Substance abuse hits all ages

The dangers exist everywhere


Reeya Patel, Opinions Editor

Each year, one in 12 teenagers suffer from some sort of substance abuse disorder. A young boy or girl’s life is ruined by one of the hardest addictions to overcome.

Some may mistake people who become addicted having weak morals and no willpower. Unfortunately, quitting surpasses strong will and good motives. Men and women who would do anything to quit are weighed down by brain changes that are hard to overcome. But recovery is possible. With the right help and support system, many can get their lives back.

Substance use is already prone to start young. Drug and alcohol abuse is dangerous enough on its own, but combining that with inexperienced teenagers can be even more lethal. Adolescence is already a time to take risks and find oneself, but mixing drugs and alcohol into the mix can enhance those dangerous chances. As a parent, one would never want his or her kid to become addicted to substance abuse. That’s why it’s important to have conversations with their children about the dangers of the matter.

Parents who talk to their child to make them understand that drinking is not a way to be “cool” or fit in are 50 percent less likely to have a child addicted to substance abuse. Andrew Pucher, President and CEO for National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) states, “The longer children wait to delay alcohol and drug abuse, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it.”

But the dangers don’t just end with adolescence. According to the American Addiction Center, one in every six new adults, (ages 18-25) battle with substance use. In fact, at 16.3 percent, it’s the largest age group being affected. Elderly individuals suffer from lower metabolisms and ageism and are likely to be high risk in substance abuse. No matter what age, substance abuse takes a toll on one’s life, chipping away at the person who once was.

Treatment and recovery centers are accessible in nearly every corner of the world. People do everything from holding meetings and making fliers, to setting up rallies and sharing stories just to get awareness out there. The months of October and April have even been sponsored by NCADD to be Substance Abuse, and Alcohol Awareness months A crucial part of the Alcohol Awareness Month is an alcohol-and-drug-free weekend. The event takes place March 30-April 1, 2018 and is open to the entire community. All Americans, young and old, are invited to prepare, learn and deal with the effects of substance abuse.

Awareness and education play an important role in helping individuals understand the significance of this topic. Alcohol and drugs affect one’s body, mind, and soul and can lead to irreversible consequences. Bringing attention to this matter can not only prevent permanent damage but can also save someone life.