If you are worried that you or a teenaged loved one may have a problem or addiction to alcohol, drugs or prescription medications, you have come to the right place for help! Addiction Helper have helped over 10,000 individuals seek the correct help, treatment and support for their individual abuse and addiction problem. Any addiction can be life-threatening, including addiction to legal drugs such as over-the-counter medicines and legal highs, both a popular choice amongst teenagers, as are “process addictions” such as gaming and internet. It is our experience, which is backed by statistical evidence that most teenagers will experiment with alcohol and drugs, usually of the softer variety to start or engage in a behavioural addiction. Experimentation for some will be just that, but for others, it can lead to a full-blown addiction and substance misuse problem that can escalate on to harder drugs. Addiction help for teenagers and students is available in the UK.

various addictions image

Teenagers will typically experiment with substances that are easy to get hold of, this includes a number of what are considered to be “safer drugs”. They opt for these under the false assumption that they are less likely to get addicted or be exposed to danger. Common drugs and substances that are abused by teenagers include:

  • Alcohol
  • Food
  • Cannabis
  • Smoking
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Prescription medicines, usually obtained from friends or family members
  • Prescription Stimulants
  • Volatile substances, such a butane gas, lighter fluid, solvents and thinners
  • Legal Highs
  • Poppers
  • Illicit Stimulants
  • Party Drugs

The aim of this article is to educate you as a parent, or you as a teenager who may be experimenting or considering experimenting, as to the dangers of each type of drug. We feel it is vital to know the facts so that you can be educated and make your own informed decisions and choices. We will also tell you in detail what addiction actually is so that you will come to understand that it is not a choice, but a deadly disease of the mind and body.

Addiction Helper have helped well over 10,000 individuals seek and receive help and treatment for their own individual problems with misuse, abuse or addiction. Mainly this article is aimed at parents and main caregivers so that they can educate their children, but we also want to be able to reach teenagers too; teenagers that may be looking for help or information but not know where to start or how to access it. If you have found this page, you need to look no further, we will provide you will all the information that you need, furthermore, we can personally help you get the help, support and treatment that you may well need.

Addiction Helper are the UK’s leading authority on rehab treatment and we are addiction treatment experts. Many of us are in recovery from addiction ourselves, having overcome our own personal problems with the correct treatment and help. Ask any addict when they first used a substance or became addicted to something, the vast majority will tell you early teens or late childhood. This is when children and teenagers are most vulnerable to peer pressure and suffering from the desire to fit in and be accepted by others.

If you are a parent who has any questions or concerns relating to your teenager’s behaviour and possible alcohol or drug abuse, please call us to discuss the treatment options available.

We will also advise you of specific treatment options further on in the article.

If you are a teenager and scared to talk to anyone, you can talk to us in strict confidence; we can help you get the support you need. Please call or talk to us via Live chat now!

Teenagers Who Are More at Risk of Developing Addiction

Some individuals are more predisposed to developing an addiction than others. This is a critical factor for those that are considering trying alcohol or drugs for the first time; they may well be opening up a doorway to a life of pain that they are unable to control or stop. Teenagers who are more at risk of developing an abuse or addiction problem include:

  • Those that have a family history of mental health issues or addiction in their family
  • Genetic make up
  • Those who have suffered emotional or physical neglect, abuse, bullying or trauma during childhood
  • Those that have been sexually abused
  • Parents or main caregivers that encourage an environment of alcohol and drugs that the child is raised in as acceptable.
  • Children suffering from undiagnosed mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or ADHD, are more likely to try and self-medicate

factors leading to addiction

Explaining Addiction to Children and Teenagers

The below short film is suitable for children and teenagers and simplifies addiction in a very understandable and relatable way:

How Teenagers can Develop Addiction

Science has proven that those who suffer from addiction tend to produce lower levels of Dopamine and Serotonin (the body’s naturally occurring, organic brain chemicals that induce feelings of happiness and emotional balance) When an addict’s brain finds an activity, drug or substance that stimulates the production of Dopamine and Serotonin, they latch onto it and crave more and more.

