HOW TO PREVENT SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN TEENAGERS

It is more common for young people to try out drugs and alcohol than adults, and there is a high possibility that once the habit is being developed, it could follow them into adulthood. Preventing teenagers from substance abuse, ensures that they successfully overcome a phase of their lives when they are very likely to come down with an addiction.

Now, the purpose of prevention of substance abuse in teenagers, is to make sure that, for instance, they do not have their first drink, till their brain is mature enough to make important decisions.

Below are some of the demerits of substance abuse in teenagers:

  • Mental health issues which includes anxiety and depression
  • Tense relationship between friends and family
  • Physical health issues
  • Academic challenges

Based on statistics, it has been seen that some teenagers are at a higher risk of coming down with substance abuse than others. Hence, there is an important need to know those who need prompt help than others.

Below are the usual risk factors for teenagers:

  • Those in the phase of transition: Teenagers who are moving from elementary to high school, are often faced with new challenges and pressures. Hence, there is a likely chance that if care is not taken, they would be faced with substance abuse. These young teenagers would find it easy to take drugs and alcohol if they are exposed to it.
  • Those suffering from mental health issues: Asides the fact that adults are usually those who are faced with mental health problems, teenagers too also face mental health issues at their tender age. In most cases, those who are facing depression, anxiety and the likes, are often those who are vulnerable to coming down with substance abuse problem.
  • Those who do not have positive adult impacts: It is very likely that teenagers who grew up in homes or communities where there are no moral standards, are prone to being caught in the web of substance abuse. Also, those who grew up with people who abused alcohol or drugs, are likely to toe the same path.

It is essential that teenagers are well educated on the demerits of substance abuse, highlighting on the fact that it has a detrimental effect on their brain, and their lives in the long run. Teenagers who are already addicted to either drugs or alcohol, should be taken to substance abuse rehabilitation centers where they can receive immediate help.

Commonly Abused Substances

substance abuseSubstance abuse is found in every culture and every demographic on earth. All types of people can be prone to substance abuse. There are many substances that provide people with feelings of pleasure and relief. These feelings are rewarding, and it can be hard to tell one’s self that they are better off moderating those feelings than they are of completely indulging in them. Of all the substances that are frequently abused, there are some that people are far more drawn to than others. These substances are as follows:

  • Prescription medications. This commonly abused substance is on the rise despite legal efforts to contain it. People frequently become too dependent on the medications that are prescribed to them by a doctor and take them in excess, run out faster than they should, and find more through any devious means they can, including going to multiple pharmacies.
  • Alcohol. This substance is commonly considered the world’s oldest substance to have been abused by people. Alcohol has been around for thousands of years, and even dating back to its earliest uses are examples of people using it to excess for its mood altering qualities. In modern times, this problem has only become more serious, with alcohol related deaths occurring in shocking numbers in many places around the world.
  • Street drugs. Illegal recreational drugs are popular the world over for their mind altering effects. Some are modern and some are ancient. Street drugs are abused because they put the user into a euphoric state, which many users do not want to come out of. The demand for street drugs has caused millions of deaths due to overdose and the violence and corruption of sales being made on an unregulated black market.
  • Food and  beverage. Every day foods and beverages are frequently overlooked as objects of substance abuse, but there is no doubt that they are. The abuse of food and drinks accounts for some of the most prevalent health problems in the United States and Canada.

Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

substance abuse mental illnessA diagnosis called a co-occurring disorder is determined for those who struggle with substance abuse problems and a mental disorder. Substance abuse problems can wreak havoc on a person’s life. Similarly, mental disorders can create serious problems for people who suffer from them. For some people, both conditions are a reality. This may arise in the form of alcoholism and depression, drug addiction and anxiety or many other variations. Sometimes knowing which disorder is informing which decision is extremely difficult, and treatment will have to be intensive and long-lasting in order to be successful. This dual diagnosis requires special treatment in order get rid of because the two conditions affect and aggravate one another in a complicated manner.

Ongoing substance abuse damages the body’s chemistry even when the person in question is not under the influence, so their weight, sleep schedule and nutrient intake are completely erratic, making their mental disorder that much more out of control. Substance abuse is the overindulgence or the dependence on an addictive substance, such as alcohol, drugs or certain foods. People abuse substances for a number of biological, environmental, psychological and emotional reasons. Substance abuse can refer to a one time incident or a repeated behavior. When a co-occurring disorder, such as depression, anxiety, anger or ADHD is acting in conjunction with substance abuse, the person may have severe mood swings, manic episodes, anger management issues or attention problems that are enhanced by the substance abuse. This is not only while the person is under the influence.

Do not hesitate to gain support from local substance abuse and mental health professionals if you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse and mental issues. Co-occurring disorders are very damaging when left untreated, even fatal in some instances. Both can be damaging or fatal to life and health one their own, but together, the destruction is enhanced and sped up. If you or someone you know is known to abuse a substance and exhibits signs of a mental disorder, urgent treatment is necessary.

Treatment for Substance Abuse

treatment for substance abuseSubstance abuse can only end badly for the person abusing. Substance abuse does damage to a person on social, psychological, chemical and emotional levels. The faster a person can end substance abuse, the better off they are. Unfortunately, ending substance abuse usually presents a number of challenges, especially if the person has become dependent on the substance. Dependence and addiction are very serious struggles which have many characteristics of disease. It has been verified that the most reliable way of ending substance abuse is by submitting to a professional form of substance abuse treatment.

