While drug abuse is the on the rise in the United States, many teenagers fail to recognize the long-term consequences. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 22% of high school seniors used marijuana in the last month. Why do so many young people continue to use drugs? Perhaps they do not understand whatâ€™s at stake. Whether you are a teenager who feels pressure to experiment with drugs or a parent desperately trying to keep their teenager away from drugs, it is important to understand what you have to lose.
No matter what your friends tell you, drugs have a serious impact on your body. Their addictive nature makes it difficult to escape and frequent use will affect your ability to live a fulfilling lifestyle even 20 years from now. Nicotine for example contributes to almost half a million deaths in the U.S. each year. Hallucinogens can lead to insomnia, tremors, loss of appetite, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. Marijuana can cause short-term memory loss, decreased sperm production in men, and miscarriage in women. Death can even come from the overdose of certain narcotics.
In addition to these direct effects, drug use can put you in serious physical danger while you are driving or performing other activities. The chances of one engaging in risky sex increases dramatically, which could lead to STDâ€™s.
Mental and Emotional Consequences
Drug use doesn’t just influence your physical body. It has also been linked to a number of mental health problems. For example, the use of certain drugs can lead to depression, apathy or withdrawal from friends and family. Additionally, the use of hallucinogens such as LSD, DMT or PCP can have numerous and often unpredictable effects on the mind. They can cause the user to feel panicked or confused as well as paranoid. Since they heighten emotion they can create and worsen a users emotional problems.
Getting in trouble with the law can lead to damaging consequences down the road, especially when it comes to employment. If you have a criminal record for example, many companies wont even consider hiring you. Additionally you may be banned from receiving certain types of licenses such as driving a taxi or owning a gun. If you are currently employed and face legal charges because of your drug use, companies have the right to fire you immediately.
Drug use affects your finances more than you might think. Perhaps the most obvious examples of this is the fact that many drug users will do whatever it takes to get more drugs. They may end up taking out a loan that they canâ€™t afford to pay for. They may commit theft to get the money they need to buy more drugs. Not only that but drug users often experience a lack of ambition and may stop going to school. Without a college degree it is difficult for anyone to find a well paying job. A personâ€™s young adulthood largely determines their ability to succeed financially later on. If that time is spend on drugs, there wonâ€™t be much left to invest in the future.