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Teenage Addiction

Think about this alarming statistic: 9 out of 10 people who abuse or are addicted to alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs, first started using these substances before they turned 18. Those who start using before age 15, are 7 times more likely to have a substance use disorder than those who started using at age 21 or older. The longer an adolescent refrains from drug use, and the longer the brain has to develop, the less likely he or she will develop a substance use disorder. Keeping kids away from temptation and pressure outside the home is no easy task; for those who’s home life is wrought with addiction, the odds are stacked against them.

As a parent, teacher, friend, and any other person who is around teenagers, it is important to know the warning signs of addiction. Below are only a few symptoms that may indicate a substance abuse problem:

  • Odors of alcohol, smoke, or other chemical smells on clothing, breath, or hair
  • Intoxication: bizarre behavior, slurring, dizziness, nausea, blood shot eyes, etc.
  • Changes in the circle of friends
  • Mood swings, anger outbursts, violence
  • Loss of interest in school, activities
  • Slipping grades, poor attendance
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Depression

The teenage years are difficult, and kids will often abuse drugs as a response to peer pressure, curiosity, stress, wanting to escape, emotional issues, anxiety, depression, and bullying. Talk to your kids, and ask them what’s going on in their lives. As a parent, it is up to you to start the conversation and open up the dialogue between you and your child. Approach with compassion, and ask questions. Teens who are self-medicating themselves need help, and the sooner they get it, the better chance they have to live a healthy life free of drugs and alcohol.

Fortunately, despite the opioid epidemic, drug and alcohol use in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade teenagers has steadily declined in recent years. Drug abuse is still occurring, and needs to continually be addressed, but the numbers are promising. With more education and attention to the problem, there is hope that our youth can survive the drug crisis that has plagued our country in recent years.




If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call the Serenity Recovery Center. You don’t have to live confined and bound by your disease any longer. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at (844-339-6964). You can do this. Your life can change and you can recover. Call now.