Every parent who has watched their child drive the family car for the first time remembers the feelings of doubt, the worries about possible harm that could follow. So, in an effort to keep our children safe, we mandate that every child spend over a hundred hours both in the classroom and behind the wheel before they receive their driver’s license. In contrast, how much time do we really spend keeping our children safe from the harm that can be caused by drugs? In 2015, 37,757 people died in car crashes — 52,404 died from drug overdoses.
Drug use has reached epidemic proportions in our country. Today, drugs are more prevalent, stronger, more addictive and cheaper than ever before. Synthetic drugs and prescription drug abuse are now common avenues among our youth.
This is not the world in which most parents grew up. As parents, we must be aware and informed in order to protect our children from these dangers and allow them to grow and mature as a child should – free from the grasp of substance abuse.
1. In 2015, 52,404 died from drug overdose. Source
2. 21% of adolescents who had tried smoking marijuana did so before the age of 13 and 63% did so before the age of 15.
3. 80% of people who use heroin report having first misused prescription drugs. Source
4. 13.1% of 8th graders have used inhalants. Source
5. Today, marijuana is much stronger than it was a generation ago and can now be ingested in the form of oils, wax, vapor, edibles and liquid. Source
6. “Synthetic marijuana” (known on the street as “Spice”, “K2”, etc.) refers to a product in which man-made, mind-altering chemicals are added to dried leaves so they can be smoked or liquids so it can be vaporized and inhaled. Often marked as “safe”, this product can be more damaging, unpredictable and severe than marijuana. It is addictive and can produce paranoia, hallucinations and thoughts of suicide. Source
7. In 2015, as estimated 21,000 adolescents used heroin in the past year. Source
8. In 2015, 276,000 adolescents were current users of a non-prescribed pain reliever. Source
9. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid currently sold on the street. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Source
10. Despite its high addictive nature, 40% of teens believe it is not harmful to use heroin once or twice. Source