Abuse of drugs and alcohol by teens is very common and can lead to serious consequences. Nearly 70 percent of high school seniors have tried alcohol, 50 percent have taken an illegal drug and more than 20 percent have used a prescription drug for a non-medical reason. Research has found most people start misusing drugs and alcohol during this time.
Why is Adolescent Substance Abuse a Trend?
1- Because of our Social environment.
2-Teens will likely use drugs and alcohol if they see their friends are also using them.
3-Accessibility of drugs.
4-Adolescents are at an extreme risk of trying drugsif they can easily access them.
Violence, abuse, mental health illnesses and drug use in the household all increase the likelihood an adolescent will experiment with drugs and alcohol. If we are to compare them to adults, adolescents are likely going to hide their drug and alcohol use from their loved ones. Also there is a slim chance that they will show any signs of teen drug abuse because they have a shorter history of use. However, there are still red flags.
CommonSigns of Teen Drug Abuse or Alcohol Abuse
15 percent of people who start drinking by age 14 develop substance use disorders.
1-Loss of interest in school and hobbies.
2-Suddenly needing more money and an unwillingness to explain spending habits.
3-Withdrawal from family and friends, and an increased desire to be alone.
4-Change in friends.
5-Change in behavior or personality.
6-Unresponsiveness to communication.
7-Frequent rule-breaking, especially of curfew.
While most adolescents who try drugs and alcohol do not have substance use disorders, the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder is greater for people who begin using in their early teens. According to a study, 15.2 percent of people who start drinking by age 14 develop substance use disorders, compared to 2.1 percent of those who wait until they are 21 or older.
Effects of Adolescent Substance Abuse?
1-Difficulties with schoolwork.
3-Loss of interest in normal healthy activities
4-Impaired memory and thinking ability
5-Increased risk of contracting an infectious disease
6-Mental health problems—including substance use disorders
7-Increased possibility of partaking in unsafe sexual activities
The key to the battle against adolescent addiction is time. Therefore, we need to involve adolescents in professional addiction treatment programs as soon as possible. Moreover, adolescents are less likely to seek out help on their own, so it is crucial loved ones help them into treatment.