Adolescent Addiction: Understanding It and Finding The Right Treatment
It comes as a shock – your child has a substance abuse problem. And the hurt and disbelief sets in, when you realize you did not have any inkling, even when you thought you and your teen had a close relationship. Why didn’t your child come to you for help? Why did you not see the signs?
The best place to start is to start understanding what led your teen into this path and why they don’t see the harm in this path. And in understanding the whys, you can start the process of assisting your child back to the right path.
Reasons why your teen starts experimenting and abusing substances
“It’s a cool thing to do.” If there is one thing that your teen will desire, it is to be seen as cool by his peers. There will be added pressure when he hangs out with a crowd that routinely uses alcohol and drugs.
“It’s fun and exciting.” Teens do not see the dangers in substance abuse, only the attraction of what is thrilling and exciting. The fact that substances are forbidden and thus, risky, only adds to the attraction. Also, drugs and alcohol can provide a euphoric feeling, a high that cuts down on the inhibitions and shyness.
“It makes me forget my problems.” Teens experience a large amount of pressure from family, peers, academics and their social life. They may have body issues. They may feel depressed. Drugs and alcohol can be seen as a way to shift their focus away from these problems.
“I tend to do things better when I use them.” Teens may also face pressure to do well in his activities such as sports and academics. To help them perform better, teens may turn to drugs and other stimulants.
Parents need to be on the alert for signs of drug or substance abuse problems in their teens. For one, the earlier your teen starts with the abuse, the harder it will be for the teen to break free from the addictions.
Secondly, the teen will not seek assistance for the problem, much less see that there is even a problem. The short time that the teen has abused substances may not be enough for him to experience withdrawal symptoms. In addition, the teen will most likely be shielded from the consequences of substance abuse. He lives in his parents’ home and does not need to worry about rental or food.
The teen will also not realize how substance abuse can destroy his future. This will make recovery more difficult, since help can only find its way to someone who sees the need for it. As such, it is up to the parents to act to seek intervention for their child.