Major starting point of drugs, smoking and alcohol addiction and gambling is teenage period. So they all have almost common types of causes. While surfing over internet I found one expert related to this kind of problem saying “I will give my daughter $5000 if she don’t do drugs up to 21 years.” This fact also shows that how much vulnerable is teenage life towards addiction. At this teenage year, one becomes so much confident in himself/herself and thinks that they are invincible and extraordinary. And finally enters into such addiction due to various causes.
Well below I have mentioned some of the major causes of addiction, which are:
i. Peer pressure:
Teenagers try and want to spend their most time with their friends. Because they shares same types of feelings, same types of problems and same types of attitude and ideas. Teenagers also give high importance to suggestions and opinions of friends than their parents. Because they believe their friends can only understand their feelings and problems, which is also true for up to some context as teenagers share same types of teenage attitude and belief.
So, if your friends are addicted then you are also at high risk of being drug addict. As your friends may suggest you to try addictive substances, they may lure you to try addictive substances, they may say all your problems will be solved, they may say you will look cool and feel relaxed if you try such addictive substances. But these all things are wrong. About 65% of addict teenager said they tried drugs to feel cool and good about themselves. Sometimes your addicted friend may also warn you by saying that they will leave you if you don’t try addictive substances. In such case it is far better to leave such friend than to try such addictive substances. Next, question is why do your addicted friends want to make you addict?
Well, there are two major reasons for this. Especially in drug addiction, when one becomes addict he/she spends all his/her money to buy drugs. To buy more drugs he/she needs more additional money. So, he/she starts to lure his/her friend, girlfriend/boyfriend or relatives to try drugs. At the beginning he/she gives them drugs in free of cost. After they become addict he/she will ask them (victim) to bring money to buy drugs with him/her. As a example, he/she will buys 10 gram of drugs at RS 100 from drug dealer and sells less than 5 gram of drugs at Rs 100 to his/her friend, lover or relatives who has become victim. In this way he/she will not only fulfill his/her needs but also he/she can earn more money. And in order to manage money to buy drugs, the person who has become victim, also tries to lure his/her friends to try drugs. In this way, this cycle of drug addiction continues and branches increases.
Another major cause is little complex but I will try to make you understand it. Have you ever noticed and thought why do people wants to increase the influence of their religion, culture, language, their political party and even their personality over other? This is because increasing influence and making more members makes one to feel satisfied, secured from other group, it will help them to exchange many things easily and helps to take various benefits through co-operation. As addicted person mostly involves in conflict so he/she wants to feel more secured and stronger by increasing members (addicted friends). By making other people addicted, also helps him/her to share clothes, money and other things more easily with those people.
So, to fulfill this kinds of self-needs your addicted friends may try to make you also addict. So, if you want to be addiction free and avoid peer pressure for doing bad work, then you should try to keep distance with your addicted friend. As your life, attitude, and habits are mostly influenced by people around you.
ii. Depression and stress:
Stress in teenage life is more due to increase in responsibility. You have to manage your family life, social life, academic life, personal life, and sometime romantic life all at once. You may feel too much pressured because you are facing these kinds of problems and challenges for the first time in life and you lack the experience to cope with them properly. In such case being stressed and little depressed is normal. Sometimes parental conflicts, divorce of parents, breakup in love, failure in exam or too much competition and low self esteem can also cause depression and stress. In this type of condition you bear high chance to get addicted in addictive substances, especially prescriptive medicines. As nowadays, use of prescriptive medicine like pain killer, cough tablet, type writer correction fluid, felt tip marker, spray paint, air freshener etc to relax and to get instant gratification is increasing day by day. Because many thinks prescriptive medicine are not harmful but in reality they are also harmful. Use of marijuana is also common in our society due to its religious value and its easier availability. But remember it is also a type of drug and can harm you.
So, try to solve the depression and stress before it gets too worse.
iii. Influence of media and iconic figure:
At this present time you can see various Medias everywhere easily, like radio, TV, newspaper, internet, posters etc. Many such Medias give advertisement of alcohol and cigarettes featured by attractive models or iconic figures. This sends negative impact over your teenage brain and you start to believe uses of such addictive substances are not harmful and regard them as symbol of success and attractiveness. This is totally wrong type of belief. But real thing is such models and iconic figures don’t have any personal link with such addictive substances. They are given money or are fulfilled their needs to act in advertisement, by companies of addictive substances.
In movies and TV shows you may have seen attractive stars and celebrities using addictive substances. This type of scenes affects the mentality of teenager consciously and sub-consciously and they think that reason behind celebrity’s attractiveness, success and good performance is addictive substances. Sometimes you may also have heard how your best athletes were able to enhance their performance by doing dope.
