Addiction problems are not just something that affects adults. Not only can young people be impacted by the substance abuse of grownups, but they can also develop problems for themselves. For young people with addiction problems, it does not take long to fall into the downward spiral, and there are plenty of 16 year olds and 17 year olds who find themselves in this position. These young people can end up in real trouble with alcohol and drugs, and if they are unable to get help quickly, it could completely destroy their life.
Why Do Young People Develop Addiction Problems?
Most adults will look back on their adolescence as one of the best periods in their life. The reality is, though, that the teenage years can be tough and even though the young person is spared many adult responsibilities, they can still find themselves overwhelmed by life. This is also a time when many young people begin experimenting with alcohol or drugs. There are a number of common reasons for why young people develop addiction problems:
• Many young people have grown up in homes where their parents abuse alcohol or drugs – including prescription drugs. This means that they begin to view substance abuse as normal behaviour. The parents may even accept that their child uses these substances because they did the same at that age. In the worst cases, the parents may even encourage their children to abuse these substances.
• There can be a great deal of peer pressure on young people to drink alcohol and use drugs. The teenager just wants to fit in, and they can gain prestige by using these substances. If the individual bows down to peer pressure once, it will be easier for them to do it next time, and with many of these addictive substances, it does not take long before the individual is hooked.
• Some young people will have grown up in homes that were physically or mentally abusive. This means that they live in fear and have damaged by their experiences. Alcohol and drugs can appear like a good way out of this discomfort and many will be tempted to choose this route.
• It is common for people with mental health problems to begin to experience symptoms of this at a young age. The person may be completely unaware that they have a mental health problem, but they do find that they feel better when they use alcohol or drugs – this is referred to as self-medication.
• Many young people feel a bit overwhelmed by life. They may feel that that they are dealing with an excessive amount of stress, and so they turn to alcohol or drugs to help them deal with this. In the beginning these substances may well seem to be helping, and the individual will be hooked by the time they realise that alcohol or drugs is actually leading to more problems.
• Substance abuse is often glorified in the media and many of the top celebrities are known for their wild party antics. Young people can be tempted to emulate their heroes, and it is this that leads them to first begin experimenting with alcohol and drugs.
Dangers of Substance Abuse for Young People
Substance abuse can be particularly dangerous for young people because:
• Adolescent is a time of important physical and emotional development. If the young person is using alcohol or drugs, they will interfere with the normal development process. Their mental health in particular can be damaged because of substance abuse at a young age.
• It has been demonstrated that the younger a person is when they first begin using alcohol and drugs, the more likely it will be that they will later become addicted.
• If the child is involved in substance abuse, it will mean that they will be unable to perform well in school. This could mean that they leave education with poor qualifications, and this will have a significant impact on their future opportunities in life.
• Young people may be more at risk of alcohol poisoning and drug overdose.
• The young person may be more susceptible to the damage of alcohol and drugs on their mind and body.
• Most young people will not have access to enough money to fund their substance abuse. This means that they will need to turn to illegal means to support their habit.
• It increases the likelihood of unplanned pregnancies.
• It will exacerbate any existent mental health problems.
• The adolescent will be missing out on the fun of being a young person with no adult responsibilities.
How Young People Can Find Help for Addiction Problems
In many instances, the best chance that the young person will have is to enter an addiction rehab program. The benefits of this treatment option are that it will not only help the person end the alcohol or drug use, but it will also provide them with the tools they are going to need to be able to cope with life. A common problem that people can have though, is finding a rehab facility that will accept young people. Due to changes to the Care Quality Commission requirements, it can make some rehabs reluctant to deal with clients under the age of 18. This does make it a bit more difficult to find a suitable place for young people, but there are still plenty of options.
Some rehabs in the UK (and abroad) will be able to accept young people with addiction problems. We are experts in this type of placement, and we will be able to offer advice and arrange everything. We will also be able to arrange treatment plans for young people under the age of 18 to ensure that they will be getting the help they need. When it comes to overcoming this type of addiction problem, it is vital to move fast. So please contact us right now so that we can begin the process of recovery.
Inform yourself about children and students with addictions in our student addiction guide.