In general, teenagers are very fragile when it comes to brain, behavior, and body development. It’s also high time for their curiosity to kick in, trying new stuff and having that desire to fit into a group. With that, they are highly susceptible to abusing drugs and developing an addiction later on.
As teens approach their senior years, most of them have already tried all sorts of alcoholic drinks and drugs. Below are some overview statistics for this scenario:
- 70% are drinking alcohol
- 40% are smoking cigarettes or vape
- 20% are misusing prescription drugs for recreational activities and self-medication
Why Teens Abuse Drugs
There are a few reasons why teenagers and adolescents misuse substances and then develop an addiction. Here are the top five reasons why they are doing it.
- Acceptance in a Group
Adolescents and teens have a great urge of being accepted by their friends and schoolmates. They fear being left out, so they will always try to please their peers and do the things they are doing, whether it’s good or bad.
- Pleasure-seeking Attitude
Taking medications or illicit substances will have a euphoric or pleasurable effect on teens. Typically, they are urged to intake those substances again to experience its admirable effect.
- Easing Bad Experiences
This is usually linked to depression or anxiety problems among teens or adolescents, where they take certain prescription drugs to momentarily ease their condition. However, they tend to get dependent on these substances, even when it’s beyond their prescription period.
- Improving Performance
Some drugs can increase the adrenaline rush of athletes and students when they are preparing for a tournament or exam. By using these illicit or prescribed stimulants, they are gradually developing dependence and then later on an addiction.
Lastly, teens have the innate nature of being curious and experimental with everything new to them. This greatly applies to testing substances and illicit drugs which are also frequently used among adolescents and high school students.
Negative Impacts of Teen Addiction
Teenagers have their reasons why they opt to misuse or abuse drugs. Despite its temporary benefits, its adverse negative effects will run for a longer time, depending on how severe the addiction is.
Here are some of the common ill effects of teenage addiction:
- An unhealthy relationship with family, friends, and loved ones
- Severe sadness
- Restlessness and being worrisome
- Poor hygiene
- Lack of self-confidence
- Low academic performance
- Inability to speak well
Nevertheless, the health and behavioral consequences of abusing drugs at an early age can vary among users and the intensity of usage. Regardless of what kind of substance is abused, it’s always best to seek medical help as early as possible.
10 Simple Ways of Stopping Teenage Addiction
We can never foretell when your teens are exposed to these unhealthy practices, so we are sharing here a list of advice or steps that will help your teens overcome addiction.
- Take Note of Your Teen’s Daily Routine and Habits
Observation will be your best tool to gauge if your teenager is engaged in bad habits. With that, you can slowly encourage them to do what’s right for their health and future.
- Know Their Friends
Adolescence is a critical stage for everyone for it’s where their personality is molded. Consequently, you need to look at and evaluate their friends, so you can determine if they are good influencers or not.
- Set A Time for Having Small Talks
Spending quality time with your children is highly important because it’s where you can let them feel your genuine care and love. Likewise, your small chit chat with them is a great tool for understanding their feelings and situations.
With that, you can immediately give them good advice or comfort them in their sad events. Luckily, they won’t be tempted to try any substances for them to feel better.
- Always Set House Rules and Consequences
Besides giving them adequate care and material needs, you need to set the ground rules in your family, like curfews, study time, and hanging out with friends. Likewise, you also need to set corresponding punishments, in case, they violate your house rules.
With that, you are training them to be responsive to their actions and choices in life.
- Take Note and Monitor Their Prescription Bottles
Alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine are some of the top list abused drugs among teens and adolescents. However, prescription drugs are on the rise as the prominent misused and abused substances among teenagers, because they think it’s a lesser evil.
With that, you need to update and monitor the inventory of your teen’s prescription and OTC medicines. Moreover, it’s also safe if you’d secure your common medicine cabinet, so you’d know who’s opening it frequently.
- Boost Their Courage and Self-Confidence
Having low self-esteem and willpower are some of the variables contributing to teenage addiction. Fortunately, you can resolve that by spending time with your teens and try to encourage them to be better.
You can share your personal stories of downfall and how you were able to cope with it positively.
- Leading By Doing, or Walk Your Talk
Some cases of addiction are rooted in the wrongdoings of parents. For instance, a child can develop alcohol drinking because he frequently sees his parents doing it. With that, you need to be an excellent role model with your teens to keep them away from substance abuse disorder.
- Strengthen Family Bond
When a family has a close tie with each other, there is sufficient moral and emotional support among members, which keeps them away from vices and addiction.
- Encourage Your Teens To Be Proactive With Extracurricular Or Community-related Services
Letting your children be engaged in fruitful activities that give meaning to their life; helps them develop a better sense of responsibility. Furthermore, it helps them develop a positive attitude towards work and life.
- Seek Medical Help As Early As Today
Getting professional advice or treatment can be your last resort, in case all mitigation fails. With that, you need to find a reliable doctor or rehab center where you can bring your teens for help.
If ever you have any questions about handling teenage addiction, then get in touch with an addiction professional today.