Bullied Teens and Substance Abuse

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Teenagers face a lot more daily problems than some parents give them credit for. If your child is the target of bullying, then these challenges are magnified. Bullying can lead to severe emotional trauma that can actually last a lifetime. Bullying isn't something that you should tell your child to "get over", it's a very real problem that demands your full attention as a parent. The emotional impact can actually lead your child to substance abuse if you're not careful. Some teenagers turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the daily tormenting and this can lead to dependence, addiction, or even death. If your child has a substance abuse problem, we want you to know that we're here to help all of you, as a family. Our center for alcohol and drug rehab Raleigh NC services has counselors that are trained to help teenagers, and patients of all ages, deal with life's problems without substance abuse being a part of it. Please call us right now to learn more information on how your teenager can be admitted.

Even though kids have been teasing other kids since the beginning of time, bullying is something totally different. Bullying is more than mere teasing and is becoming a very serious problem. There have been surveys taken that show 1 in 5 high schoolers has been bullied. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or virtual. Physical bullying involves fighting, pushing, tripping or other "hands on" behavior. Verbal bullying is when a teen calls a peer abusive, unsavory names or spreads rumors that are meant to be hurtful and embarrassing. Virtual bullying is also called “cyberbullying.” This is when adolescents use text messaging and social media networks to hurt and humiliate a peer.

Words do actually hurt, contrary to the old saying, and research consistently backs that up. One study in particular showed that teenage girls who had experienced verbal or cyberbullying, had higher rates of depression than non-bullied teenage girls. Researchers have also found that both teen males and females that have been victimized by bullying thought more often about suicide than their non-bullied counterparts. The effects can last until adulthood, and even a lifetime, as bullied teens have a higher risk of developing mental health issues, such as depression, panic attacks, and anxiety as adults.

Bullied Teens and Substance Abuse Problems

Teenagers simply have not lived long enough to understand how to really cope with these types of problems. Because of this, bullied teens will sometimes turn to drugs and alcohol to help them deal with these daily problems. Studies have shown that bullied teens, from grades 7 - 12, are 1.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol than their counterparts. Middle school bullying can significantly increase the risk of high school alcohol abuse by more than 3 times.

Another alarming stat is that both bullying victims, and the bullies themselves have marijuana issues - 30% of those involved in bullying versus 13% of those not involved with bullying smoked pot regularly.

Coping with Drugs and Alcohol

Bullied teens will sometimes turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their emotions because they're too embarrassed to ask for help. The feelings of being powerless are often the root cause. A bullied child will typically feel isolated from the world and feel like they have no way out other than using drugs or alcohol. This is sometimes the only way they know how to deal with being rejected and lonely. Bullying and substance abuse combined is a one-way street to depression. This can even lead to suicide if the situation is bad enough.

You can help by calling Legacy Freedom. Our alcohol and drug rehab Raleigh facility is perfect for helping your child regain their sobriety. Our counselors are perfectly trained to deal with those suffering from substance abuse at any age. We have alternative and holistic programs that work for all age groups. Call us today to learn more. Please like us on Facebook here.

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