Teenagers and Substance Misuse

Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of teenagers using drugs and falling into addiction. The UK is battling a looming crisis of young people who are getting hooked on drugs. Families always find themselves bearing the emotional and financial burden that comes with taking care of a teenager who is battling substance misuse. Medics have found that teenagers who struggle with substance misuse are more likely to become addicts when they grow up. This means that it is better to handle the case as early as possible to prevent them from getting hooked.

Signs of Substance Misuse Among Teenagers

It starts with knowing the signs so that you can act as soon as you notice something is not right. Below are some of the indicators that a teenager could be experimenting with drugs and other substances:

  • Loss of interest in activities that used to cause joy.
  • Untidiness and grumpiness.
  • Intense mood swings, not normal for adolescents.
  • Hyperactivity and insomnia.
  • Physical signs like bruised skin, bloodshot eyes, sudden extreme weight loss or gain.
  • Aggressiveness.

Causes of Substance Misuse Among Teenagers

There is a misconception that teenagers who misuse substances are doing it as an act of rebellion. There are many other factors that come into play, and they also influence the effectiveness of the treatment they are given.

  • Peer pressure and wanting to belong.
  • Too much screen time and access to uncontrolled social sites makes them vulnerable to messages that promote drugs.
  • Pressure and stress from home and school, especially if they are living in abusive homes.
  • Parents who are using substances hence easy access.
  • Mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder.

Helping Teenagers With Substance Misuse Problems

There are many treatment options for teenagers with substance misuse problems. It depends on individual cases. They include:

  • Group/family therapy.
  • Guidance and counselling.
  • Rehabilitation.
  • Being removed from certain environments.
  • Getting multiple treatments from psychotherapists.

When teenagers are battling addiction or substance use, they should not be treated as outcasts, since this will drive them deeper into it. What they need is love and understanding.

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