The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 29, 2002


Why do teens turn to substances?

On November 7 the Carlisle School Association hosted a forum, "Drugs, Alcohol and Teens — An Open Dialogue". Bob Raskind, the school adjustment counselor from Concord-Carlisle High School joined us and brought five students from the Peer Leadership program to share some of their experiences with the assembled parents and staff. The students spoke of their adjustment to the high school and the pressures many students feel to get good grades and get into a good college. The students, two freshmen and three sophomores, spoke of the stresses so many students experience in trying to excel academically, socially and in extra-curricular activities in the competitive atmosphere of the high school. The students recounted their personal experiences with the difficulties caused by rumors, harassment, eating disorders, family strife and the pressures of peers drifting towards drug and alcohol abuse.

Raskind agreed that many teens who turn to drugs or alcohol do so as an escape from stress and/or boredom. He spoke of the many positive forces at the high school combating stress and substance abuse. The students each felt that the most important factor in helping them meet the challenges of adolescence was supportive parents who are actively involved in their children's lives. The students emphasized open communi-cation with parents and acknowledged that parental limit setting was helpful.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito