Most parents fret over their children’s performance and grades in school. They are paranoid whether their children will grow up to be successful in life. While those blessed with exceptionally intelligent kids can’t stop raving about them, they also have a problem at hand. Because intelligence does not guarantee good behaviour, life practices and health for the whole life. A new study claims that intelligent teens are also most likely to abuse substances.
Alcohol and drug abuse is widely prevalent among the American youth today. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 623,000 American youths between the age of 12 and 17 suffered from alcohol use disorder whereas seven percent of children aged 12-17 were current users of marijuana. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that marijuana use is on a continuous high among 12th graders.
Some of the factors that contribute to this scenario are associated with the availability of drugs in neighbourhood, community and school and whether their friends are drug users or not. Family environment where violence, physical and mental abuse, and drug abuse by family members is prevalent can also contribute to the possibility of teen drug initiation and addiction.
However, according to this new study, another factor contributes towards this massive substance abuse by adolescents. It reports that high academic intelligence also contributes to drug use among teens, especially in females.
Teen drug abuse carries into adulthood
The study, that got published in the British Medical Journal in April 2017, was carried out to determine the association between childhood academic ability and alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use in adolescent. It collected data from 7 years of the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), 2004–2010 based on interviews and questionnaires.
The study included more than 6000 participants, including males and females, between the age group of 13-14 to 19-20. The findings indicated that with high academic ability, there was a decrease in use of tobacco in early adolescence, at the age of 11, however, it led to increased regular consumption of alcohol and marijuana. During their late teens, students with the highest scores were more than twice as likely to turn into regular drinkers compared with others, although they showed less proclivity to binge-drink. They also showed a two-time likelihood of using cannabis persistently and were 50 percent more likely to use it occasionally compared with their peers who scored less in their tests. The study concluded with the fact that the association between high academic ability and the pattern of drug use continues into adulthood.
Road to recovery
Illicit drug use, regular drinking habits, peer influence, desire to carve an identity of one’s own is something that most teens experience during growing years. Little do they realize that occasional use can soon turn into dependence and addiction, and lead to substance use disorder (SUD). In most cases the initiation of drug use can start as an attempt to fit in among peers or as a coping mechanism against life stressors. Whatever the case may be, drug use can have a severe negative impact on an individual as it can completely destroy whatever possibility there is of a normal life. However, help is available in the form of holistic treatment programs to assist the affected individuals in reclaiming their lives.
If you know someone addicted to any harmful substance, the Texas Substance Abuse Helpline can connect you to the best substance abuse treatment centers in Texas and specialists who can aid in full recovery. Call us on our 24/7 helpline (866) 971-2658 or chat with one of our experts to know more about the finest substance abuse treatment programs in Texas.