Understanding Teen Addictions

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Closer Look at Teen Addictions

You may never know that your kids are involved in substance abuse, drug addiction, as well as experiencing personality disorders in terms of eating, self cutting that may be due to depression and a feeling of helplessness, etc. These disorders may normally result from substance abuse because of the mind of the user not being able to think as clearly as before. It is a reality nowadays that teens need to be handled with care especially since experimentation with drugs in the adolescent stage is common and something that will be hard to avoid.

It is said that the use of cigarettes and alcohol at a young age will increase the possibility of the teen being involved in substance abuse and alcoholism at the latter part of life increase the risk of using other drugs later. There are teens that would just have a taste to satisfy their curiosity and eventually stop while some become dependent on the drugs and the booze, causing harm not only to themselves but to the people around them.

The relationship between substance abuse and personality disorders have not really been proven or understood well but there sure are instances wherein substance abuse either leads or develops more the disorder that was observed in the user. The most common so called co-occurring disorder would be bipolar disorder which is defined as a manic-depressive ailment that is characterized by frequent changes in the person’s mood and feelings. These people, more often than not use drugs as a tool for balancing their mood swings. Once a person is addicted to drugs, smoking or alcohol and at the same time has developed a disorder, both the addiction and the disorder must be treated distinctively.

Cutting is also a form of disorder that is a coping mechanism for the cutters. Substance abuse and cutting have a correlation because they are both “survival tools,” enabling teens to be comforted in difficult times as well as from the harsh realities of life. Self-injury or cutting your own skin might be something you will never ever do because of the pain that comes with it. For teens that resort to cutting, however, the method is effective in a strange kind of way in helping them cope with the pain they feel inside that they wouldn’t really be affected with the external pain of cutting one’s self.

Substance abuse may also be connected with the teens with the latchkey syndrome, wherein most of them would feel alone and unnoticed by their parents or other family members. Because these teens are given independence at an early age, they might feel neglected and may resort to substance abuse, alcoholism, and other harmful activities without the knowledge of their loved ones.

What parents, siblings, as well as relatives should do would be to keep a close watch over the teens in their homes. Make sure that you would have an open relationship wherein these teens would be able to trust you enough to tell you anything or better yet, everything. If your teens have been acting strangely for some reason you do not know, never ever let that pass. Do your own “research,” have a meaningful talk and make them feel that you are there to care for them.

Copyright 2008 C.King, M.Ed., Sober Sources Network may be reproduced with proper acknowledgments.