Addiction does not happen overnight, in the majority of cases, it starts with recreational use, then becomes a habit, then becomes a need (addiction). However, depending on the drug being used, becoming addicted to a substance can happen within as little as a few weeks of frequent or daily use.

photo of a teenager smoking a joint

Bear in mind that a teenager’s brain is particularly vulnerable as it is still developing, therefore patterns of addiction can happen very quickly without them even realising it. They usually start off with so-called softer drugs such as Alcohol, Smoking and Cannabis, but as these substances start to lose their desired effect, they can then progress onto harder drugs, such as prohibited legal highs, Class As and strong opioid painkillers. They can also resort to mixing drugs for a greater effect.

Their brain quickly learns that alcohol and drugs can make life more fun, block out their problems and change the way that they feel when they are not emotionally mature enough to understand the possible implications and long-term effects of continually escaping themselves and reality.

Below is a scan picture of four individual brains, one of a normal brain and the other three of an addict’s brain of the same age:

image showing the brain reward centres

As you can see from the above scan pictures of the brain, those that have an addiction problem produce much lower levels of Dopamine and therefore have difficulty feeling pleasure and joy naturally. The brain of an obese person is shown to produce even less dopamine than a cocaine addict or alcoholic. All 3 addicts produce very little dopamine. This is why an individual becomes addicted, their dopamine levels decrease more and more over time to the point whereby the only time they feel any pleasure or joy is through artificial stimulation during the abuse of a substance or behaviour. As a progressive disease, the brain becomes tolerant to the initial dose of Dopamine that used to flood the brain when a particular substance or activity was used. This results in a Dopamine crash and less of a pleasure response; they, therefore, develop stronger and stronger cravings for more and more and so the addiction escalates and evolves, with ever increasing and more serious consequences as a result.

It is important to understand that addiction is a recognised disease of the brain by Public Health England (PHE) and The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and that without the correct treatment, over time it will only ever get progressively worse. The longer the addiction goes on and the more the substance or activity is abused, the brain develops new neurological pathways that are critical to keep the addiction going. When addiction has reached this point, the individual will have lost all control over their own thinking and subsequent actions. No matter how hard they try to resist, they have become hardwired to their particular addiction. This will come at a great cost to them and their loved ones, financially, mentally, emotionally, socially, physically and spiritually. The only way to treat addiction successfully is through the use of proven therapies that are designed to retrain the brain into thinking differently, provide the essential shift in thinking required to keep them clean and sober living life on life’s terms, and to help them rebuild new healthier neural pathways within the brain. Complete abstinence is a must in order to make any of this possible

If you would like more information on how we can arrange the best rehab or treatment and personalised treatment plan for your teenager, please call us now or talk to us via Live Chat. Our line is open 24/7 and we are waiting for your call!

Recognising the Signs of Addiction in a Teenager

Teenagers can be incredibly secretive by nature as they are experiencing many changes in the body and mind, becoming more insular. Spotting drug or alcohol addiction can be hard in a teenager because they can go through different phases, looks, and friends, pushing boundaries and desperately trying to find their place in the world. Different substances will have different effects and symptoms. Most parents know intuitively when there is something wrong and we would urge them to follow this intuition. Finding paraphernalia or signs of drug use makes suitable evidence for an honest and open conversation to take place. Any sudden negative changes in character or appearance should not be ignored either. If their grades start to drop and they become unreliable, reckless and seem uncaring, these can all be signs that something deeper is definitely going on for them. When speaking to a teenager about possible drug or alcohol abuse, it is important to try and not to preach to them but ask them to open their mind to be educated and learn about what they are taking and the possible consequences. Ask them what they feel they need to help them get well. Do not enable addiction by giving money or loaning money that you know you are unlikely to ever get back. It may be that you are not the person that they are willing to open up to, as do not want to shock or worry you, if this is the case, suggest they speak to an advisor such as the ones who reply at our hotline.

