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DEMCO wants you to Know!

This is a new year and a perfect time to create a new you! Early use of drugs increases a person's chances of becoming addicted. Check on your family now. check on physical and mental strength and health. Remember, drugs change the brain—and this can lead to addiction and other serious problems. So, preventing the early use of drugs or alcohol may go a long way in reducing these risks.

The risk of drug use increases greatly during times of transition. The beginning of a new year can be scary. For an adult, a divorce or loss of a job may increase the risk of drug use. For a teenager, risky times include moving, family divorce, or changing schools. When children advance from elementary through middle school, they face new and challenging social, family, and academic situations. Often during this period, children are exposed to substances such as cigarettes and alcohol for the first time. When they enter high school, teens may encounter greater availability of drugs, drug use by older teens, and social activities where drugs are used. When individuals leave high school and live more independently, either in college or as employed adults, they may find themselves exposed to drug use while separated from the protective structure provided by family and school.

A certain amount of risk-taking is a normal part of adolescent development. The desire to try new things and become more independent is healthy, but it may also increase teens’ tendencies to experiment with drugs. The parts of the brain that control judgment and decision-making do not fully develop until people are in their early or mid-20s. This limits a teen’s ability to accurately assess the risks of drug experimentation and makes young people more vulnerable to peer pressure.

Prevention is key, just say NO and seek out help!

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