Understanding Substance Abuse In Youths

It is a common phenomenon for teens to experiment with drugs and alcohol. They may first try a bit at a party or a friend’s house. After they first give in to try drugs or alcohol they are more likely to try them again. Before long, they can be regularly using drugs or alcohol which will easily turn into a problem that will persist later on in life if it is not properly handled. The statistics show that 90 percent of those who have an addiction disorder tried drugs or alcohol and used them before they were 18 years-of-age.

A variety of factors contribute to why adolescents give drugs or alcohol a try. Their home environment, social pressures, genetics, a mental health issue are all some of the reasons behind a young person’s willingness to try a substance. When a teenager starts using drugs or alcohol their risk for developing an addiction to the substance is significantly increased. Let’s discuss the most common causes that lead to teen substance abuse.

What Are The Leading Reasons Youths Use Drugs And Alcohol?

Peer Pressure:

Peer pressure is a significant part of a young person’s life and it manifests in many forms. Teens have influences good and bad coming in all directions, from friends, and family members. A teen may not want to try drugs or alcohol and know that it isn’t a good idea. The desire to fit in with a social group is so strong they do what they believe is necessary to be accepted. They want to impress others and become a part of the group. Understanding Substance Abuse In Youths

In the life of a teenager, being invited to parties and events and groups of friends are a sign of status. It is natural to want to be a part of the crowd. Unfortunately, the prevalence of drugs and alcohol shows up more at parties and similar social gatherings. Teenagers experience peer pressure that motivates them to try alcohol or drugs. They may have a higher tendency to give in to those that appear to be less risky like nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana. These drugs are gateway substances to more potent and dangerous substances. As they get more used to using one of these gateway drugs they can easily get caught up with trying other illicit drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, and opioids which can quickly turn into an addiction. 

Mental Health Issues:

Young people have much to deal with in terms of emotional and cognitive health. Their hormones are still changing causing them to feel unstable and act erratically at times. The immense pressures on teens to excel in school, sports, and socially put added stress on developing youths which can be a lot to take on. If a teen is also struggling with a mental health issue, all of these factors combined can feel like too much to bear and drugs and alcohol appear to be a release from the struggles they face in life when they are sober.  It is extremely important to get a teen struggling with a mental health issue in touch with a professional counselor to help them manage their condition and benefit from a treatment plan. When properly addressed, a teen is less likely to turn to substance abuse for self-medication.


If teens are exposed to drug or alcohol use at home through parents or sibling’s use they are going to be more likely to try drugs or alcohol themselves. When a home lacks structure and discipline and there are no repercussions for negative behaviors like sinking grades or coming home drunk, for instance, these teens have no boundaries. The lack of rules and limitations put them at increased risk for continual engagement in drugs and alcohol and eventually a full-blown addiction. 

Genetics also plays a role. When there exists a family history of addiction a teen who tries drugs or alcohol may be more easily hooked than another who doesn’t have it in their genes.

Finding Help For Addiction In Tennessee

When you or someone you love needs help with substance abuse, the medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place is here. Discovery Place’s Tennessee addiction alternative treatment center is a safe place for those struggling with addiction to safely detox and learn how to be successful in sobriety far after treatment.

Don’t waste any more precious time, call our Tennessee detox alternative treatment center today at 1-800-725-0922.

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