A new study shows the typical content teens encounter when researching online drugs is less harmful than users might think.
Here’s Where Kids Are Learning About Drugs Online
People take things too far when they think no one is looking. But more often than not, the line between right and wrong is just out of reach. Sure, they feel themselves to be good people, but when a young child finds themselves talking smack about another person like they’re in grade school, they’re hurting themselves and their peers.
According to a recent study conducted by MediaSmarts, many children are in fact tearing each other’s clothes off, picking their teeth, and having sexual intercourse.
Compared to previous generation’s experimentations, kids today go to extremes when it comes to their personal experimentation. Despite social norms, the average young person is exposed to 10 percent more sexual images on a daily basis today than they were in 2009.
The habit has been kicked for the most part, but far too many kids are still experimenting with drugs, whether it’s marijuana, prescription pills, or heroin.
Teenagers have often misdiagnosed drug abuse as being something the adults are doing, but the picture that adults are painting of teenagers today is far from being the truth.
According to the study, 54 percent of kids between the ages of 10 and 18 have looked up to someone who has used an illegal drug, but the majority of the kids that are experimenting with drugs are being only influenced by older or more experienced users.
Nina Kirilenko is a mother of four and has recently published a book about her life as a drug addict in the 1980s titled, The Girl Who Cried Cannibis. When asked what she feels was the main reason that she began abusing drugs, Kirilenko said, “Boredom.
“The girls I liked had these never-ending orgies of all kinds of drugs, and I just wanted to be in on it because it was so fun to be part of that party. If I had to label the things I liked as any creative passion, it would probably be the people I liked and the fact that I was getting to the point where I thought we had so much fun, all day long, I thought ‘Hey, this is great, let’s get started.’
“Since the girls would always be gone, there was always someone there to take the pill in the morning. I was under no illusion that anyone in my group of friends would harm themselves or others with drugs. We just did it like everybody else.”
Kirilenko has an appreciation for today’s youth, but hopes her children will be more protective of themselves.
“I want my kids to have a lot of empathy for people, particularly children who are self-destructive,” she said. “They don’t have this jealousy of your group, and they’re more forgiving of what you do. I want my kids to watch the news, look at problems, see things from different viewpoints. I hope they’ll be tolerant, not censorious.”
Since the research was only conducted amongst those between the ages of 10 to 18, we’re not saying that every young person who experimented with drugs is a raging addict, but an estimated 37.6 percent of teenagers struggle with drug abuse every year.
No mother can teach a 10-year-old to behave in a manner that the more mature children of the world should never experience, but with new age social media taking the world by storm every single day, it is up to the parents to set a good example, figure out a way to raise their kids without demonizing and shaming them, and be aware of what the dangers are in their kid’s current situation.
Since a lot of teens now don’t have access to peer-to-peer support system, as they grew up in pre-digital-social-media-times, many children don’t have much outside influence to help them cope.
Luckily, today’s adults have the knowledge to help the young people on their own. If you have concerns about your teenager’s behavior, you should check with your pediatrician to check if they are in fact experiencing mental illness or addiction. If not, you can also learn more about how they’re doing by turning to safety.gov, seppchat.org, or olytexc.gov.