Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry


Teenagers and Drug Abuse

It is alarming that many drug addicts begin using drugs as early as their teenage years.
How does that happen and what should the elders do to reduce teenage drug abuse? It
can be assumed that reducing number of teenage drug abusers will decrease the
overall prevalence of addiction.

In order to get to the root of this, we need to understand first why teenagers turn
to drugs.

Adolescents are believed to be prone to addiction because of their natural curiosity.
There also seems to be a constant urge among many teens to ‘rebel’ and to sense
belongingness in a peer of group.

The reasons why teenagers are into drugs are almost the same to the reasons of the
adults. Drug addiction among teens occur because of reasons such as:

 Conflicts at home

 Desires to reduce emotional pain

 Low self-esteem

 Desire to get attention

 Idleness or boredom

 Parents with drug abuse problems

 Easily accessible drugs

Early detection is key in attempting to reduce the number of teenage drug

Since adolescence is very complicated and teenagers are very unpredictable, detecting
drug addiction can be quite a challenge. Parents need to know which are normal are
which should be watched for.

What are the signs that a teenager might be into drug abuse?

 A sudden lifestyle change including disconnection from loved ones, a new group
of friends, disinterest with hobbies and failing grades.

 Use of deodorants or perfumes to conceal the smell of drugs.

 Frequent use of eye drops

 Suddenly needs more money than usual

 Talks differently with friends

 Wear clothes that indicate drug abuse

 Mood changes

 Unexpected rages, depression or hyperactivity and paranoia

Once a teen is spotted with these signs, parents or guardians should call in
professional help.

While it is normal for parents to panic when their teens show signs of drug abuse, it is
not recommended to solve it on their own. It is best if they consult a professional and let
the professionals recommend treatments or rehab programs for these teens. Rehab
programs usually consist of individual and group therapy, family involvement
workshops, and proper lecture.



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