YAB Teens are talking about their concerns, stress & pressure, what can be done, how they cope AND why the youth voice matters.
What are you most concerned with right now? And, why do you think this is a problem?
Teens who turn to alcohol and drugs when they are overwhelmed by school. And, young people who grow up thinking it is “okay” to drink. It is a problem that teens can’t find a better coping skill. And for teens who drink – underclassmen who look up to upperclassmen get the idea that it is “okay” to abuse substances.
Teens overwhelmed by school, peer pressure, expectations and feeling trapped. It’s a problem because many teens don’t have self-confidence and are more prone to falling into drinking and drug use. The number of teens who participate in these things continues to grow.
Vape. Teens believe it’s not harmful and we don’t have enough research or information coming at us on its harm. And because teens and young adults are always looking for new ways to get high, or a certain feeling from doing drugs. They are looking for an outlet from stress and life in general.
College application stress. Most of my friends talk about their uncertainty of where to apply or what major they would like. It’s a life changing decision and has a lot of impact on our future…. Making decisions and uncertainty like these cause a lot of stress.
I am concerned with partying. Teens are drinking and smoking behind their parents’ backs. It’s a problem because most of the time they get away with it and come to think there won’t be consequences.
Who do you think we should talk to and what needs to be done to address the problem?
We need much stronger education. We need to talk to the schools – the Board members - and make them more aware. Schools should hold assemblies and class-room sessions on substance use, it’s harm and the consequences we can face. We should talk to and bring in the Police to talk to us and our parents about protocol and the laws in our communities.
We should target freshman and seniors. Freshman need to be taught to establish and maintain good morals. Seniors need to be reminded to be good role models.
We all need to do more…. talk to and educate Parents – get them engaged and encourage them to talk to their kids!
Bring more attention to the rising Vape trend – tons of kids are doing it! Schools and Parents need to know and teens need to understand the harm.
Do you think there is a link between Teen stress, pressure, anxiety and substance use?
Yes – most definitely there is. Teens don’t know how to cope so they resort or turn to substances. Also, when teens are stressed, they aren’t in a right frame of mind and are more likely to do things they shouldn’t.
How do YOU cope with stress and pressure?
I vent/talk to my Mom about anything that is bothering me. I trust her and that she will keep what we talk about private.
I cope by watching TV, listening to music, go for a walk or exercising.
I like to plan things out – everything I need to do for the day or week.
I take the time to focus and get in the right head space – and face deal with what is causing me stress.
Why is the youth voice and presence important in Coalition/Teen prevention work?
It’s important because it’s easier to speak and listen to people who teens can associate and relate to. Peers caring about peers is very powerful.
Teens should have a voice because we are the ones being affected by this work and we know and understand our peers and what they are going through.
It gives us a chance to speak about what’s on our minds and what we are experiencing. It’s important and rewarding that our voices are being heard.
What’s your influence to live drug-free?
I don’t want to ruin my future over having a good time, when there are so many other ways to have a good time in high school.
I am an athlete and I plan on pursuing my athletic career in college. Drugs and alcohol will only reduce my chances of success in college.
My future… and to be in control.
I want to live a long healthy life and I don’t want anything to get in the way of me being able to ALL the things I want to do.
I want to be someone I am proud of.
BBCC is dedicated to providing resources to students and parents in the mental health and wellness of our teens. We look to support you in prevention intervention and overall support where you need it most. The YAB is a great resource to tap into the teen mind, voice and is an open and inclusive point of view on how to handle life in these exciting and challenging times.