There are so many misconceptions when it comes to teenage substance abuse, and even more, surrounding teenage prescription drug abuse. One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that the young people who are abusing drugs, prescription or illicit, are inherently bad or rebelling or that they’re misguided. Although this may be the case for a very small portion of teenagers, it usually isn’t the case for most. Teenagers are navigating the space between not being a child and not being an adult. Their biology is doing the same thing. Do you remember what it was like as a teenager? And today’s teens have some very different circumstances than teens of yesteryear. That’s why it’s a good thing that there are outpatient rehab centers to help our youth navigate addiction without making them feel isolated or disturbing their routine.
1. Family History
Teens that have a family history of substance abuse or alcoholism are more likely to experiment with prescription drugs and other substances. Whether or not they have witnessed substance abuse first hand or not, they may be genetically disposed to addiction. This does not mean that they are more likely to become an addict, it simply means that they are more likely to become addicted to a substance should they engage in addictive behaviors or activity. Changes in behavior and appearance are just some signs to look for.
Teenagers are young and inexperienced. They are heavily influenced by their peers and trusted authority figures. For instance, a teen athlete with dreams of becoming a pro athlete gets injured. A medical doctor prescribes some strong relaxants or pain medication to help the teen’s recovery. So, the teen presses through the discomfort and lays into the medication because it really minimizes the discomfort of practicing through the pain, not to mention they make the teen feel more upbeat. Now it’s become an addiction.
3. History of Trauma
Teens and people of all ages will deal with their trauma in some way. Whether it is healthy or not will vary, but at some point in a person’s life, trauma will come to the forefront. Some teenagers may handle the trauma of physical, sexual or emotional abuse with substance abuse. When trauma isn’t properly dealt with, it will likely manifest in destructive ways.
4. Men4 Things to Keep in Mind About Teenage Prescription Drug Abusetal Health
Sometimes there are factors involved that have little to do with choice. Teenagers who suffer from mental health challenges are highly susceptible to prescription drug abuse. Depending on their condition, judgment may be cloudy or they may experience increased feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Peer pressure, boredom, bonding with friends and curiosity are just a few reasons why teens might experiment with drugs and alcohol. There is plenty we can do to help save our young people from taking this path. Keeping these things in mind can help you plan your approach to a teen who may be abusing prescription drugs.
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