Teen Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Drug and alcohol abuse can do severe damage to your teen’s body, mind and future. Sometimes this can even be permanent. Although drug and/or alcohol abuse may have a casual beginning, your teen may not understand the seriousness of drugs and/or alcohol. The good news is that if your teen is abusing substances, there is still hope for recovery through addiction treatment.
Is My Teen Doing Drugs?
Substances – both legal and illegal – have become much more prominent in America than they have been in the past. Teen access to these substances has become more prominent as well.
Many commonly abused substances among teens are actually found in their own households. It may begin as a harmless action. For example, a mother may give her teen one of her painkillers when she hurts her knee at soccer practice. However, even a small action such as this can sometimes have long-term implications.
What Are the Most Common Substances Teens Abuse?
Unfortunately, in our country, substances are everywhere. And there are constantly new drugs that are being created. Some popular drugs have only recently emerged in the past few years while some substances have been around for decades, even centuries. Teens struggle with all sorts of substances these days. Some of the most commonly abused illegal substances teens use are:
- Synthetic Marijuana
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
Just as prescription medications are often abused by adults, they are also often abused by teens. Some of the most common prescription medicines that teens abuse are:
- Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, etc.)
- Opiates (Vicodin, OxyContin, etc.)
- Stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, etc.)
The variety of substances that are being used is expansive. Unfortunately, drug use is also starting earlier and earlier. A recent study showed that 13% of 8th graders have used a drug in the past year.
Why Do Teens Use Drugs?
Teen substance abuse is difficult to understand and difficult to predict. In studying the research that has been done over recent years, we are able to study some of the underlying causes of drug and alcohol use. Some of the factors that can lead to drug and alcohol abuse are:
- Lack of parental involvement
- Traumatic events (death of a friend or relative, divorce, etc.)
- Mental or emotional disorders
- Choice of friends
- Family income level
A teen’s choice to experiment with substances is often caused by a combination of these factors. Sometimes the choice to use drugs can stem from a serious emotional issue, and sometimes it can just stem from the motivation to fit in with their peers. The motivation behind the decision to do drugs can vary. Unfortunately, however, one episode or experiment can lead to a lifetime of issues.
What Are the Risks of Teen Drug Use?
Substances can destroy lives. The lives of those who abuse them and the lives of their family, friends and loved ones. The harder the substance and the longer your teen uses it, the more extensive the damage can be. The risks of teen substance abuse can include:
- Suspension or expulsion from school
- Illness or injury
- Losing jobs and having trouble getting hired
- Legal troubles
- Financial troubles
- Rape, deviant sexual behavior and sexually transmitted diseases
- Losing friends and family members
Sadly, every single day in America, these things all happen to teens as a result of substance abuse. Drug use also has a serious impact on the teenage brain, especially as it is developing.
Does Your Teen Need to Seek Treatment?
Every individual situation is different, but if you see signs that your child is abusing alcohol or drugs, it is important to take action as soon as possible. You want to act before the issue spirals into an uncontrollable addiction, before it leads to serious consequences for your teen.
Reaching out to a professional for advice is the best course of action to start with. This may be a therapist, a physician or one of our addiction specialists on staff at The Recovery Village at Ridgefield. Give us a call, and we will speak with you about your teen’s best treatment options.
Ecstasy / MDMA
Spice / K2