To combat teen drug use, it is crucial to understand why do teens use drugs in the first place. In a child’s earliest years, the parents are responsible for making the right decisions to ensure their child’s safety, development, growth, and health. As the child enters their pre-teenage and teenage years, they start to make their own decisions and form their own, unique personality.
These teenage years are critical to the child’s overall outlook on life, but they can be extremely worrisome for the parent. Their child will be exposed to a world of new risks and dangers that could have a negative impact on their ability to live a healthy, happy, and rewarding lifestyle.
Of all the risks teenagers encounter, one of the most dangerous is the use of drugs and other harmful substances. It can lead to a number of other bad decisions and could result in drug abuse or drug addiction as they grow older. As we know, this often leads to self-harm or death.
Why do teens use drugs?
The CDC estimates that two-thirds of all seniors have tried alcohol at least once. Nearly half of all high school students have tried marijuana, about 40% of high schoolers have smoked a cigarette, and nearly 20% have taken a prescription drug without a medical prescription.
Teen drug use is a growing problem in this country, but why do teens use drugs? Well, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons:
- To satisfy boredom
- To experiment; satisfy curiosity
- To forget their problems; feel good
- To ease their pain
- To feel grown-up; feel independent
- To fit in; give in to peer pressure
- To improve performance (academically, athletically)
- They’ve become addicted to the drug
With that said, some factors can help reduce a child’s chance of using or abusing drugs. This includes having a good relationship with their parents, having high self-esteem, surrounding themselves with the right people, and staying busy with extracurricular activities.
What Drugs are Commonly Abused by Teens?
It can be a bit unsettling to know that teenagers are using or abusing drugs, and that feeling only grows more intense when we learn the many different types of drugs teenagers are using. When you consider the consequences, especially at such an early age, it’s a harrowing reality.
Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly abused drugs by teenagers:
- Alcohol – since alcohol is readily available in most teenagers’ homes, it’s often one of the first drugs or substances they try. To avoid this, keep your alcohol hidden from kids.
- Nicotine – similar to alcohol, tobacco products are readily available in homes throughout the world. While tobacco is legal for those above the age of 18, it should be avoided.
- Marijuana – with many states legalizing marijuana, it’s available and accessible now more than ever. It doesn’t take much for a teenager to get their hands on some.
- Prescription Drugs – many children and teenagers are under the assumption that prescription drugs are safe and unharmful, since they’re prescribed by a doctor.
- Over-the-Counter Drugs – since over-the-counter drugs are in most medicine cabinets in the home, they’re easy for teenagers to use and abuse.
- K2 (Spice) – also known as synthetic marijuana, spice is a very common drug among teenagers that can’t get access to marijuana. K2 (spice) is a highly-addictive drug.
Some drugs are more addictive and dangerous than others, but there’s absolutely no reason why teenagers should be misusing or abusing any of the drugs listed above. It can cause a great deal of distress not just in your life, but in the lives of those that love and care about you.
What are the Signs of Teen Drug Use?
Now that you know what causes teens to use drugs and why teenagers try drugs, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the many different signs of teen drug use. By detecting it early, you can begin the process of teaching your child the dangers and risks involved in drug use.
Here are some of the most common signs of teenage drug use:
- Lack of interest in hobbies they once loved
- Hanging out with the wrong crowd
- Change in sleeping habits
- Frequently breaking the rules
- Physical signs, including weight loss, red eyes, bloody noses, and tremors
- Avoiding contact, acting distant, or isolating themselves
- Engaging in secretive or suspicious activity
- Stealing money, cigarettes, or alcohol
- Poor performance in school
- Constantly asking for money
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, don’t hesitate to take action. Consider contacting their primary doctor or pediatrician to discuss the next steps. If you believe it’s needed, you can also seek the help of a treatment program designed to help teenage drug users.
How to Find Drug and Alcohol Treatment for Teens
There are so many reasons why teens do drugs, and while they’re more accessible now than ever, that doesn’t mean children should use, misuse, or abuse them. If you believe your child is using drugs, there are things you can start doing today to ensure that it comes to an end.
That’s where we come in. At The Last House, we take great pride in our ability to provide sober living in Los Angeles. If you’d like to learn more about men’s sober living program in Los Angeles, contact us immediately!