By: Ava
February 9, 2024

Preventing Teen Substance Abuse

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If you are a parent, raising teenagers can be a nightmare. Not only are teens trying to cope with tremendous changes in their body and brain, they are also dealing with the crushing weight of increased expectations and peer pressure. For some teens–and even your teen–they may deal with these pressures by using drugs and alcohol. What may start off as simple experimentation or a means to “blow off steam” can quickly snowball into full-blown addiction which can have severe consequences as they enter adulthood.

This article tackles teen substance abuse and the factors that lead many young people to substances. Most importantly, this article will provide you valuable tips on how to prevent or greatly reduce the risk of teen substance abuse. Is your teen son or daughter struggling with substance abuse? Multi Concept Recovery can help you today! We offer evidence-based treatment programs at our rehab centers in Burbank specifically designed for the unique needs of teens. 

Call Multi Concept Recovery right now and give your teen the tools and support they need to overcome addiction for a lifetime.

The Facts of Teen Substance Abuse

For decades, teen substance abuse has been a major health and social issue in the United Stats. It is estimated that half of all American teenagers have tried drugs at least once in their lifetime. Statistics also show that 62 percent of 12th graders have abused alcohol. Additionally, it is estimated that nearly 5,000 of Americans aged 15-24 died of drug overdoses in 2019. With teens turning to dangerous drugs such as prescription painkillers with more frequency, the problem of teen substance abuse will continue to be a problem in this country.

Why do teens turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place? An obvious factor that drives teens to substance use is a family history of drug use. Another big reason why teens abuse substances is due to peer pressure. They see others using drugs and alcohol and want to fit in with the right people. A third reason why teens may turn to drugs and alcohol is by copying what they see their favorite celebrities do on social media. When framed in a social media context, drug use can appear glamorous, cool, and hip.

Additionally, teens will use substances in order to cope with the growing pressures that come with adolescence. More is expected of them at school and home, and they are expected to become more mature and make good decisions. Without a strong support system of family, friends, and community in place, teens may turn to substances to make it through their day and feel better about themselves. 

Recognizing the Warning Signs

As a parent, how do you know if your teen is treading into the dangerous waters of substance use? The reality is that the signs may be difficult to detect at first. Oftentimes, the signs of drug use in teens can be dismissed as dealing with “growing pains.” In general, the most common warning signs of teen substance abuse include the following:

  • Sudden change in friends, eating habits, and overall appearance
  • Increased isolation from family and friends
  • Lack of interest in the hobbies they once enjoyed
  • The presence of drug paraphernalia or medicine bottles in their room

Ways to Prevent Teen Substance Abuse

If you suspect your teen is experimenting with or regularly using drugs, it is important to take action. When you talk to your teen about drugs, it is important to listen to what they think and feel. You want to avoid lecturing at all costs. Listen to their opinions on drug use and discuss reasons why using substances will have a negative impact on their lives. Some examples include academic performance, sports, and relationships with others.

You also need to discuss ways they can handle peer pressure in a healthy manner. Work with your teen to brainstorm ideas on ways they can turn away from drugs when they are offered or when the opportunity to use drugs arises. If you used drugs and alcohol in the past, share those experiences with your teen and how it impacted your life. If you have never used drugs and alcohol, explain why you didn’t use and the positive things that have happened in your life. 

Help Your Teenager Overcome Drug Dependence And Abuse With Help From Multi Concept Recovery

If your teen son or daughter is caught up in drug use, now is time to act! With all the treatment options that are available to your teen, it may be difficult to know which programs will best address your teen’s unique needs. As one of Southern California’s premier drug rehabs, Multi Concept Recovery features teen addiction treatment programs in Los Angeles that are evidence-based, effective, and proven to work.

Our outpatient teen addiction treatment programs and mental health treatment programs in California are tailored to meet your teen’s needs, and they provide the whole family the support they need to heal, grow, and prosper. Call Multi Concept Recovery today and help your teen find confidence, health, and happiness.