New Teen Drug Epidemic?
I wanted to make sure you saw yesterday’s startling headline about teenage drug abuse — a report that most newspapers, for reasons I can’t understand, buried in their back pages. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that after a decade-long decline in teens’ use of pot, the trend is going back up. And get this: Although teens have cut down on smoking cigarettes and binge drinking — thank God — more teens than ever are getting high on prescription pain pills and attention deficit disorder drugs.
You might remember the show I did a couple of weeks ago on this very issue. Parents, you have got to realize that there is a new attitude developing among your kids about drugs. What I found really interesting about this latest study is that this generation of teens doesn’t think marijuana is all that dangerous. Why? The researchers believe teens have been affected by the ongoing national debate over the medical use of marijuana as well as the headlines about the movement to legalize marijuana in various states like California.
What do you think we should do here? I have to say, I’m really bothered when I see marijuana use edging up among kids after a decline for nearly 10 years. And I was truly staggered to see that the use of OxyContin and Vicodin rose among this year’s 10th graders. Tenth graders! What do you think? Are we on the verge of another big drug abuse problem among teenagers? And what do you think we ought to do?