Teens Favor Phones Over Drugs?​


There is something very funny going on with substance abuse.  There is less of it among teens. Less since — it has been suggested — teenagers are increasingly occupied by the amusing complexities of cell phones.

The hardest thing in the world to prove is causality.  Nora Volkow, head neuroscientist of our National Institute of Drug Abuse is planning to research this. Meanwhile, the world does not even seem to care as much about substance abuse as it has in the past.  Now, overdoses of regular prescription psychiatric drugs seem to have overshadowed the abuse of street drugs, about which folks seem less militant and less concerned.

For me, it is very easy to believe that cell phones are more fun than drugs.  I am still on the steep part of the learning curve for figuring out how to use mine. When I am working in the addictions sector, I am continuously amazed by the trivial reasons people tell me they have started with drugs. I used to think that opioid abusers started with pain.  How naive I was.

I hear words like “all the guys were doing it,” “boredom,”  and “kicks.” Remember, when someone “tries” drugs, there is absolutely no way to predict who gets addicted and who walks away. It is essentially impossible to convince the young that seemingly trivial decisions they make now may drastically affect the quality of their lives later on.

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