High Risk Substance Use in Youth Adolescent and School Health

Although these common signs may raise red flags for substance use, they can also indicate other underlying health issues. Talking with your family doctor or pediatrician to rule out other conditions is often beneficial when these signs are present in kids. The teenage years can be some of the most fun and formative years of a person’s life. Yet, these years can also be marked by high emotions and social pressures to fit in. Educate teens about drugs, drug use, and life skills with activities and lessons from Scholastic.

  • This kind of mental pruning allows the adult brain to be more focused and efficient.
  • Overall, rates of adolescent substance use have remained relatively stable over the past several years, with a few notable exceptions.
  • Developmentally, adolescents are at the highest risk for drug dependence and severe addiction.
  • Although these common signs may raise red flags for substance use, they can also indicate other underlying health issues.

Addiction occurs when cravings don’t stop, withdrawal occurs, and use continues despite negative consequences. Or teens may order substances online that promise to help in sports competition, or promote weight loss. “I hope that parents and providers will be able to use this to have a bit of a sense of relief.”

Signs your teen may have a substance use disorder

Many of the above factors and more can contribute to and perpetuate unhealthy patterns that lead to substance abuse. Such factors of parental substance abuse, low economic status, fewer household resources, neglect, and other important factors can all contribute to addiction later in life. Drug and alcohol use can result in substance use disorder as well as the health risks specific to the substance. Introducing substances during adolescence changes brain structure, affecting learning, processing emotions, and decision-making. Alcohol and nicotine or tobacco may be some of the first, easier-to-get substances for teens. Because alcohol and nicotine or tobacco are legal for adults, these can seem safer to try even though they aren’t safe for teens.

substance abuse in teens

Teens may also use illicit substances because of peer pressure or to the need to belong. Unfortunately, substance abuse can have devastating effects on individuals and their loved ones. Consequences of teen drug abuse can include legal trouble, drug addiction, poly drug use, and unwanted pregnancy. Providing a firm foundation and clear message on the damage addiction can cause is critical to teenage substance abuse prevention efforts. The goal of prevention is to attempt to stop someone from partaking in a harmful action that has substantial consequences before those consequences occur. In the case of teenage substance abuse prevention, this can range from stopping teens from taking drinks of alcohol to restricting access to more dangerous drugs like Cocaine or Fentanyl.

Prevention and Treatment

For the purposes of addressing HIV and STD prevention, high-risk substance use is any use by adolescents of substances with a high risk of adverse outcomes (i.e., injury, criminal justice involvement, school dropout, loss of life). “So we didn’t find that and that’s something that https://ecosoberhouse.com/ will surprise some of the readership.” Having an open, calm conversation with your teen about substance use is often the best place to start. However, it can be common for some kids at this age to be less inclined to open up to parents and caregivers about tough subjects.

If you aren’t prepared to answer questions, parents might let teens know that you’ll talk about the topic at a later time. And if they are lonely or dealing with stress, teens may use substances to distract from these feelings. If those friends are older, teens can find themselves in situations that are riskier substance abuse in older adults than they’re used to. For example, they may not have adults present or younger teens may be relying on peers for transportation. So if their friends use substances, your teen might feel like they need to as well. Teens may be more likely to try substances for the first time when hanging out in a social setting.

Not All Warning Signs Indicate Drug Use

However, such medication is often a firstline treatment as ADHD symptoms start in childhood before the age of 12. For some children, methylphenidate, commonly known by the brand name Ritalin, is the best option. It can relieve ADHD symptoms that impair a child’s functioning in school, in addition to interfering with forming and keeping friendships. Stimulant drugs are used to help children focus and pay attention better. In addition, students with less engagement in school – a known risk factor for drug use – may have been less likely to participate in the survey, whether in-person or online.

  • The beginning of elementary school can often be a great starting age for opening up a conversation with kids about drugs and alcohol.
  • Teens who experiment with drugs and other substances put their health and safety at risk.
  • Although talking to your teen about substance use may feel overwhelming and scary at first, you and your family are not alone.
  • The results were gathered from a nationally representative sample, and the data were statistically weighted to provide national numbers.

The 2022 Monitoring the Future data tables highlighting the survey results are available online from the University of Michigan. We may receive advertising fees if you follow links to the BetterHelp site. It could be substances, devices like pipes, empty bottles or wrappers, etc. Some substances, like amphetamines, may make your teen feel as though they don’t need a lot of food or sleep. Others, like cannabis, may cause them to eat and sleep more than they did before.

Stressful circumstances or peer pressure may be a factor in your teen’s substance use. Helping your child get involved in new, fun activities could help distance them from any potential substance use triggers. If they share with you that they have experimented or tried substances already, you may want to discuss the possible reasons behind their choice.

  • Individual and family psychotherapy are often recommended to address the developmental, psychosocial, and family issues that may have contributed to and resulted from the development of a substance abuse disorder.
  • Substance use can affect teens in a variety of ways, and some signs are more subtle than others.
  • Validated screening tools that may be used in primary care include the CRAFFT, POSIT, AUDIT, and NIAAA Screening Guide.
  • What they need is mature guidance through these years from adults that have meaningful life experiences and not just indulgence of youthful fantasies to impress their classmates.
  • If you’re not yet comfortable talking with your parents, reach out to a teacher, school counselor, or other adult you trust.