Adolescence is one of the most important stages in a person’s life. It is the moment where childhood is left behind to start the path to adult life. It is also a vital moment in the formation of the individual. In addition, it is also the stage where drugs usually make an appearance for the first time with the choice in hand to try them or remove them from your life. The desire to experiment and try new things typical of this phase of life explains the approach to drugs. However, if the use becomes abusive, it can lead to serious problems for adolescents that can end up dragging them into more damaging behavior for the rest of their lives.
Why Do Teens Take Drugs?
Before analyzing the factors that explain why young people start using drugs, we must start from a basis that is the easy accessibility they have to these substances. Especially with tobacco and alcohol, it is usually the first ones that teenagers try. It must be taken into account that approximately 40% of minors claim to consume or have ever used some legal drug. In addition to this factor, there are other reasons that can explain drug use by adolescents, and it has to do with the stage of physical, emotional, psychological, and sociological development that they live. These explanatory factors are:
Curiosity – If adolescence is characterized by one thing, it is because it represents a stage of change and learning. This is why some young people may be curious to experience what it feels like to be high on drugs.
Feeling of Invincibility – The physical and hormonal changes that adolescents experience create a certain sense of invulnerability and strength in them. This can lead them to develop behaviors and habits such as drug use, and other risky behaviors.
Being Part of the Group – In adolescence, aspects such as integration and social status gain importance. For this reason, teens may take drugs in an attempt to fit in with friends or to impress a new group of young people. In this sense, peer pressure is also frequent on occasions, that is, the need to consume so as to be accepted or liked in the group.
Socializing – On the other hand, the use of drugs such as alcohol often helps young people lower their inhibitions, and feel more comfortable in social settings.
Imitation – Studies confirm that many adolescents start using because they have an example at home, with their parents drinking alcohol, or smoking marijuana in their presence.
Search for independence – With adolescence also come the search for oneself and that, sometimes, implies moving away from the family. In this way, drugs serve as an excuse to strengthen relationships with other environments where there is more presence of people of the same age, and with whom they can identify.
Relieve Anxiety and Problems – There are adolescents who resort to drugs to cope with situations and problems that affect them, such as the divorce of their parents, a change of school, or adolescence itself. In addition, anxiety resulting from conflicts with family, friends or school can also be a trigger for drug use.
Detecting Teenage Substance Abuse
How do you detect if a teenager is taking drugs? Knowing if a son or daughter is using drugs is not always easy. However, there are almost always changes in the behavior and habits of the adolescent that can give clues to their environment to detect this phenomenon. Even so, you must be cautious with this situation since the changes may be due to other reasons as a result of the stage that young person is in. In any case, the indicators that can reveal that the adolescent uses drugs are:
- Laziness, apathy, or constant drowsiness
- Irritability and development of aggressive behavior
- Bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils
- Slow pronunciation of words
- Development of bad practices such as lying or stealing
It is well known that drug use carries a series of harmful consequences for both physical and psychological health. In the case of adolescents, the damage can be even more serious because young people are in a stage of development and training towards adulthood. If you suspect a teenager is abusing any kind of substance, and need help, click here to contact Impact Recovery Center.
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