Teenagers are particularly prone to substance use. Teenagers frequently utilize drugs due to their current way of life. Although the most popular drug used by teenagers changes every year, alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana are still the most popular drugs today.
Teenagers have easy access to these substances, particularly alcohol.
Although there is a legal drinking age, minors have different access to alcohol. It is why knowing a large portion of teenagers consume alcohol is not surprising.
Risk Factors in Teen Substance Abuse
Some of the risk factors why teens abuse substances include:
- Teens can start using drugs more easily and get away with it when there is no adult supervision.
- They are more prone to peer pressure when they are near drug users.
- Experiences in the past that have been difficult or painful, such as physical or sexual abuse
- Exposure to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy
- Lack of interest in schoolwork or poor academic performance
- Rejection of a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation by family or friends
- Mental Health Disorders
Signs of Substance Abuse in Teens
Being updated on your adolescents’ whereabouts is hard, especially since it is the phase where they insist on privacy.
But if you suspect substance use in your teen, here are some of the checklists you can use:
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in things they once liked
- Changes in eating habits
- Changing friends frequently
- Extreme tiredness
- Having problems at school
- Spending a lot of time alone
- Lying and stealing
- Poor concentration or focus
- Change in speech; slurred speech or talking unusually fast
- Having problems with family and friends
- Being easily irritated or angry
- Violating curfew restrictions
- Lack of motivation
- Changes in appearance; red eyes, dilated pupils
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
How to Manage Substance Abuse among Teens?
Substance abuse is a dangerous disorder, especially in teens. If you notice or suspect any changes in your adolescent family members, it is advisable to intervene as early as possible.