mother who rushes off to get a new outfit just because her best friend got a new outfit or by the father who buys a four-wheel drive just because his friend has one.
When society becomes the parents' answer to everything and when what others say or think or do becomes their conscience, the child learns that his peers should dictate his actions and attitudes too.
Another cause of drug use is boredom. The Canadian LeDain inquiry into the non-medical use of drugs concluded that many people turn to drugs because they are bored. Unlike the drug user who needs drugs as an umbrella against stimulation, this group apparently wants to strip off a mental insulation and let in the outside world.
Dr. James Hawkins concurs with this theory. "Many young people get into drugs because they are bored. If parents show an interest in what their children are doing and try to make sure that their children are busy with constructive activities, this certainly helps combat drug use."
"For instance: The child is interested in music and he practices and gets into the school orchestra, but if mother and father never attend a concert, the child may drop out. If he leaves, he has more time on his hands; he will probably seek company of other uninvolved individuals which could very easily lead to experimenting with drugs. Children want their parents to be interested in what they're doing. They're disappointed when the parents don't think their interests are important.
Another aspect of the drug problem is related to the breakdown of the family structure. Often mothers and fathers are interested only in what they themselves are doing, to the exclusion of the activities of others in the family. They could easily involve the children.
The alarming rise in current divorce statistics means broken homes, and this usually means homes without fathers. And sociologists and psychologists insist that if only there were a strong male figure, the juvenile crime rate would plummet. In many cases, addicted boys come from homes where a woman was the only or the strongest influence. The boys lacked that essential male leadership and they soon identified with their mothers, grandmothers or sisters. The identification brought feelings of inadequacy which led to confusion in their relationship with their parents and their role in life.