It is often stated that substance use is the #1 public health problem in the world. In fact, it has been stated that 50% of teens will use addictive substances at least once. Substance abuse and addiction at a young age can lead to devastating effects on the individual when they become an adult, and these effects can be next to impossible to reverse. So how does an addiction originate in an individual? What are the primary influences that affect these young people, and how can these issues be stopped before they start?
Theory #1 – Genetics
Scientists have proposed many theories as to why adolescents can be so easily prone to addiction, and one of the most popular is that addiction is genetic, passed down through genetics or family history. It has also been all but guaranteed that addiction originated in individuals is due 50 percent to genetic predisposition, and the same source also states that the children of addicts are 8 times more likely to develop addiction than those who were not raised in the same situation. It is important to note that having a parent or family member with a history of drug abuse is not a prison sentence, and by no means does having been raised in such a situation guarantee that the child will ever even touch drugs in his life.
Theory #2 – Peer Pressure
After birth, a child’s brain does not fully develop until they have reached approximately 25 years of age. It then goes without saying that peer pressure and the media’s lure of the need of drugs to be cool can easily influence a young person’s mind. This unrelenting peer pressure is hard to escape and it may be why the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration state that some children start abusing drugs at age 12 or earlier, and to why 70% of high school students have tried alcohol. Social media is another huge influence to young minds with some studies stating that adolescents who frequent social media are 3 times more likely to use tobacco and three times more likely to use alcohol. However, all is not lost. Proper parenting and a careful watch on the child’s daily activities and peer groups can greatly increase the adolescent’s chances of avoiding these issues.
Proper Parenting can make the Difference
As the world evolves and young people come face to face with an increasing number of negative influences, it is more important than ever to help these children avoid the dark draws of drug abuse and addiction, regardless of the child’s past or history. It is not easy to exactly pinpoint how an addiction originates in an individual, but proper parenting and a careful watch on what the children are up to at school and in their free time can do volumes to keep the youth of America clean and clear-headed with a bright outlook on their future. If your child is suffering from addiction, it is essential to find them help. Contact us at 877-466-0620 to learn more about addiction.