While adolescent drug use is certainly not a new phenomenon, it does seem that the trend has been picking up steam in recent years. With shows like Breaking Bad and Weeds reaching such remarkable levels of popularity, it appears as though illicit drug use is becoming more widely acceptable among the public, especially among young people.
However, in Chicago, drug crimes are still taken very seriously. Possession of any illicit substance by a minor will not be tolerated. If your teenager gets caught using drugs, they could be facing some very serious consequences.
So why do they do it?
Why Teens Get Into Drugs
There are countless reasons why a young person may start using drugs, and entire volumes have been written about the subject, so this is only scratching the surface, but some of the most common reasons include:
Peer pressure. For teens and young adults, coping with peer pressure can be one of the most awful parts of adolescence. When you’re a teenager and it feels like your whole world is ruled by one group, you want to do everything they do. You want to stay as cool as your friends, or as cool as the popular crowd, or as cool as your older cousins. If one person says that drugs are cool, drugs are cool. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.
Media and celebrity. The media is probably the biggest influence on young adults and their behaviors. As soon as one dreamy actor or actress is seen onscreen with drugs, they can become cool in the eyes of teenagers. This can be dangerous, especially since drug use is so falsely sensationalized and glamorized in many movies and TV shows.
Rebellion. Oftentimes, teenagers are all too eager to do exactly what their parents tell them not to do. The second drugs become “off limits,” they become the hottest commodity. In other words, because drugs are forbidden, they are coveted.
Coping mechanism. There’s no denying that adolescence is a very difficult stage. More than adults may realize, young people are often experiencing very real day-to-day struggles—from heartache to social anxiety to depression. If anything is going wrong in a teenager’s personal life, she may consider drug use to be a useful tool—a way to help her cope and deal with the pain she is feeling.
Whatever the reason, getting involved in drugs can potentially ruin a young person’s life. The consequences that a young man or woman could face as a result of using drugs are varied and numerous, and although public opinion about drug use may be changing, the risks largely remain the same. Worst of all, one mistake can literally ruin your life if you end up being convicted on a drug charge. If you’re arrested, you have to take action.
What to Do If You’re Charged
First, it’s important to understand that there are different charges associated with drug use, from drug possession to intent to deliver. The severity of the charges also varies based on factors such as the type of drug that an individual was found with and whether or not the accused has a criminal record. Different charges mean different potential consequences, and only a knowledgeable attorney will be able to fully explain the nuances of Chicago drug law.
Because so much is at play and so much is at stake, it’s crucial that you talk to a lawyer who knows how the prosecution thinks and can craft a defense designed to thwart their efforts to get a conviction. If your teenager is charged with a drug crime, don’t let these charges ruin his or her life. Contact an drug crimes attorney with a track record of success today.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, Murder, and drug crimes.