It can be challenging when an adult is addicted to drugs or alcohol. With teens, it can be doubly challenging because they are still under parental care. It can be a totally emotional time for parents. Sometimes, parents simply have no idea what to do. They are left wondering why their teen, who appeared to be on the right track, all of a sudden chose to veer off the path and experiment with drugs or alcohol.
What makes teen’s abuse drugs or alcohol? For one, millions of adults abuse drugs and alcohol. Teens see their actions and assume if adults can do it, so can they. As such, these are adults who set poor examples for teens. On the other hand, the media is filled with ads that glamorize drinking and drugs. Teens are inundated with temptations to experiment. For many teens, and depending on the drug, all it takes is for one experimentation to get hooked.
Teens abuse drugs and alcohol for the following reasons.
1. Peer pressure is a major excuse. Teens want to look cool, adult, in front of their peers. They want to be accepted. There is also fact that much of today’s teen social scene evolves around drinking, smoking, and taking drugs. Teens seen drinking and drugs as part of the normal cycle of growing up. Not all do.
2. Media makes drugs and drinking look like it is an okay thing to do. As many as 50 percent of kids watch television shows and are exposed to movies, “R” rated, were at least seven times more likely to smoke, and consume alcohol or experiment with drugs. So, the media definitely has an influence on the behavior of teens.
3. Teens experiment with drugs and alcohol out of sheer boredom. As much as there is to do, teens are often bored with life. There is an old saying that “an idle mind is the devil’s playground.” This, for the most part, remains true for anyone, young or old.
4. Teens take drugs to rebel against their parents or what they consider to be the system. Alcohol, in this instance, seems to be the drug of choice for angry teenagers. Kids that use marijuana may not be as violent. Their aggression is of course, lessened by the marijuana.
There are signs that a teen may be abusing drugs or alcohol. Altered behavior is a major sign that something has changed in the teen’s personality. New friends that teens refuse to introduce to parents can also be a sign that drugs or alcohol are at play. If a teen, all of a sudden, loses interest in things they have always loved to do, keep a close eye on the situation and find out why. If household items, all of a sudden, start disappearing, it could also be a sign that a teen is abusing drugs or alcohol.
If you are a parent, and you suspect that your teen is caught up in substance abuse, do not hesitate to seek professional, clinical advice.
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