1. Essentials The term substance abuse indicates the use of drugs for a reason other than its intended pur-pose. The aim of this misuse is to achieve some form of mind-altering effect in the user. When this occurs, it often involves the use of the substance in exaggerated quantities. This incorporates both the use of illegally produced substances, and the abuse of legal drugs. 2. The Youth and Substance Abuse When studying substance abuse among young people we see that up to 79% of school-age children have experimented with various substances. By their senior year , 93% of all teen-agers will have tried alcohol and just about 65% will have experimented with illicit drugs. Alcohol is by far the most commonly abused substance among adolescents; this is closely followed by cigarettes and Marijuana. The average age of first alcohol use is 12, and the av-erage age of first other drug use is 13. 3. Some Popular Misconceptions Because the youth have not yet developed the necessary emotional maturity to deal with ab-stract concepts such as addiction, dependence and alcoholism, certain misconceptions re-garding mind altering substances are believed. Still, Scripture admonishes in Hosea 4:6 (NKJV) that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. These misconceptions hold that mind-altering substances are some kind of a magic potion that puts everything in a new and fresh dimension. Your interpersonal relations will become bright and clear. There will be a dazzling newness in your romantic life. Using drugs does not compromise your mind if you use it only once a week. They also say that one drug user recognizes another, and that it is very relaxing. It’s a great depression reliever; drugs will en-hance your self-image. The world seems like a less miserable place when using drugs. Drugs are also said to be an excellent escape from your current problems with none, or very few, negative side effects. When on drugs, you will always be happy and able to handle your problems more efficiently. You will fit better into modern culture when you become part of it. Music makes more sense when you use certain substances. You're open to experiencing more gender blending when you're on drugs. Also, when using drugs you will connect much better with others. None of these assertions hold any truth whatsoever; the honest truth is that using drugs will bring just the opposite!
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Dr Jeff van Wyk is the President of Team Impact Christian University USA. He has authored over 25 books such as "The Five-Fold Anointing", "Christian Ethics", "Learning to Lead in Ministry" & The Apostolic Anointing.
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