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International Day Against Drug Abuse: Effects Of Drug Abuse On Teens, Treatment And Helpline Numbers

| Reviewed By Arya Krishnan

On 7 December 1987, the General Assembly proclaimed 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in an expression of its firm determination to work together to promote a drug-free society worldwide.

This annual observance aims to raise awareness about the severe problem that illicit drugs pose to society. Individuals, communities, and various organizations worldwide participate in this contribution.

The theme of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day 2022, is "Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises."

Effects Of Drug Abuse On Teenagers

Various factors can cause drug abuse and addiction among teens. First-time users are frequently exposed to readily available substances such as alcohol and cigarettes in social settings.

Insecurities or the desire to be accepted by others may cause continued use. In addition, teenagers may feel indestructible and may not consider the consequences of their actions, making them take dangerous risks with drugs [1].

Teenage drug abuse is associated with the following risk factors [2]:

  • Substance abuse in the family
  • An emotional or behavioural health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Impulsive or risk-taking behaviour
  • A history of traumatic events, such as an accident or abuse
  • Low self-esteem or feelings of rejection by others

Signs Of Teenage Drug Abuse

There are many signs that your teen is abusing drugs, but some of the most common ones are as follows [3]:

  • Problems with the law, such as curfew violations, stealing, etc.
  • Problems at school, including excessive tardiness, poor grades, suspension, etc.
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of interest in favourite activities
  • Possession of drugs
  • Violent behaviour
  • Withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Poor hygiene

Consequences Of Teenager Drug Abuse

Teen drug abuse may result in the following negative effects [4]:

  • Addiction to drugs: Teenagers who misuse drugs are at a greater risk of serious drug use in adulthood.
  • Poor judgment: Teen drug use is associated with poor judgment in social and personal interactions.
  • Sexual activity: The use of drugs is associated with high-risk sexual activity, unsafe sex, and unplanned pregnancy.
  • Mental health disorders: Drug use can exacerbate or increase the risk of mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
  • Changes in academic performance: Substance abuse can negatively impact academic performance.

Health Effects Of Drugs

Substance abuse can lead to drug addiction, impairment, illness, and death. The following are some of the health risks associated with commonly used drugs [5][6]:

  • Cocaine: An increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and seizures
  • Ecstasy: An increased risk of liver failure and heart failure
  • Inhalants: Risk of damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys when used long-term
  • Marijuana: Risk of impaired memory, learning, problem-solving, and concentration; risk of psychosis such as schizophrenia, hallucinations or paranoia - later in life associated with early and frequent consumption
  • Methamphetamine: Psychotic behaviours are possible following long-term use or high doses
  • Opioids: Risk of respiratory distress or death from overdose
  • Electronic cigarettes (vaping): Exposure to harmful substances similar to that from cigarette smoking; potential for nicotine dependence

Teenage Drug Abuse Treatment

Please do not wait to intervene if you know a teen who is abusing drugs. The sooner your teenager seeks treatment for drug abuse, the more likely they are to avoid long-term consequences. There are a number of different teen drug rehabilitation programs to choose from. Speak to a medical professional about your teen's symptoms and determine which type of drug abuse treatment is appropriate [7].

Drug Abuse Among The Youth Of India

As a consequence of changing cultural values, fierce competition in the spheres of education and employment, the increasing economic burden on families, and the diminishing supportive bonds for adolescents in their transitional years, the prevalence of substance abuse among adolescents is on the rise in India [8].

Adolescents are likely to experience their first exposure to various drugs, especially those that are readily available, such as glues, tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol. A high proportion of adolescents at risk are street children, child labourers, and teens with a family history of drug abuse or other emotional or behavioural challenges at home [9].

A study conducted by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights found that tobacco and alcohol are the most common forms of substance abuse among adolescents, followed by inhalants and cannabis. Furthermore, an observation was made that the average age of onset of tobacco use was as young as 12 years, while another study found that 46 per cent of slum-dwelling adolescents started using both smokeless and smoking tobacco, as well as alcohol and cannabis during their childhood [10].

De-addiction Helpline Numbers

  • National Toll-Free Drug-De Addiction Helpline: 1800-11-0031
  • Tobacco Quit Helpline: 1800-11-2356 (Timings: 8 am to 8 pm) Or Give A Missed Call On 011-22901701 For Registration.
  • Alpha Healing Centre (Gujarat): 1800-547-2060
  • Cadabam's Anunitha (Bangalore and Hyderabad): 96111 94949
  • St. Joseph's Rehabilitation Center & Relief Services (West Bengal): 03324024603, 8961401111

Government-operated centres

  • National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Kamla Nehru Nagar, C.G.O. Complex, Gaziabad. PH; 25588223, 26588663
  • De-addiction Centre, Dept. Of Psychiatry, PARK STREET, DR. RAM MANOHAR LOHIA HOSP., NEW DELHI-01. PH: 23365525
  • Deptt. Of Psychiatry, Safdarjung Hospital. Phone: 26198481
Arya KrishnanEmergency Medicine
Arya Krishnan
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