But, real fact is that, movie stars and celebrities are also paid for their acting and role. They also don’t have any personal relation with such addictive substances and are just doing their work as an artist. Next thing is that, many reputed athletes have lost their career, medals and reputation due to doing of dope, even for doing single time. Many iconic figure, celebrities and role models who are really addicted, are unable to work with their full capacity due to influence of addictive substances.
After reading above facts one question might pop into your mind i.e.: Why do companies put such false things in their advertisement if everything is lie? Well, I want to give you an example to make you understand, just imagine that you are going to sell your house and if you say “My old, second-hand and dirty house is in sale, who wants to buy it?” in advertisement. Then no-one will like to buy it. But if you paint that same house a little-bit and say “My new, clean and good house is in sale, who wants to buy it? Then there will be a queue of people to buy that same house. In this way, if companies tell real truth in their advertisement then no one will buy their products and they have to bear loss. Thus, they try to make attractive advertisements in order to make their products popular and to increase sales.
So, sometimes whatever you see may not be real. Remember this fact whenever you see such kind of advertisement next time and avoid it.
iv. Everything starts from small intensity:
Do you want to be addict alcoholic, smoker, and druggist or addict gambler? Probably not and in reality no–one wants to be such type of addicted person.
Many teenagers believe trying drugs, alcohol or cigarette only for the first time won’t make them addict because they believes that they are invincible, stronger and extra-ordinary. At the initial stage such addictive substance also won’t harm them moreover give them short-term pleasure and gratification. So, they become more confident and desire to try for second time. The second try becomes third try, third becomes fourth and so on. In this way, habit forms and one becomes addict knowingly or unknowingly.
Generally, many teenagers starts their addiction from smaller things like sweet-supari, betel-nut, gutkha, alcohol, cigarette and so on respectively. It is better to avoid addictive substances even smaller type of addictive substances. Remember, a small thing grows and becomes big one day. And never ever try such substances even for the first time because in life everything happens for the first time.
v. Addictive parents and lack of unconditional love and supervision:
Do you know why home is called the first and important school of children? This is because children learn many things from their parents and environment of home. So, if parents use addictive substance then their children holds more chance to use such addictive substances. This is because if parents use such addictive substances, then it makes their children to think such addictive substances are permissible and harmless. Teenager also wants to be adult and independent like their parents and regard them as role models. So, they try to copy their parents. An international study shows that 98% of teen who smokes has smoking parents.
At present time many parents are either busy or are in abroad to earn money. So they are unable to give proper amount of time to their children, due to this children lacks proper and real love and care from their parents. Moreover parents try to fulfill unnecessary material needs and monetary needs to show their children that they love them. They also generally don’t give importance to observe what their children are doing with such money or materials. Thus, due to lack of this kind of supervision children get involved in notorious activity like using addictive substances secretly. A study suggests teen that learns the risks of drugs from their parents are less likely to take drugs than those teen who don’t learn, by more than 50%.
Another big mistake parents do is, that they provide conditional love. They show their love whenever children scores top marks in exam, get top position in competition or perform according to their parent’s expectation. And if children become unable to do as their parent’s expectation then, parents treat their children like they don’t love them, they scold them, punish them and so on. Due to this, whenever children fail in something or do mistakes they become over stressed and depressed than required. They even learn to lie and hide their mistakes to avoid harsh and rude behaviours of their parents. To get rid of such stress they may also get involved in addictive substances. So, parents should totally avoid such behaviours. They should provide unconditional love. They should show their love to children at same level, even though their children fails or do mistakes. They should try to understand the feelings and problems of their children, they should try to make their children responsible and honest to their career, future and responsibility and should provide suggestion not pressure.
Remember, a child always needs the love and support of his/her parents especially during the time of trouble and failure.
I don’t know who is reading this book right now. If you are parents then try to follow these above mentioned things. But if you are teenager then make your parents aware about it and even if you are unable to make them aware, you yourself be aware and ignore such bad behaviour of parents.
vi. It’s up to you:
You are the owner, master and controller of your life. No-one can change you but you only can change yourself. There is a saying: “You should seal your sac before blaming other.” So it’s up to you to avoid such addictive substances. We can hear even well educated adult people doing drugs later in life. For such people we can’t do anything but we can only feel sorry about them.
So, it’s not only enough to read things like, trying drugs, alcohol and cigarettes is harmful. Applying the things which you study is the best thing you can do in your life. Above mentioned causes may sound simple to you and you may try to ignore them, thinking you can’t be addicted. Well this really happens at this age because you are filled with teenage hot blood and lot of energy and you feel yourself as an extraordinary. So even they sound simple and ordinary adopt them sincerely. Because many things appear as simple and small at the beginning so they are ignored but with the passage of time they bring big problems in life.
Remember, in life there are always options which can be good or bad. And you are the one to choose it. So which one do you choose: Good or Bad.