Alcohol and Substance Abuse

When adolescents begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol many parents believe their children are just going through a rebellious stage, but that is not always the case (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). There are many reasons why adolescents begin experimenting with drugs and it may lead to a serious addiction. Boredom is the most common reason why adolescents begin experiment with drugs and alcohol.

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They have too much time on their hand, so they experiment as a way to make time go by (11 Real Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). Another reason for experimenting for adolescents is to bond with other peers. Adolescents need to feel like they belong in a group, so they use drugs and alcohol to bond with peers who use them (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016).

Depression may cause adolescents to begin using drugs and alcohol as well. They use the drugs and the alcohol to escape their feelings. Instead of dealing with the emotions they use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Some parents may believe that they children as just acting their age, but, they may be dealing with depression (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). With adolescents comes curiosity. Some adolescents become curious about what it would feel like to be drunk or high from drugs. 50% of students in a survey of 8th to 12th grade students “have misused drugs (prescription or illicit) at least once in their life (Teen Drug and Alcohol Statistics and Information, 2018).

Adolescents believe that nothing bad will happen to them when they experiment with drugs or alcohol, but that is not always the case (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). “In 2011, approximately 188,000 young people went to the hospital for injuries related to alcohol consumption (Teen Drug and Alcohol Statistics and Information, 2018). Those young people probably didn’t expect to be going to the hospital due to alcohol injuries, but they were. Adolescent girls often begin experimenting with drugs to help them lose weight. Entering high school girls become very self-conscious about their weight and attracting boys. They turn to drugs like, cocaine, to help the shed the weight fast (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016).

A few other reasons they start experimenting is because of stress, peer pressure, and genetics. When adolescents begin to enter high school, they schedule becomes so busy with taking classes and extracurricular activities. They don’t know how to cope with dealing with the stress of their busy schedule, so they turn to drugs to relieve the stress (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). In the survey with 8th to 12th graders, it also showed that of 12th graders, 7.5% of them have used Adderall in the last year when they weren’t supposed to (Teen Drug and Alcohol Statistics and Information, 2018). Adolescents begin to feel like if everybody else is using or doing it, then they should do it as well. Peer pressure to fit in with certain peer groups make adolescents begin to experiment with using drugs (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). If there is a family history of alcohol or substance abuse, then adolescents have a genetically wired desire to experiment with drugs and alcohol, which then can lead to addiction.

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