A nationwide survey of teenagers in the United States has revealed a growth in fear and despair among them, with one in seven confessing to the abuse of prescription drugs. Since 2007, there was a increase 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 bullying and violence. The trend has been notable in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in large schools.
Dr. Jonathan Mermin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which ran the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, said that the life of an adolescent can be challenging. However, a huge number of students admitting to persistent feeling of despair and 17 percent considering suicide tell the sad state of affairs.
In 2007, 28 percent of teens reported to have suicidal feelings, which climbed to 31 percent in 2017. Similarly, 14 percent of teenagers made suicide plans in 2017 as against 11 percent in 2007. The survey, conducted every two years, involved 15,000 high school students across 39 states. It asks questions pertaining to a wide range of attitudes and activities.
There were some positive observations also. In contrast to a decade ago, fewer adolescents reported indulging in sexual activity, consuming alcohol or taking drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. Since the question related to prescription opioid was requested for the first time, the investigators could not 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 no matter the absence of a comparison, these figures indicate that opioids has to be contributing to the lesser explored 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 such as HIV and Syphilis. As many as 39 percent of pupils had sex in 2017 compared to 48 percent in 2007.
There was also a decline in the percentage of pupils encountering sexual relationship violence from 10 percent in 2013 to 7 percent in 2017. This, along with a decline in the consumption of alcohol and drugs, represented the wiser choices made by the students. The experts suggested that family support, particularly the parental attention can make plenty of difference in a teenager’s life. Further, an increased access to mental health and substance abuse resources can also make a lot of difference. Wildlife Control New York NY can contribute by offering coping abilities and bystander intervention training.
One of the LGBT adolescents, there was increased incidence of risky behavior as their awareness of physical and emotional well-being is threatened. In comparison to 2015, a higher number of gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers reported having been raped. They also reported having missed school due to their concerns regarding their own safety.
Dealing with the double whammy
Teens are impressionable. They are at a juncture where they can fall prey to drugs easily which can have an effect on their mental health. On the contrary, they can resort to addictive substances to deal with their mental issues.