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Substance abuse and addictions often starts during adolescence. Teens are prone to developing addiction quickly because their brain is still physically maturing.
The earlier a person starts abusing drugs or alcohol, the more likely they are to develop chemical dependency as adults. The difference between substance abuse and addiction is significant. While experimenting with drugs, teens are not yet addicted. Drug abuse during adolescence can lead to permanent effects on behavioral and cognitive functioning because the brain is still developing. Providing teenagers with a good example of living drug-free and discussing drug abuse are two strong ways to prevent a drug problem.
Approximately half of all emerging drug users are teenagers. Experimentation is the main cause for drug use amongst teens. Experimentation with alcohol and drugs among teens has occurred for ages. Experimentation is not a guarantee addiction. Most teenagers that experiment with drugs do not become chemically dependent. However, it is important to determine why teenagers are drawn to experimenting with drugs in the first place.
A few reasons teenagers experiment with and use drugs:
Depression or emotional issues can be an underlying problem It is reported that most adults that are chemically dependent or suffering from addiction first tried drugs or alcohol before the age of 21. A recent statistical analysis does show drug abuse among teenagers is declining. If you suspect your teenager is abusing drugs, there are treatment centers that specialize in treating addiction in teenagers.
Some signs that point to drug addiction in teenagers include:
It is important that parent’s voice their concerns if they are suspicious that their child has a problem with drugs or alcohol. Studies suggest that one in five parents who believe their child is abusing drugs do not act to find out if there is a problem.
It is most beneficial to ask in a nonjudgmental and caring manner when they discuss drug use with their teen. When the teen does not feel threatened, they are more likely to open up about having a problem.
Overreacting if a teenager does admit to using drugs is not a productive response. It can prevent them from discussing things further and cause them to shut down. This will also help parents to understand whether it is an ongoing problem or a one-time experiment. It is also vital that parents express how much they care and are concerned for their child’s well-being. If a teen feels loved, they are more likely to seek help if there is a problem.
Due to fear and feeling threatened, it is common for teens to deny using drugs or alcohol. At this point, parents should emphasize their concern lovingly and express their desire to help. If the adolescent continues to deny using drugs, but a parent is still concerned, turning to a professional or using home drug test kits can help to reveal a problem. Professionals that can help diagnose drug abuse in teens include pediatricians, therapists or drug addiction counselors. If you suspect drug abuse with your teen, call now to get help with finding a specialist.
Teens have a hard time coping with stress and depression and it is a normal tendency to not want to feel these negative feelings. However, it is important that teenagers find healthier coping skills that are not harmful.
If a teenager has already attempting to control their use and failed, it is critical that they get treatment as quickly as possible. There are drug treatment centers tailored to a teenager and assist with dealing with emotional and social problems that may have played a role in the drug use.Most of these treatments centers also offer educational assistance so that teenagers don’t fall behind with their grades. The sooner substance abuse is identified, the more likely it is to be treated.
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