Speaking to Your Teenager about Alcohol and Drugs

It is important to try and have one to one time with your teenager without interruptions or the chance of being overheard when having a conversation about a potential alcohol or drug problem. Letting them read this will prove helpful and informative. It is a good way to start a non judgemental, non threatening and factual conversation. Ask them for their thoughts and experiences, as this will give you some insight into their situation and understanding. The below short film is aimed at helping you to explain addiction to your child or teenager, which may well help them to open up about any problems they are experiencing with alcohol or drugs.

Teenagers and Alcohol

Most individuals who become addicted to alcohol will recall their first drink vividly, and what it did for them as opposed to them:

“I was a shy and nervous kid and wanted to be part of the crowd, but was always in the background feeling like I did not fit in. An older boy passed me some cider at a park, I vividly recall the instant warmth and power it gave me. Suddenly I was no longer afraid, life was in glorious technicolour, my problems melted away and I felt confident and one of the gang; I fitted in at last! I was 13 at the time and was violently sick later that night, that deterred me for a week or two, but the seed was sown; Alcohol was my solution to life, to feeling good, to resolving my fear and to fitting in. By the time I was 18 I was drinking daily and trying other drugs… I had wasted my education and potential on the false promise that alcohol was the answer. I loved, I lost, I gained, I lost. Finally, in the mid-30s I found recovery after alcohol had beat me into complete submission, I couldn’t go on another day with THAT existence, so I sought help. I’m now 7 years sober and have just remarried for the third time (first time in sobriety) and have rebuilt the relationships I all but destroyed through my alcoholism. Addiction is seductive and subtle….until one day you wake up and realise you’ve sold your soul to the devil!” Paul.

 

Teenagers that are under the legal age to purchase alcohol, usually obtain it by asking an adult to buy it for them, stealing from a shop, using a fake ID or taking it from their parent’s stocks or obtaining from friends. Alcohol can be very dangerous to a teenager with little tolerance to it, many end up in dangerous situations or even in hospital as a result of alcohol poisoning, alcohol in moderation is ok when they are of age, but responsible drinking is something they will need to be taught in order to reduce the risk of harm to themselves or to others.

Teenagers and Food Addiction

For many that go on to develop addictions; during childhood, food is their first source of comfort, sugary foods in particular. Please read more on our section about Sugar addiction, as it is the world’s number one substance-killer and can lead to all kinds of health-related problems in later life. Teenagers in particular turn to sweet foods for comfort as it makes them feel good. Just because of sugar, if a full-blown addiction develops, it can become life-threatening. Most things in moderation are okay; it is important as a parent, or the main caregiver, to educate your children about a healthy balanced diet, giving them the understanding and choice.

Teenagers and Cannabis Addiction

Cannabis, according to statistics evidenced by research by ONS (Office for National Statistics), shows that Cannabis is the choice of drug by children of school age. In particular, it is the most used drug by 15-year-old teenagers, whose attitude was that using Cannabis at least once a week was harmless.

drug use among young people graph

Cannabis is at its most harmful when smoked or ingested during teenage years, whilst the brain is still developing. It has been proved to impair brain development and put those that smoke it during this period to be more susceptible to mental health illnesses such as Depression, Schizophrenia and Anxiety Disorder. It can also be a gateway drug to stronger and more potentially harmful drugs and addictions in the future.

Prevalence by type of drug used in the Attitudes to drug use; in 2015, 9% thought it was okay for someone of their age thought it was okay to take Cannabis once a week. With Cannabis showing to be the most prevalent drug of choice, 2nd came volatile substances and in 3rd place was Any Stimulants, which could include any of the drugs mentioned within that section, as well as prescribed stimulants, for example, prescribed Amphetamines, Ritalin and Adderall.

