Substance abuse is defined as excessive use of a drug like alcohol, narcotics, or cocaine, or use of a drug without medical justification. Talking to youth about drugs can help equip them with the information and skills to think critically when they are confronted with alcohol and drug use. ARISE Foundation’s substance abuse program provides education about the negative effects of drug and alcohol abuse. When educators, counselors, and parents explain the impacts of drug and alcohol abuse to teens and young adults, they are more likely to avoid experimentation with drugs and alcohol, as they’re aware that these can lead to crime and incarceration.
The teenage years are a very critical time to use a substance abuse program that provides education about drugs, because teen brains are like sponges,
Teens are vulnerable to substance use disorders. Substance use can make a teen more depressed and more prone to suicidal behavior. Because the teen's brain is not fully developed, the amygdala (fight or flight – emotions and impulses) part of the brain makes decisions instead of the more analytical frontal cortex, which is not yet fully developed. Therefore, teens engage in impulsive, risky behavior. The ARISE life-skills substance abuse curriculum is a good starting point to help youth learn about the dangers of substances that can harm them like drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.