According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 21 percent of high school seniors in the United States used the illegal drug marijuana during February 2011. The same study also found that high school students abuse prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications in larger numbers than they did before. When a teen or adolescent in your life suffers from an addiction to illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs or a certain type of behavior, you should get help for that person. You can contact us directly at 1-888-287-0471 when you need help finding a treatment program for your loved one.
When a person suffers an addiction, he might exhibit certain warning signs. Some of these warning signs can include:
- Focusing more on drugs than school or family obligations
- Engaging in high-risk behavior, including unprotected sex or using drugs while driving
- The adolescent gets in legal trouble because of his drug use
- Lack of interest in friends or family
- Suffering from relationship problems because of the addiction
- The individual has an increased tolerance to the drug or behavior
- Withdrawal symptoms occur when the person stops taking the drug
- The person thinks about the drugs frequently
- The adolescent has no control over his drug use
Those who abuse drugs typically exhibit some physical changes that indicate the drug use such as:
- Changes in pupil size
- Appetite changes
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Changes in personal appearance
- Uncontrolled shaking
- Lack of coordination
- Trouble speaking
- Memory loss
Speaking With the Adolescent
One of the first steps in helping an adolescent with a drug abuse problem involves talking to the child or teen. It is important that you talk to the individual in a safe environment where he or she will not feel threatened. If he feels like others are ganging up on him or telling him how to live his life, he might leave without getting help.
You can talk to him at home, at school, or anywhere else where he feels safe and comfortable. You should broach the subject slowly, explaining the changes that you noticed in him. You can also explain that you worry about his health and safety. If the person admits that he has a problem, he is more likely to recover from his addiction.
“Adolescent addiction programs are similar to programs that treat adults, but these programs understand the difficulties that a youth addict faces.”Adolescent addiction programs are similar to programs that treat adults, but these programs understand the difficulties that a youth addict faces. The program can help a teen who needs to stop using a specific type of drug, and the program ensures that the person withdraws safely from the drug. These centers can also treat a behavioral addiction such as an addiction to sexual activity or gambling.
The staff at the center looks at the specific problem facing the teen, and workers help the teen find ways to conquer his addiction. For example, if the teen has a sexual addiction, the center keeps the teen away from members of the opposite sex. Most programs use multiple forms of therapy as a treatment option. An adolescent can learn ways to avoid peer pressure after leaving the program and learn stress management techniques that reduce the chances of the teen using drugs again.