Taking risks is what makes life interesting, but as we get older we tend to play it safer than we did when we were younger. One part of growing up is learning about the world around you by asking questions and trying new things. Teenagers are in that awkward age in between childhood and adulthood where they are experiencing new things and learning how to deal with all the changes they feel physically, emotionally and mentally.
All of these changes can cause a teen to make impulsive decisions because he or she is still trying to learn the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not. It is healthy behavior for the most part, but it may involve dangerous activities, such as unprotected sex or drug use. If you think your teenager is into drinking and drugs, don't wait to get help. Call Legacy Freedom and ask about our teen programs for drug rehab in Wilmington NC.
Why Are Teenagers Impulsive?
Teens are not just impulsive for the sake of being reckless; it’s actually something that occurs in brain development. Studies have shown that teenagers’s brains are more likely to respond to stimuli, both positive and negative, making them more susceptible to engaging in behavior that reflects it.
When a sixteen year old gets caught sneaking out when he knows he’s not supposed to go out, his parents may ask themselves, “What is he thinking?” The boy they raised to tell the truth and do the right thing may seem to have lost the values they taught him, but it’s not entirely his fault. It is partly his developing brain.
A study from the National Institute of Health shows that the prefrontal cortex, part of the brain that is related to risky behavior, doesn’t fully form until the age of 25. The connection between that part of the brain and the hormones that are surging through a teen can lead to heightened emotions, which can lead to impulsive decisions.
Because a teenager’s brain is still forming, they tend to make quick decisions that may not seem logical to an adult. They are also more sensitive to stimuli, as mentioned earlier. The pairing of the two can lead to teens taking more risks.
Do you think your teen has gotten involved in drugs or alcohol? Give us a call at Legacy Freedom to talk with an admissions counselor about our drug rehab in Wilmington NC programs for teenagers. Keep reading to learn more about teens and how their behavior is healthy as long as it doesn’t lead to risk taking that can put them in danger.
The brain seeks rewards, no matter how old a person is, because it has regions that are solely there for pleasure. When a person engages in an activity that brings good feelings to the brain and does it multiple times, the brain begins to want it. Teenagers can be more susceptible to developing these patterns because their brains are still forming.
Taking healthy risks can be beneficial to teens because it helps them learn to find boundaries and teach them about success and failure. Healthy risks can include sports, expression through creative arts, traveling, taking part in contests and making new friends.
Healthy risks help teens develop good decision making skills and learn how positive activities can have positive effects.
Negative Thrill Seeking
However, there are also negative activities a teen could engage in that are risky and dangerous, such as driving too fast, having unprotected sex, stealing, smoking, or taking drugs. The consequences can be far more damaging for a teen than an adult. Teens are also more likely to try unhealthy or risky behaviors due to peer pressure. The need to be accepted and liked by peers can make a teenager do things he or she knows are wrong or dangerous in order to look “cool” or be accepted by the group.
When a teen tries drugs or alcohol, it can have a stronger impact on their brain and cause them to be more vulnerable to developing an addiction. In addition, substances such as marijuana can stay in a teenager’s body longer, causing a lasting effect on the brain beyond just getting high. In fact, it can cause damage to the areas of the brain that control learning and memory. Alcohol can have a similar effect. This means that a teenager can develop an addiction quicker than someone older, and it can have a stronger hold on them. For quality drug rehab in Wilmington NC for teens, be sure to call Legacy Freedom. You'll love our outpatient treatment options.
Teens can experience stress caused by parents, social pressure and school, which makes them more likely to look for ways to cope. Turning to drugs or alcohol can have far more damaging affects for a teenager because the risk of addiction is higher.
So, what can a parent do?There is no way to avoid having your teen be influenced by their friends. However, instilling values in them and encouraging them to hang around people with similar values can help them avoid being pressured in dangerous risk taking. And if they already have an addiction issue, get them help from our center for drug rehab in Wilmington NC.
A teen should be encouraged to try new things and push boundaries, but try to suggest less dangerous activities. Sports are a great outlet and can help them develop team building skills. Safe but adrenaline pumping activities such as white water rafting or skydiving can help a teen get those impulses out of his or her system under the guidance of adults.
Having open conversations about what is expected can also go a long way in letting your teen know that you will not tolerate risky behavior. Making them accountable for their actions not only teaches them what it is like to be an adult, but can protect them from risky situations. If they get in trouble for something, make sure they have consequences for it, even if it is just the first time.
Once your teen learns that they can gain more responsibility by behaving positively, he or she may be less likely to want to take negative risks.
Dependable Drug Rehab in Wilmington NC for Teens | Legacy Freedom
If your teenage son or daughter is suffering from an addiction and needs help, call us at Legacy Freedom Treatment Center in Wilmington, NC. We offer personalized treatment programs to meet our patients’ needs. We have many forms of alternative therapies available that you won’t find anywhere else! We can also help people of all ages who are suffering from addiction. Know that Legacy Freedom also offers family support so that you can learn how to help your loved one during treatment. Give us a call today to learn more about the best alcohol treatment and drug rehab in Wilmington NC.