Substance Abuse In Adolescence

Being a young or being the parents of a young person brings many possibilities and risks together. Especially substance abuse, which is a risk even for children, is one of the dangerous possibilities. According to the researches applied in Turkey and police records, substance use is started to seen in 13-14 year old children, mostly in boys. Children on this age may not be able to think the consequences of using drugs. Around these ages, children are influenced from many factors, such as movies, tv series, musicians... This may cause them to make more mistakes. Young children may use these substances to be more popular, to feel more relax, to have a status etc...

 

Mostly, the effects of substances, which are classified as narcotic and stimulants, are known. However, many people are not aware of the harms of them. These effects are reflected as cool and nice experiences. But, the harms of these substances include deformations on brain. Chronic substance use affects nerve terminals of the brain and cause it to deform. These deformations on nerve cells brings many diseases with itself. These variations and deformations may cause early dementia, loss of consciousness, insomnia, paralysis, mental retardation, delusions, hallucinations and many other mental ilnesses.

 

We have a chance to determine these variations with EEG and QEEG methods. Also, the data taken with these methods, lead us to find the regions and features of this deformations with “Brain Mapping” method.

 

Tips to understand whether or not your child is using substance;

 

1.       Take notice the entry and exit hours of your child. Young children who don’t come home or who come very late can have a potential.

 

2.       Beware of the appearance and behaviors of your child. Exhaustion, dimmed eyes, being sensitive to light and sound, overactivity, dilated pupils or impulsive behavior can be seen as a result of substance use.

 

3.       Gaining or losing weight. The effects of narcotic and stimulant substances may differ. Losing or gaining weight in short period may be the result of using drugs.

 

4.       Poor school performance and not being able to focus on classes.

 

5.       Increased spending. If hte child doesn’t buy anything in concrete and keeps asking money, it would be better for you to be careful about it.

 

6.       Changing friends. Generally, young children choose to try substances with their own friends. If you notice differences in your child’s friend and if he/she doesn’t want to talk about it, you should be careful.

 

What should you do?

 

If you are experiencing a situation told above, you need to solve this problem without panick. Prohibiting the child or not giving money to her/him doesn’t make useful changes. It is important to consult a psychiatrist about this situation.

 

 (This article published in Yeni Asır newspaper on 31.03.2013.)

 

 

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