Teens and Addiction: Know the Risk Factors Before It Begins

It’s no secret that drug and alcohol addiction oftentimes begin during the teen years. With social pressures and all the anxieties that come with high school, drug abuse among adolescents is more common than many people would like to admit. While parents certainly don’t have a crystal ball to see into their child’s future, there are certain risk factors they should know about to stop addiction before it even begins.

Here are just a few of the risk factors that can contribute to drug experimentation and addiction:

Personality and Behavioral Traits

While there is no “cookie cutter” personality of every person who has struggled with addiction, there are certain traits that are more commonly found than others. According to a New York Times piece, countries in Europe, Australia and Canada have adopted a teen addiction program called Preventure. Preventure has identified the following four traits that are considered risky:

  • Sensation-seeking
  • Impulsiveness
  • Anxiety and sensitivity
  • Hopelessness

If you notice your teen is exhibiting any of these behaviors, they may be more at-risk than their peers for experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

Family History

If drug or alcohol addiction is prevalent in your teen’s immediate or extended family, they could be at a greater biological risk for developing a substance dependency. Please understand that a history of addiction does not in any way mean your child is “doomed” or “predestined” to follow the same path. However, it is important to discuss the dangers of drugs and alcohol with your child from an early age so they understand that they may be predisposed.

Past Trauma

At any stage of life, trauma and abuse is a tremendously strong reason that people turn to drugs and alcohol. This risk is even more prevalent if this happens during childhood or teen years. If your child has experienced such trauma, be sure to seek proper therapy and resources to help them through these difficult situations. Our team of therapists work with individuals during 90-day treatment and our other programs to delve into past traumas that have contributed to addiction issues.

Home Life Troubles

In many instances, teens turn to drugs and alcohol as an escape from issues that have arisen in their homes. Divorce, domestic abuse and a lack of supervision all contribute to a teen’s choice to use drugs and alcohol. Furthermore, if a teen sees their parent or older role model depending on drugs and alcohol as a method of self-medication, they are more likely to mirror this same behavior.

No family should have to undergo the anguish caused by drug and alcohol addiction. If you do have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, Choice House is here. Learn more about our Denver addiction recovery programs at 720-577-4422 or hello@choicehouse.com.





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