Teenage addiction is a common problem across the UK. Young people often become addicted to substances such as alcohol or drugs and these days many teenagers are developing addictions to things such as smart phones and even the internet.

There are a number of reasons why teenagers will take drugs or drink alcohol including peer pressure, boredom, insecurity, or stress. Many teenagers will turn to these substances because they cannot handle the pressure of teenage life. Bullying is another common factor to why so many teenagers turn to these substances. Taking drugs and alcohol can make them feel better about their lives; if they do feel this way then they can often become addicted pretty quickly.

When Substance Abuse Becomes Addiction

Many teenagers will abuse drugs or alcohol at some stage in their lives but this does not mean they will definitely develop an addiction. For example, teenage drinking is quite common in the UK but most of these young people will not go on to become dependent on alcohol. However, there are a few who will become more and more tolerant to the effects of alcohol or drugs the longer they take them and, before long, it will be all they can think about.

When substance abuse becomes an addiction, it can soon become glaringly obvious to those around the person affected. Drug addiction will always begin with abuse of a substance – nobody plans to become addicted; it just happens in some individuals.

How to Recognise Addiction in a Teenager

The problem with addiction in teenagers is that many of the symptoms are similar to normal teenage symptoms; things such as mood swings and fatigue. However, when a parent looks more closely, he or she will see that there are other signs that may indicate an addiction to a particular substance. A parent will probably not know that their teenager is craving a particular drug or alcohol, as the teen is unlikely to voice this. However, if you notice that your teenager’s weight has changed suddenly and for no apparent reason, you should look for other signs. As previously mentioned, mood swings are common among those with an addiction and many addicts will become secretive and may begin to demand more privacy in their room.

Other signs of addiction include:

  • lack of interest in activities
  • change in group of friends
  • problems with schoolwork
  • depression
  • paranoia
  • aggression
  • change in sleeping habits
  • anxiety.

Getting Help

There are numerous organisations from which those with addiction can seek help. Most teenagers with an addiction will unlikely admit to having a problem. They will no doubt think that you, as their parent, are overreacting and that they can stop anytime they want to. However, the problem with drug and alcohol addiction is that many will not want to stop – at least, not initially. If they feel as though the alcohol or drugs are making them feel good, they may become aggressive or argumentative with you for trying to spoil their ‘fun’.

You may be convinced that your suspicions were all in your head and that you were indeed overreacting. However, it is important to speak to someone who knows about addiction, as this person will be able to confirm your suspicions or, at least, put your mind at rest.

At Addiction Helper, our fully trained staff can discuss your situation and can provide you with all the information you need to get help for your teenager. We can advise you on treatments that are available as well as being able to put you in touch with a suitable rehabilitation centre.

Getting help as soon as possible for a teenage addiction is important, so call us today. Teenagers and drug addiction are two things that should not, but sometimes do go together. Seek help if you have concerns.

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