A national survey of teenagers in the United States has revealed a growth in fear and despair among them, with one in seven admitting into the abuse of prescription medication. Since 2007, there was a rise in the number of teens reporting feelings of dejection and despair. Suicidal tendency and absenteeism in school have gone up because of the fear of violence and alcoholism. The trend has been noteworthy in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in high schools.
Dr. Jonathan Mermin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which ran the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, stated that the life of a teenager can be challenging. However, a huge number of students admitting to persistent feeling of hopelessness and 17 percent contemplating suicide tell the sad state of affairs.
In 2007, 28 percent of teens reported to have suicidal feelings, which rose to 31 percent in 2017. Similarly, 14 percent of teenagers made suicide plans in 2017 according to 11 percent in 2007. The poll, conducted every two decades, involved 15,000 high school students across 39 states. It asks questions pertaining to a broad assortment of activities and attitudes.
There were some positive observations as well. Compared to a decade ago, fewer teens reported indulging in sexual activity, consuming alcohol or taking drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. Since the question associated with prescription opioid was asked for the first time, the researchers couldn’t tell if the one in seven exhibited an increase or a decline.
The executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors and a social worker, David Harvey, said that irrespective of the lack of a comparison, these figures indicate that opioids must be contributing to the lesser researched impact on the lives of teens.
Harvey pointed out that in 2007, at least 62 percent of adolescents reported having used condoms the last time they had a sex compared to 54 percent of adolescents in 2017. This decline together with the use of prescription medication signals towards a teen’s susceptibility to STDs like HIV and Syphilis. As many as 39 percent of students had sex in 2017 compared to 48 percent in 2007.
There was also a decrease in the percentage of students encountering sexual dating violence from 10 percent in 2013 to 7% in 2017. This, along with a decrease in the consumption of alcohol and drugs, represented the wiser decisions made by the students. The experts suggested that family support, particularly the parental attention can make a lot of difference in an adolescent’s life. Further, an increased access to mental health and substance abuse resources may also earn plenty of difference. Schools can contribute by providing coping skills and bystander intervention training.
One of the LGBT adolescents, there was increased incidence of risky behavior as their awareness of physical and psychological well-being is threatened. They also reported having missed school because of their concerns regarding their own security.
Handling the double whammy
Teens are impressionable. They’re at a juncture where they can fall prey to drugs readily which can have an effect on their emotional health. To the contrary, they could resort to addictive substances to deal with their mental issues. Rat Poop is definitely depressing.