by Edralyn Chan
Teens Risk Drug Addiction
Assessing teens' risk for drug addiction: Most parents are more than aware that teenagers are at a higher risk for drug abuse than adults.
In fact, a study by the Archives of General Psychiatry showed that by late adolescence, over 40 percent of all teenagers have tried drugs - a statistic which can worry even the most progressive Moms and Dads.
How could you know if your child is likely to experiment with drugs?
You might think there is nothing you can do to stop it, but there are actually a myriad of warning signs to look out for.
Addiction is fostered early on in teenagers due to a combination of factors, but usually lack of communication, support, and adequate mental health care is to blame. To understand the frame of mind and hopefully stop a problem before it begins, be your teenager's best friend.
If you, a relative, or even a sibling has a history of addiction, your teen already has a higher chance of becoming addicted than his peers who lack the family history. But genetic predisposition for addiction is not the only cause you should be focusing on.
Teens who have inherited mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or personality disorders, they are at risk for self-medicating with illegal drugs.
Addiction can have much to do with how a young person is wired. If they are prone to risk-taking behavior and have an impulsive personality, they may be more likely to use drugs, because teenagers are already at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding the consequences of their actions.
Social and Economic Indicators
Peer pressure is definitely not a myth. Drug use is also predominantly influenced by your child's friends and their positive or casual approach to using. It is rare for a teenager to decide to smoke marijuana or try cocaine alone in the bedroom - these are social activities, heavily related to a child's social group.
Growing up in a low-income neighborhood has also been directly linked to drug addiction, because drugs are simply more readily available. Teens also have less access to resources like alternative activities or even important counseling they need to deal with their serious issues.
If you're raising teenagers in a low-income household, try to make the most of positive community resources and get support before you know you need it, especially if your child is struggling in school.
Parent- teens bonding
Parenting style can have a huge impact on whether a teenager becomes addicted. Therefore striking a balance in parent- child relationship often prevents problems. Both overly strict and overly lax parents are just as likely to raise drug addicts.
Unrealistic expectations, severe punishment, and unrelenting helicopter parenting are going to push your kid further away. But at the same time, minimal supervision and a casual attitude about drugs and alcohol will have a detrimental impact on your child's life.
Teens who don't have a close relationship with their parents or feel like they can come to you with issues are far more at risk for taking drugs because they don't understand how their actions could impact their family.
Teenagers who can openly discuss the consequences of drug use with their parents are 42 percent less likely to do drugs. Sadly, that applies to less than a third of young people. It's important to be aware of what your son or daughter is going through at school and at home and to get them the help they need before they become a statistic. Your child may benefit from counseling and support much more than they'll ever admit, and there's nothing wrong with identifying factors that could set them on the wrong path.
Would you like to be a substance abuse counselor?
Brett Harris blogs to bring awareness to drug abuse and wants to do something to help fight this problem. If you're interested in being a part of this movement check out an online masters in counseling degree and become a substance abuse counselor.
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