Is Adolescent Addiction On The Rise?

When talking about teen drug abuse, here are three important questions to consider. Are we seeing addiction rates going up, decreasing, or staying about the same? Do the patterns seem to be shifting from alcohol and marijuana to “harder” drugs? What options do adolescents and their loved ones have today? Answering these questions can give us a lot of insight as to how prevalent this issue really is.

Understanding What the Data Says

The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports decreases or “no change” in statistics for the fifth year in a row in adolescent addiction and abuse. One area that may be of concern, however, is how new laws regarding marijuana use and availability will affect youth 12-17 years of age. These figures aren’t expected until the end of 2018. Of note, however, is the marked decrease among adolescents in the use of inhalants, as well as designer drugs like MDMA, or ecstasy since 2015.

 

Rehab is Becoming a More Viable Option

Whether adolescent or adult addicts, one concern will always be how is the addict who is seeking help learning about the options available. Are these plans beyond the traditional ideas of treatment or loosely affiliated programs? Is a residential recovery program an option that might work for youth who have little to no support in making these decisions? These are good questions to ask, if not now, then at some point in deciding what’s next.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is encouraged by reports that more and more rehabilitation centers are focusing on evidence-based methods of treatment, not only with adolescent patients, but in all age groups. The “one-size-fits-all” concept is seeing a switch into programs that meld a variety of disciplines including social, medical, scientific, and faith-based plans. Short term, long term, and outpatient programs are highly accessible to young people and adolescents today.

NIDA is an excellent resource for teens, family, teachers, and parents in this difficult hurdle. Knowing when to ask for help is equally as important as knowing where to find assistance. Sufferers of addiction are not limited to the one using or abusing illicit drugs or making risky choices when they decide to use illegal substances. One group focused on educating and distributing information to adolescents is NIDA for Teens. Information on how drugs affect the body and mind, plus what role models and other prominent people in the teenager’s view have to say can also be found here. Options for one-on-one chat are available, too.

It’s not about whether someone has a problem, but how it’s being handled. Help your teen handle his or her addiction by reaching out to us today.

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Why Are Teenagers Abusing Drugs?

Teenagers deserve to have a great time. They need to still explore their wants and needs in life and develop their own direction. However, far too many teenagers are abusing drugs. Some of them try drugs because they want to explore it or see how it feels. However, there are other reasons why they are doing this as well. As a parent or another adult in a teenager’s life, you should know why some abuse drugs. Knowing this can help you to speak with your teenager before they abuse drugs or help them if they already started.

Stressful Situations

Just being in school can be stressful for many teenagers. In addition, the stress of having additional homework, being in sports or too many afterschool programs can cause stress. There might be something going on in the family which is causing them stress. Being a teenager with the up and down hormones can lead to stress as well. If you notice your teenager is stressed, speak to them about it. Let them know you are there for them. If they already began abusing drugs, let them know you will help them overcome the addiction and will be there to help them manage and reduce stress as well.

Too Much Work

There are many reasons why a teenager may feel they have too much work. There may be too many household responsibilities they have. They may have too many chores while keeping up with their schoolwork. The additional schoolwork could feel like it is too much. Some teenagers even have a job as well. This could all be too much for your teenager. Talk with them to see how they are doing. Let them know to tell you if they feel they have too much work or too many responsibilities. If they already started abusing drugs because of this, let them know you will help to lower their workload and help them in their recovery too.

Experiencing Peer Pressure

Your teenager might be experiencing peer pressure as well. If this is the case, they may have friends who are telling them to use drugs. Many teenagers feel if they say no when someone asks or tells them to use drugs, they won’t have any friends. While this probably wouldn’t be true, as a teenager, what they see as the truth, isn’t always reality. Peer pressure is a big problem. Ask your teenager if they have been experiencing pressure from other people. Get them treatment if they already started abusing drugs because of this.

These are some of the reasons why many teenagers are abusing drugs. If your teenager has been doing this, get them into treatment right away.

 

Causes of Substance Abuse–Traumatic Experiences

There are many causes of substance abuse, including genetic predispositions, learned behavior, and attempts to self-medicate chronic pain or psychiatric problems. For many people, a combination of factors converges to create fertile ground for cultivating an addiction.

Childhood Trauma and Substance Issues

Childhood trauma strongly correlates to substance problems in later life. Consequently, such issues as childhood abuse, neglect and abandonment can be considered causes of substance abuse. While it is difficult to say these experiences alone lead to substance problems, the great majority of adults with addictions have these types of events in their histories. One explanation is that abuse, neglect, and abandonment cause psychological problems that people seek to self-medicate. Among such psychological issues are chronic depression, anxiety, and trauma reactions. Such issues can last a lifetime if not treated.

Adult Traumatic Experiences and Substance Abuse

Traumatic experiences in later life can also cause people to self-medicate distressful feelings and other symptoms like anxiety or insomnia. These traumatic events cover a wide range of experiences such as significant loss, accidents, natural disasters, combat, life-threatening illness, and being a victim of or witness to violence.

There are countless possible scenarios that traumatize people, and it is impossible to list them all. The determining factor is a person’s reaction, not the event itself. For example, during a natural disaster in which a group of people experience the same conditions, not everyone will necessarily have a trauma reaction such as PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). However, some will find themselves overwhelmed to the point of experiencing horror or terror that has long-lasting effects.

The Symptoms of a Traumatic Reaction

A traumatic reaction can last for a short time or for years. Symptoms include extreme anxiety or panic, nightmares, distressful memories, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts about the event. Also, there are physiological reactions such as a rapid heart rate, sweating or high blood pressure. These symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe, and can range from mildly disruptive in daily life to debilitating. It is understandable that people suffering from such symptoms seek relief.

If You Need Help

If you need help for a substance abuse problem, we can help you find the right treatment program. There is a wide choice of options today, and the best chance of success requires you to find a good match for you. We provide free consultations in which we identify your treatment needs, preferences, and insurance coverage.

If it is your time to seek treatment and find recovery, give us a call today.