Substance abuse and alcohol addiction have emerged to become one of the most common disorders in our society. This health condition has a direct and serious impact on any individual, irrespective of their age and gender. You can be young or you can be in your fifties, addiction has an equal chance of engulfing you in its wrath. However, while it can affect anyone, teenagers are more likely to be drawn towards substance abuse. The reason is medically fitting and is related to the way addictive behaviors change one’s brain chemistry. Addiction of any sort causes a massive shift in the way how a healthy brain functions. And since teenagers are still in their growing and learning phase, addictive behaviors can alter their brain negatively.
Various treatment centers are constantly seeing a surge in addiction cases amongst teenagers. Teen addiction is a societal issue that is impacting a large number of teenagers. Thus, it is important to encourage them about how harmful addiction can be and provide enough knowledge for them to successfully overcome this hurdle in their life.
Why Are Teenagers Leaning Towards Substance Abuse?
Studies show that experimenting with drugs is the starting point in every teenagers addiction case. A majority of them think that drug and alcohol consumption at least once is a part of growing up, despite the severe health consequences and possible risks involved. In some cases, teenagers are introduced to the drugs via a prescribed medicine that they later developed an addiction for.
While there could be many reasons as to why teens choose to continue using drugs, there are several reasons why teenagers are deliberately converting theirs just once into an addiction. The following are the reasons why teens are experimenting with harmful substances:
To Fit In
Many teenagers who have just started high school, often find it difficult to make new friends. In their attempt to feel more confident and to bond with the older students and their groups, they turn to alcohol and drugs. This behavior is just to make everyone else feel that they are grown-ups and can fit in properly. This emerges from the need to make friends and bond with the existing group of people.
To Kill Boredom
Experimenting with drugs and alcohol is common among teens who have nothing else to dedicate their time to. Teenagers who are simply bored and have no deeper interests see alcohol and drugs as a measure to pass their leisure time. This could be avoided if they have some hobby or anything productive that help them kill boredom and invest time in something good.
If we talk about curiosity, it is a natural part of life, especially among teenagers. When you are young and growing, you are curious about everything that has a lucrative identity. Especially those things that we are often told are bad and should never be used. As teenagers, they think that nothing could happen to them as they are doing it just for once. However, curiosity kills the cat and this is exactly how it happens in this case. One-time behavior turns into an everyday thing until you realize it’s too late.
Depression has become more common now than ever before. Many teens abuse substances in an attempt to escape reality and forget everything just to feel happy. Using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate is an approach that can end up being detrimental to one’s personal health. As a teenager, that risk doubles.
Just when a teenager thinks they won’t ever consume any sort of substance, the classic tale of peer pressure does the job to deviate their minds pretty well. This usually happens between the ages of 16 and 19 when teens begin to think well, everyone else is doing it, I should too. During a house party, after prom, with school friends, or whether with someone they love, these situations are more likely to pressurize a teenager to try drugs or alcohol. The pressure can sometimes also be more stressed on to the teens by their newer friends or their seniors.
Uncommonly though, but female teenagers become extremely body-conscious during high school. In a desperate attempt to lose weight, these teens try hard drugs such as cocaine or meth for a quicker way to reduce weight and slim down.
A family history of substance abuse or alcoholism may be genetically induced into their children. This may cause the teens to have an urge to experiment with alcohol and other dangerous drugs, and fall prey to addiction. However, genes shouldn’t be held accountable for their addictive traits. Most of the teens who are engulfed in the addiction of any sort are less educated about this disorder. Here, parents play a crucial role in providing proper knowledge about substance abuse and harm that it can cause.
Enhancing Certain Experiences
Various drugs are often used by many people to enhance certain experiences. For example, Adderall and Cocaine are commonly known to provide a boost in energy and improve focus. Teens use these drugs when they feel low or need a push to do something on their own. Similarly, a drug known as ecstasy is used for enhanced sexual experience and a lack of inhibition. While marijuana is used for providing a soothing and relaxed state of mind. Frequent exposure to these drugs causes a physical and mental dependence that is referred to as addiction disorder.
Types of Drugs Abused
There are certain types of drugs that are most common among teens. These drugs are popular in parties, clubs, raves, or any other friends gathering. Some of these dangerously addictive drugs abused by teens are:
- Prescription Medications
- Crystal Meth
- Magic Mushrooms
…and many more.
Undoubtedly, teenagers are the most prone to developing an addiction. Since their brain is still evolving, feeding into negative behaviors may shape their brain in the same way. However, teenagers are also those who if acknowledge the importance of sobriety and the long-term risk of addiction on physical and mental health, can encourage others about this issue. Their energy and enthusiasm to do something for the greater good can be utilized in a way to fight addiction. All they need is a good exposure to what and how addiction affects someone.
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