Teenagers and Smoking

Smoking may well be one of the first legal drugs that a teenager tries; whilst there is more awareness around the dangers of smoking, Cancer Research UK studies have shown evidence that it is still very much a problem amongst teens. With girls aged 15 smoking the most. Overall, teenagers, both boys and girls of 15 years smoke the most amongst teenagers in the UK

 

regular cigarette smoking graph

teen smokers graph

For more information on how to educate your child, or a child as to the dangers of cancer please read the following: Cancer Research UK  link, relating to childhood smoking and the dangers associated with passive smoking.

Teenage Over-the-Counter Medicine Addiction

From a young age, we are taught that medicines make us feel better. In the majority of cases, they do, when prescribed, taken as prescribed and for an appropriate medical complaint or condition, over-the-counter medications can be easily obtained from pharmacies, online and supermarkets; giving teenagers easy access to purchase, steal, or by getting someone of age to buy for them. Adult medicine cabinets can also be very attractive to teenagers, as some will contain stronger prescription pills.

over the counter medicine shelves photo

The Top 5 Most Commonly Abused Over-The-Counter Medications

Codeine-based Painkillers

Codeine is the most commonly abused over-the-counter medicine, due to its high potential for addiction and dependency to develop, and for the euphoric effects that can be gained when it is abused. Codeine can be purchased at any pharmacy and is always combined with another legal analgesic. It is the combination of both that can cause severe physical damage both in short-term abuse or long-term addiction and dependency. Codeine-based medications come in numerous forms and brands, such as:

  • Co-codamol
  • Nurofen Plus
  • Solpadeine max and Solpadeine Plus
  • Migraleve
  • Panadine
  • Paramol
  • Feminax

All of these medications contain varying strengths of Codeine in them, from 4mg up to 12.5mg per tablet

All of these codeine based over-the-counter medications can cause drug addiction and dependency within as little as 3 days!

2. Cough and Flu Remedies and Medicines

These medications have a high potential for abuse as many cause sleepiness, drowsiness and also contain Codeine which acts as a cough suppressant, as well as other addictive ingredients. When abused or mixed with alcohol or other drugs they can potentially become a lethal cocktail. All have the potential to become addictive when taken regularly, or for longer periods than recommended. Commonly abused Cough, Cold and Flu over-the-counter medications include those that have the following addictive ingredients:

Dextromethorphan (DMX) – a cough suppressant and expectorant that is included as an active ingredient in many over-the-counter cough syrups and medicines. When abused creates feelings of euphoria and dissociation from emotions and negative feelings. In large quantities, it has also been proven to have hallucinogenic effects.

Codeine-based cough syrup and linctus – The codeine acts as a cough suppressant but can also produce feelings of warmth, euphoria and drowsiness when taken in larger doses than recommended. It also contains promethazine HCI, which is an antihistamine and additionally acts as a sedative. Codeine can cause physical dependence in as little as 3 days of continuous use, even when taken as prescribed

Alcohol-based cough syrups – Many cough syrups contain alcohol as an ingredient; those that have had past or present addiction problems with alcohol are particularly susceptible to abusing this over-the-counter medication

Promethazine based cough, cold and flu remedies – Promethazine is an antihistamine that has sedative properties. Properly used, it helps to dry up runny noses and relieve tickly coughs. When abused in large doses, it can produce feelings of warmth, dissociation from negative emotions and extreme sleepiness

3. Sedative Antihistamines

Many antihistamines sold as an over-the-counter medicine have sedative properties and are also purchased as a sleeping aid. Taken in high doses, the sedative effects are very pronounced and will make the user feel very sleepy and relaxed. Regular use leads to tolerance building, meaning that the individual will have to take more of the drug in order to gain the same effect.. Mixing with alcohol and other sedatives increases the effects of sedation even more. They have a great potential to be abused and become addicted to. Antihistamines are usually sold in syrup or pill form; the active ingredient Promethazine is also used in many other over-the-counter cough and flu remedies.

