Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why do Adolescents Use Drugs?

Being a teenager and raising a teenager are individually, and collectively, enormous challenges. For many teens, illicit substance use and abuse become part of the landscape of their teenage years. Although most adolescents who use drugs do not progress to become drug abusers, or drug addicts in adulthood, drug use in adolescence is a very risky proposition. Even small degrees of substance abuse (for example, alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants) can have negative consequences. Typically, school and relationships, notably family relationships, are among the life areas that are most influenced by drug use and abuse.

There is no single cause of adolescent drug problems. Drug abuse develops over time; it does not start as full-blown abuse or addiction. There are different pathways or routes to the development of a teen's drug problems. Some of the factors that may place teens at risk for developing drug problems include:

•insufficient parental supervision and monitoring
•lack of communication and interaction between parents and kids
•poorly defined and poorly communicated rules and expectations against drug use
•inconsistent and excessively severe discipline
•family conflict
•favorable parental attitudes toward adolescent alcohol and drug use, and parental alcoholism or drug use

It is important to also pay attention to individual risk factors. These include:

•high sensation seeking
•psychological distress
•difficulty maintaining emotional stability
•perceptions of extensive use by peers
•perceived low harmfulness to use

Clearbrook Treatment Centers understand the difficulty in dealing with chemical dependency with your teenager. For this reason they have established the Cleabrook Lodge, to address the issue of adolescent drug addicition: Established specifically for adolescents, this 46-bed inpatient rehabilitation center is the beginning of what must be a continued effort to maintain a lifestyle and lifetime of sobriety. The 12 steps of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous are an integral part of the patient community’s daily activities and efforts.

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