It’s no secret that drug addiction is a powerful disease, but when teens become addicted to drugs, it’s much more serious. Drugs affect a teen’s body in different ways. Plus when teens are dealing with drug addiction, it’s much more difficult to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle as they get older.
Kids are being exposed to drugs at an increasingly younger age. Studies show that by the time children get into 8th grade, nearly 35 percent have at least tried drugs. The number of teens who become addicted to drugs is at 20 percent: and that’s way too many!
Teens are more prone to drug addiction because of life circumstances. Many teen get overwhelmed at the everyday struggles of life. Many teens have low self-esteem, anxiety, an inability to express feelings, and lack of control over their lives. All of these contribute greatly to drug use and eventually drug addiction.
Drugs kill the pain of an ordinary, mundane life. They destroy physical and emotional pain by changing the addict’s perception of reality. Drugs make the addict numb to the pain, hopelessness, or loneliness that they feel their life has become.
Do you suspect your teen has a drug addiction? Some of the more common signs of drug addiction in teens include:
— Dramatic changes in behavior
— Dull, glassy eyes
— Excessive tiredness
— Failing in school
— Lying or stealing
— Isolation or loss of interest in activities
What do you do when you suspect your teen is struggling with a drug addiction? First, trust your instincts. If you feel there is a problem, there probably is. Find a safe time when you can talk freely with your teen and be honest with them about your concerns. Try to be open-minded about what they are telling you and be sympathetic to their perception of their problems.
Tell your teen what you are feeling about their drug addiction. You are probably worried, scared, and frightened about what might happen to them. Try not to be judgmental or angry: this will only cause them to shut down. You can also talk about personal observations or experience you have with drugs. While you may be hesitant to do this, it will make you more human in your teen’s eyes.
Often, those closest to your teen – meaning you – find it easy to deny that their teen has a drug problem. When it comes to teen drug addiction, you can’t do this. It’s important that you get them help as soon as possible. Don’t give up and try not to be discouraged if your initial attempts fail. Eventually, you’ll get through and then you and your teen can start fighting drug addiction together.