4. Decongestants

Decongestant medications are commonly purchased over-the-counter medications and often contain active ingredients that can be addictive including promethazine. Taken as prescribed they can cause a little drowsiness; when abused and taken in larger doses, they can produce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, warmth and sleepiness. Decongestants, when mixed with alcohol or other drugs, can be potentially lethal, as can overdosing on them. They also have the potential to become addictive due to certain active ingredients.

5. Laxatives

Laxatives are commonly abused by those that have eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. Taken in high quantities (more than the prescribed dosage); this over-the-counter medicine can be extremely dangerous; leading to severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and even death. Those with eating disorders will commonly abuse over-the-counter laxatives as a way to lose weight or purge from a binge of food. Overdosing and frequent use can lead to all sorts of short-term complications and long-term damage to the stomach and bowel. Imbalances in electrolytes can lead to problems with the heart, resulting in dangerously low potassium levels that can lead to a heart attack and death.

All abuse of medications can cause damage to the individual’s health; abuse is when a medicine is not taken as prescribed or as instructed for a genuine medical complaint and is misused for other purposes than it is meant for

Teenagers and Prescription Medication Addiction and Abuse

Statistics show that the vast majority of teenagers who abuse prescription medications, also to referred to as RX medications, obtain them from home and family members. Parents and main caregivers play a huge part in educating their children as to the dangers of taking prescription medications that are not prescribed for the teenager or child. The statistics on teenagers abusing prescription medications are shocking, they see it as a safer alternative to other illicit drugs, with 1 in 6 teens taking prescribed medications purely for the effect of getting high.

There are many statistics and reports to evidence that the overwhelming majority of prescription drug addiction starts during the teenage years, as many as 90 %!!

teenage addicts image

The consequences of prescription drug abuse can be devastating, not only can it lead to addiction, but also overdose, as many teens lack the knowledge of the powerful effects of certain prescription drugs and why it is so important to only take prescription medications prescribed for you and to be taken exactly as prescribed. After Cannabis (including synthetic types) and volatile substances, prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused drugs.

As you can see below, from research and statistics released from the NIH, the consequences of teens abusing prescription drugs, can lead to addiction and overdose in the later teens and early adulthood (the main age bracket reported as the highest risk), and the statistics are rising! Rx refers to prescription drugs and is a relatively new term for drugs that should be taken as prescribed.

statistics of teen addiction

Addiction Helper feels that it is vital that children and teenagers are education around the dangers of these drugs. The following section provides some helpful tips to help safeguard your child or teenagers from abusing prescription medications that are available in the home or offered by friends.

Safeguarding Teenagers against Prescription Drug Abuse

Being a parent or main caregiver doesn’t come with a manual, sometimes we intuitively know how to handle situations, other times we feel lost. Addiction Helper receive many calls from individuals who have concerns over their teenagers taking drugs, we are often asked: Is there somewhere we can send them? Are there any teenage boot camps? Can I send my child to rehab? I’ve lost my child to drugs and have no control over them, what do I do?

When a child or teenager is already addicted or abusing drugs, there are no simple answers, there is some help available, but not nearly as intensive enough or specialist enough, certainly not on the NHS. We will talk about treatment options further on in this article.

Education is the best way to prevention and prevention is the best way to stop a problem from occurring in the first place. As a parent or main caregiver you may want to consider the following suggestions as a preventative measure to help safeguard your child or teenagers from prescription medication abuse:

  1. Educate your child or teenager on the dangers of prescription drugs and other drugs, so at least they are in possession of the facts and not naive as to the potentially life-threatening dangers that they hold.
  2. Keep your prescribed medications and over-the-counter medicines in a locked cabinet; explain how dangerous it can be to take a medication that is not prescribed for them. Also, ask friends and family members to do the same.
  3. Refer them to websites and organisations such as Talk to Frank which is extremely interactive, interesting, informative and teenage-friendly
  4. Be open with your teenager about drugs and approachable, inform yourself and educate yourself so that when they ask questions you are able to answer them or research them together.
  5. Set a good example, if your teenager or child observes you abusing medications, they are more likely to think it is okay for them to do so too.
  6. Do NOT under any circumstances medicate your child with medication that is prescribed only for you or anyone else
  7. Dispose of any unused or unneeded medications by returning to your local chemist
  8. Keep communication lines open and easy. If your child does not mention drugs, do not make it a taboo subject; do not overload them with information all at once. Instead educate them as age appropriate, so as not to scare them or to make them clam up.
  9. Monitor your child/teenagers social media interaction and social interaction with others. Certain popular social media applications can be very pro-drugs
  10. If your child is attending a party, set clear boundaries that you expect them to adhere to, warn them about peer pressure and reassure them that it is okay to have their own mind and make their own decisions. Tell them that if they do not adhere to the boundaries that there will be consequences as the boundaries are there to keep them safe.

