If you’re the parent of a teen, it’s important to be aware of the risks of teen addiction. The problem of addiction affects teens of all socio and economic backgrounds, and understanding the risks and possible treatments can help you take swifter action to get your teenage son or daughter the help that’s needed.
The Mental Health Factor
Teens who suffer from mental health problems are often more prone to addiction. Depression, anxiety and other struggles with mental health can entice more teens to use drugs and alcohol, to try to cope with their mental and emotional anguish. Young people who struggle with thoughts of suicide are also often likelier to fall into addiction.
Young people are often influenced by their environment even more so than adults, and certain negative influences can increase a teen’s chances of engaging in dangerous practices. If your teen sees their friends using drugs or alcohol, your son or daughter may succumb to peer pressure and start using these harmful substances themselves as a way to feel “cool.” Abuse and bullying are other factors that can lead teens to start abusing substances as a coping mechanism. The problem may be compounded further if a teen sees adults using drugs and alcohol regularly.
Possible Treatment Alternatives
Different treatment methods exist to help teens overcome their addictions, and the right method for your teen will depend on his or her specific needs and the level of their addiction. Some teens have experienced success by completing 12-step programs or other types of outpatient care. Inpatient residential care gives teens with addiction challenges the chance to live in an addiction treatment center while having 24/7 access to care and more intensive therapy options that what most outpatient treatment facilities provide.
The Power of Parental Support
Your support will be paramount to your teen’s recovery. Without the proper parental support, teens often have more difficulties completing their treatment plans and often relapse into addiction. It’s always important to keep an open line of communication so that your teen can talk to you whenever he or she has questions or needs additional support. You should be willing to discuss topics that might be uncomfortable, as these issues may be related directly to your teen’s addiction challenges.
Teens can overcome their addictions more effectively with the right resources and parental guidance. Doing whatever is necessary to curb your teen’s addiction will help your son or daughter lead a healthier life throughout adulthood.