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Part Three: Utah Kids Experimenting with Drugs

Part Three: Utah Kids Experimenting with Drugs

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Maria Shilaos, KSL Newsradio Part three of "The Child First and Always," an in-depth series.

Only about a third of teenagers are able to beat a serious drug problem. Another third die as the result of their habit. It's harder for teenagers than adults to battle this insidious disease.

Jamie: "I don't ever want to do drugs again, but it's not that easy. My body already had it, it knows what it feels like."

Even after treatment in the Dayspring program, 16-year-old Jamie says kicking the habit isn't easy.

Jamie: "My body craves it when I really get angry or I really get pissed off or when I'm really, really sad and low. My body craves it and I have to be the one strong enough to pull away from that urge."

Holly: "The recidivism rate with teenage drug use is high."

Holly Tanski is a licensed substance abuse counselor in Primary Children's Dayspring program.

Holly: "it's really difficult for these guys to go back into public school and even private school and not have exposure to this every day."

Jamie: "It's stressful. It's hard. All the friends that I had that use, they all hate me and try to make my life miserable, and it's not fun. It really isn't. But I'm never going to show them that it hurt me in any way shape or form whether it pissed me off or made me sad. That's exactly what they want and I'm not going to give them what they want."

But Jamie says she's glad she no longer has to keep looking over her shoulder.

Jamie: "I can talk with my mom easy. I don't have anything to hide from her, and when I don't like something, I say it, but I'm not mean about it."

Talking with young children about the dangers of drugs is one of the keys to prevention, but in order for that to happen, parents need to admit there's a problem.

Holly: "I wish there was more awareness and more willingness to bring this out openly rather than sweep this under the carpet. I know parents are embarrassed and scared and don't want to be judged, but we need more openness about this."

Tomorrow in part four of our series, we'll take a look at one teenager's struggle with an eating disorder.

Make sure to join us next Tuesday and Wednesday for the KSL Radiothon benefiting children at Primary Children's Medical Center.

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