It is a well-established fact that teenagers are more prone to drug abuse and other reckless behavior than any other age group. And when they do become dependent on drug use, the consequences are more severe.
Teen years is the phase when an individual moves forward to become an adult. These lead to many dramatic changes in life. In fact, this phase of life is critical and decides how a child will grow up as an adult.
Teenage is a time of making irrational and impulsive decisions. It is a time when people spend most of their time in the present enjoying life without considering the consequences in the future.
– As a result!
It allows teens to try drugs for the first time. You would be surprised to hear this fact: The average age for a teen to use drugs is 13-14 years.
– They are not even high schoolers!
Today, we will try to dissect the causes that lead teenagers to drug use and addiction.
Substance Use Among Teens
Here we have come up with a few numbers to show just how dominant drug use is among teens.
- By the end of the school year, almost two-thirds of teens have already tried alcohol.
- 50% of the teens have accepted cannabis use even before reaching high school.
- 40% of teens have already tried smoking in their middle schools.
- 20% of teens have been found to be using prescribed medicine for drug use.
Although we all know using any kind of drug or substance is illegal under 21 years of age, the reports say otherwise.
If you ever come across a teen suffering or exhibiting the sign of addiction, you must immediately talk with them and try to convince them for an addiction treatment program.
To know more about the Detoxification treatment program, visit https://www.ascendantny.com/connecticut-detox-centers/.
Why Do Teen Use Drugs?
Before starting with this section of the article, we would like to continue after clearly a simple misconception. It has been seen that teens who experiment with drugs are inherently called ‘Bad Kids.’
However, that is not the case. You must understand that they are in their growing phase where they encounter different things, and their curiosity gets the better of them. It is our responsibility as adults to ensure they follow the right path.
That being said, let’s continue.
There are many reasons why teens get involved with drugs. And yes, being a bad kid is not one of them.
1. Curiosity Get The Better Of Them
Curiosity is the natural part of life, and teenagers are not immune to the urge. Many teens start taking drugs just to find what it feels like to be on drugs or how it can stimulate their body and mind.
While some teens can stop their actions after knowing what it feels like, some simply can’t.
2. In Attempt To Fit In
One of the difficult things to do while growing up is to make friends. Teenage years often come with many insecurities, low self-esteem, and fear of not being accepted.
To feel accepted or join social groups with older people, teenagers start buying causing Drugs.
Even after we become adults, our brain doesn’t finish developing before the age of 25. While the brain is in the development phase, the last part that develops is rational thinking, decision making, self-control, and judgment between right and wrong.
But before we can develop our brain, we start experimenting with drugs without thinking too much about the consequences.
4. In Search Of Attention
Teens often feel that they do not have any skill to boast in front of their audiences. This is perhaps because of their low self-esteem and attention. These feelings might drive drug use to get attention.
Some teens do not know how to become the best, so they simply decide to become the worst to get everyone’s undivided attention.
5. Competition To Become Adult Faster
Do you remember how you wanted to become an adult faster when you were a child? Well, everyone thinks the same thing.
Unfortunately, this makes them take action to do things that an adult would do – Taking drugs.
6. Lack Of Education
Lack of education also plays a significant role in drug use. Some teens grow in an environment exposed to substance use. So, they think that this is something normal and everyone does it.
– And why shouldn’t they?
– After all, their favorite musicians are singing about it, and movies show it as if it is a norm.
Some teens use drugs as a form of escapism from depression. When the teens are sad and all alone, they use drugs to support their loneliness and feel happier.
8. To Enhance Experience
Drugs are often used as a catalyst to enhance certain experiences. It can be your energy, focus, or pleasure. This enhancing effect is what makes teenagers try drugs at an early age.
You might be wondering why genetics is on the list. You would be surprised to know that genetics is one of the major reasons teens are so attracted to drug use.
If there is a family history of drug abuse, teenagers are genetically predisposed to try and experiment with drugs.
We have kept this last in our list because, for the sole reason – nobody wants to be addicted to drug use. This happens when teens are forced by their peers to use drugs and eventually fall victim to addiction.
Risks Of Substance Use
Drugs might give you a short-lived pleasure and stimulate your feel-good hormones; the long-term side effects outweigh its pros.
Drug use can do the following:
- Affect the growth and development of teens, especially brain development.
- Encourages unprotected sex and dangerous driving.
- Contributes to several mental and physical health problems – high blood pressure, heart diseases, and sleep disorder.
Finally, the earlier a teen is exposed to drugs, the greater impact it will leave on their life. This also increases the teens’ chances of falling victim to addiction even before reaching adulthood.
Having completed my Bachelor’s degree in medicine and currently pursuing a house job at a well-reputed hospital in California, I decided to utilize my spare time in sharing knowledge with others through my blog. Apart from my time spent in the medical field, I love to read fiction novels and go on long drives.