Teenage Drug Addiction

Teenage Drug Addiction

One thing I have seen over the years is an increase in drug use and addiction among young adults and teens. There are a variety of reasons for this including more access to prescription medications, more social acceptance of casual drug use, and in some cases less active parenting by parents.

Causes of Teen Drug Addiction

The causes of addiction among teenagers are actually the same as those that trigger the addiction in adults. Most of the time it is due to some problems that they are encountering at school or at home and they have found drugs as an avenue to get temporary relief from these issues and as a means to escape their troublesome reality. For teens, drugs help reduce the emotional pain that they feel as they try to understand the changes that they are going through at this transitional stage of their lives.

Other factors that might contribute to teen drug addiction is their low self-esteem or lack of self-confidence, boredom, curiosity or desire to experiment, having permissive parents, easy access to drugs through peers, and to be able to get attention from loved ones.

Signs and Symptoms of Teen Drug Addiction

Adolescence is a time of transition and teenagers respond to these changes differently. Some cope well, some rebel, and some isolate themselves so it is quite hard to distinguish if your teen is just going through an adjustment to adulthood or if he is already struggling with drug addiction. Knowing your child well and paying close attention to his appearance and behaviour will surely help you confirm whether or not he is hooked on drugs and these common signs may help you with that.

  • Withdrawing from family members and preferring isolation
  • Being seen in the company of new friends who exhibit signs of drug addiction
  • Poor performance in school and failing to keep up with school deadlines
  • Sudden loss of interest in hobbies and activities that he used to enjoy doing
  • Increased use of mouthwash and room deodorant to mask the smell of drug
  • Increasing need for money for unexplained things
  • Using eye drops constantly
  • If you keep missing your prescription
  • Sudden mood changes (anger, aggression, depression, paranoia, and hyperactivity)

Treatment for Teen Drug Addiction

If you have confirmed your doubts about your teen’s addiction to drugs, it is recommended that you seek the help of a professional to further screen your teen for drug addiction. The treatment for teen drug addiction and for adults has the same treatment program framework. The program also involves both physical and behavioural treatments. However, there are elements in the treatment program for teen drug addiction that are specifically tailored for the unique needs of teens.

After detoxification, the rehabilitation programs for teen drug addiction need to include both individual and group therapy. Parents and family members are involved in all the programs and workshops so that the family members can have an active role in the teen’s recovery. The family involvement will help them better understand what the teen is going through and how best to help him. It is important for the family to remember that during recovery, a recovering teen addict requires a heavily structured environment for the treatment to work.