Substance use disorders among teens are not uncommon. Teens are experimenting and developing substance use disorders from cocaine to heroin and even prescription drugs. Many teens experimented with drugs by the twelfth grade. Many of us wonder, “why do teens turn to drugs?” Many experience traumas and challenges without professional support to help them manage their emotions. A drug addiction treatment program will support your teens in learning to manage their emotions and live a substance-free life. If a teen in your life struggles with substance use, reach out to Destinations for Teens. Our team of medical and mental health professionals will provide an environment that will allow your teen to acknowledge their reasons for drug use and then find positive ways of navigating their substance use disorder.
3 Common Reasons Teens Turn To Drugs To Self-Medicate
If you have ever wondered, “why teens turn to drugs,” you need to consider the challenges associated with adolescence. The teen years are filled with moments of anxiety as a transitional period from childhood to adulthood. Some teens with a support system can trust adults and their peers to navigate these times. However, for others, it can be a lonely period that causes them to seek happiness in dangerous sources. Here are some reasons that teens choose to self-medicate:
1. Childhood Trauma
Many adolescents experience psychological trauma from abuse and domestic violence before age 11. When a child or young adult experiences adverse events, they develop trauma. Examples of trauma include emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. It can also include witnessing domestic or communal violence. When teens who have experienced trauma have not been provided mental health support, it is not uncommon for them to turn to drugs to manage their emotions.
2. Depression and Anxiety Disorders
Teens dealing with extreme depression or anxiety and not receiving professional help often turn to drugs to deal with their emotions. Some people might wonder “why do teens turn to drugs?” when they struggle with depression or anxiety. They may choose drugs such as heroin or painkillers that will make them feel relaxed and calm.
3. Peer Pressure
Many teens want to be liked. Everyone wants to be accepted and have a lot of friends. As teens discover their identities, it is not uncommon for them to experiment with drugs to feel like they are part of the crowd. Although many have been taught through school and their community to say “no,” it is often easier said than done. Once teens begin using drugs to be part of a group, they may build their identity around who they are when they use drugs. Other common reasons teens turn to drugs to self-medicate:
- Needing help managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention Deficit disorder (ADD)
- Treating chronic pain or illness
- Watching family and community members use drugs and alcohol to manage emotions
Get Started Recovering with Destinations For Teens
The adolescent years are filled with change. However, as adults, we have the responsibility to understand that teens need support and guidance. When teens feel isolated and unable to cope, they might turn to drugs. There are many common reasons teens turn to drugs to self-medicate, but there is help. At Destinations for Teens, we focus on the needs of young adults who need to overcome challenges associated with substance use disorders. Working with medical staff and therapists, our teens will receive the care and concern to overcome drug use. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to learn how our drug addiction treatment program options support your teen.