Drug Treatment: Why Teens are Prone to Drug-Use
Each year, millions of teens choose to partake in illegal drinking and drug use. What may begin as mere curiosity eventually leads many down a destructive path toward dependence and addiction, which causes them to seek help from a drug treatment program. For parents, teenage drug use can be a frightening reality, but understanding some of the reasons why teens engage in this kind of behavior can help prevent it. Today, Ozarks Teen Challenge discusses some of the factors that lead to teenage drug use and evaluates if teens are more susceptible to addiction than adults.
Social Factors that Lead to Drug Use
Social factors contribute the most to teenage drug use. When teens enter high school, they are more likely to be pressured by their peers to drink or engage in other harmful activities. Even if they do not initially give into peer pressure, they may eventually experience stress from school, work, family, and other social factors, which may make them more inclined to drink, smoke, or experiment with drugs. Peer pressure and stress can be strong forces to a teen that eventually cause them to seek drug treatment.
During teenage years, young people experience a lot of mental and emotional development. During puberty, a person’s brain grows immensely, but the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that is responsible for reasoning and rational thought – does not fully develop until around the age of 25. While adults with fully developed brains can assess a situation and consider the consequences, teenagers are more likely to act impulsively and irrationally. Acting on impulse and emotion, teenagers may not realize the consequences of their actions and make decisions that many adults would consider reckless, risky, or dangerous.
Are Teens More Prone to Addiction?
Due to psychological and social factors, teenagers are more likely to experiment with drugs than adults, but are they truly more susceptible to addiction? The answer lies in a teenager’s brain chemistry. By engaging with drugs and alcohol early in life, a teenager’s brain development is likely to be affected by the use of drugs and alcohol. This may make them more susceptible to the addictive qualities of certain substances, which leads many to seek drug treatment and rehabilitation early in life.
Drug Treatment at Ozarks Teen Challenge
Ozarks Teen Challenge is more than your average drug treatment program. Specializing in working with troubled teens, our program takes a holistic, Christ-centered approach to rehabilitation, emphasizing personal growth, development, and discipleship. By focussing on academic growth, wilderness therapy, and leadership and life-skills training, we provide troubled teens the tools they need for effective rehabilitation. In addition to drug treatment, we also provide treatment for behavioral problems, sexual addictions, and other life-controlling issues. To learn how our program can help your teen, contact Ozarks Teen Challenge today.