|Updated: 4/11/2007 4:48 pm
||Published: 4/11/2007 4:48 pm
Alcohol and drug abuse among teenagers is a serious problem in the United States. There are many dangers associated with substance abuse. Impaired judgment due to drug use can result in inappropriate social behavior, accidents, and violence. Other problems may also occur, such as liver disease, loss of short-term memory, learning disabilities, decreased motor ability, comma, seizures, or even death. Signs of drug use may include blood-shot eyes, unusual moodiness, and fatigue. Teens may also display an abrupt change in attitude, let their grades drop, begin to borrow or steal money, or become secretive about their activities. Parents' fears about teenage alcohol and drug abuse can be overwhelming because they may feel powerless to prevent it. However, parents can have a profound impact on their children by setting a good example and by providing information to help their kids make the right choices. It's recommended that parents talk with their children about drugs before their children reach adolescence, and explain the many possible dangers and consequences. Also, parents should attempt to establish an open line of communication with their kids. Parents can't help their children if they don't know what problems are being faced, and children aren't likely to seek parental advice if they don't feel comfortable approaching their parents. A child who's treated with respect is likely to develop a high sense of self-esteem, and may be better able to cope with peer-pressure. For more information, consult a health care professional in your area.