Adolescent Decisions

Four teenage boys sitting on mountain trail

Choices Matter

It’s no secret that teenagers are easily influenced by their peers. Often times, what the group says is what goes; if you question it, you become the laughingstock of your peers. That is why many teenagers experience difficulty stopping an inappropriate activity once they have begun; they want to avoid ridicule at all costs.

For instance, many teenagers start smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol during their adolescent years in high school. Some of them genuinely like the substances and have no interest in quitting; they see their new group as their new home. But many become disinterested in using these substances; especially daily use as many teenagers partake in.

For these adolescents, it becomes difficult to leave a group or even to just tell the group that they are not interested in the substance. They are afraid to lose approval, or even worse, lose their friends. They’ve worked hard to reach their status and break into the group as one of the members; they don’t want to jeopardize their popularity.

The teenagers who choose not to leave a group decide to substitute one substance for another. For instance, their group may be known as the “stoners”, but the person who is not so fond of smoking decides to drink more alcohol; he now stands out in the group as the “alchy.”

As a teenager, it is very important to choose your friends wisely. Do not necessarily target the popular kids, because the popular kids can get you down a rabbit hole from which you may never come out of again. There are many different types of popular kids: you have the stoners, the druggies, the jocks, the rockstars, etc.

Remember one important take-home message: no matter who you decide to spend your free time with, always be yourself and do not do something which you do not agree with. If that means losing your role in a particular group, then lose your role! Your life is more important than satisfying a group of kids, whom in all honesty, will probably no longer be your friends during or after college.

Choices matter. Your life matters. Do the right thing!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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Drugs Are The #1 Killer Of Teens In America

Male teenager smoking marijuana joint

Distracted By Altered States Of Mind

Whether it’s marijuana, K2, oxycodone or vaping, they all distract the mind of the individual user. America is not only experiencing a drug epidemic but an identity crisis epidemic. And it starts with children and teenagers; the time when bad habits are formed and either ditched or held on to for many years to come.

Teenagers have a very different mentality than children and adults: they are focused on discovering themselves and identifying with their peers. This is where drugs come in like superglue; they stick to a teenager’s mind and almost never let go. With the advent of marijuana legalization, it is much easier for teenagers to find marijuana use acceptable.

About 10-15 years ago, teenagers were hiding their marijuana use like a homosexual hiding his sexual orientation in the closet. There was no talking about marijuana to your parents or family members. But nowadays, because of the widespread acceptance of marijuana use by state governments, teenagers are no longer experiencing any fear or pressure; they can use the drug more freely.

Drug chemists continue to remain innovative by synthesizing new and more powerful mind-altering drugs. K2 for instance is known as the “poor man’s marijuana.” About 5 dollars a baggie, it will get you just as high or higher than marijuana but at a greater expense: the potential for seizures, kidney failure, heart attacks, paranoia and hallucinations.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100x more potent than morphine. A regular dose of what an addict believes to be heroin, ends up being their last breath of life while injecting fentanyl. The pushers don’t care about the deaths they’re racking up in the communities. The saying goes, “it is more addicting to sell drugs than to consume them.”

We are experiencing an identity crisis epidemic where teenagers no longer find as much pleasure in being themselves while sober; they become distracted by the altered states of mind provided by drugs. And this pattern has a great potential for worsening if parents and state governments do not adopt a stricter approach on the drug culture.

Legalizing marijuana? Vaping epidemics? K2 booms? Is this the culture we are promoting for future generations?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)