Unraveling and Preventing Teenage Alcohol and Drug Addiction
12 October, 2018
It is proven by research that people who begin abusing drugs at a young age are more prone to develop severe addiction in their adulthood. Therefore, it is particularly important to prevent your child from getting into any kind of drug abuse and addiction. The objective is often just delaying the first instance of drug or alcohol use until the child’s mind has matured enough to enable accountable decision-making aptitude.
Effects of Drugs on the Teen Brain
All of the addictive substances act on the reward centers of the brain which highly motivate the teens. Addictive substances like alcohol or other drugs increase the award-related chemicals. Dopamine is one of them. Dopamine flood in the brain can create feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and relief from distress. Despite the fact it creates feelings of pleasure, its real job is not to make people feel good. In reality, it is responsible for driving humans to continue the survival-related behavior.
The thing that makes addictive substances riskier is their ability to override the natural healthy messages of the brain. When these substances unnaturally increase the dopamine levels in the teens brain, the using teens get the message that they do not need sleep or food or relationships as much as they need drugs or alcohol. The healthily working survival mechanism of the reward centers then become a broken tool, impaired by repetitive abuse to create addiction.
Negative Health Consequences of Teen Drug Abuse
It is important to depreciate teen drug abuse. Some teens may apparently ‘grow out’ of this behavior, but even after then they are subject to its negative consequences on their physical and mental health which can be long-lasting. These consequences may include:
- A weakened immune system exposing them to a variety of infections and diseases
- Heart problems ranging from increased blood pressure to heart attacks
- Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain which can lead to decreased appetite and weight loss
- Increased stress on the liver as it is the main organ that detoxifies major drugs
- Problems with attention, memory and decision making
- Risk of seizures, stroke, and brain damage
- Lower IQ and increased risk of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety
Preventing your Teen Child from Getting into Addiction
At some point during the teenage years, many teens are confronted with alcohol and drugs. They have one choice to make: to use or not to use them. Those who choose to experiment with drugs put their safety and health at risk. Around 50% of adolescents have been reported to misuse drugs (prescription or illicit) at least once in their life by the 12th grade.
You can keep your teen child from abusing drugs by using the following strategies:
- Monitor your teen’s activities: The first and foremost step is to keep a check on your teen’s whereabouts. Specially monitor what they watch on tv and do on the internet.
- Make some rules and discuss consequences:Make some family rules and discuss the consequences of not following them. The rules may include leaving a gathering where substance abuse may happen and never traveling with a driver who is under the influence of any drug or alcohol. Make it clear to your teen that you will not tolerate the use of alcohol or other drugs at any cost and be ready to consistently discipline your teen in case if he/she breaks any rule.
- Keep a check on your teen’s friends:Friends play a major role in getting someone into addiction. If your teen’s friends are into abusing drugs, chances are your child might feel pressurized to experiment, too. Therefore, know your teen’s friends and their parents and know where your teen is after school or on the weekends.
- Keep an eye on prescription drugs at home: Make a checklist of all the drugs that are present at your home as this might be the easiest route for a teen to get a drug to abuse.
- Try to be a good example: Children notice what their parents say and do and tend to follow them in their learning stage. So, do not use drugs yourself.
- Provide Support: Appreciate and praise when your children succeed, eat dinner with them often, and encourage them to involve in productive activities. A strong bond between your child and you can play a vital role in preventing him/her from abusing drugs or alcohol.
Sings of Drug or Alcohol Abuse in Teens:
Parents need to be aware of some classic signs of drug or alcohol abuse so that they can recognize any nuisance and take appropriate action before the situation gets worse. The signs include the following:
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Mood swings
- The disappearance of valuables and money
- Poor performance at school such as poor grades, getting into fights and suspension
- A recent change in friends and staying out for long periods of time
- Poor hygiene
- Violent behavior and breaking rules
Take Action Against Addiction:
Drug or alcohol abuse and addiction during adolescence are more than just a demeanor. This problem is growing day by day and needs to be addressed as soon as it is suspected or discovered. The following actions can be taken to prevent the outbreak of addiction:
- Toughen penalties against all those who make profits by trading alcohol or drugs
- Recognize and a crackdown on prescribers who provide a large amount of abusive drugs
- Employ radio, TV and social media to educate people specially teens about the consequences of drug abuse and its prevention
- Start campaigns for alcohol or drug abuse prevention at schools and colleges
- Random drug testing at school
- Encouraging drug-free culture
- Increase the accessibility and affordability to addiction treatment programs
- Expose addiction treatment centers that are not providing standardized drug abuse treatment
The Success of Prevention Methods for Teenagers:
Government organizations, school officials and community leaders are always in search for new and effective methods to prevent teenage alcohol and drug abuse. Despite the fact it is yet an issue across the nation, rates of alcohol and drug abuse among teenagers have gone down over the previous decade. This points that the preventive measures that are being taken are viable at decreasing, if not completely getting rid of, the issue. The two major factors that influence teenage alcohol and drug abuse prevention are parental involvement and education – as the officials say.
Getting Help for your Teen:
The prospect of drug or alcohol abuse intimidates many parents for good reason. Assessing how to get help for your child’s drug abuse or addiction is a decision that very few parents are prepared to take alone. We suggest consulting professionals that are specialized in handling such cases. You can find many Indianapolis drug rehab or Indianapolis alcohol rehab facilities that deal with drug and alcohol addiction respectively. If you are looking for an Indy drug rehab or an Indy alcohol rehab, Addiction Rehab Center leads the list. At ARC, we place your child into our inpatient drug rehab Indy, outpatient drug rehab Indy, inpatient alcohol rehab Indy or outpatient alcohol rehab Indy programs, depending on the needs and severity of his/her alcohol or drug addiction. If you notice signs in your teen child that are consistent with alcohol or drug abuse, it’s time to get help. Contact Addiction Rehab Centers today and get a thorough assessment of your child for any potential risk of abuse or addiction.