Quite often substance abusers start their lives of addiction as young teens and the last thing they think of is addiction health education. They have no idea of the irreparable damage they are doing to themselves and by the time they get to a rehabilitation facility, a lot of the damage has been done.
Health education on addiction should be mandatory in schools, so that before they take that first step, the knowledge will give them pause, and will save many young people from taking the step. Schools cover such things as physical education, sex education, and general health education, but none of the schools have addiction or substance abuse education, in any form.
Why Addiction Health Education Is So Important
Knowing about the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body, physically and psychologically, is so important for everyone, not only for teens but their parents and friends as well. Only with awareness and knowing the physical signs of addiction, will the addict be spotted earlier and given the help they need.
It is not only the physical effects of the brain (seizures, memory loss, and psychotic behavior), and the un-coordination of the motor systems of the body that are affected, but the whole lifestyle and life as it once was, is destroyed.
With every lie the addict tells; with every theft from the home and those close to them, trust is destroyed and ending up in prison for a serious crime is a very real possibility. However, not all addicts take drugs voluntarily, but are given the drugs by friends, slipped GHB and Rohypnol in their drinks and while they are disoriented, given stronger drugs to smoke or drink. They become addicts, without even realizing it.
But if they had the education and were made aware of the effects of these date rape drugs and other substances, they would less likely, be caught unawares.
Some of the popular drugs and the effects on the body:
– Methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine – extremely difficult to stop taking and are highly addictive. They often follow the teen into adulthood and middle age – if they live that long. Long-term usage damages the brain and can cause seizures, psychotic behavior, and death.
– Rohypnol and other date rape drugs cause sedation and memory loss but in high dosages, combined with alcohol, they can also cause seizures, coma, and death.
– Ecstasy causes severe dehydration, draining the body of electrolytes which are essential for the normal functioning of our organs. Electrolytes are usually lost through perspiration and having a long-term electrolyte imbalance will damage the brain, causing complications, including seizure.
Health Education for addicts as well as the entire population is absolutely critical if we are to have a clean, strong and healthy society. Everyone should be taught from the age that children first start reading, and the education should continue throughout their school years until the awareness and knowledge is second nature. How else will the kids know what not to touch if nobody tells them?