Drug abuse in teenagers is a growing concern. It usually starts with a little experimentation that can turn into an addiction. Of course, parents with teenagers are always concerned about how their kids are doing and whether they are experimenting with drugs. The best thing you can do for your kids, if you’re a concerned parent, is to watch for signs of drug abuse in teens.
Drug abuse is frequently described as abusing a substance, which leads to a number of problems such as drug dependency, increased drug tolerance, noticeable withdrawal effects, inability to control drug use and altering lifestyle changes.
Facts About Teen Drug Abuse
• Teenagers are more likely to become addicted to drugs than mature adults are because the brain of a teenager is still immature, especially in the area controlling impulses.
• Drug abuse in teens can be caused by a variety of factors, which include the individual, social factors and peer pressures, genetic background and family issues.
Commonly Abused Drugs
• Alcohol and tobacco are commonly abused among teens, and they are often purchased by young adults even if they are underage. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, alcohol use from 12-17 years of age averaged 11.6 percent during 2013.
• Depressants such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, which are often called downers, yellow jackets, yellows or reds.
• Cannabinoids such as hashish and marijuana. Commonly called weed or pot, which is generally smoked as a joint or in a pipe.
• Cold medicines such as Benadryl or Sudafed. Nearly 60 percent of teenagers that abuse prescription drugs obtain them from relatives and friends.
• Stimulants such as methamphetamine, cocaine or amphetamines, which go by names like speed, crystal, crank, crack or black beauties.
• Club drugs such as Ecstasy.
Signs & Symptoms
• Psychological warning signs such as unexplained attitudes, personality changes or unexplained confusion. The child appears to be “spaced out” or has periods of sudden changes in mood or lack of interest or motivation.
• Behavioral signs frequently include sudden changes in friends, skipping classes, acting withdrawn or using air fresheners, perfume or incense to cover the smell of drugs or cigarette smoke.
• Physical signs and symptoms can include a change in the size of pupils or bloodshot eyes, frequent nosebleeds, body tremors or shakes, excessive sleepiness or happiness, increased aggressiveness or irritability.
Benefits of Inpatient Treatments
Although, there are a variety of treatments available to teens, often the best course of action is inpatient treatment. These residential programs remove distractions and temptations from teen users trying to break their dependency to drugs. Individual and therapy group sessions are available to discuss concerns and teenage problems. Detoxification is constantly monitored and supervised. Treatments provide a relaxed and controlled environment where teens can get back in touch with reality and themselves. Professionals provide support and help to beat the addiction.
It’s natural for teenagers to go through physical and mental changes as they approach maturity, which can alter behavior. However, if you see startling changes in your child, as a parent, it may mean watching for signs of drug abuse in teens just in case.