Teenage addiction has been an ever growing problem in our nation, only getting worse with the development of television, social media, and video games. Whereas addictions used to be limited to chemical abuses, we now see teenagers, and sometimes younger kids, becoming addicted to screens. This issue isn’t going away, but even as new addictions surface, these addictions are far less severe than substance abuse that can permanently damage teenagers on a physical and mental level. In today’s blog post, Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge will look at some of the most common teen addictions.
Far and away the most common teen addiction due to easier accessibility, alcohol has been a constant addiction since the beginning. It’s important to begin by distinguishing between an alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse. While alcohol abuse is harmful, it is actually what leads to alcohol addiction. As someone abuses alcohol, they become more dependent on it and once their body is dependent on it, they are now “addicted.”Teens are at a higher risk of alcohol addiction because their body isn’t fully developed and their alcohol tolerance isn’t as strong, making it easier for their body to become dependent. While alcohol addiction has mental and emotional effects, the physical effects are the most drastic, as alcohol addiction leads to the death of brain cells, long-term liver damage, and it can cause cirrhosis. It is also worth noting that car accidents are the number one cause of teenage deaths, and one-fifth of all alcohol-related crashes involve teens.
The most common teen addiction in the drug realm is marijuana and tobacco, but that shouldn’t lead you to believe that teenagers don’t use other drugs. In fact, prescription drugs are quickly rising among teenagers, as more teens die from prescription drugs than cocaine and heroin combined. It should also be noted that 60% of teens that abuse prescription drugs get them from friends and relatives. So it is important to take precautions as parents to guard your medicine cabinets and secure your medications. With that being said, tobacco and marijuana still reign among teenagers, as marijuana becomes legalized in more states. As recently as 2013, more high school seniors used marijuana than tobacco. And while marijuana doesn’t have the health concerns that cigarettes do, it still has highly addictive qualities and leads to teen addictions.
Help Solve Teen Addictions
Few things are harder to deal with as a parent than dealing with the impact of teen addictions, whether it be in you or your spouse’s life or in the life of your son. Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge wants to help, and we provide a number of substance abuse programs for your son. Contact us today at (757) 244-3733 or visit our website for more information.