Substance use problems can start as early as the teenage years. Many teens try alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, but using these substances is very dangerous and illegal. Some teens try these substances only a few times and have the strength to stop and realize its not right. Others cannot control their urges or cravings they may have. This is substance abuse.
When it comes to teens, it is important to see the early signs of substance abuse problems. Why they are doing it and how can a parent help their teen with this.
Some parents will ask themselves “why would my teen or any teen experiment with drugs or alcohol?”.
Why Teens Experiment with Illegal Substances
Teens will use drugs or alcohol for many reasons, they may want to do it because it is the “cool thing” and think they have to do it to fit in with their friends. They may also take a drug or drink alcohol because they like the way it makes them feel. Many teens feel like drinking or using drugs makes them grown up.
Teens tend to try new things and take the high risks, and they may take drugs or drink alcohol because they are looking for there next high. It could also be as simple as its exciting to them.
Those with family members who have problems with alcohol or other drugs are more likely to have serious substance abuse problems. Also, teens who feel like they are disconnected or not valued by their parents are at the greater risk. Teens may have poor self-esteem or emotional or mental health problems, such as depression, that is also greater risks.
Does your teenager need help? Take the assessment here.
Possible Signs of Substance Use Problems
Symptoms of substance use problems can manifest in different ways. Your teens may be dependent physically, psychologically, or both.
Becoming tolerant to substances is a sign of physical dependence. This means as a substance is taken, more of it is needed to achieve the same effect. When someone stops abruptly, they can go through withdrawal. Effects vary from shaking, to headaches, and behavioral changes.
Psychologically, problems stems from teens needing substances to function and feel good. This is the ‘high’ that they may be chasing. Psychological dependence can make your teen crave for it, often going through great lengths to get it. This can be dangerous as it may involve dealing with illegal substances.
Teens may also suffer social consequences related to substance abuse. And if left unchecked, may cause more issues in the future.
Helping your Troubled Teen
Remember that these are just signs of substance abuse problems. There are ways to approach your teen about these signs. See: What Can I Do if My Teenager is Out of Control?
When your teen seems less and less involved with school, and family, it maybe time to have a talk with them. To keep your child from experimenting with drugs or alcohol be sure to talk openly and honestly with one another, keeping a healthy home life may prevent your teen from experimenting.
Know more about how you can help your troubled teen. Find Residential Treatment Centers For Troubled Teens here.