Problematic patterns of substance use among teenagers can lead to many interruptions. They may face problems with school performance. Some teenagers develop mental and physical health-related issues. Others begin having poor relationships with family and peers. Teen substance abuse can eventually lead to lifelong issues of dependence, chronic health conditions, and negative financial consequences.
Preventing Teen Substance Abuse During Adolescent Years
Early use of drugs and/or alcohol increases the chance that a teenager will develop an addiction. Chemicals in these substances change how the brain functions, which can cause other serious problems. That is why it is critical to prevent teens from using drugs in the first place.
Risks for abusing substances increases more when a young person goes through life transitions. For example, advancing from elementary school to middle school presents new academic and social challenges. Moving to a new city or changing schools can present risky situations for the teen having a difficult time adjusting.
For the first time, a young person may encounter cigarettes and alcohol. In high school, teenagers may face greater exposure to drugs and alcohol. This can happen at social activities where young people drink alcohol and do drugs. However, removing opportunities for experimenting with drugs and alcohol can prevent addiction.
Prevention Delays the Onset of Teen Substance Abuse
The primary goal of keeping teenagers off drugs or alcohol is to delay their access to these substances. Research shows that teens who started drinking before age 14 were more susceptible to developing alcohol dependence. People who wait to start drinking after age 21 are less likely to experience alcohol dependence.
There are other negative consequences to youth alcohol drinking. They may encounter things such as:
- Sexual or physical assault
- Memory problems
- Unintentional injuries
- Impaired performance at school
- Legal troubles
Therefore, delaying the first use of alcohol and/or drugs is critical. Other protective factors like strong family bonds and proactive parenting can prove stronger than pressure to start using.
Denver Recovery Joins the Village to Prevent Teen Substance Abuse
The responsibility of preventing teens from abusing drugs or alcohol typically begins at home. However, many groups and individuals may join in efforts beyond the home and school-based prevention programs.
In addition to age-specific programs at schools, peer mentoring programs can become a powerful prevention force. Communities can guard against the subtlest pro-drug and alcohol abuse messages. Passing ordinances to restrict access to drugs and alcohol is also very helpful. Enforcing these laws and adding positive youth involvement is beneficial as well.
The point is that prevention requires more than one activity or effort. Denver Recovery joins in supporting prevention. We’re also available to help teens who may have fallen through the cracks.
If your teenager struggles with substance abuse, Denver Recovery teaches life skills to help them get back on track. Our rehab facility offers a range of programs and services for substance abuse treatment.
Using a holistic approach, we offer programs and services such as:
- Outdoor therapy (hiking, outdoor activities)
- Individual counseling
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Family therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Case management
Substance abuse does not have to ruin your teenager’s future. Contact us today at (844) 602-3175 to get them on the road to recovery.