What Is Teen Addiction?
Addiction knows no boundaries and can affect individuals of all ages. According to the Amercian Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is defined as a chronic brain disease that involves a short circuit in the brain motivation, memory, and reward circuitry. Unfortunately, addiction is rising among teenagers and parents are finding it difficult to know how to help.
According to information gleaned from their Monitoring the Future Study, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states substance abuse among teens seems to peek between the grade levels of tenth to twelfth with percentages ranging from 30 to 40%. Even with DARE programs in place since 1983, drug use continues to be a societal problem that digs its claws into youth beginning as early as middle school. It is imperative parents, caregivers, and school officials understand the warning signs of drug and alcohol addiction and the different types so they can help teens receive the treatment they need.
Sub-Types Of Addiction
* Substance abuse related - Tobacco, street drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol
* Behavioral related- Food, sex, gambling, pornography, video games, exercise, work
Teens can become addicted to substances and have behavioral addictions at the same time. When they are experiencing both, the confines of their disease increase and can lead to complete meltdowns. Individuals can experience multiple addictions that are all interrelated in some form or fashion, making each one increasingly difficult to overcome.
What Causes Teens To Become Addicted?
While most teens will not become addicted from their first hit or sip, continued drug and alcohol abuse changes the way the brain operates, leading to addiction. While many teens begin to use drugs and alcohol because of peer pressure, some teens end up continuing to use as a coping mechanism to deal with the stress and anxiety they experience on a day to day basis.
Often, teens lack the coping skills they need to deal with day to day life which can cause them to be more susceptible to addiction. All too frequently, teens have an underlying mental health condition that can further exacerbate their addiction.
Factors That Increase The Likelihood Of Addiction
* Family - A teen's home life and their family have a big impact on their susceptibility to addiction. A family history of substance abuse seems to play a vital role in addiction as well.
* Friends - A teen's social circle can have an even greater impact on their substance abuse risks. Hanging with the wrong crowd can lead to drug and alcohol experimentation.
* Early use - When a teen uses drugs at an early age, they are more likely to become addicted. Those who use drugs in their early teens are more likely to advance to harder drugs and alcohol as they grow older.
* Modus of use - Studies have proven injecting or smoking a substance allows it to enter the brain within seconds which can create an intense high that fades quickly, leading teens to attempt to reproduce that feeling by using again and again.
Common Signs Of Addiction In Teens
* Drastic and unexplained changes in personality or behavior
* Deterioration in physical appearance and grooming
* Shaking, slurred speech, tremors
* Bloodshot eyes
* Strange smells on their person in or their room
* Isolation or withdrawing from friends, family and activities once enjoyed
* Sudden mood changes that can become violent
* Periods of intense hyperactivity or agitation
* Periods of being "spaced out"
* Lack of motivation
* Getting into frequent trouble with authority figures at school, home, and in the public
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Addiction?
Once a parent has learned their teen is dealing with drug or alcohol addiction, it is imperative they do all they can to understand the disease so they can be there for their child. The symptoms a teen goes through can be far-reaching and devastating.
Teens who are addicted may experience the following symptoms:
* An intense need to use the drug daily
* Intense urges that cannot be ignored
* Panic attacks when their supply is running low
* Needing more and more of the substance to get the same high
* Nausea, headaches, dizziness, tremors, trouble concentrating
* Irritability, increased anger, depression
* Dry, irritated, red eyes
* Dry mouth
* Slow reaction times
* Increased appetite
* Heart palpitations
What Treatments Can Be Effective For Teen Addiction?
It is imperative individuals realize there is treatment for drug addiction but it is not always easy to overcome. Unfortunately, willpower alone will not be able to curb the compulsive desire to use. It takes a concerted effort to overcome the constraints associated with addiction so teens can be set free.
Common forms of addiction treatment include:
* Counseling - While effective in helping teens cope with the origins of their addiction, counseling alone is not always effective. Most addiction experts agree counseling should be an integral part of treatment but not the only form
* Inpatient Care - This form of treatment can be especially beneficial for teens who are dealing with addictions that are affecting their lives in catastrophic ways. Most teens will find twelve-month programs to be most effective.
* Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - This type of psychotherapy seeks to challenge the negative thought patterns regarding self and the world in an attempt to alter unwanted behaviors.
* Therapeutic Intervention - This form of treatment introduces a teen to various forms of therapy that are meant to modify the outcome of addiction for complete rehabilitation to occur.
Turning Winds Academic Institute Helps Teens Overcome Their Addictions
TWAI is an inpatient treatment program that treats teens between the ages of 13-18. This therapeutic boarding school focuses on providing teens with cognitive behavioral therapy and an eclectic array of treatment forms to help teens overcome the boundaries that are preventing them from being free of their addictions.
TWAI understands how frightening it can feel to find out a child is addicted. They focus on the five pillars of change which are character education and life skills, health and wellness, outdoor education, therapeutic success, and academic achievement. Here, troubled teens and their families can begin to heal from the devastation of addiction. Turning Winds Academic Institute helps mend what has been broken because of the disease of addiction. Contact Us: (800) 845-1380