Teenagers and Volatile Substance (Solvents) Abuse

Secondary to smoking, many children will at some stage experiment with volatile substances; this does tend to be more of a phase, but some do become addicted to the high they get from these substances. Volatile substances include the following easily obtained household chemicals:

  • Gas lighter fuel
  • Glue
  • Correcting fluids
  • Thinners
  • Surgical spirit
  • Aerosoles
  • Cleaning and dry cleaning fluids
  • Petrol

These substances are inhaled by the user either directly or from placing the substance n a plastic bag and sealing around the nose and mouth. The effects are similar to drunkenness. Dependent on the substance, some may feel light headed and dizzy, whilst others sleepy and nauseous, others will get a high and a buzz -feelings of euphoria

volatile_substance_abuse_harm_reduction_graph

The danger with volatile substances is that their effects on the individual can be very unpredictable and can lead to instant death from lack of oxygen to brain or respiratory arrest

“The first time I huffed a can of butane gas, I felt giggly, high and drunk. It was addictive, I craved that feeling and before I knew it I was huffing up to 6 cans a day; until I had a near death experience that scared me off of them. I then sought to replace with something safer so swapped to alcohol and weed and pills…I was aged 15 at the time, in with a bad crowd and just wanted to fit in and be accepted. That was the start of a lifelong time of addiction. I didn’t come into recovery until I was 38 and completely battered and broken from every single drug under the sun. I couldn’t sit with myself and needed to escape me and my reality constantly. I ended up in in a rehab, as all my life all I’d only ever known was an addiction to something or other. I had to learn from scratch how to live life and get to know me. Thank God I did, I now have a chemical free life and look forward to what each new day brings. It was scary at first but now I’ve adapted with the support I’m excited about my future. It’s easy to say, ‘If I could turn back time I would have done it all differently’. Now I speak in schools and tell my story in that hope that it may stop even just one teenager treading the same painful path I did” Mel

 

Teenagers and Legal Highs

Legal highs are very popular amongst teens and easy to obtain from the black market; whilst most are now banned under the Psychoactive Substances Act enforced in May 2016, there is still a stigma that they are a safer option. Legal Highs are one of the most potentially lethal drugs available on the black market. Since their prohibition, manufacturers have been given free reign to make and more potent and addictive formulas. Spice (an umbrella name for many different synthetic Cannabis legal highs) in particular has been the cause of many deaths as has fake valium and Etizolam. All sorts of lethal and addictive chemicals are now going into these substances.

annihhilation drug photo

The statistics chart below, provided by ONS, the Office for National Statistics, depicts the extent of the problem, not just amongst teenagers but in young adults also. More recent research suggests that these numbers have risen since this class of drugs were banned and prohibited under the Substance Misuse Act 1971, sub act ban on Psychoactive Substances, enforced last year due to the alarming number of deaths resulting from legal highs. Now ex-legal highs hitting our streets are more potent than ever and the death toll is rising. Forcing these drugs to go underground has meant that there is no way of regulating their safety.

legal highs deaths 2013

Common names for ex-legal highs are particularly known to be dangerous include:

  • Spice- K2, Black Mamba
  • Benzo Fury
  • Nitrous Oxide -Hippy Crack
  • Salvia
  • Annihilation

Since January 2017 until September 2017 there have been 27 deaths attributed to various brands of spice. Synthetic Valium is also hitting a record number of deaths in Scotland, where its use is most prevalent. Teenagers need to be made aware, that ex-legal highs are EXTREMELY dangerous and potentially deadly, very addictive and become a lethal cocktail when mixed with opiates, alcohol or other sedatives.

