21 Dec Teen Drug Abuse

Many adults who are dealing with an addiction problem began their pattern of substance abuse in adolescence. Those who use drugs or alcohol as teenagers are at a greater risk for developing an addiction than those who begin using as adults. This is because drugs and alcohol have a bigger effect on the still-developing brains and bodies of teens than they do on adults.

Although genetics play a part in whether or not a person forms an addiction, other factors also play an important role in teen addiction. Family dynamics, peer pressure, and social factors all play a role in teen substance abuse. A lack of parent supervision or communication, family conflicts, a history of physical or sexual abuse, learning or emotional problems, and thrill-seeking behaviors can also be instigators for substance abuse problems among teens.

When a teenager is using drugs or alcohol, they generally display physical, behavioral, and emotional signs. Some of the behavioral signs of drug or alcohol use include :

Breaking curfew
Withdrawing from relationships
Mood swings
Engaging in verbal or physical abuse
Some physical signs of drug abuse include :

Frequent smell of smoke
Discolored fingertips or teeth
Reddened whites of eyes
Lack of motivation
Excessive happiness
Rapid or slowed heart rate
Change in sleep habits
Change in appetite
Nausea or vomiting
Teen drug use is on the rise, with about 3,000 teens smoking their first cigarette in the U.S. each day. Around 1/3 of high school students have engaged in drinking by the time they get to 10th grade. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of adolescent substance abuse can help parents and teachers catch the problem early and get teens the help they need to avoid an addiction that will carry over into the rest of their lives.

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