Signs Of Teen Substance Abuse

Signs Of Teen Substance Abuse

Although most teenagers who try illicit substances do not go on to become habitual drug users or to develop a substance abuse disorder, the majority of those who do go on to become problematic drug abusers will have first entered this dark and murky world of vice in their formative adolescent years. Teen drug abuse, even in small amounts, can go on to have profound implications in the life of the user in numerous domains of their life (familial, academic, peers/friends).

There are a number of telltale signs of substance abuse in the life of a teen that manifest as a substance abuse problem germinates and buds. The most obvious sign to look for is at the point where the drug abuse becomes a facet of the teen’s daily life. Daily use will lead to greater and greater amounts of the drug being used. Another prominent sign, perhaps the most prominent, is a sudden and abrupt shift in peer group. The longer a substance abuse disorder is allowed to fester the more the user will become immersed in the underworld of drug and alcohol abuse, and this will in turn lead them into a new environ that caters to this increasingly important aspect of their lives. For this reason any sudden shift in peer group must be required as a potential sign of substance abuse.

A very common misconception about drug addiction is that it develops instantly and that anything less than that is acceptable and manageable. Not so! By far and away the most common progression for a substance abuse addiction is a gradual one. The user inches, by degrees, towards a problematic addiction via the boiling frog method. The reality is that drug addiction can be and is a very subtle and nuanced phenomenon that defies simplistic and reductive narratives.


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