Teenagers and Poppers

Poppers, after much deliberation, are still classed as a legal high and were not banned under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

Poppers are usually sold in a liquid chemical form in small bottles and can usually be obtained from various shops, online and sex shops. They are a group of chemicals called alkyl nitrites. Specific alkyl nitrites include butyl nitrite, isopropyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite and amyl nitrite. They dilate the blood vessels and allow more blood to get to the heart.

legal highs bottles imag

The effects of Poppers:

Poppers are a sexual stimulant but can also provide the user with a head rush of euphoria. They are commonly used by teenagers at parties, in groups or alone to get high

Whilst poppers are still legal, they can put a lot of strain on the heart and organs if abused or used frequently, they can also lead to the individual losing their inhibitions and engaging in sexual behaviour that puts them at risk of unwanted pregnancy, catching STI’s, STD’s and HIV. There have been cases recorded of sudden death sniffing syndrome; where an individual has died instantaneously as a result of heart failure or respiratory arrest. Mixing Poppers with other drugs or alcohol increases the risks and dangers as oxygen supply can be reduced or cut off from vital organs.

Teenagers and Stimulants

Stimulants are most prevalently used by students who are studying, help to keep them awake and alert for long periods of time and are most used between the ages of 15 and 18, at school, college or university. Commonly abused stimulants include Ritalin and Adderall, both prescribed stimulants. Some may also use legal stimulants such as ProPlus and over-the-counter medicines or resort to using illicit drugs such a speed and amphetamines. When abused, all of these drugs have the potential to cause great harm and addiction. They can affect the individual both physically and psychologically. College and University students are particularly vulnerable as they try to balance the study party lifestyle. All stimulants when abused place a great strain on the heart and the mind, even abusing caffeine can land individuals in hospital. It is important that your teenager knows the risks associated with this class of drugs and more information can be found by clicking on the links highlighted.

Teenagers and Party Drugs

The term “party drugs” covers a multitude of drugs aimed specifically at getting the individual high, these will include many of the drugs we have already mentioned. The most popular party drugs amongst teens are:

  • Amphetamines
  • Alcohol
  • Legal Highs and ex-legal highs
  • Cannabis, both synthetic and nonsynthetic
  • Prescription pills
  • Ecstasy
  • Acid
  • Cocaine
  • Ketamine
  • Poppers
  • Volatile Substances

All are dangerous when abused or taken excessively, or mixed with other drugs. Teenagers at parties are likely to get offered drugs and alcohol by others, it is only by educating them as to the dangers of specific drugs that they will be in a position to make an informed decision. Peer pressure can be overwhelming at that age, and it takes a confident child to know the facts and be able to say no comfortably. Always give your teen a get out clause if they find themselves in any uncomfortable situations at a party, by telling them to make an excuse and leave if they feel under pressure and are not enjoying themselves.

It is important to remember that you cannot wrap your child in cotton wool; as tempting as it may be they will need to learn certain life lessons for themselves in order to mature and grow, but giving them the correct information could be crucial in them making the right decisions for their own well-being. It also shows that you as a parent or caregiver are open to talking about the subject if they are unsure about anything and being approachable about such subjects can prove invaluable. Stick to the facts when educating children and teens and not horror or scare stories as they will quickly see through this and less likely to approach you if they feel they are not being told the truth.

