Drugs don't discriminate, and will destroy young potential as readily as they do adult lives.
From the very young to the oldest of seniors, drugs never discriminate; and those who experiment with recreational drug use too often find themselves dependent and trapped within a negative cycle of addiction and despair.
Younger users are particularly susceptible to the addictive nature of drugs and alcohol, and the younger a youth starts experimenting with drugs or alcohol, the greater the eventual probability of addiction.
Parents often wonder how their son or daughter could have fallen into drug abuse or addiction, but when you look at the admission statistic to drug and alcohol treatment facilities, the teens engaging in therapies within are a representative cross section of society, and anyone rich or poor can fall victim to drug or alcohol addiction.
Statistics of Teen Admissions to Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facilities
According to Public Health England:1
- 20,032 teens under the age of 18 accessed substance abuse treatment services during the 2012-2013 year.
- Youth sent to treatment were most likely to report cannabis as their primary drug of abuse (68%) followed by alcohol (24%)
- Just over half of those entering treatment were still in school (51%).
- Youth Offending Teams referred 30% of this total number of admission.
- 66% of those referred into treatment were male and 52% were 16 and over.
Nothing about addiction or abuse is certain, and some teens emerge from very difficult environments, familial situations and heredities to never abuse drugs or alcohol; and some teens raised in homes with no abuse, with no familial history of abuse, and with parents who engage in preventative measures, still fall victim to abuse or addiction.
The period of adolescence is a stage of experimentation and also of risk taking behaviors, but the consequences of drug and alcohol use during this stage of life are great. Parents need to engage in active preventative measures against drug and alcohol use and maintain appropriate discipline against use behaviors. If use is observed, parents need to quickly evaluate the level of abuse or addiction, and get professional help if at all needed.
The longer use, abuse or dependence is allowed to continue, the greater the mental physical and social destruction; and unfortunately, with greater addiction comes a greatly increased difficulty in providing effective treatment. Abuse problems do not go away of their own accord, and parents in denial to the extent of a problem cannot protect their very vulnerable teenage children as they need and deserve.
It is always better to err on the side of caution, and if ever in doubt about the true extent of use behaviors, to get immediate professional intervention and treatment. It may not be necessary, but doing too much is vastly preferable to doing too little…and potentially living through the heartbreak and destruction of full blown addiction.
Page last updated 09/08/2014