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Why Are Teens So Susceptible To Substance Use Struggles?

Between the ages of 13 and 14 years old is when most adolescents begin to experiment with various substances. Unfortunately, these years are also the most formative years for teenagers. At this stage, their brain is still developing and the introduction of drugs or alcohol could potentially leave a mark that will affect them throughout the rest of their life. 

This is why it is important for parents to be aware of why more and more teenagers are using drugs and alcohol, as well as the signs that your child might be using these substances. If your child is struggling with substance use as an adolescent or teenager, alcohol abuse treatment in Brandon is available through Phoenix House Florida.

3 Reasons Why Teens May Begin Using Substances

  1. To Relieve Boredom. During the adolescent and teen years, their brains are rapidly developing, and they are wired to constantly seek new and exciting experiences. If they are having a hard time getting the excitement and enjoyment they want from life, they will begin seeking out non-regular sources,which opens the door for drugs and alcohol. When these substances are used it delivers a hit of dopamine to the brain, giving them a sense of euphoria and relief that becomes addicting. 
  2. To Deal with Overwhelming Emotions. It is very common during one’s teenage years to feel lost or as if you are not heard or understood by the people around you. This can lead to anger, anxiety, and even depression. Often the substance teens choose to use reflects how they are feeling. For example, those feeling anger and wanting to lash out may turn to alcohol, as this gives them the perfect excuse to behave as they want.
  3. To Forget Their Problems. Today more than ever, the cases of anxiety, depression, and even stress are at an all-time high in teens. The world is a scary place and when it feels like there’s no escape, teens in particular tend to use substances such as drugs and alcohol to find a way out of their problems. 

Health Effects Of Teenage Substance Use

Studies have shown that the brain does not stop developing until you are 25 years old. The prefrontal lobe is actually the last thing to fully develop. This is the area of the brain that regulates your thoughts and emotions and controls complex reasoning and decision making – abilities necessary to a successful adulthood. 

Alcohol use during your teenage years mostly negatively affects your growth. It’s been proven to reduce growth potential, lead to a high chance of liver damage later on in life, and leave you with severe respiratory issues. In recent years there has been not just an increase in underage drinking, but also in alcohol abuse treatment here in Brandon, showing just how severe this issue has become. 

Drug use, on the other hand, negatively affects the brain; its effects are even more significant in young teenage brains that are still forming. The chemicals in illicit drugs interfere with various neurotransmitters and cut off connections to different paths in the brain, ultimately leading to memory problems and even negatively affecting how your brain receives and processes new information.

How To Get Help

Beyond recognizing that there is a problem, sometimes asking for help can be the hardest step to take. If you notice changes in your child’s behavior and discover that they are using drugs or alcohol, help is available through drug and alcohol treatment centers in Brandon

Phoenix House Florida, one of the most distinguished drug and alcohol treatment centers in Brandon, is always ready to help. To learn more about the options available to you and your family, request an appointment today.

Need Help?

At Phoenix House Florida, we have a passion for healing. If you or your loved one are in need of subtance use treatment, we are here to help. Give us a call or submit our appointment request form today.

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The Derek Jeter Center

The Derek Jeter Center Adolescent program in Brandon, FL provides comprehensive outpatient services that help families deal with teen substance use and related mental health conditions.

At Our House

For some patients, stepping away from the buzz of everyday life is the only way to make a full recovery. Inpatient treatments help patients refocus their recovery efforts to achieve positive, long-lasting outcomes.

At Your House

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. Outpatient treatment must follow a continuum of care that starts with a thorough needs assessment and ends with recovery monitoring.