Among 7 thru 12 graders in the greater Cincinnati area, researchers looked at over-the-counter (OTC) drug abuse during the 2009-10 school year. Students were surveyed anonymously. 10% of these students indicated they had abused OTC drugs. OTC drugs are easy to get for a person of any age. If you know what to buy, you can alter your mental state with relatively little cost and effort.
It is easy to hide an OTC drug habit because you can just tell people you have a cold and abuse the drugs right in front of them. If you behave strangely, well, it's just your cough medicine, no need to worry or report anything to the authorities.
Battle Of The Sexes
It was found that boys were more at risk than girls of taking the OTC drugs on a long term basis. The reasons for this are unclear, but further information may come to light. One might conjecture that young boys are more likely to continue engaging in actions that other boys are engaged in in order to stay “cool” despite how the drugs were making them feel.
It would be important to find out whether this difference between the sexes is physiological or social or a mixture of the two. Ideally, we get the amount of long term OTC drug abuse down to lower levels in both camps for the sake of all involved.
Where Are They Getting These Drugs
The students who were more likely to hang out alone with other students and/or attend parties where adults might or might not be present were also more likely to be exposed to and subsequently abuse an OTC drug. This makes sense for many reasons. The anonymity of a large gathering coupled with the need to stand out among one’s peers, to get noticed, to be accepted, combined with illegal drug use can cause a normally ethical teen to step out of the bounds of acceptable behavior and try those drugs him or herself.
It doesn't help that over-the-counter drugs are just that. Over the counter for anyone to buy. Inexpensive, too. It's no wonder a teen who is acting out; who wants to fit in might find it very easy to rationalize OTC drug abuse. They think it is legal and no one stops them from buying the drugs, so what could be the problem?
What Can Be Done?
The study also showed that the more extracurricular activities the student was involved in, the less likely her or she was to try an OTC drug. If they were engaging in soccer practice after school, they were less likely to abuse OTC drugs. Why would this be? Why would an extracurricular activity reduce the risk of OTC drug abuse?
One could theorize that the less idle time a teen has, the less likely they are to engage in drug abuse. If there are less hours in the day, there is less time the teen has to spend on searching for, obtaining and abusing drugs. If they are engaged in an extracurricular group activity, the more likely they are to have their need for social interaction already fulfilled, thus less likely to seek out more social interaction where they are more likely to be exposed to drugs. Never let your teen go to a party or gathering of teens where there is no adult supervision. There will almost certainly be booze, drugs or both. If your teen is staying the night at a friend's house, call that friend’s parents to make sure it is alright and verify what the plan is for the evening.
For more information on this topic or Narconon contact us today.