Teen Drug Abuse Risks and When to Consider Getting Rehab Help
With new designer drugs entering the market every year, coupled with the old standbys – heroin, cocaine, ecstasy – teen drug abuse rates continue to increase with each passing year. While teens still face the same pressures in terms of hormonal changes, identity development and academic performance, today’s fast-paced world only adds to the pressure they feel to keep up.
Not surprisingly, the risks associated with teen drug abuse have increased in scope and intensity. Young people most susceptible to teen drug abuse practices stand to suffer a range of consequences both now and in the future. For these reasons, it’s especially important for parents to seek out needed rehab help at the first signs of teen drug abuse.
Teen Drug Abuse
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, today’s children start to engage in drug abuse practices as early as 12 and 13 years old. Easy access to tobacco, prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana and inhalants have exposed teens to the dangers of substance abuse at earlier ages than their predecessors.
In effect, the earlier teens begin to experiment with addictive substances the greater the risk of continued abuse practices in later years. Teens exposed at an early age also run the risk of progressing to more harmful substances as they grow older.
Teen Drug Abuse Risks
Teen drug abuse risk factors can influence the process of drug abuse in different ways. As teens move through the developmental stages that make up adolescence, their maturity level, the level of peer pressure and parent-child relations all have a bearing on whether they engage in teen drug abuse.
Peer pressure can have a considerable influence on the choices a teen makes on a day-to-day basis. The need to belong and feel accepted becomes especially important for young people who feel alienated or taunted by their peers. Under these conditions, the risk of teen drug abuse runs high.
Mental Health Issues
According to the U. S. Department of Justice, the likelihood of developing substance abuse behaviors increases dramatically whenever mental health problems are an issue, regardless of a person’s age. Teens struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety become easy prey for the addictive effects of drugs and alcohol.
Generational Cycles of Abuse
Substance abuse and addiction tends to run in families as genetics and environmental conditioning work to shape how a child interacts with the world around him or her. Children exposed to ongoing conflict in the home and/or to parents who engage in substance abuse practices remain at high risk of engaging in teen drug abuse practices.
When to Consider Teen Rehab Treatment
Signs of teen drug abuse can be easy to miss considering how teens naturally seek to establish a certain degree of autonomy apart from their parents. More often than not, the effects of teen drug abuse will show up in major areas of a young person’s life, including:
- Noticeable decline in school performance
- Disregard for grooming and hygiene
- Hanging around with a different set of friends
- Frequent absences from school
- Problems sleeping
- Relationships with family members and friends suffer
- Delinquent or criminal-type behavior
If you suspect your teen may be using drugs or alchol and have further questions about teen drug abuse, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 for more information. Our phone counselors can also help connect you with teen rehab programs in your area.
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