As a parent, you probably know it's important to talk to your teenager about drugs and alcohol. You may also know some statistics about teen drug use and drinking alcohol. But you might not know that, for many teens, experimentation with these substances occurs around the age of 16 or 17. To avoid serious problems down the road, it’s important to address any suspicious activity your teenager may be engaging in and provide information on drug and alcohol abuse and its many side effects on their body and life. This way, when they are peer pressured or curious about trying drugs and alcohol, they are well-equipped with the knowledge they need to make conscious and smart decisions.
The most commonly used drug among teens is alcohol. Using alcohol before adulthood can cause many health problems and increase the chances of developing many substance abuse-related issues.
While it's important to know that alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down your brain and body—and can cause an individual to pass out—there are other dangers related to teen drinking:
There are several reasons why teens choose to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Studies suggest that peer pressure is a major factor influencing teenagers to view drugs and alcohol as part of life. Other factors like curiosity play a role in their decision to partake, but when kids become more independent, they decide a lot for themselves. This can be quite concerning as a parent because your children are so young, even teenagers, and might not have the proper life skills and understanding to make complex decisions at this stage in their lives.
Teenagers and young adults are more likely to develop an addiction than children or the elderly. While it's true that young people's bodies are growing and changing rapidly, drugs and alcohol can still have a lasting effect on their brains. In addition, studies show that teens who begin using substances as adolescents have a higher chance of developing an addiction later in life.
There's no perfect age at which your children need to hear the implications of drugs and alcohol, but when you feel the time is right to inform your children about the many risks involved with substances, here are some things to consider mentioning when discussing the topic.
If your teen is struggling with an addiction, it can be a scary and confusing time. Of course, you want to help them through their recovery, but you need to know where to start. Our admissions staff at Passages can help direct you to get your teen the treatment they need. We are here to answer any questions and provide you with various resources.
Here are five signs your teen may be abusing drugs or alcohol:
If you are worried that your teen is experimenting with drugs or alcohol, it's crucial to get them help immediately. Drugs and alcohol can lead to long-term health problems and addiction if not treated early on.