Adrian Analyzes: Drugs, Substances, Minors, plus the Government

Me, Adrian.

Me, Adrian.

The topic of substances and their use by those under eighteen  is not a light-hearted one. Parents usually condemn the very notion that their child is getting into “that kind of stuff.” The law coincides with such a belief, prohibiting the use of substances deemed as harmful to minors. I agree to the current legality of harmful and potentially harmful substances for minors.

However, harmful has multiple meanings. One of the meanings lies on the psychological side. Certain substances can become addictive while not necessarily causing a direct harm. An unhealthy dependence can be placed on a particular substance much like sugar and caffeine. Yet those substances, and many others, remain legal while others don’t. An addiction started early is much harder to shed than one later.

The government should focus on prohibiting such substances to minors if they are greatly harmful, regardless of an addictive property or how long the harm takes to set in.The harm would have to be significant, as in very threatening to one’s life or health in fairly small amounts and cannot easily be repaired. Sugar and fat could potentially be harmful, but through exercise and healthy habits, that damage can be mended.

When a substance can be harmful to the growth of an adolescent in small doses, it should be illegal for minors. As long as it is backed up by solid proof and observations to prove the potential of harm of the substance. While for substances that are new, they should be restricted until proven safe for use. As in the case of electronic cigarettes, they do possess nicotine among other chemicals, but it lacks solid evidence of any harmful effects towards minors and adults alike. I see that they should be restricted until proven safe for use to minors. Their restriction is difficult when considering it is done by the state government rather than the national government.

Children don’t know any better than to explore and to attempt things new to them, often disregarding the effects that await them later in life. No one has not regretted at least one of their childhood or teenage choices, thus the government must intervene to prevent some of the larger regrets that blight people and those around them. If children (and men) were angels, no government regulation would be necessary. Using electronic cigarettes regularly could develop an addiction to that product, and if that’s unhealthy or dangerous is unknown. The real question when using specifically that product is whether or not one will risk developing a nicotine addiction.

My requirements for a substance, once again, to be illegal to minors is if it impedes their mental and physical development. Hopefully this doesn’t create much of a gray area when it comes to my view on regulation of substances for minors. Even when a substance is deemed legal, the final say should belong to the parents or guardians of the child. As often as it’s ignored, resisted, or defied, it still belongs to them.


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