During the summer, the mercury on the thermometer isn’t the only thing rising: so is recreational drug use among adolescents. They may not even intend to do so at the outset of the season, but find themselves using drugs once summer is in full-swing, even though they never touched drugs previously. A recent study showed alarming statistics about the rate at which people try recreational drugs, in particular, during the summer months. The reason why is mostly due to the social gatherings in the hotter weather, and adolescents being off from school with less parental supervision.
The study’s authors used data collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2011 and 2017, asking each subject about their experiences using various illicit drugs for the first time, and to recall the month they first tried their drug of choice.
Some of the findings from this NYU School of Medicine-conducted study found that over 3 million Americans tried the following drugs for the first time in 2017 alone:
- Over 1/3rd of first-time users of LSD tried the drug during the summer, as well as,
- 30% of marijuana users
- 30% of MDMA/ecstasy users
- 28% of cocaine users
Summertime Drug Use and What Parents Can Do About It
First-time users are often inexperienced and unaware of the effects illicit drugs will have on their mind and bodies, and some pay the ultimate price. Although parents cannot control their adolescent children every waking moment, they can take some proactive steps to educate and warn them of the potential effects these drugs have. For instance, those who are lured into taking drugs like “molly” at festivals may suffer from heatstroke and/or dehydration, especially if they start popping pills while also drinking alcohol.
The uneducated use of recreational drugs, specifically, is alarming. The dangers of drug use at festivals is well-documented, and in 2013, 2 young people died at New York’s Electric Zoo music festival after using ecstasy, and at least 4 others were hospitalized. This led the organizers to shut down the final day of the festival, and the drug dealer who supplied the illicit drugs was charged in federal court, where he pled guilty on a narcotics conspiracy charge.
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