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Abuse Of And Addiction To Drugs Among Teenagers

Most drug users start abusing drugs in their pre-teen years The risk of dependency is higher due to the brain of a teenager still evolving.

The chance of developing a drug dependency later in life is higher among teenagers who abuse drugs.

It is essential to understand the difference between drug abuse and dependence. Most teenagers who take drugs for fun or to see how it feels like may not be addicted.

When drug use is spotted and discouraged early, it can help to prevent a problem that could have been serious later.

There are many long-term impacts of teenage abuse like cognitive and behavioural effects on brain.

Talking about drugs with the teenagers and being good role models is a way that help teens avoid being drawn into drug use.

Teens And Trying Out Drugs

Most of new drug users are under the age of 18. Experimentation is the most important part in adolescent's drug use. Those who try liquor and or drugs doesn't mean that they will become addicts. What we need to spend time on is understanding why teenagers feel compelled to try out drugs. A high number of adults that struggle with dependency started trying drugs under the age of twenty-one. But now, the rate of teen drug abuse has been decreasing. There are many teen addiction treatments offered, if your child is utilizing the drugs.

The most popular examples of why teenagers are abusing drugs are

  • Taking interest
  • Pressure from those around
  • Stress
  • Emotional problems
  • Wanting to escape

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How To Tell A Teenager Is Using Drugs

There are a lot of evidences that show that an adolescent is using drugs. There is a thin line between teenage curiosity and real drug abuse, so parents are encouraged to take the time to talk to their children and understand what they are struggling with.

As a parent, if you suspect that your child is taking drugs, your best option is to initiate a conversation with them. One in five parents that suspect their child is making use of drugs don't get involved to avoid more drug use.

A teenager using drugs may exhibit some of these signs

  • Poor performance in school
  • Red eyes
  • Laughing without reason
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Uninterested in personal appearance
  • Avoiding making eye contact
  • Always eating or wanting to
  • Smell of smoke on clothes and breath
  • Being secretive
  • Unexplainable fatigue
  • Coming home late

Trying to understand and be sympathetic towards the reasons for drug misuse is the best way to get a teen to open up.

It is not impossible to ask outright, if the question is asked the right way. Starting the conversation can be as easy as asking the teenager if they have been using drugs or alcohol or whether they have been offered drugs in the recent past.

The right and concerned questions will help to know about their acceptance or refusal.

Teenagers Confessing To The Use Of Drugs

Parent, do overreact if your teen admits they are using drugs. Becoming hostile will stop the teenager from talking about their problems. To know if a teenagers drug use is an addiction or an experimental phase, getting your teen to converse will prove helpful.

Explaining to them how much you are concerned about them and their future may help you. A teenager who is confident of their parent's love and support will want to and will be willing to accept help to quit taking drugs.

When A Teen Refuses To Admit Drug Use

It's more likely that teenagers may not tell the truth about their drug use. It is the parent's responsibility to give their teen the confidence that they are loved and cared for and that they will be assisted and supported.

If the parent is not convinced the teen is telling the truth when they deny drug use, it may be time to engage professionals to help and dig out the truth. Professionals like therapists, paediatricians and addiction specialists may be able to assist in determining if your teen is on drugs.

To find specialised help to diagnose a dependency in teenagers, get in touch with us today.

Drugs That Are Commonly Misused By Teens

Drugs do not discriminate and therefore, drugs used by teenagers are not really different from ones used by adults. However, their reasons differ and adolescents usually use a drug because it is available. How teenagers perceive the risks of certain drugs or alcohol can also lead to them taking high amounts of these substances.


This is the most accessible and most abused drug by teenagers. Because the legal and socially drinking age are low, teenagers tend to view consuming alcohol as normal. Because the impulse control of the brain is not completely developed, teenagers are more likely to drink large amounts.

In 2014, about 20% of 12th-grade students queried admitted to drinking excessively. In the previous month, close to 40% had used alcohol.

When one drinks too much at a time, they are most likely to become addicted; the teenager is even more at risk because their brain is not yet fully developed. If teenagers are enlightened about these dangers many may stop drinking alcohol at an early age.


People who use Marijuana routinely most likely started their habit in their younger years. The way teens perceive taking Marijuana is changing with many not thinking it is a problem. In a study 20% of teenagers admitted to having used Marijuana within the past month.

Over The Counter And Prescribed Medications

Most given drugs have some kind of compulsive effects and teens already know about it. Pleasing effects that are sought by teenagers can be found in Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, and Narcotic Painkillers such as OxyContin. These painkiller create high addiction and chances of overdose.

Forty percent of prescribed substances that were acquired by teenagers were taken from a parent's medicine box.

Over-the-counter medicines are used by teens. Many medications for colds and flu contain a cough suppressant called Dextromethorphan or DXM. Intoxicating effects can be caused by high dosages of DXM, and so overdose becomes a likely possibility.

Teenage Treatment For Dependency

Some teenagers have a difficult period handling depression or another stress during puberty. Teenagers may often look to irregular Marijuana or alcohol use for a feeling of relief. Although, finding emotional support or someone to unload the worries is the better option for handling stress.

The treatment becomes essential when teens strive to quit the drug and has failed.

Teenagers can be taken to treatment centres that are designed to cater to their needs and there they can get help in dealing with the psychological factors behind the addiction.

To ensure that the teenagers in the treatment centres don't get left behind in their school work, the centres may also provide educational support. The sooner an addiction is identified, the easier it is to treat.

Discover the treatment centres for youngsters suffering addiction now.