Teenage Drug Abuse
Drugs have never been considered a “safe” thing to do. But in today’s day and age of high-powered designer drugs, they are more dangerous than ever. It is also easier than ever to obtain these drugs. Combine widespread availability and cheap powerful drugs with the youth of today, and you’ve got a dangerous combination. Even worse, many of today’s most commonly abused substances can be found right in the medicine cabinet. With accessibility at an all-time high, it’s no wonder addiction and substance use disorder has steadily increased in the adolescent population. Recent studies show that 40 percent of 12thgraders and 30 percent of 10thgraders tried or used drugs in the past year. When looking at the bigger picture, these statistics add up to millions of teens. Not every teen will experience a drug problem, however, drug addiction affects people of all ages.
What Causes Teenage Drug Abuse?
Although different for everyone, various factors contribute to teenage drug abuse. Most often, first time use occurs in a social setting, such as a party, where substances are easily accessible. Peer-pressure and the urge to “fit in” can drive an impressionable teen to try drugs or alcohol for the first time. Without a sense of consequence, teens can feel invincible and may not understand the potential ramifications from continued use of a substance, until it’s too late.
The consequences of teen substance abuse can range from mild to life-altering. Just a few of the negative consequences include:
Statistically, teens who abuse drugs are much more likely to develop a serious addiction later in life.
- Poor decision making—
Teens are quite impressionable to being with. Combined with drug use this can lead to lowered inhibitions and poor judgement.
- High-risk sexual contact—
As teens explore their sexuality, adding drugs to the mix can lead to high-risk situations including unprotected sex, STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
- Dangerous driving—
As teens learn to drive, the last thing they need is impairment from drugs and alcohol. As with any driver, drugs and alcohol can impair someone to a dangerous extent. Not only the driver but any passengers are put in serious danger, including the risk of death.
- Delinquency at school—
Academics will begin to suffer when a teen is abusing substances. This is an early warning sign of teenage drug use.
Having open, honest conversations with your teen about drug and alcohol abuse, can be very effective. Make sure to set aside time where you won’t be interrupted and can really engage with your teen. Also, make sure you know when to not have a conversation, such as when you’re angry or when your teen is under the influence. Keeping an open line of communication where your teen can talk without fear of judgement, can make a world of difference.
If your teenager is showing signs of substance abuse, the best thing you can do is get help right away. Royal Life Centers is available to answer any questions you may have about teenage addiction as well as how we can help. It’s never too early to seek help. Call us now at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out”
– Robert Collier
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