Anyone who becomes addicted to drugs has their own story about why it all started, but recent research led by NYU School of Medicine researchers has found that many young people begin using drugs for the first time during the summer. The reason for this? Idle time and little to do, plus an interest in “letting loose” during summer vacation, when adult supervision is likely not as omnipresent.
The reason adolescents experiment with drugs during the summer varies. Maybe they get an enticing offer to do a bump of cocaine from a friendly stranger at a bar, or they are tempted to take a hit of molly at a concert, or even a family reunion could pose the danger of an older relative encouraging their underage cousin to try their first beer. Especially in the festival scene, hard drugs are quite easy to find. With all the socializing, the blazing summer heat, and likely pairing drugs such as ecstasy or cocaine with alcohol, these first-time drug users are putting themselves at extreme risk. What may seem harmless can lead to a further loss of inhibition and judgment, paving the way to addiction.
People who do ecstasy or molly, in particular, are at risk of potential consequences such as heat stroke and dehydration. Others who take drugs make poor decisions while taking drugs on a whim, such as drunk driving, unprotected sex, or aggressive behavior. stories can lead to tragedy, as well. In 2013, 2 young people died at New York’s Electric Zoo music festival, and an addition 4 others were hospitalized. This led to the cancelation of the festival’s final day.
Prevention Efforts for First-Time Summertime Drug Use
Now that summertime is in full swing, it’s the perfect time to speak to your adolescent children about the negative impact drugs and alcohol can have on their future. Although you can’t be by your teen 24/7, you can keep their idle time to a minimum by ensuring their summer schedule has plenty of activities to keep them busy, such as participation in a summer sport or job.
In spite of some parents’ best efforts, their adolescent children succumb to the lure of summertime drug use. If you suspect your child could be trying drugs, look for change in behavior, mood, or physical changes such as bloodshot eyes, flushed cheeks, hyperactivity, or fatigue. If your child admits to trying drugs or alcohol, have an open conversation and seek proper challenges for professional help if necessary. Try not to have an overly harsh reaction, as you could cause your teen to disengage and prevent further constructive conversation.
Need to speak to an addiction counselor? Contact us at Decision Point Center today by dialing (844) 292-5010.