Teens and Substance Abuse: How it Starts

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What are the determining factors of teen drug use? Why do some teens experiment with drugs or alcohol with few repercussions and others can’t walk away? Indeed, these are powerful questions that needs to be addressed. Experts have found a number of possible explanations, including:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Environmental acceptance of heavy drug use
  • Peer pressure

These are just a few of the many factors that influence drug use in teens. Those who have friends who abuse drugs are most likely in danger. They are more likely to continue early drug use until a dependence develops. Such a dangerous progression like this should be stopped at an early stage to prevent future drug use from that teen. Parents can help their teens by taking positive actions and sometimes more serious measures to get their teen to stop using drugs and other substances.

Fighting Early Teen Drug Abuse

Early prevention is the best way to help teens from developing a lifelong drug habit. Recognizing risk factors like environment, peer issues and genetic factors can put teachers and parents on high alert. When kids hit the age of 9 or 10, paying attention to where they are, what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with can help those who are concerned to recognize small changes and risks.

Parents being proactive makes sense when it comes to fighting early teen drug abuse. By taking action, you can help your kids. You can prevent teen drug abuse from becoming more severe. Studies show that early intervention often leads to the best outcomes. Since your teenager is involved, isn’t going for the best outcome the smartest step to take?

Talking to your child is one of the best ways to help them understand the dangers of drugs and your expectations as well as the consequences of breaking rules associated with substance abuse. By the time the teen years start, you should have a good idea whether or not drug abuse is a problem for your teen and be prepared to implement more serious consequences if grounding and other punishments have failed to make a difference in your child’s behavior.

If you would like to speak with a counselor about the drug abuse treatment programs available for teens here at Newport Academy, contact us today. We can help you decide which of our programs is a good fit for your teen and help you help them get their life back on track now.

Teen Drug Use Statistics and Facts

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports some teens are active drug abusers by the age of 12 or 13. “Starter drugs” may include alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, prescription drugs, and cigarettes. As they get older, teens may move on to “harder” drugs like cocaine or heroin. However, the earlier they get started, the heavier they will abuse these drugs later on. As a result, they are more likely to develop a psychological and physical dependence.

The teen years are a prime time for drug and alcohol abuse to start. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, the earlier a person abuses illicit substances, the more likely they are to develop an addiction. Therefore, it’s crucial that parents and teachers recognize the signs of early drug abuse in teenagers and address it immediately.