Teenagers are especially vulnerable to drug and alcohol use. They’re at a stage of life where testing boundaries and pushing limits is common. Teens also experience a lot of stress from their developmental stages. Their bodies are changing, and their brains are developing at the same time. There is often a disconnect between the two that causes anxiety and social awkwardness.
Teenager Drug Use and Socioeconomic Status
Many parents want to rely on the fact that they’re part of a white, middle-class or upper-class community where teenage drug use is uncommon. These demographics might not meet the stereotype of a drug user, but drug use is more common among white, middle-class teenagers living in the suburbs.
Close to 90% of adolescent drug use is perpetrated by affluent, white teens who don’t have access to inner cities or places where you’d expect to find drug dealers. These kids are getting hooked on prescription pain killers from their home medicine cabinet and migrating to other drugs, such as heroin, when the supply dries up.
Teens and Addiction
Teens and drugs use aren’t unrelated. Not all adolescents use drugs, but it’s a common problem in this age group. There are several risk factors for teens with drug and alcohol abuse, including:
– Poor academic performance
– Lack of parental involvement
– Misunderstanding about the risks associated with drug use
– High tolerance for drugs and smoking in the community
– Low self-esteem
– Victim of abuse at home or school
– Loose rules and inconsistent punishment at school
Teenagers have an under-developed sense of their own mortality. They’re not against risks because they don’t perceive risks and consequences as serious as they should. Their lack of life experience leaves them ignorant of the real-world dangers of risky behavior.
Some adolescents, in addition to being in at a vulnerable stage in their development, have an addictive personality. These people are just more likely to become dependent on substances. Take this addictive personality test to determine if you have an addictive personality. If you do, there’s a greater chance your child does, too.
Avoiding Teenage Drug Abuse
If you want to help your child stay away from drug abuse, there are some things you can do to prevent it:
– Talk to your child about drugs often
– Provide access to positive role models
– Inspire your child to be active in a faith-based organization
– Develop a strong bond with your teenager
– Foster a belief that drugs are dangerous
To learn more about helping your teenager with drug abuse issues, contact Tranquil Shores today.