Alcohol and Drug Rehab for Teenagers under 18

The majority of private rehab clinics cannot, for insurance purposes, take teenagers under the age of 18 in the UK, although there are a couple of elite treatment centres that will accept teenagers of 16 years and over. Addiction Helper also has access to specialist addiction treatment units overseas, where parents can also stay. Private treatment is expensive for teenagers, but if you have the means to finance it, Addiction helper can help with the arrangements. The teenage rehab clinics that we are partnered specialising in treating adolescents with addiction or abuse problems, including eating disorders, gaming, gambling and internet addiction. We also have many specialist private counsellors that can work on addiction with children and we can advise you further on this and the most appropriate course of treatment. All of our rehab clinics are CQC regulated and offer the highest standards of medical and psychotherapeutic care. For those that are aged 18 or over we have the choice over 100 top quality rehab clinics, with locations all over the UK and also abroad.

addiction rehab centre image

Addiction Helper has helped well over 10,000 individuals access the appropriate help and treatment for their individual addiction problem and can also advise on NHS treatment options and free services locally. Where appropriate we can also arrange immediate admission to one of our treatment centres. They provide a very safe and secure environment where the individual is removed from the toxic environment that they have submerged themselves in and able to concentrate on getting well. We offer everything, from affordable quality rehabs to luxury rehabs of the highest calibre.

If your teenager has a physical addiction or dependency to alcohol or drugs they will receive a full medical detox regime, prescribed by a professional and experienced doctor. Following this, they will then ideally undertake a full rehabilitation programme to ensure that they do not return to the same lifestyle and drugs as before. Rehabilitation is vital in order to prevent relapse and teach the individual healthier coping mechanisms and deal with the core issues underlying their need to escape themselves and their reality. We also are able to competently treat individuals with dual diagnosis illnesses and those presenting with more than one addiction. Furthermore, all those that complete their treatment programme with us will receive 1-year complimentary aftercare at the rehab they attend.

image of a girl during consultation with a therapist

The professional addiction rehabs that we are partnered with only employ addiction professionals with impressive credentials and experience, including Doctors, Nurses, Counsellors, Psychologists, Holistic therapist and Support workers. Many of our staff have themselves previously overcome an addiction, so are therefore are in a unique position to have a great insight into the disease of addiction and how it affects the individual and their loved ones’ lives. They understand fully the nature of the disease and combine their personal experience and qualifications to comprehensively treat the psychological aspect of over-the-counter medicine addiction in their patients.

By admitting to one of our exemplary rehab clinics, you or your loved one will benefit from the following, evidence-based, powerful and healing addiction treatments:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • One to one counselling
  • Group and process therapy
  • Educational workshops and relapse prevention techniques
  • 12 Step therapy or Holistic based approach
  • Holistic therapies, including Mindfulness, Meditation, Acupuncture, Fitness, Yoga, Tai Chi, Art therapy, Music therapy and much, much more!

If you would like more information on how we can arrange the right rehab and personalised treatment plan for your teenager, please call us now or talk to us via Live Chat. Our line is open 24/7 and we are waiting for your call!

Help for Families and parents of Addicted teenagers

There are many organisations that also offer free, charitable support to those that are affected by another’s addiction, please click on the following links: Adfam and Families Anonymous.

Help on the NHS for Addicted Teenagers

If your teenager is under the age of 18 and requires free help and treatment on the NHS, the first port of call should be to their GP to find out what is available in the local area. Some alcohol and drug services will help teenagers under the age of 18, but it will be dependent on your location. Your doctor can also refer them for counselling and to the local CAMHS team who are responsible for helping children and teenagers with mental health, behavioural and social problems. Your GP can also offer practical help and support and involve any specialists that they feel are needed to help your child to recover from addiction. The important thing is to not feel guilty, ashamed or blame yourself for your child’s addiction problems, Addiction can and does affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, religion or social upbringing.

For more information on how we can help, or if you have any questions relating to treatment for a teenager with an abuse, misuse or addiction problem, you can talk to us in strictest confidence. We are experts in treating addiction and we are the leading authority on private rehab in the UK. Please call us today for further advice, support and assistance. Recovery is possible, regardless of age and getting your teenager help sooner rather than later can save years of pain and misery at the hands of addiction.