The teenage and young adult years are marked by tremendous physical, emotional and psychological growth and the growing pains associated with these changes. This time period is also marked by great social pressure from both peers and social media. In large part due to these pressures, drug use and abuse among this age group continues to be a significant social issue in the United States
According to information contained in the 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse , nearly 4 in every 10 12th graders have used alcohol within the last 30 days. Marijuana use has also increased significantly over the past twenty years due to more lenient societal attitudes towards perceived harm. Additionally, there has been an emergence of use and abuse of drugs such as synthetic marijuana aka spice and bath salts as well as opiates and heroin in the last year specifically.
What To Look For: Is Your Child at Risk?
It is important to objectively look at your child’s behavior as a whole and understand the risk factors associated with drug use, abuse and addiction. Addiction has no single cause—instead it results from a number of social, biological and psychological factors. The following are common risk factors:
Family History of Addiction
Is there family history of substance abuse? Addiction has a strong genetic component and children who have parents, grandparents or siblings who have struggling with some form of abuse or addiction are at greater risk for developing addiction. In addition to genetics there are environmental factors to consider including parenting and family dynamics.
Is your child a thrill seeker and loves to live “on the edge?” Young people who engage in sensation or thrill seeking behaviors may be more likely to develop alcohol and drug problems. Several studies have revealed that areas of the brain responsible for impulse control were less active in teenagers who regularly used drugs.
Lack of Parental Supervision
Teens that have little in the way of parental monitoring or supervision are at greater risk for developing substance abuse behaviors. Additionally, children who are subject to harsh or inconsistent punishment and have high levels of family conflict also are more likely to develop substance abuse and addiction issues.
Those children and teenagers who were victims of early childhood trauma, abuse and neglect are highly predictive of drug abuse and addiction later on in life. These experiences can include divorce, sexual and mental abuse, having a parent who has mental illness, or having one or both parents who are incarcerated.
Is your child failing classes or having consistent academic and social problems at school? Teenagers who are struggling in school are more likely to be involved in drugs and alcohol. These chances become greater the longer the child has had problems at school. Some warning signs include truancy, an inability to bond with classmates and teachers and failing or poor grades.
What to Do if Your Teen is Abusing Drugs
If your child is struggling with substance abuse issues, Palm Beach Institute can provide your child with the help and support they need to overcome addiction. PBI provides a comprehensive adolescent drug treatment program from those aged 12-17. This twelve-step based program employs a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on the issues relevant to teens and substance abuse including:
- Peer pressure
- Family dynamics
- Developmental issues
With a combined 150 years of professional experience as well as national recognition and acclaim, Palm Beach Institute is the ideal facility to help your teenager overcome addiction. For further information, contact PBI toll-free at 1-855-470-2050.