According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), teenagers are being introduced to substance use as early as age 13. With this exposure, there is a likelihood your child will feel pressured to partake in substance abuse and may at some point try alcohol and other substances (e.g., marijuana, opioids, hallucinogens, etc.) because their friends are doing it.
Many teens don’t use these substances recreationally, expecting to develop a substance use disorder, but the negative effects of substance abuse can cause addiction. In most cases, teens who can’t distinguish the point where they went from “casual” or recreational drug use to full-blown addiction have a substance use disorder.
The sooner you recognize that your child is abusing alcohol and or other substances, the sooner you can seek help to resolve the problem.
Teen Drug Abuse: Know the Signs
One of the first signs of teen drug abuse are the effects of recurring drug or alcohol use. In a short time, the hangover turns into a constant feeling of unwellness or sickness. To aid these physical feelings and to feel “normal” or “well” is called tolerance. The more tolerant someone becomes, the more they will need the substance to maintain a feeling of “normalcy” or “wellness.”
Addiction is also known to cause a growing lack of drive and disinterest in activities or hobbies that the individual once found interesting or entertaining. Additionally, they may become antisocial and become less worried about their physical appearance and hygiene. Substances alter one’s neurochemical levels, so feelings of depression, sadness, emptiness, irritation, and anxiety are common. Substance use disorder is a diagnosable chronic disease.
Because substance abuse alters behavior and other personal aspects, family, friends, and intimate relationships are affected due to a general lack of disinterest. Teens who have an addiction become distant and will no longer actively participate in these relationships, and there can be a loss of closeness. With this emotional distance comes dishonesty, poor choices, and desperation.
An individual struggling with addiction will be dishonest about what he or she is doing, where they’re going, if they’re using, etc. On top of that, in times of desperation, an individual can and will do anything to get their next high, even if that means stealing.
Addiction is an all-consuming disease that causes the individual to act out of character. Other signs to look for are declining grades at school, job loss, and legal trouble.
Find Addiction Treatment for Teen Drug Abuse
If you think your teen is struggling with addiction, it’s time to consider the types of treatment available and choose the most effective program for their needs. The right level of care and the most beneficial program starts with evaluating the teen’s substance abuse history. Questions to consider include:
- How long have they been using?
- Which substance is the teen most dependent upon?
- Is this their first time in treatment; and
- Does substance abuse run in the family?
Different treatment programs include medical detox, inpatient therapy, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient, and outpatient care.
Where to Find Help
Want to learn more about substance use disorder and the treatments for it? Reach out to Arete Recovery. Our professional team of recovery specialists and intake coordinators are educated and experienced in helping find the treatments that help teens with addiction regain their life and health. Call us today. Don’t let addiction claim another life.