Crime and drug use in the nation’s youth is a serious problem that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Even adults struggle to overcome temptation when it comes to vices, negative friendships, and peer pressure. Youth are incredibly vulnerable to a life of crime and drugs if they fail to build important skills through childhood and teen years needed to resist temptation. It’s our job as parents, caregivers, and adults in the community, to do everything we can to prevent the increasing epidemic.
Are Our Youth Doomed to a Path of Crime and Drugs?
Our current youth isn’t necessarily doomed to failure, but the outlook isn’t good if there is nothing in place to prevent crime and drugs from taking over the youth community. In a six-year span, between 1985 and 1991, the youth homicide rate increased by 154% and continues to remain in astounding numbers. And, more teens are dying from overdosing on prescription drugs that they have easy access to, getting them free from family and friends.
The numbers will continue to rise if people don’t start looking to their own communities to see what they can do to help. Often, the youth population gets ignored. There isn’t enough activity, especially in small towns, to keep teens occupied, leading to boredom and loneliness. Nor are there enough ways to get help, or children and teens simply don’t know where to go for help.
What Can We Do to Help?
Much of the crime and drug problems among youth depend on adults to fix. Adults, in general, have the resources necessary to provide youth in the community with things they need to stay out of trouble. Donating to youth programs in your community can be the first step toward preventing youth from leading a life of drugs and crime. Even comedian Tyler Perry donated $1 million to a church so it could build an activity center for its community’s youth.
Getting kids active and involved in their communities can be the number one barrier between them and a life of crime and drugs. But, kids also need to know that their lives matter and that there are people in their lives who can help them when they need it. Parents, teachers, coaches, and other adult role models should make it clear that they are always an available support system for children and teens.
If your child is already involved with crime or drugs and facing potential charges, you should first secure legal help. You need a drug defense lawyer who can help you and your child navigate the court system and work through his charges. Then, you’ll have more time and be in a better emotional state to help your child move toward a life free of crime and drugs.
Why Sports Might Be the Best Prevention?
Many communities are relying on getting their youth involved in sports and exercise as prevention of crime and drugs. At-risk youth, especially, can benefit from being actively involved in a sport where they feel valued and needed. Sports have an amazing way of making kids feel included, giving them a team that they can use for support.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime states that sports also teach kids to value and respect themselves and others. Being on a sports team requires dedication, persistence, and respect for other team members and coaches. More importantly, individuals learn new things about themselves and how they fit into the bigger picture, which could help them place more value on their own lives and lead them on a drug and crime-free path.