Youth and Addiction

Youth and Addiction

Society pressures youth to excel and to look cool, which can send them to drug abuse

Finding out that your child is addicted either to drugs or alcohol may scare you, because addiction can have such a strong grip on an individual’s life, and even more so when someone is young and full of potential. In response to these fears, parents often fear that their child’s future is in jeopardy, but they may not know how to respond. However, addiction can deteriorate any structure that a family has built, challenge the family unit and cause families to separate to balance the addict’s behaviors. In other words, parents must address their children’s addiction problems to keep the entire family safe.

Because youths are often more susceptible to peer pressure and temptations within their immediate environments, many of them become curious about specific side effects of drugs, or they abuse substances to fit in with other people. Unfortunately, before they realize it, teens can become addicted to a drug and place their future at risk with each continued dose.

Youth and What Addiction Really Looks Like

Addiction is often the root of many issues within a family, especially when a child or younger adult is experiencing an addiction. Loved ones often feel torn about how to respond, because they want to fix the issue, but they also feel lost since they are unsure of how to do so. Unfortunately, addiction does not discriminate against age, sex, race or religion, so it can strike any family at any time. The following warning signs indicate that a younger individual is suffering from the effects of addiction:

  • Physical changes
  • Sudden and drastic emotional changes
  • Changes in both school attendance and grades
  • Unexplained loss of money
  • Drastic changes in social circle
  • Uncharacteristic changes in mood and personality
  • Missing medications
  • Deterioration in one’s appearance

Physical clues of addiction can include drastic changes to one’s eating habits. Either someone is hardly eating or eating much more than usual, so you may see drastic changes to her weight. Furthermore, addiction can disturb sleep cycles, so addicted teens may sleep all the time or stay awake throughout the night. Other physical changes can include hand tremors, sweating of the hands, vomiting, extreme hyperactivity or even excessive talking to the point that she no longer makes sense. These changes may seem small at first, but, as the addiction progresses, they will become increasingly problematic.

Some of the first apparent warning signs of addiction for younger individuals is a sudden change in their school activities, such as a drop in grades or excessive tardiness. Depending on the size of the school and its resources, the faculty may overlook these changes, so you must take action. Directly contact your child’s school to meet with his teacher; in this way, you can learn what issues your child experiences at school.

Addicts, even younger ones, often go to extreme lengths to maintain their addictions, but, if you pay attention, then you may notice small changes that evince addiction. Your loved one may constantly ask for money, experience drastic changes, either increase or decrease her financial status and lose money without being able to explain how. Many addicts seek illegal ways to obtain the money they need to buy their next batch of drugs. In fact, depending on the depth of one’s addiction, she may take valuables from the home, including jewelry and electronics, to purchase drugs.

Maybe the individual stopped caring so much about personal hygiene, so he stopped showering as much. He may have dramatically changed his social circle in a short amount of time. It is common for young individuals to change their appearance and social groups in response to addiction. However, if these changes are uncharacteristic, then look further into the issue for an explanation.

Often times, even adults who become addicted to drugs experience sudden and drastic changes in their emotions—maybe they are no longer interested in family activities, even though prior to their addiction they were always excited for the family to get together. Paranoia is also common and seclusion or becoming increasingly private. Moodiness, paranoia and isolation can cause an addict to separate herself completely from her loved ones, which may cause loved ones to feel a sense of loss. These changes can be so severe that loved ones mourn their loved one, but these problems are much more intense when they occur to a teenager.

Addicts are of any age, but, although the signs of addiction are universal, addiction often hits today’s youth the hardest. It does not always look the same, and even children who appear to have bright futures can find themselves addicted like any other individual. Seek help as soon as possible to promote recovery for your loved one.

Drug Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one shows warning signs of addiction, then please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you lead the life you deserve. All it takes is one call to jumpstart your life, so reach out right now for help!

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