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The teenage years are usually a time when teens are finding themselves and learning about their place in society.  While transitioning to adulthood can be exciting, there are hidden dangers that can negatively influence your child’s future. Teen drug abuse can begin by watching the wrong TV shows, listening to inappropriate music or even spending time with the wrong group of friends. Here are some of the ways teens can be influenced to use drugs or alcohol:

1. Peer Pressure

In high school, adolescents spend most of their free time talking and “hanging out” with their friends. At that age, the pressure to be popular is at an all-time high and many teens succumb to trying new but dangerous things to fit in with the crowd. Adolescents are commonly introduced to drugs at unsupervised house parties or gatherings. While at those gatherings, many teens partake in underage drinking, using drugs and other mood-altering activities. According to Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 55% of teens first tried drugs because they felt pressured by their friends.

2. Social Media

In this digital society, it is easier to connect with different people from all over the world. While social media is a great networking platform, it also poses a threat to your child’s safety. Without parental controls, social media and the internet can lead your teens to sites and profiles that makes drug use seem appealing. For example, your teen may be connecting with strangers online and unknowingly come in contact with those who sell or use drugs.

3. Music and TV

Educating your teen on the negative consequences of drug abuse is very important. It can prevent them from being influenced to use drugs when they hear music that glamorizes drug abuse.  Many music artists today mention illicit and prescription drug abuse in their songs. Recently, rapper Lil Peep died from a fentanyl and Xanax overdose on his tour bus. Romanticized lyrics about drugs may lead teens to believe and that using drugs is normal and fun. Well-known rapper Future mentions the drugs Molly and Percocet in his hit song “Mask Off” over 25 times. Many TV shows and movies also portray drugs as a fun recreational activity. 

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