The teen years are never easy, and adolescence is a time of complex emotional, psychological, and biological changes for teenager and their family.
The teenage brain is set to explore new things and test boundaries. During these years, teens experience dramatic brain development that can make them vulnerable to substance abuse.
Whether it is due to peer pressure, anxiety, depression or stress in teenagers, teenagers can feel tempted to try drugs which can potentially lead to substance abuse.
Difference Between Substance Abuse And Addiction
There is a very slight difference between substance abuse and addiction. Substance abuse is using an illegal substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way, and addiction begins as abuse.
You can abuse a drug without getting addicted to it. For example, someone might smoke weed a few times, but that does not mean they are addicted to it, but it does mean that they are abusing it- which can lead to an addiction.
When one thinks of addiction, we usually think of addiction to alcohol or drugs, but people can get addicted to all sorts of things. Addiction to medicines, cigarettes and even glue can happen.
Addiction means that the person has no control over their use of drugs or drinks. Someone addicted to cocaine grows so used to the drug that they need to have it.
The Signs Of Teen Drug Addiction
The major sign of teen drug addiction is the irresistible need to have a particular drug or substance. Many other signs can suggest addiction, such as:
- Use of drugs or alcohol to forget problems and to relax
- Withdrawal from or keeping secrets from family and friends
- Losing interest in activities that used to be important
- Problems with schoolwork
- Changes in friendships, like only hanging out with friends who use drugs
- Spending a majority of time thinking about how to obtain drugs
- Stealing or selling valuable things to afford drugs
- Failed attempts to stop taking drugs
- Mood swings
- Teen Depression
- Feeling shaky when trying to stop
- Need to take an increasing amount of substance to get the same effect
- Changes in eating habits
- Changes in sleeping habits
Overcoming Drug Addiction Among Teens
The first step to recovery from addiction is realizing that you are addicted.
Many people think that they can solve the problem on their own. However, this rarely works. Talk to someone you trust. This could be a friend and older sibling or the best- a supportive and understanding adult. This can be your parent, school counsellor, relative, doctor, teacher, or religious leader.
Overcoming drug addiction among teens is not easy, and it can be one of the hardest things you or your friend have ever done. Take the help of a professional drug counsellor or therapist.
Tips To Recover From Addiction
After starting a treatment programme, try the following tips to make a recovery a little less bumpy:
- Let your friends know about your decision to stop using drugs or drinking.
- Ask your friends and family to be available when you need them. Accept help from others rather than trying to handle things on your own.
- Only go to places and events your know won’t involve drugs or alcohol. Go to the movies and arcades or take an art class.
- Have a plan about what you will do if you find yourself in a place with drugs and alcohol.
- Remember that having an addiction does not make you a bad person.
If you are struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a professional or use one of the helpline numbers.