Teen Substance Abuse: 3 Tips for Overcoming Teen Drug Use

As of 2020, an estimated half of Americans at least 12 years old have tried illegal drugs at least once. And of these individuals, more than one in four have a substance use disorder (SUD).

Even worse, overdose deaths due to teen substance abuse in the U.S. have doubled since 2010. Back then, there were 518 such deaths, while there were 1,146 in 2021.

That’s enough reason to overcome substance addiction before it’s too late.

To that end, we created this guide detailing ways to stop and recover from substance abuse. Read on, as what you learn here can help you save a life.

1. Determine if It’s Teen Substance Abuse

Drug abuse has signs similar to mental illnesses, which 49.5% of U.S. adolescents experience. These include erratic mood changes, academic problems, and isolation. In addition, some teens who use drugs or have a mental disorder may also lose interest in stuff they used to enjoy.

Teens with mental illness don’t always use illicit drugs, but some do. Indeed, the latter can be an indication that they have a mental condition. Conversely, teenagers who use illegal substances can develop a mental illness later.

Do note that mental illnesses and SUDs coexist in about 9 million Americans.

Still, it’s vital for adults never to assume that a teen who exhibits the symptoms above uses drugs. Instead, it’s best to figure out first what’s wrong by engaging in a heart-to-heart talk.

2. Support Instead of Berate

Scolding is often the first thing that comes into mind when parents find out their kids use drugs. However, that can make things worse, even giving rise to more problems like depression. The UNICEF also says repeated shouting and hitting can lead to heart disease or suicide.

So, rather than doing those to teens who use drugs, it’s best to talk to them in a supportive way. For example, you can first ask them why they made that decision. Then, you can suggest alternatives and tell them that if they need someone to talk to, you’re there to listen.

3. Consider Outside Help

Intervention is often already crucial for teens who repeatedly use or abuse drugs. One reason is that they’re more likely to overdose.

So if you’ve talked with your teen many times but suspect continued use, it’s time to reach out to a specialist. They’re likely to suggest supervised detoxification and ongoing therapy activities for teens.

Therapies that can help with substance abuse include music, art, and psychotherapies. Sometimes, nutrition therapy may be necessary if the abuse has resulted in undernutrition. That’s especially common among those who’ve abused stimulants.

Stop Teen Substance Abuse at Its Tracks

Please remember that teen substance abuse doesn’t only claims lives due to overdose. It also significantly increases the risk of committing suicide. That’s enough reason to address illicit drug use as soon as possible.

So, if you have a teen or know of one who uses drugs, help them overcome it before it’s too late.

Did you find this post informative? We have many other educational guides to share, so please feel free to browse more of our blog now.

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