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What are the Signs of Teen Substance Abuse?

Are you worried about your teenager using illegal substances? Have they been caught in possession of substances they shouldn’t have? Illegal use among teens, while not uncommon, can have a damaging effect on their physical and mental well-being. Teens who abuse drugs have a higher risk of accidental death and increased mental health concerns; these same teens often perform below their ability level due to use and struggle academically. It is important to understand the signs of teen substance abuse in order to find treatment before it is too late.

At the Robert Alexander Center, we have specifically designed Kentucky addiction treatment programs to support your teen through recovery. We believe that we can support our youngest clients through life-long sobriety and recovery with thorough addiction counseling and proper education.

Get your teen the help they need today at the Robert Alexander Center.

Why are Teens at Risk for Addiction Disorders?

Teens are at a higher risk for addiction disorders because of several developmental factors relating to age and physical development. However, the two biggest reasons teens are at such a significant risk are their mental and physical development and unsafe use. While these factors are not alone, they cause the most significant impact. 

Development plays a large factor in teen addiction. Their brains and bodies are not yet fully developed, which can cause substances to have a more significant impact on the systems and functions of the body. Individuals who start using illegal substances at a younger age are much more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who don’t start using them until they are adults. Additionally, substances will have a more significant impact on a younger body. The body will respond quicker and more vigorously to substances which can cause drugs to have a more substantial impact.

All teen substance use is illegal unless prescribed by a doctor, meaning that each time they use a substance that has not been prescribed, they are misusing and abusing the drug. Misuse is one of the most common factors that lead to addiction. Because teen use is illegal, it is most often consumed in secrecy, creating a higher thrill factor related to using and making it more taboo; teens engage more irresponsibly. Additionally, because it is hidden, it is also not monitored. As a result, teens often engage in binge use and take unsafe amounts of drugs that can cause overdoses. 

What are the Signs of Teen Substance Abuse?

Teen substance abuse can be challenging to identify. This challenge is because teens go through significant mental and physical health changes during adolescence. These changes can mimic substance abuse, so you may also find significant differences in mental health when trying to identify substance use.

Teens who are using drugs may experience Changes in mood or personality, friend groups, hygiene, activities that bring enjoyment, and significant changes in responsibility and maturity.

Teenage Addiction Statistics

According to data released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and their annual Monitoring the Future Survey, 2021 has the largest downtrend since its inception in 1975. Of over 30,000 teens assessed, approximately 10% of 8th graders have used drugs in the last year, a decrease from over 15% in 2020. A significant increase was also seen at the 10th-grade level, dropping from 30% in 2020 to 18.7% in 2021. The smallest reduction in use was amongst high school seniors, which had a 36% use rate which was reduced to 32%. 

These numbers indicate a positive trend in teen use, but overdose-related deaths doubled in 2020 from 2019 and previous years. 

How to Find Addiction Treatment for Teens

Suppose you are worried that your teen may be struggling with substance abuse or have found substances in your teen‘s possession. In that case, it is essential to get them and to rehabilitation to support their physical and mental well-being.

Our comprehensive Kentucky treatment facility at the Robert Alexander Center is designed to support clients of all ages and genders. As an inclusive facility, we offer detoxification, inpatient rehab, intensive outpatient rehab, outpatient programs, and family support programs that enable our clients and their loved ones to receive the rehabilitative help they need in times of addiction.Your teen may be at risk of developing a lifelong condition. Get the to help today at the Robert Alexander Center. Contact us to learn more about our inpatient addiction treatment programs in Kentucky.

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