Reasons and Signs of Teenage Drug Abuse

Teenage drug addiction is a severe problem that could not be controlled successfully. A common definition of addiction is, “The uncontrollable and compulsive use of mind-altering drugs/substances, even though having the knowledge of the fact that such use may cause problems with one’s life”. Addiction can be physical and/or psychological dependence on a chemical substance.

The Reasons for Teenage Drug Abuse

Adolescence is an age of trying new things. Most of the teens are innocent of the consequences of the drug abuse when they start consuming for the first time. Some of the reasons for teen drug abuse are-
• Teens mostly want to do an adventure by experimenting with the drugs. It is difficult to identify which teen experiments and stop and which one addicts.
• Many kids start using drugs when they see their family members or friends consume. In general, the family members seen by the teenagers highly influence them to use drugs.
• They come to know the effects of the drug abuse like- it feels good, to reduce stress, to feel grown up (mentally & physically).
• Often peer pressure plays a major role. The situation gets out of hands when teens start rely on drugs and think that they need it to escape from problems at school, home life or with friends.
• Favorite movie stars use drugs in movies and the popular bands sing songs about it. This has a major impact on teens, as they always want to follow their idols.

The most common reason of drug abuse either experimentally or habitually, is to experience an immediate euphoric effect. Other common reasons for teenage drug abuse include – to become popular with friends, think people would like them more, because someone else wanted them to use, to make them feel more like an adult and they could make extra money selling them. Teenagers who are alcoholic are more prone to use drugs rather than non-alcoholic.

The Warning Signs of Teenage Drug Abuse:

The warning signs of teen drug abuse are generally classified into five different categories. They are –
• Physical: Overly tired or hyperactive, repeated health complaints, red and glazed eyes, strange smell on breathe or body and a lasting cough.
• Emotional: Personality change, sudden mood changes, irritability, irresponsible behavior, low self-esteem, poor judgment, depression, impassiveness, over-reacts to criticism- acts rebellious.
• Family: Verbally or physically abusive, breaks family rules, withdraws from the family activities, spends much time in their rooms, constant excuses for irrational behavior.
• School: Decreased interest in school activities, negative attitude, drop in grades, absenteeism, reduced memory and attention span and discipline problems.
• Social: New friends who are not interested in usual home and school activities, less interest in sports or other extracurricular activities, problems with the law, and change to uncommon styles in dress and music.

The above stated reasons and warning signs can help parents and teachers to identify the drug abusing teens at the initial stage and help them to check further addiction.