What Causes Teen Drug Addiction?
The teen years are a time when adolescents act the most impulsive and irrational. Teens want to enjoy life and be socially accepted, and they care little about following norms. Especially in Los Angeles, teenagers can be reckless and spontaneous, as they want to live their life and enjoy to the fullest without paying much heed to the consequences of their actions.
To look cooler and to stand out from their Los Angeles peers, teenagers often fall into the trap of drug use and addiction. The average age at which teens consume drugs is 13 or 14, between the seventh or eighth grades. The brain is still in the developing stage in these years, and therefore there are high chances that teens who start consuming drugs at this age are highly likely to develop a teen drug addiction.
The most common drugs that teens abuse and get addicted to are alcohol and marijuana. The easy availability of alcohol and marijuana creates a thinking pattern among the teens that consuming alcohol and marijuana is not hazardous to their health. Little do they know that outside of “looking cool” teen alcohol abuse and teen marijuana addiction are real problems because of what they do to the brains and body of the adolescent.
What Causes Teen Drug Addiction and What Causes Teen Substance Abuse?
- Peer pressure– Most teens consume drugs under the influence of their friends or classmates. Friends who already indulge in drug use act as experts on this matter and claim that consuming drugs has no harmful effects. Teens are more likely to fall for these statements coming from their friends and try substance abuse. As per the National Institute of Drug Abuse, approximately 21 percent of high school seniors have reported using marijuana in the past month.
- Insecurity– Many kids in their teens suffer from a lack of self-esteem and fear that people around them will not like them. They are insecure about their strengths and values and feel that they are not worthy of being accepted. Such teens often start consuming drugs to feel good about themselves.
- Dopamine– Consuming alcohol or marijuana releases ten times the dopamine that is usually released by our brain. This gives an instant high and makes the consumer feel good. It is an unnatural chemical released by the brain, but the brain remembers it, and therefore teens crave this euphoria again and again.
- Lack of education– Teens are highly misinformed about the effects of drug usage. Usually, they believe whatever they hear from peers, and they start to use drugs themselves, thinking that it is harmless.
- The influence of media– Media influence is one vital factor leading teens into the gateway of drug abuse. Various movies and television series make drinking and smoking look harmless and relaxed. Teens often idolize the characters they see on TV and start following their footprints without understanding the side effects. Music glamorizes drug and alcohol abuse in its lyrics.
- Escape– Teenage years are challenging for kids. Some have confidence issues, some have low grades, some have distant relationships with their parents. Every teenager’s struggle differs from another, but they all seem to find an escape from their problems through drugs. Instead of seeking emotional support, they find solace in consuming drugs.
- Experimenting– Most teens often start on their substance abuse journey as a part of an experiment. They get on this journey thinking that they will try out different drugs for some time and then leave it at their whim, but by the time they complete all their experiments, they are already addicted.
Common Signs of Teen Drug Addiction –
Parents need to be watchful of their Los Angeles teenagers’ actions. They should understand that teenagers are vulnerable and can easily be lured into drug usage by external forces, and easily from friends. Teen drug addiction is extremely common, and even if it’s not addiction, it could be recreational use which may lead to addiction. Some of the common signs that a teen is is addicted to or becoming addicted to a drug are mentioned below.
Bad performance in school: Teens who have recently begun abusing drugs or are already addicted to certain substances, often tend to have a constant deterioration in their grades. Although a bad performance does not necessarily mean that the kid is addicted to drugs, parents must be proactive, watchful, and of course, caring.
Bloodshot eyes: Red eyes are easily identifiable signs to watch out for when you suspect your teen might be using drugs. Alcohol or marijuana can make the eyes red for some time. If your kid is avoiding eye contact with you, you need to be more alert. Try to get up close with them, give them a hug and see if you smell anything off, and look into their eyes.
Uncontrollable laughing: Since the consumption of drugs causes a high level of dopamine release, the consumer laughs a lot more than usual. While being happy is not a matter of concern, laughing without any reason is. If you notice uncontrollable fits of laughter, you should be more aware. Kids and teens are often goofy, so be careful to not make accusations unless you are sure!
Appetite: Consumption of certain drugs like marijuana increase the appetite of the person who consumes them. If you notice irregular eating patterns in your teen, be more alert.
Smell: If you find a foul smell or the smell of smoke around your kid, you should try to talk things out with him/her. Don’t come off aggressive, be friendly, and stay calm.
Hopefully, this article has helped you learn more about What Causes Teen Drug Addiction. If you feel your Los Angeles teen is addicted to a drug or using drugs, try to talk to him/her and understand their story. If the teen confesses to consuming drugs, don’t shout at your kid. They will clam up and it will end the conversation between the two of you.
There are many great Teen Addiction Treatment Programs in Los Angeles, and you should definitely contact one to assist with your family issues, should you find out your teen is abusing drugs. The Key Transitions Teen Treatment Program in Los Angeles is renowned for helping teens that struggle with drug use. It is essential for you to understand that drug addiction is curable, and a healthy transition back to normal life can occur over time, with the right help.
At Key Transitions, we have a team of clinically and professionally trained, skilled, passionate, and extremely dedicated team members who help you or your loved one overcome addiction.
We understand the importance of listening to our clients’ fears and working together towards providing solutions for their problems. We have also developed special programs to help our clients. If you or a loved one are suffering from teen drug addiction, feel free to contact us to learn more about our Los Angeles teen addiction treatment program, and transitional living programs.