How Prevalent Is Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Teens?

Adolescence is a time of significant transition. Teens are preoccupied with social pressures and they are trying to fit in at school. They’re also beginning to assert their independence more vigorously. During adolescence, an individual is at a high risk of experimenting with drugs and alcohol. For some teens, in Fort Lauderdale, substance abuse follows experimentation. If you suspect that your teen may be engaging in alcohol or drug abuse, you can find the help your family needs at a rehab facility.

Alcohol

The National Institute on Drug Abuse conducts an annual Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of U.S. students in eighth, 10 th, and 12 th grade to evaluate their drug use and attitudes toward drugs. The good news is that alcohol use among this demographic has declined significantly over the past five years. According to the organization, 41.2% of 12 th grade students tried alcohol in one reported month during 2010. The most recent survey reflects that 35.3% of 12 th graders had tried alcohol. There was also a decline in the percentage of 10 th graders who reported daily use of alcohol and an overall drop in the number of binge drinkers among 10 th and 12 th graders. This is encouraging news for combating alcoholism in the next generation, but these trends in underage drinking could still use major improvements.

Opioids

The same MTF survey reports that opioid use among teens is also on a downward trend. This includes narcotic pain relievers and heroin. In fact, since the MTF survey began, heroin use is at an all-time low among all ages surveyed. Despite an increase in the use of heroin by adults, the MTF survey reports that the majority of teens disapprove of even occasional heroin use.

Marijuana

Now that many states have passed laws that allow medical and recreational marijuana use among adults, one major concern was that this trend would encourage marijuana abuse among teens. The MTF survey reveals that although marijuana use has not declined among teens, it also has not increased. Over the past five years, marijuana abuse has held steady among eighth, 10 th , and 12 th graders. More than half of 12 th graders surveyed reported disapproving of regular marijuana abuse.

What to Do When Your Teen Won’t Agree to Treatment

What do you do when you know your teen needs treatment for addiction in Fort Lauderdale, but he or she won’t agree to go? This situation is common for parents of teens with drug addiction or alcohol abuse problems, but help is available. The most important thing to do is to find the resources in your community that can support your family as you confront your teen’s addiction.

Start by finding a teen substance abuse program that can help with an intervention. Teen rehab programs frequently have experts to help you plan a productive intervention with your teen as well as an effective treatment plan. Be prepared to make multiple interventions if necessary. Family counseling and parent support groups can be extremely beneficial as you navigate difficult questions about tough love and support. Allowing your teen to experience some of the consequences of not seeking treatment can be an important step. Work closely with a teen rehab program as you try to get your child into treatment and keep the lines of communication open with your team to allow the recovery process to begin.

When to Worry About Teenage Drinking

Underage drinking is a rampant problem. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 35.1% of 15 year olds have had at least one drink and 14.2% of people aged 12 to 20 report binge drinking. Because underage drinking is so common, parents may take a casual attitude to it, especially if they believe their child only indulges occasionally. However, teenage drinking is dangerous. Every year, over 4,000 people under age 21 die in alcohol-related incidences, including alcohol poisoning and car crashes. It can also lead to alcoholism and brain development issues. How can you determine if your child has made one mistake with alcohol or needs treatment for alcoholism in Fort Lauderdale? Here are some signs that your teen could be struggling with alcohol abuse.

New School Trouble

Changes in your child’s standing at school could indicate that he or she is abusing alcohol. Your child’s grades may fall, and he or she may begin to have discipline problems in the classroom. Teens who are abusing alcohol frequently lose interest in sports or other extracurricular activities they once enjoyed. Your child may also miss school because of health issues more frequently, often because of alcohol withdrawal symptoms or from having a hangover from overindulging.

Mood Changes

Drinking heavily can cause mood swings in teens, as they cycle repeatedly from intoxicated to sober. You may notice that your teen is increasingly irritable or depressed, or that he or she is withdrawing from family activities or from their usual circle of friends, in favor of a new group of peers. For people struggling with alcoholism, these mood changes can be caused by withdrawal symptoms.

Physical Signs

Sometimes, parents can identify the signs of alcoholism simply by looking for the physical signs of alcohol consumption. Red eyes, slurred speech, and smelling like alcohol are all indicators that you need to discuss drinking with your teen. Teens who are drinking heavily on a regular basis often tend to have poor physical hygiene. Consider talking to an addiction specialist if you need help intervening with your teen’s alcohol use.

