The infamous teenage years are prime time for trying new things and asserting one’s independence. As teens transition into adulthood, they often become tempted by adult activities. They want to follow their parents’ lead, try things their friends have already done, and establish their own identities. Drugs and alcohol frequently become involved in this mix.
Many teens turn to marijuana, prescription drugs, club drugs, alcohol, or other substances as a means of coping with stress, relating to their peers, and rebelling against authority.
Teenagers and young adults get involved with alcohol and drugs for many reasons, including:
- • Curiosity: They want to know what it feels like to be drunk, intoxicated, or high.
- • Peer pressure: Their friends are doing it or pressuring them to do the same.
- • Acceptance: Their parents or role models are doing it and they want to feel accepted by those they look up to.
- • Defiance: They want to rebel against rules placed on them.
- • Risk-taking behaviors: They want to send out a call for help.
- • Thrill-seeking activities: They want to experience something other than numbness.
- • Boredom: They feel there is nothing else to do, and trying drugs or alcohol gives them a feeling of excitement.
- • Independence: They want to make their own decisions and assert their own independence.
- • Pleasure: They want to feel good. Teens are dealing with a heavy mix of emotions, and drugs can help numb any pain and make them feel better even when times are tough.
At any age, people want to be liked and accepted by those around them. This is especially true for adolescents and teens who are going through a process of transformation from childhood into adulthood. They are still discovering who they are, and through the confusion that often causes, want all the more to be accepted by their peers.
Imagine you find yourself with someone you trust and admire. You are handed a bong, a bottle, or some pills and offered a place in the crowd. Even the most upstanding student may be tempted to try…just this once. Teens give into peer pressure for many reasons, including:
- • Fear of rejection.
- • Not wanting to be made fun of.
- • Not wanting to lose a friend.
- • Not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings.
- • The desire to appear grown up.
- • The desire to appear in control.
- • Not having a clear picture of what they want.
- • Not understanding how to avoid or handle a situation.
Influence by the Media
Our society frequently, and sometimes inadvertently, portrays alcohol consumption and drug-taking in a positive light. Many movies, television shows, advertisements, and other forms of mass media show young people using and enjoying substances without negative consequences.
Popular celebrities, athletes, and other well-known people, whom teens look up to, also openly discuss their alcohol and drug use, which may influence teens to want to try alcohol or drugs as it seems to be normal behavior. They want to fit in or try it to experience the high for themselves.
Another burgeoning issue concerning teen exposure to drugs and alcohol is social media. Adolescents and teens are constantly bombarded with information on social media and are easily exposed to the rewards of using drugs, while not receiving as much information about the risks.
Teens who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction and dependence do not have to suffer alone. There are several treatment options available, designed exclusively for teens and the unique challenges they face. Some of the many treatment options available to teens facing addiction include:
- • Medically assisted detox
- • Individual or group counseling
- • 12-step programs
- • Inpatient rehabilitation
- • Outpatient rehabilitation
- • Teen residential treatment centers
If your daughter is using controlled substances, or you worry she is going down this path toward destruction, don’t wait to intervene. The sooner your teen gets help for alcohol abuse, the more likely she’ll be to avoid the long-lasting effects of substance abuse. Call us today to speak to an admissions counselor and take the first step in getting your daughter back on the path of wellness and wholeness.
Source: edited Projectknow.com