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 misuse of prescription drugs. Since 2007, there has been a increase in the number of teenagers 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 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 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 teens made suicide programs 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 wide assortment of activities and attitudes.
There were some positive observations also. In contrast 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 requested for the first time, the investigators couldn’t tell if the one in seven exhibited a rise or a decline.
The executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors and a social worker, David Harvey, stated that irrespective of the lack of a comparison, these figures suggest 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 teens in 2017. This decline along 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 decrease in the proportion of pupils encountering sexual dating violence from 10 percent in 2013 to 7% in 2017. This, together with a decrease in the consumption of drugs and alcohol, represented the wiser decisions made by the students. The experts suggested that family support, particularly the parental attention can make plenty of difference in an adolescent’s life. Further, an increased access to mental health and substance abuse resources can also earn a lot of difference. Schools can contribute by providing coping abilities and bystander intervention training.
One of the LGBT teens, there was increased incidence of risky behavior as their sense of physical and emotional well-being is threatened. In comparison to 2015, a higher number of gay, lesbian, Wildlife Control New York and bisexual teenagers reported having been raped. They also reported having missed school due to their concerns regarding their own security.
Dealing with the double whammy
They are at a juncture where they can fall prey to drugs readily which can have an effect on their emotional health. To the contrary, they can resort to addictive substances to deal with their mental problems. Such a simultaneous occurrence of these problems is termed as co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis, which requires immediate intervention.