Experimenting with drugs and alcohol is common among teenagers today. Unfortunately, most teenagers do not consider the consequences of their actions when intoxicated or that drinking or drug use could lead to addiction. Teenagers have the tendency to feel indestructible and not realize what might come from the decisions they make. While some teens can experiment and leave those experiences behind others move on to harder drugs which can lead to dependence. Teenagers who are more at risk of becoming dependent on a substance may include those with a family history of substance abuse, those that suffer from depression or another mental disorder, those who have a low self-esteem, and those who isolate or don’t interact well socially. Teen drug and alcohol abuse can cause a variety of problems.
Studies show that experimentation with alcohol and marijuana has started to begin at a younger age than in previous years. Alcohol and marijuana use is not uncommon in most high schools across the country, and the drinking culture has been glorified as part of the life of a college student. Adolescents grow up being exposed to drugs and alcohol through the media, television, movies, and music. This makes it easy to be enticed to experiment and may contribute to why alcohol and drug abuse usage has been more prevalent in younger teenagers. Looking at the warning signs may help families to realize if their child is abusing drugs and alcohol so they can get them into teen drug rehab.
Warning signs of teen drug and alcohol abuse
Physical: Fatigue, unusual sleep patterns, small or “pinned” pupils, large pupils, consistently sick, consistent cough, red or glazed eyes.
Emotional: Personality change, mood swings, irritability, unresponsive behavior, low self esteem, poor judgment, depression and a general lack of interest.
School: Decreased interest, negative attitude, drop in academic performance, absences, truancy, and discipline problems.
Social issues: Changing friends, problems with the law, changes to less conventional styles of dress and music.
Family: Isolating with the family, starting arguments with family members, breaking rules, and a general disregard toward their behavior.