There are several varieties of substance abuse treatment available. The most familiar and common form is inpatient substance abuse rehabilitation, or rehab. Inpatient rehab has proven to be very effective for severe substance abusers. The inpatient rehab process involves a detoxification to work the substance out of the individual’s system and intensive counseling and therapy for substance abuse, all while living on site in a safe substance abuse treatment facility. When treatment is over, the individual can re-enter the world through a sober living program, which is housing and continued counseling provided by the substance abuse center.

The other method of treating a substance abuse problem is through outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation. This form of treatment relies on similar philosophies and methods as inpatient rehabilitation, but the individual does not live on site. Instead, they make regular visits to a treatment center for counseling and therapy. Outpatient substance abuse treatment has not proven as effective as inpatient substance abuse treatment, but it can work very well for certain situations. Typically, less severe substance abusers can benefit from outpatient treatment because its model is less intensive and better suited to more minor cases of substance abuse.

Substance abuse has the potential to ruin your job or schooling, personal relationships, physical health and mental stability. If you or someone in your life is struggling with substance abuse, seek out the substance abuse treatment resources in your area and receive necessary treatment.

Substance Addiction vs. Substance Abuse

substance addiction vs abuseThere are two problems that arise when people encounter addictive substances: substance abuse and substance dependence. Often used interchangeably, these two terms actually have different definitions. Substance abuse can be used to mean substance dependence in some cases, but essentially refers to poor decision making in regards to moderating the use of a substance, such as binge drinking or smoking weed to the point of paranoia. Substance dependence is a medical condition in which the body has become physically dependent on a substance and will go into unpleasant or dangerous withdrawal symptoms without it. Both are dangerous to the individual and have detrimental effects on their life.

Substance abuse can often precede dependence, or refer to the overindulgence that leads to dependence, but in general, it means that a substance or multiple substances are being used incorrectly. Substance abuse can refer to a person taking the instructions for their prescription medications into their own hands and increasing the dosage from where the pharmacist recommended. It can also be demonstrated by the person that does not know when to cut their drinking off and regularly makes an intoxicated scene. Substance abuse simply refers to the using of a substance more heavily than it was intended to be used. It can be an isolated incident or a repeated incident. Addictive substances that are commonly misused are drugs, alcohol and food.

Substance dependence develops over time through repeated substance abuse. An addictive substance is one that has the ability to change the body’s chemistry to a state of reliance on the substance, first through tolerance and then through dependence. If a person wants to keep feeling the pleasurable effects of the substance, they have to continuously increase the amount they use to avoid tolerance. These ever increasing dosages lead to dependence on the substance; something that often requires professional medical and mental health treatment in order to reverse.

Substance Abuse Denial

substance abuse definedSubstance abuse denial does not effect individuals only. It effects entire cultures and subcultures, both abroad and here in North America. Technically, using a substance even just slightly more than its intended and recommended use is substance abuse. This line is blurred in the cases of certain controversial substances such as marijuana, where studies are inconclusive on exactly who should and how to use the substance. But even in regards to controversial substances, denial of substance abuse can take place simply by deliberately avoiding an honest examination of how heavily a substance is being used.

Many individuals are in denial of their substance abuse problem. In fact, when family and friends of a substance abuser want to confront the individual on their problem, they often hire an intervention specialist to do so because the specialist is trained in how to break through denial. Denial is the security blanket the substance abuser uses to continue feeling like they are in control of their lives. Breaking through denial means having to admit to vulnerability and mental unhealthiness; a very difficult thing to do for anyone who thrives at all on feeling in control. This is why denial is so prominent at an individual level over substance abuse.

In North America, there is an entire subculture of university students that is in denial of their substance abuse problem. Drinking and using drugs to excess is a common practice within this group, and those who blow the whistle on substance abuse are simply expected to move along. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, pub culture is very prominent and alcoholism has a different definition than it does in North America. Many people drink to excess in the United Kingdom but it is culturally accepted, and the acknowledgment of substance abuse is denied.

The two levels of denial can interact with one another as well. It is much harder to break through an individual’s denial if they subscribe to a collective, cultural form of denial.

Identifying Substance Abuse

substance abuse identificationKnowing when you have a substance abuse problem is not always easy. Not everyone who uses drugs or alcohol is a substance abuser, but for those who are, there are plenty of ways to excuse drug and alcohol use, even if some might consider it excessive or harmful. Denial and substance abuse commonly go together, blurring the lines between what is a safe, acceptable amount of usage and what is considered abuse.

Substance abuse is defined as the repeated, detrimental use of a substance for the purpose of altering one’s mood. Though substance abuse can have a number of different appearances, there are certain ways of telling whether or not you have become a substance abuser.

It is not uncommon for someone abusing a substance to feel guilty or ashamed about their behavior. Often, a substance abuser will try to cut back on their consumption and fail, spawning feelings of discouragement that lead to more substance abuse.

A person abusing a substance will experience a change in their behaviors and in their ability to function. They may have the tendency to lie about the amount and the frequency of which they use the substance. They may start to deteriorate in their work or school performance. Or they may even do damage to their finances and legal standing.

While the person is intoxicated, their behavior may be out of control. They may black out and forget portions of their days, or they may do something that they heavily regret when they recall it.

Substance abuse takes a heavy toll on personal relationships, and chances are, if you are a substance abuser, your friends and family members have reacted to your substance use in a way that indicates they are troubled by it, or perhaps they have directly expressed concern for your well-being.

If you or someone you know is a potential substance abuser, contact one of the quality drug abuse rehab centers in your local area and have a professional evaluation or intervention arranged.

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