Can We Stop Our Young Adults From Substance Experimentation?

Some of the ways to tackle this issue with emotional intelligence

George J. Ziogas

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© Joshua Resnick / Adobe Stock

“Just try it! You might like broccoli if it’s in cheese sauce!”

We encourage our children to be open to new experiences and to experiment. Then, when they get to their teenage years, their brains are hardwired to push boundaries and seek stimulation.

So, why is it such a shock when our beloved offspring start “experimenting” with alcohol or recreational drugs?

You also really need to set aside any preconceived notions that young people who try out legal and illegal psychoactive substances are from ‘socially challenged’ backgrounds. A well-educated young person from a wealthy family is just as susceptible to temptation as any other teenager.

By the age of 17, almost a third of young people have sampled cannabis. When it comes to harder drugs including cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine, the figure is one in ten. That experimentation isn’t skewed by social factors, according to a report by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the UCL Social Research Institute.

The co-author of the report — Professor Emla Fitzsimons — said: “To some extent, experimental and risk-taking behaviours are an expected part of growing up…

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George J. Ziogas

Manners will take you where money won’t | HR Consultant | OHS Specialist | Personal Trainer | ziogasjgeorge@gmail.com