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Why Do Youth Abuse Drugs?

March 19, 2010

So I’m on my computer surfing the web recently when I stumble across an article on cnn.com that caught my attention. Apparently, 12-year-olds are abusing inhalants more than marijuana, hallucinogens, and cocaine combined. (Feel free to read it here) After taking a moment to digest this information, I came to the conclusion that this makes a lot of sense if you think about it. When you consider that most inhalants are easily accessible to 12-year-olds around their homes and are way more cost effective than buying marijuana or cocaine, you can’t really be that surprised. Back when I was in high school, I definitely remember a number of classmates that were notorious weed-heads so youth drug abuse is nothing new to me. But for the first time I began to wonder what exactly possesses 12-year-olds to start doing drugs in the first place?

While doing some research on the subject, I came across a number of reasons for youth drug abuse. If you could guess what the number one reason for youth drug abuse was you would probably answer “duh, peer-pressure to fit in”, right? If that’s your answer I would like congratulate you on being absolutely WRONG!!! According to an article on drugfree.org , 73% of teens report that the number one reason for using drugs is to cope with school pressure while only 7% of parents believe teens might use drugs to deal with stress. Wow, talk about a disconnect! Now I’m sure your first thought was probably, “What does a teenager let alone a 12-year-old know about stress?! They have a roof over their heads and food to eat, they’ve got it easy!!! Being an adult, now THAT’S stressful!!!” While these are valid arguments, I would have to say that the numbers make it clear that parents really don’t have a clue about how stressful it is growing up as a child in this day and age.

The family unit as a whole has been under attack in this country since the 60’s. With society’s shift from personal responsibility to one’s family to indulging in one’s selfish desires, we are now raising up a generation that is reaping the consequences of the seeds of selfishness that were planted during their parents’ youth. If you ask most baby-boomers, they would tell you that they their parents were hard-working and divorce wasn’t nearly as rampant as it is now because back then living a life that contradicted those moral values was frowned upon by society. But if you ask the kids of these baby-boomers how they perceive their parents, they would tell you a different story. A Gallup Poll showed that nearly one-fourth of all Americans cited alcohol and/or drug abuse as one of the three reasons most responsible for the high divorce rate in this country. When kids observe their parent’s coping with stress by turning to drugs and alcohol can we really be surprised when they emulate them?

Out of curiosity, I wondered what percentage of Christian teens abuse drugs vs. their non-Christian peers? Surprisingly (not really), a survey conducted by the University of Colorado noted that there wasn’t a significant difference between the two!!! The behavior of Christian kids is pretty much the same as non-Christian kids. It makes sense when you think about how many people in the Church just show up to play church every Sunday. Seriously, how many of us know AT LEAST one parent that smokes weed with their kids while claiming to be “saved and sanctified by the blood of Jesus”? How many church members do you know living the same way?

As Christians don’t we realize that being “saved and sanctified” means our bodies now belongs to God because He bought them with the blood of Jesus? If that’s the case shouldn’t we treat our bodies like the temples of the Holy Spirit that they are? As the Church we have to do better. We have to realize that our selfish actions have consequences that extend well beyond us to our children and our children’s children and take responsibility for them. You reap what you sow and we will ALL be held accountable for our actions before God. It’s time for us to wake up while God still gives us the grace to get it right. Just my two cents.

-B-Rich

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