All it takes is a quick glance at local crime stories to see that many teens and young adults find these drugs tempting.
Where there was once marijuana use and the occasional teen experimenting with cocaine or crack, now grows the use — and production — of methamphetamine and a litany of prescription drugs that are as deadly as they are addictive.
Oxycodone, Percocet, Valium, Zanax, all painkillers and nerve calmers that come with a multitude of warnings regarding their use and their mixture with other drugs.
None of that matters to teenagers. In some cases, teens are trading drugs with their peers; in others, teens are stealing them from their parents. In every case, they are being assembled into a walking medicine cabinet where youngsters can sell their pharmeceuticals, use them or swap them for other more pleasing substances.
The term most often being used for this latest drug culture is pharming and pertains to the use and trade of prescription drugs.
It is hard to say what is most alarming about this latest drug fad, but the fact that these drugs are highly addictive and deadly when overused or mixed with other medicines makes the realities of what our youngsters are doing now for a quick thrill extremely frightening.
Some would argue that we are being alarmist by even highlighting this latest in a long list of drug abuses by teenagers. The same group would make light of the fact that we find there is a growing number of young men and women trying drugs at younger and younger ages disturbing.
This same group would say that historically young people have experimented with the drugs of their time and have, for the most part, come away unscathed and, in many cases, become successful and productive citizens.
To some extent that is true, but it does not, in our estimation, make the illegal and illicit abuse of drugs right or excusable.
Nor does it make it any less frightening. In today’s society, where children are being born addicts and where those who aren’t often live in households where they are left to raise themselves, the growing need for something to fill their lives and complete their existence only solidifies the reasons we think people need to be concerned.
Drug use should not be an acceptable (more), nor should we explain it away as a young person’s attempts to spread their wings and live their own lives.
Too many young people are becoming addicts; too many young people are dying; too many young people are losing control of their lives and becoming dependent first on the drugs and second on society to get them out of the messes that their experiments are now leaving them in.
WIth that in mind, we believe it is high time we became alarmed, alarmed enough to do something about it before this growing problem spirals so far out of control that it cannot be reigned in.