The Risk of Prescription Drug Abuse in Young People

For teens, addiction doesn’t necessarily start with abusing illegal drugs. Instead, substance abuse may begin in their parents’ medicine cabinet with prescription medications. Abusing prescription drugs is an increasingly common reason teens need help with addiction near Fort Lauderdale. Watch this video to learn more.

Teens have begun turning to their parents’ pain medications to get high, as well as their own medications for ADHD. They share pain medication, Adderall, and other drugs amongst each other at parties and even at school, to focus before a test or get a boost to get their homework. They often underestimate the dangers of prescription medicines, but in reality, these drugs have very high risks of addiction and can be deadly. Fortunately, treatment in a substance abuse program can help teens who do become addicted recover safely.

Looking for the Signs of Heroin Use in Your Teen

Heroin use is becoming increasingly common nationally across all age groups, fueled in large part by prescription drug abuse. Many people, including teens, who abuse prescription pain medications turn to heroin because it is more affordable and easier to get. Because of the seriousness of heroin addiction, it is important to be aware of the signs of abuse so that your teen can get help. Consider contacting a substance abuse center in Fort Lauderdale if you recognizing these symptoms of heroin use in your teen.

Physical Symptoms

Heroin abuse causes many different physical symptoms, some which occur at the time the user takes heroin and others that are chronic symptoms that develop over time. If your teen is under the influence of heroin, he or she may appear flushed and complain about a dry mouth. It may be difficult for him or her to carry on a conversation, and he or she may nod in and out of sleep. It’s common for people to scratch a lot while under the influence and to become nauseous. Breathing may also be slowed. Over time, if your teen has a heroin addiction, he or she may experience collapsed veins, track marks from frequent injections, and abscesses. Blood infections, including HIV and hepatitis C, and other infections that harm the heart, are also possible.

Behavioral Symptoms

As with alcoholism and other types of drug abuse, teens that use heroin typically begin to get in trouble at school and let their grades slide. Your teen may withdraw from family events or become distant from his or her usual group of friends in favor of a new group. Drastic changes in appearance, depression, anxiety, and increased anger are also possible. Some teens also begin to engage in illegal behaviors, including theft, and begin to steal from people close to them. These behaviors typically become more severe as the abuse progresses, as teens become increasingly overwhelmed by addiction.

Does Early Drinking Increase the Risk of Alcoholism Later in Life?

Among the dangers of early drinking behavior in young people is an increased risk of alcoholism later in life. In addition to seeking treatment for alcoholism in Fort Lauderdale for young people who are abusing alcohol as soon as possible, experts also recommend taking steps to discourage underage drinking before it begins to reduce the risk of alcoholism more effectively.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), people who begin to drink before age 14 have a 47% chance of developing alcoholism in adulthood, compare with 9% of people who being drinking after age 21. The younger people are when they begin drinking, the more likely they are to develop alcoholism, while having a family member who also struggles with alcohol abuse raises the risk even more. People who begin drinking at young age also develop alcohol dependency faster and are more likely to have chronic, relapsing alcoholism problems than people who start drinking later in life.

What Parents Can Do to Support the Addiction Recovery Process

When teens enter addiction treatments, parents play an enormous role in their success. Helping a teen enter rehab in Ft. Lauderdale is the first important step parents can take, but many remain unsure how they can be supportive after making that first call. Here are some things you can do to remain supporting of your teen throughout the addiction recovery process.

Get Informed

Most people don’t know anything about addiction until it happens to someone they love. By learning about addiction, you can get a better understanding of the disease your child is fighting and how the specific substances he or she abused may have affected him or her. In addition to helping them understand what to expect during rehab and recovery, many parents find that getting informed about addiction helps them to feel less resentment or anger about their teens’ behaviors and instead focus on healing.

Be Present

Rehab is always about healing relationships as well as the person, and this focus is especially important for teens. Most substance abuse treatment centers offer many opportunities for families to get counseling together so they can face the traumatic experiences that occurred during the addiction and begin to look forward to the future together. Take advantage of these resources to show your teen that you are committed to re-integrating him or her into your family and that you want to work together during this process.

