Know the basics
What are the addiction and substance abuse?
Substance abuse is a condition in which a person is addicted to substances despite their harmful consequences. Alcohol is the substance abused most frequently by adolescents, followed by marijuana and tobacco. They literally can create the same sense of dependency and resistance to withdrawal.
According to many surveys, the number of drinking teenagers has increased tremendously over the past decade. It is evident that 40% of those who started drinking at age 13 or younger will develop alcohol dependency later in life. Since alcohol is a depressant, it can literally slow the function of the central nervous system. Drinking endangers adolescents in multiple ways including altering a person’s perceptions, emotions, movement, vision, and hearing.
Moreover, the high amount of alcohol consumption will eventually lead to brain damage and liver impairment. Teenagers may easily be depressed as a common outcome of excessive alcohol use. Extreme sleepiness, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, dangerously low blood sugar, seizures, and even death may also happen.
It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of addiction and substance abuse?
There are some signs and symptoms of addiction and substance abuse that you can concern:
- Feeling neglect because of your drug use.
- The drugs you use are under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high.
- The drugs you use get you into legal trouble.
- You have problems in your relationships.
- You have built up a drug tolerance.
- You use drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms.
- You lost control.
- You continue to use drugs while know that hurts you.
- Your life revolves around drugs use.
- You feel abandoned to enjoy activities.
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
Know the causes
What causes the addiction and substance abuse?
You should understand that many teenagers commonly drink to fit in. A little alcohol can help them relax and in a social situation, can help overcome shyness. However, any initial benefit of alcohol is soon over replaced when an excess drunk takes over. When large amounts of alcohol are consumed in a short period of time, alcohol poisoning can result. Violent vomiting is usually the first symptom of alcohol poisoning.
Know the risk factors
What are the risk factors for the addiction and substance abuse?
There are some risk factors for addiction and substance abuse:
- Having bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils;
- Getting into trouble at school;
- Missing money, valuables, or prescriptions;
- Acting uncharacteristically isolated, withdrawn, angry, or depressed;
- Dropping one group of friends for another;
- Being secretive about the new peer group;
- Loss of interest in old hobbies;
- Lying about new interests and activities;
- Demanding more privacy; locking doors; avoiding eye contact; sneaking around.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How to diagnose addiction and substance abuse?
For diagnosis, the doctor often uses criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
How can I help my teen avoid addiction and substance abuse?
Adolescence is a new and challenging stage for family life. Parents and guardians need to be aware of the power they have to influence the development of their kids throughout the teenage years. Your child is not the only one will have some changes both physically and mentally, parents need to change the way they behave with their teenager as well. It is best if parents are proactive about the challenges of this life stage, particularly those have more possibility of experimenting with alcohol and drugs.
Moreover, parents are encouraged to give clear, no-use messages about smoking, drugs, and alcohol. Never be afraid to talk directly to your teens about drug use, even if they have had problems with drugs or alcohol themselves. It is important for your teens to understand that the rules and expectations set by you are based on parental love and concern for their well-being. Parents should also be actively involved and demonstrate the interest in their teen’s friends and social activities. Spending quality time with teens and setting good examples are essential. Even if problems such as substance abuse already exist in the teen’s life, parents and families can still have a positive influence on their teen’s behavior.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
How to manage addiction and substance abuse?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with health condition:
- Try to balance your lifestyle;
- Doing exercise;
- Eating healthily;
- Connect with social life;
- Keep away from stress;
- Often share with family members or your loved ones.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: September 13, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
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Teen drug abuse: Help your teen avoid drugs. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/teen-drug-abuse/art-20045921. Accessed September 3, 2016.
Substance addiction. http://www.stem4.org.uk/addiction/what-is-addiction/substance.html. Accessed September 3, 2016.
Drug abuse and addiction. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/drug-abuse-and-addiction.htm#teen. Accessed September 3, 2016.