When it comes to substance abuse and addiction these problems can be found in all age groups, at all income levels, and among all occupations and levels of education. Adolescents and teens tend to have higher risks than any other segment of the population though, and this is true for all forms of drug and alcohol abuse/ Why is this? There are a number of factors at play that contribute to high levels of substance abuse and addiction during late childhood and the teen years. Peer pressure plays a role because this age group is starting to join social groups, and peers may pressure these individuals into trying drugs in order to be cool, fit in, and gain acceptance. Teens are often inured or killed in large numbers across the USA due to substance abuse.
Teenagers often feel that they are invincible, and that nothing can hurt them. Alcohol and drug use is often seen as a rite of passage for this age group and the dangers of substance abuse may fall on deaf ears. Teens frequently want to try things out for themselves, and at this age they are less likely to take advice from parents or believe facts and statistics. That does not mean that you should stop talking to your adolescent though, because you can get through if you take the time to listen and show them that you are there for them. Many teens want rules and boundaries. Let your teens know that it is okay to say no to alcohol or drugs, even tobacco. You can offer yourself as an excuse, making it clear what the consequences are for this type of behavior. If you suspect that your teen has a substance abuse problem it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible for the best outcome.