Teens May Use Drugs to be Popular
In the United States, prescription drugs kill more teenagers than any other illicit drugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the prescription drugs were responsible for more than half the overdose deaths in 2013, which was over 23,000.
To study this issue further, the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing analyzed data collected from over 1,000 teenagers in 40 areas of the United States. All of the teens took an online survey which asked them questions about their alcohol and drug use, specifically asking which types of drugs were used. The teens were also questioned about their anxiety, social life and if they desire to fit in or be popular amongst their peers.
The study found that the teens who had a high level or anxiety or desperately wanted to be liked were more likely to use prescription drugs. This could be due to peer pressure among friends and being afraid to say no when offered a substance. Furthermore, those at the highest risk of abusing the prescription drugs were male teens with a high desire to be popular. It was also reported that the more prescription drugs were used, the more alcohol was consumed.
Education on drugs and alcohol at a young age could prevent youths from even beginning to try these substances, therefore preventing them from using it as a tool to be cool.