What is substance abuse?
The simple answer is that drugs alter perceptions of reality in ways that often feel pleasant. Drug use may temporarily satisfy emotional or social needs for experimenting young people. Many youth view drugs like a Swiss Army Knife, a tool with many functions: relaxation, pleasure, socialization, avoidance of emotional pain, a way to forget about problems, satisfy curiosity, avoid alienation, find excitement, feel like part of the crowd, go to sleep, wake up, cope with failure, relieve boredom, and /or to simply infuriate their parents. Some people are genetically programmed for difficulties with addictions while others find that curiosity leads to drug dependence and the challenges of dealing with addiction become overwhelming.
What is bullying?
Today’s bullying is a combination of classic schoolyard and cyber-bullying. What begins during school appears online that evening for everyone to see. Communicating on social media platforms gives youth 24/7 access to one another. However, with this access comes the potential for them to experience inescapable exposure and victimization, creating an overwhelming sense of helplessness and isolation. Despite this new dynamic, some things never change; the person that has the most control in a bullying dynamic is still the bystander (the third party observer). When a community takes a stand by deciding to become a positive influence with no tolerance for bullying, there is a drastic drop in bullying cases.
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