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Teens & Substance Abuse

Certain hormonal and developmental changes that occur throughout adolescence may make a person’s body feel weird. It’s easy to make bad life choices when you don’t know how to deal with a problem and don’t have the right support system.

Teenage years are full of thrilling firsts: first loves, first kisses, and first heartbreaks, to name a few. This era is often characterized by different experiments as well. Teenagers seize every chance to experience adulthood while anxiously anticipating it. Drugs and alcohol are entertaining, trendy, and, in general, party openers. Adolescents seldom consider both the immediate and long-term consequences of drug usage. Until it’s too late, that is.

The importance of prevention and education cannot be overstated.

Having good role models influences your child’s likelihood of engaging in drug abuse. Your teenager is more likely to view the conduct as normal and boldly imitate it if they follow celebrities who are popularising legal substances. Over half of high school students in the United States believe that taking cocaine or crack once or twice is safe. Around 40% of people believe there is no danger in using heroin.

While not every child gets a drug addiction after a few tries, he is nonetheless vulnerable to developing harmful behaviors as an adult. Early education and frank talks on the subject may decrease your child’s chances of trying drugs by more than half. It’s critical to be kind yet honest with your child about the problem.

Recognizing the Motivations That Drive Behavior

Experimentation is stimulated by being bold and adventurous, sometimes beyond reason. While there is nothing wrong with it in regular circumstances, everything changes when drugs are involved.

If you’re wondering what’s driving your teen’s dangerous tryouts, here are a few possibilities:

  • Curiosity – the desire to try prohibited substances is strong during this stage of development 
  • Escapism tendencies – attempting to escape the problems of “real” life 
  • Emotional instability – hormonal changes play a significant role 
  • Peer pressure – hanging out with a crowd that encourages and embrace

Signs and Symptoms of Adolescent Substance Abuse

Though odd actions among adolescents are common for no apparent cause, some of them may be linked to drug usage. It is the duty and responsibility of the parent to carefully monitor and resolve these issues. Your family will be able to seek help sooner if you recognize the signs and symptoms of drug addiction.

What to keep an eye out for:

  • Uncomfortable or absent eye contact 
  • Inadequate curfew 
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities/hobbies 
  • Breath and/or clothes smell like cigarettes or smoke 
  • Bleary eyes & an empty gaze 
  • Sudden drop in grades 
  • Emotional eating or hunger beyond regular dieting 
  • Uncontrollable and unprovoked laughter 
  • Keeping secrets and being dishonest

What Can You Do If Your Child Is Abusing Alcohol or Other Drugs?

You must address the issue once you have recognized it and addressed it with your adolescent. Seeking expert assistance is the best way to tackle the issue. Your treatment choices may differ depending on the kind and degree of your drug abuse.

Two solid methods of dealing with the problem are a word of mouth and medical recommendations. However, doing your research is also important. Start by doing a Google search for “Drug Rehab in Northern Virginia” or something similar in your region. If you’re not satisfied with the results, try a wider search, such as “the finest rehab in the Southeast United States.” Don’t be afraid to call your top options and ask about their programs, facilities, and any other questions that come to mind.

Treatment Alternatives

Finding drug addiction treatment that is tailored to the patient’s specific requirements, objectives, and lifestyle is critical to a successful recovery. The primary distinction between adult and adolescent therapies is that the former has been tailored to the age group’s unique developmental and behavioral features.

The following are the two main kinds of adolescent treatments:

Outpatient Treatment Programs

Outpatient treatment may be suitable if your child’s addiction is not too serious. While he will not be admitted to the hospital, he will be required to attend frequent visits and adhere to his treatment plan.

Treatment Centers for Inpatients

When drug addiction has progressed, medical detox may be required, followed by treatment in a specialist facility. This is a popular choice for teenagers who come from dysfunctional homes or live in insecure surroundings.

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