Adolescence is a rollercoaster ride for many of those living in these modern times. Those living with the youth also tend to get sucked into the conundrum of this developmental phase. And when the teenager you know gets into the pit of addiction, you either feel helpless or wracked with anxiety over this anxiety-inducing situation. It makes you also ask why these young people turn to addictive substances at such tender ages. Knowing the motivations of the youth for getting into drugs helps parents, guardians, and adult friends know how to mitigate the risks of addiction among adolescents. Read on and learn what pushes them into this dangerous habit.
Social development is critical during the teenage years. Peer pressure is always in the background and the need for acceptance casts a shadow in the psyche of every young person. As they continue to figure out their personalities and identities, they experiment with various things or follow the lead of other people in their age range that they pretty much look up to and admire. If their friends or admired personalities are into alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, it’s very difficult for them to go against the grain if they want to maintain their friendship or get into their clique.
Adolescents are a curious lot, especially that they’re in a crucial identity-development stage. Addictive substances, unfortunately, tend to hold a certain appeal among members of this demographic. Ads and lifestyles of the rich and famous also add to their attraction. Those little pushes that persuasive marketing make on teenagers are bound to influence youngsters to testing the waters, so to speak. And it won’t take long before alcohol and nicotine use become habitual, even later posing health risks to teenagers who develop a dependency on such substances.
Parental pressure, friendship issues, school problems, and other personal difficulties may make addictive substances appear to be appealing routes to escape reality even for a short while. They can see drugs as a way to blow off steam and forget their troubles for a while in order to cope with their stresses. Youngsters who fall into this trap tend to lack other coping strategies in order to deal with such stressors. The problem is that they tend to spiral into a destructive cycle that could stretch longer and even have far-reaching effects that they did not expect to face when they began the habit.
It’s not hard to get into the habit if drugs and other addictive substances are within reach. This is even more so when members of the teenager’s family are habitual users of such substances. If they see people around them using drugs, it won’t be long before they buy into the habit as well.
In order to help teenagers prevent dabbling in drug use, parents and guardians must develop a close and healthy relationship with them. Trust is very essential in doing so and must thus be preserved. Helping youngsters become responsible and develop good decision-making abilities also reduce the risks of them acquiring such destructive habits.