Statics taken from the NTA (Nation treatment agency) website show that Britain’s teenagers are more likely to have taken illegal drugs that their counterparts elsewhere in Europe. More and more, teenagers are turning to illegal drugs as a way of coping with life’s pressures and to enhance their social life. The social and economic cost of drug misuse is estimated to be in excess of 20 billion in the UK alone.
The 80s saw a marked increase in hallucinogenic drugs such as Acid and Ecstasy being taken by teenagers to enhance their experiences in clubs and illegal raves. The more recent drug of choice is shown to be Cocaine, and with the latest designer drugs producing a similar effect at a fraction of the price (Mephodrone, MCAT, Meow), stimulant drugs are more popular than ever. Cocaine is often taken with or after alcohol, this is especially worrying as when these two are mixed together, a potentially lethal chemical is produced in 45 percent of all users. This chemical known as Coca ethylene, which causes heart palpitations and arrhythmia; which can in turn cause heart attacks regardless of the person’s age, gender or fitness levels. In addition, substances such as Mephodrone and Cocaine are far more addictive than drugs that were favoured in the 80s. They are far more likely to spill over in to the user’s day to day life, rather than just being used for recreational purposes.
Cocaine and addiction to similar stimulant type substances is on the rise due to its increased availability and reduced cost. It seems to have become more acceptable for teenagers to seek an alternative high in today’s society, and the result is more people developing a drug addiction at a younger age.
Whilst it would not be healthy or wise to wrap a teenager up in cotton wool ( nor would it probably work), it is important to ensure that they are aware of the dangers associated with taking various drugs that they may be offered whilst socializing. At least then they are in a position to make an informed decision rather than just believing what they are told by the person pushing the drug, or bowing to peer pressure.
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