Start Planning

The initial detox and rehab process is only the first step in recovery. For many people living with addiction, returning to life outside of treatment is extremely challenging. Work with the rehab center to make a plan for your teen’s transition back into your home. An important part of this conversation may be agreeing to a set of rules with your teen and setting out consequences for violating those rules, so that your teen a clear idea of your expectations. However, remember to be patient as well. Addiction recovery is a lengthy journey that frequently has ups and downs. Be prepared to embrace the entire process and to support your teen at each step.

Exploring the Reach of Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction, once thought to be confined to the inner cities, has now reached every community and every walk of life. There is no typical person dealing with heroin addiction in Fort Lauderdale. Teens in particular, from all backgrounds, enter rehab to conquer their addiction to heroin.

Watch this video to see how heroin changed the lives of two young adults from suburban Minnesota. These two young people do not fit the mold of what most people envision when they imagine heroin addiction, but they are among the new, younger faces of drug abuse, and in particular, heroin use. Because of the highly addictive nature of heroin, trying the drug once is enough to lead to a pattern of abuse, and only intervention through rehab can help users learn to overcome the intense cravings they experience.

Exploring the Link Between Sexual Assault and Drug Abuse in Teens

Abuse, including sexual assaults, is strongly linked to addiction in both teens and adults. Teens who are the victims of sexual assaults have a higher risk of developing addictions as adults, and they may also turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism when they are still teens. For teens who been victimized, it’s important to choose a substance abuse program that also offers family counseling or psychotherapy in Fort Lauderdale so that the underlying issues that contributed to the addiction.

Sexual Assault as a Trigger for Drug Use

Sexual abuse, including molestation in the home or assault by a stranger, can be a trigger for addiction for many teens. In order to cope with the repercussions of the abuse, teens may turn to alcohol or drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recognizes being the victim of sexual violence as one of the risk factors for addiction in teens. Teens who were victimized as younger children may also turn to drugs or alcohol during their adolescence because of the impacts of those episodes. Parents who know that their children have been victimized may be able to reduce the risk of future drug abuse by getting therapy for their children when the incident occurs. Teens who enter rehab with histories of sexual assaults are sometimes diagnosed with and treated for post-traumatic stress disorder as a co-occurring condition along their addictions.

Drug Use as a Trigger for Sexual Assault

Teens who use abuse drugs or alcohol also have a higher risk of becoming the victims of sexual assault. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes, and teens who are abusing drugs and alcohol may engage in sexually risky behaviors. Issues with consent are also possible. These incidences may further exacerbate the addition. Through psychotherapy and counseling, rehab centers can address these issues as part of the wider addiction recovery process.

Exploring the Link Between Depression and Drug Use in Teens

Teens who use drugs frequently have a co-occurring mental health problem, like depression, alongside their addictions. There is a particularly tight relationship between depression and teen drug use, and frequently, drug addiction recovery programs for teens incorporate psychotherapy or other mental health counseling services into their treatment plans. The link between depression and drug use in teens is complex, but understanding it can help parents and teens find the right programs for treating addiction in Fort Lauderdale for their needs.

Depression and Addiction Cycle

Researchers are unsure what comes first in teens who suffer from addiction and depression. Does depression increase the risk for drug abuse, or does drug abuse make teens more likely to experience depression? Addiction experts believe that both answers are likely to be true, and that teens who suffer from both addiction and depression come to their diseases in different ways. During psychotherapy in rehab, teens may uncover which disease existed first and contributed to the other, which can help shape their rehab and aftercare plans.

Negative Urgency

For teens whose depression is likely a trigger for their drug abuse, researchers have found that negative urgency is a common thread. Negative urgency is a way of coping with depression symptoms that includes acting rashly without thought of the consequences when faced with severe stress. Teens with depression who use negative urgency behaviors seem to have a higher rate of drug abuse connected to their depression, as they use drugs as coping mechanisms. During rehab, teens with negative urgency traits often work on building coping skills to help prevent relapses.

Drug Use Triggers

For teens who are motivated by peer pressure or other factors when they begin to use drugs, depression can be a result of the addiction. The impact of drug use on their lives in school and their personal relationships can cause stress that leads depressive symptoms. Psychological changes caused by drug abuse and the pressure of cravings can also trigger symptoms of depression.