Addiction is not restricted to adults and, unfortunately, many young people will develop addictions to substances such as drugs and or alcohol. Lots of teenagers try drugs or alcohol at some stage, and for a variety of reasons; boredom, curiosity, peer pressure, and as coping mechanisms are but a few of these. While many will not succumb to addiction, some will. It is imperative that young people get help with their addiction issues as soon as possible before the problem worsens and ends up destroying their lives.
Why Addiction Develops in Young People
When children leave primary and enter high school, the world as they know it changes. Many will be introduced to a whole new set of friends, and there tends to be more pressure to fit in with the crowd. This is a time when their bodies are changing as well, and they will be experiencing a completely new set of emotions.
The teenage years are generally the time when your child will be introduced to substances such as drugs and alcohol and they may or may not be tempted to try them. Of those who do, some will find that they develop an addiction pretty quickly. There are a number of reasons why teenagers develop an addiction to a particular substance; below are just a few examples.
In some homes, alcohol and/or drug abuse is already present. Parents may abuse alcohol or drugs while some will have a dependence on prescription medication. Children from these homes will have been exposed to drugs and alcohol at a young age, and so they may view it as normal behaviour. Therefore, when they are offered these substances, they may not hesitate to take them. Unfortunately, some children are even encouraged to try certain substances by parents who have problems of their own.
Teenagers are usually desperate to be accepted by their peers, and many believe that saying no to drugs and alcohol will mean they are left out or laughed at. Some teenagers will only drink or take drugs because their friends are. Many people have developed addictions to substances they had no desire to take in the first place.
Mental Health Problems
Countless teenagers begin to experience symptoms of mental health issues during adolescence; some of these find that alcohol or drugs offer the perfect coping mechanism. Those who suffer from depression and low self-esteem often feel more confident and happier when they are under the influence of certain substances. Unfortunately, these feelings of happiness are short-lived, and many people who develop addictions will go on to develop more mental health problems.
Children who have suffered physical, emotional, or sexual abuse may find that drinking alcohol or taking drugs helps to numb the pain they feel. Many will find that while under the influence of these substances, they can forget about their troubles. Some will begin to take more and more of the substance as a way to blot out their memories.
Teenage years can be quite stressful, and many children struggle to cope. They could feel isolated or depressed, and many may feel as though they have no one to talk to. Exam time can also place a tremendous amount of pressure on students, with many finding that substances such as alcohol or drugs helps them to cope. However, the problem is that, in the long-term, these substances will do more harm than good.
Getting Help Early
If you suspect that your teenager has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Call Rehab Helper today for advice and support on how to deal with teenage addiction.