Dealing with addiction in teens

Published by John Gillen | Last updated: 17th July 2024 | All Sources

Dealing with addiction in teens

When most people think of someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they will typically picture an adult. However, drug addiction and/or alcohol addiction can affect people of all ages, in particular teenagers.

Whether you are a teenager yourself struggling with the effects of drug addiction and/or alcohol addiction, or if you are reading this as you are concerned about a teenager you care about, then Cassiobury Court is here to help.

Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment specialists are committed to providing help in overcoming an addiction to whoever needs it.

We’re going to be looking at some of the reasons why teenagers can develop addictions, common addictions in teenagers, and even lockdown effects on children — in particular, teenager’s mental health during lockdown.

Hopefully, in turn, this will provide some tips for parents and teachers on how to best help teenagers who are struggling with addiction — and maybe even help offer some tips for carers or people who are thinking of moving into the caring profession.


Why Can Teenagers Turn To Drugs Or Alcohol?

Addiction is a very complex condition, and there are many studies being conducted into how genetic factors may influence addiction; however, here we are going to look at some of the more common environmental factors that may influence teenagers into drinking or consuming narcotics.

Peer pressure can play a large part in some teenagers turning to drugs or alcohol.

Teenagers can experience a massive amount of peer pressure from their social circle, and in a worrying amount of cases, this can result in encouraging one member of a social circle to engage in drinking or drug use when they do not feel comfortable doing so.

Teenagers may also feel particularly susceptible to peer pressure as it is a difficult period in a person’s life, and the desire to fit in socially can override all other needs.

Academic pressure can also be a trigger for some teenagers in developing alcoholism or a substance abuse disorder.

There is an incredible amount of pressure placed on teenagers to attain good grades and perform well in school, and this stress can sometimes cause some teenagers to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope.

Also, some teenagers may also find themselves using “study drugs” to try and make themselves perform better, which is a slippery slope and can lead to dependency or the need to seek stronger and stronger drugs.

A study conducted by The Recovery Village also found that “nearly 20% of high school students have been offered, sold or given drugs, on school property, in the past year.” So, it is important to be aware that a lot more teenagers may be being exposed to drugs on a regular basis than you may think.

And, while there has been a lot of good done to help provide more resources in schools to help improve mental health support for teens, there is still a worrying presence of drugs damaging the mental health of teenagers.


What Are The Signs Of Addiction

While one of the most blatant signs that a teenager has developed an addiction is if you are witnessing them consuming a particular substance to placate a craving.

Although, addicts of all ages will often naturally try to conceal their drug addiction or alcohol addiction from those who are closest to them.

With this in mind, it is good to be aware of some physical and mental signals that someone may have developed an addiction.

(It should also be noted that some of these symptoms may also be signifiers of other mental health conditions as well, including the likes of depression or eating disorders.)

Some of the indicators that a teenager you care about may be suffering from a drug addiction and/or alcohol addiction include such symptoms as:

(These are phrased as questions for others; however, it can be useful to think about these questions in relation to your own drug use or alcohol consumption if you are concerned about your own drug or alcohol use.)

  • Are they excessively consuming drugs or alcohol in order to forget problems?
  • Are they being secretive and sheltering away from family and friends?
  • Are they exhibiting a reduced interest in hobbies that they used to find very important?
  • Are their problems showing with their schoolwork, perhaps their grades are slipping or they are absent from class a lot?
  • Have there been any changes in their friendship groups — specifically, are they now fraternising exclusively with other people who are known to use drugs?
  • Have they been seen to be spending time working out how to get drugs or been heard enquiring how to get drugs?
  • Have they been stealing or selling personal items as a way to be able to purchase alcohol or drugs?
  • Have they had failed attempts at stopping drinking or taking drugs in the past that have ended in failure?
  • Are they showing signs of general mental distress anxiety — perhaps such conditions as angry mood swings, irritability, or depression?
  • Have there been noticeable changes in their sleeping pattern?
  • Do they claim to feel shaky or sick when they try to stop drinking or consuming their preferred substance?
  • Are they finding that they require more of the substance or alcohol in order to experience the same effect that they used to get from their drug use?
  • Have there been any changes in their eating habits, these may include sudden weight loss or gain.


How Has Lockdown Affected Teenagers?

Lockdown has been a difficult time for everyone, and teenagers are no exception. Mental health during lockdown has been something that a lot of people have bene discussing, and that is because mental health has been detrimentally effected as a result of lockdown, with the Telegraph claiming that “one in four young people [have been] feeling ‘unable to cope’” in lockdown. Therefore, it is important to be aware that teenagers may be turning to drugs or alcohol as a way to deal with this stress.

While there are many great teen mental health services out there, you can trust Cassiobury Court to help you or someone you love to overcome drug and/or alcohol addiction if you are struggling.

All that you need to do today to get yourself or someone you care about the help that they need in overcoming addiction, then call Cassiobury Court today on 0800 001 4070.



John Gillen

John Gillen - Author Last updated: 17th July 2024

John Gillen is a leading addiction treatment expert with over 15 years of experience providing evidence-based treatment methods for individuals throughout the UK. John also co-authors the book, The Secret Disease of Addiction, which delves into how the addictive mind works and what treatment techniques work best.