Dealing with an addiction in a friend or family member is difficult no matter what the situation. When that friend or family member is an adolescent, however, the difficulty and sadness may increase many times over. Many parents find themselves in this situation, especially if the kids are teenagers or college-aged. Parents can be torn between letting the teenagers go without consequences and a desire to help the kids like when they were younger. What they may not realize is that their children are battling the situation, too. Children battling drug abuse need all the allies they can get. Read on to learn more about adolescents and substance abuse. Additionally, learn about why adolescents are the most vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction.
Adolescents Are Susceptible To Substance Abuse Due To Social Pressure
Anyone can become addicted to drugs at any time in their lives. However, the adolescent period is perhaps the most dangerous time in a person’s life. This is because teens are the most vulnerable to substance abuse because of social pressure to experiment with addictive substances. Additionally, they are also more vulnerable to the damage those substances can cause. Their minds and bodies are still developing, so teen drug use can progress into addiction faster than in adults. Also, because of this development period, addiction can wreak more havoc on the teen brain as well as on the adolescent body. It is important to note that the teen brain does not become fully developed until the age of 25 years.
This is why it is important to teach your kids the dangers of trying out drugs in the first place. Be sure to talk to your children about the consequences of drug use. Teach them how to say no if others are using drugs. Teach them how to get out of any situations that involve drugs. Also, teach them how to avoid becoming addicted to drugs by not ever trying them in the first place. If you believe your child is experimenting with drugs.
Prescription Drug Abuse
As if this adolescent vulnerability is not enough to scare a parent, it turns out that many addicted teenagers get their start in their parents’ medicine cabinets. Prescription drug abuse has increased at an alarming rate in all age groups. However, prescription drug abuse is even more likely to occur in teens. For a teenager with limited access to a car and funds, leftover hydrocodone (a painkiller) from a dental procedure may look like fun. Just because these drugs are available with a prescription does not mean they cannot be every bit as dangerous as the more traditional “hard drugs.” Overdoses can be deadly. Talk to your kids about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
There is good news, however. There has been a drop in the use of tobacco among students in grades 8, 10, and 12. Teenage use of methamphetamine and hallucinogens has also dropped. Unfortunately, as these have dropped, the abuse of prescription drugs acquired from friends or relatives has steadily increased. As a parent or guardian, be aware of the prescription drugs in your home and monitor that they are being used as prescribed by a doctor. If you see any suspicious activity, talk about it with your family.
The Right Step Can Help
If you are a parent or know one who is torn about how to help their adolescent with adolescents and substance abuse problems, please call The Right Step at 713.528.3709 today. Addicted teenagers need professional treatment, and the sooner they get it the more we can prevent and even reverse the damage done by drugs and alcohol.