Teens experience a lot of emotions during adolescence. Things seem heightened because their experiences are new and they may not have the capacity to deal with them. Physical changes are occurring that can make them irritable, tired, and feel extreme highs and lows. They’re also beginning to have sexual urges that can be embarrassing and scary.
Taking risks and engaging in impulsive activities is normal for teens as they begin to push boundaries and learn more about themselves and the world around them. Some of those experiences include trying drugs and alcohol. Many young people experiment with them, and it can be harmless as long as it doesn’t cause problems. However, for some it can lead to other dangerous activities such as driving under the influence or having unsafe sex. It can also lead to addiction.
Let’s take a look at the consequences of youth substance abuse, from how it can affect health and emotions, to how it can affect other areas of a teen’s life. If your teen needs drug or alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC, call us today! Legacy Freedom of Wilmington is a great option for getting sober.
The Consequences of Youth Substance Abuse
The consequences of addiction among young people can be far worse than an adult struggling with the disease. An adolescent’s body and mind are still developing so introducing chemicals that can hinder development can cause serious long-term problems.
Studies have been done to see how drugs can affect a developing brain. A teen is already experiencing normal brain changes that occur as their cognitive abilities grow. Drug use can interfere with this development by damaging connections in the brain. It can also cause memory problems, which is something a young person shouldn’t have to deal with until they are well into adulthood. There is a higher potential for learning among young people, but drug use can impede that ability.
Drinking can also cause physical problems. It can delay puberty, lower the mineral density of a teen’s bones, and create higher levels of liver enzymes that cause liver damage. It can also stunt growth.
Depression, anxiety and other mental disorders can be related to drug and alcohol use. It can be a situation of the chicken or the egg in some cases because the disorder may have been there before and drugs or alcohol may have been used to cope, or the use of substances may have caused symptoms of the disorders. Either way, it can be hard to break out of the cycle once a teenager is caught in it.
Other behaviors such as violent or aggressive tendencies can result from drug or alcohol abuse. This can lead to teens getting in fights and engaging in other negative, dangerous behavior.
If you think your child has been experimenting with drugs and are concerned it is not just a one-time thing, call Legacy of Wilmington to speak with a counselor about your options. We have treatment programs that allow your child to stay in school while getting the help he or she needs. Keep reading to learn more about the consequences of substance abuse among young people.
While teens may start using drugs or drinking because of their peers, it can actually begin to alienate them if it becomes a problem. Some teens do experiment and then leave it behind, but those that develop addictions can end up losing their friends. They can become caught up in social circles that encourage drug use or drinking, which can lead a teen further down that road. They can end up losing long-time, true friends that do not want to be involved in that lifestyle.
If they are enrolled in school, their peers may notice their changed behavior and spread rumors that can lead to the teen feeling shunned or ostracized from their peers, which can lead them to continue using drugs or drinking to cope. If your teenager has an addiction problem, call Legacy Freedom. We offer affordable drug and alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC.
Teens with substance abuse problems also cause problems within their families. Parents struggle to deal with it and may ignore other children, which can lead to friction between siblings that may never go away. Parents may feel as if they have failed and may not ever forgive themselves, even if their child does get help.
If parents try to get a teen help, it can cost money they may not have, which could force a family to reprioritize certain things, such as vacations or money for college. This can cause resentment among the other siblings.
The legal ramifications of a young person caught with drugs or drinking will affect them now and later down the line. Drug or traffic charges will likely be on their record, which can affect future financial aid for college and employment. If he or she has a driver’s license, it can be suspended. He or she may have to take classes, go to counseling or do community service if that is part of their sentence. Teens driving under the influence can cause traffic accidents that can harm themselves, the people in car with them and others.
Teens who get in legal trouble for drug and alcohol addiction can have convictions on their records that can prevent them from getting financial aid for college, keep them from even getting into college, and can make them unqualified for certain jobs.
A study revealed that teens who started drinking earlier – some as early as sixth grade – had a greater risk of using illicit substances later in life. They also tend to use them more frequently. The study was done by researchers from Texas A&M and the University of Florida, and analyzed data from an annual survey of teen substance abuse taken by over 2,800 high school seniors in the U.S. In comparison, teenagers who didn’t try alcohol until later in high school went on to try fewer other substances. They did not compare tobacco and marijuana because the numbers were low.
Teenagers who start using drugs or drinking early on are putting themselves at risk for consequences beyond just getting in trouble with their parents. They are risking their physical and mental health, putting their social and family ties at risk as well as potentially damaging their future.
Alternative Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Wilmington NC for Your Teen!
If you’re considering getting addiction treatment for your son or daughter's drug or alcohol problem, give us a call at Legacy Freedom Treatment Center in Wilmington, NC. There is no reason to be afraid to get them help. Our caring admissions counselors can answer any questions you may have. We offer outpatient programs designed to let them continue to work and meet family obligations. Call us today to discuss the many treatment options we offer for drug and alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC. We want to be a part of their recovery from addiction.