It is a delusion in the society that teens experimenting with alcohol and drugs are intrinsically ‘bad kids’. Several assumptions are that teens try out substance abuse because they wish to lash out and be rebellious. Parents too went through adolescence, so they need to understand what the reasons are. Why teens experiment with substance abuse?
The most common reason for teens to experiment with drugs is they are bored and have no goals or interests. Substance abuse is perceived as a thrilling pastime, which needs to be explored. Give your teen a lot of responsibilities or extra activities, which helps to keep their minds away from thinking about experimenting or exploring substance abuse.
To fit in
The majority of teens getting treated at the Anthony Louis Center in Woodbury say that they started using drugs to fit in a social circle. Several teens are shy and have issues in making friends at high school. Drugs make them feel more confident and help them bond with social groups.
The use of alcohol and drugs is a kind of escapism when the teen feels sad. They can forget depression and feel happy. It is a way for self-medication.
Teens are not immune to curiosity. They experiment with substance abuse because they are curious and want to experience the feeling. Teens have a misconception that they are unbeatable. Even if they are well-aware that substance abuse is bad, they never accept that anything bad will happen to them.
Teens are overly besieged under extra-curricular activities and jam-packed schedules. Due to a lack of coping mechanisms, they seek an artificial way like pot smoking to handle the stress.
Peer pressure occurs between 16 and 18 when they start thinking that everyone is enjoying drugs, why shouldn’t they. Even though they are aware of the drawbacks of drug experimenting they get instigated.
Due to the lack of physical appearance, teens get bullied, which damages their self-esteem. Even the media and family members pressurize them to look and act in a specific way. They fear as they cannot meet the high standards, so they adapt self-destructive behavior. Drug use is an easy way to escape from reality.
Teens may be hereditarily inclined to experiment with substance abuse and become addicted. It is a poor choice of being a teen. They cannot blame their genes for turning to substance addiction. Parents need to be clear, if there is family history involved and talk about the substance abuse risks.