Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The End of the Age of Innocence? Why More Kids Are Turning to Drugs At Such an Early Age

FFH Note: Like it or not, we as parents do see the evidence of drug use in our community. Here's the challenge: Talk to your kids: know what they are doing. Give them the support they need to say "no."

/24-7PressRelease/ - In recent months there has been a large increase in teens and young adults abusing both illegal and prescription drugs. According to approximately 17,000 deaths per year are drug related. Other reports indicate that amongst those numbers 1,400 are due to teen overdoses.

"Drug prevention starts at home, with the need for parents to educate their kids of the dangers of substance abuse," says Stephen Della Valle, author of Rising Above the Influence: A True Story About Alcohol, Drugs and Recovery. "Parents are the first and most important line of defense against teenage drug use."

"The reason for the sudden increase in use amongst teens is the accessibility of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs," says Stephen. "Kids are lulled into thinking prescription drugs are safe and not as hazardous as illegal "street" drugs such as cocaine or heroin," says Stephen.

Reports from the U.S. Department of National Drug Control Policy indicate that 2.1 million teenagers abused prescription drugs in recent years and the most commonly abused drug amongst twelve to thirteen-year-olds was also prescription drugs.

As president of Turning Point Rehabilitation Center in Verona, NJ, Stephen is very adamant about bringing awareness to parents for the need to lock medication up and not allow it to be available at will.

"It is proven that children are less likely to experiment with any type of drug if their parents talk to them regularly about them," says Stephen. "Addiction is a serious issue that ruins lives, tears families apart, and has will lead to only one of two places—jail or death."

Stephen is all too familiar with the drug addict lifestyle. In Rising Above the Influence, he candidly recounts his indoctrination into the world of substance abuse as a young teenager; and the desperate, sometimes morbidly comical situations he endured to support his heavy addictions to heroin, prescription drugs, cocaine and alcohol.

"I believe my book can help people who have struggled with addiction or know somebody that have," says Stephen. "If I am able to help just one person through my book then it will be a huge success."

Rising Above the Influence is Stephen's honest and inspiring account of the depths one man can fall to—and the heights he can achieve if only he reaches out a hand for help.