Teenage substance abuse has become a serious issue in the United States, and is a topic that can make any parent’s stomach turn. The advent of social media has made accessing drugs and alcohol substantially easier for the average teenager because of the interconnectedness of society as a whole.
According to a study conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, teenagers who use social media are two to five times more likely to use tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol than teens that do not.But there are many other causes of substance abuse in teenagers. Monitoring them has become increasingly difficult today. Harmful substances are easier to access, teenagers are willing to try them, and parents, at times, are left in the dark to wonder if their kids are at risk.Read more: Teen and Adolescent Rehab
Some causes of substance abuse in teenagers
No list of the causes of substance abuse can ever be exhaustive, as all teenagers are not the same. However, according to the Mayo Clinic a few of the major cause are:
- Family history—can be one of the major causes of substance abuse in teenagers. If a young child grew up in an environment that included drug use, he or she would be more likely to have substance abuse problems as a teen and genetics can play a part to the susceptibility of substance addiction.
- Low self-esteem—by itself this will not lead directly to substance abuse problems, but its effects certainly will. If a teenager has low self-esteem and is hoping to fit in with the wrong group by trying to look “cooler”, or does not have the confidence to deal with peer-pressure, then substance abuse could become an issue.
- Lack of parent communication or drug education—teenagers that do not communicate with their parents on a regular basis may feel like they can do whatever they want, and may not know about the serious consequences of using drugs.
- Friends—a teenager may turn to drugs simply because of the people that they hang around. A teenager that does not have any issues with self-esteem or parent involvement may still have to deal with substance abuse issues because of their friends.
- Mental or emotion illness—many teens that have undiagnosed mental or emotion illnesses turn to drugs or alcohol for self-medication without knowing they may have a deeper problem. Masking those issues at an early age will oftem lead to further substance abuse issues as an adult. (WebMD)
Teenage substance abuse is a growing issue in the United States. There are a variety of reasons behind teenage substance abuse, many of which are specific to adolescents. However, understanding some of the causes of substance abuse in teenagers can be the start of helping someone in need.
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