The frightening part about teenage alcoholism and teenage drug abuse, is how young the kids today are that are becoming addicted. Seeing kids of 11-13 in rehab centers being treated for addiction is not unusual
Your teenage years are amongst your most difficult and confusing because you’re trying to understand yourself and how you fit into the world. Dealing with hormones, trying to impress the opposite sex , and coping with the general pressures that school life brings, makes things pretty tough.
Plus teenagers today are being exposed to so much more from a far younger age through television and the media. Drugs, alcohol and sex are not subjects that are regarded as out of bounds at that age in the way that they used to be 10-15 years ago.
And with the usual experimentation that happens at that age anyway, you now have kids of 10 trying drugs and alcohol. The problem is that at that age, you just don’t have the maturity to deal with that and so it will create problems.
It is impossible however to pin the increase in teen drug and alcohol addiction to any single factor. There are just so many different variables that may play a role.
With peer pressure added to the mix of being exposed to more at a much earlier age (not forgetting the experimentation that tends to go on anyway) – you definitely have a significant reason for the increase in teenage addiction. Peer pressure especially, which results in you doing loads of stupid stuff anyway, plays a huge role in influencing your behaviour at that age.
I also wonder if parenting skills today are what they used to be, which will also no doubt be a major reason? You have more single parent families, both parents working (and longer hours), divorce rates higher than ever – of course all that affects kids. Coupled with the insecurity that teenagers experience anyway, using drugs and alcohol then becomes an easy way to deal with everything.
But I think one of the biggest reasons today for the escalating problem of teenage alcoholism, and especially teenage drug addiction, is the availability of alcohol and drugs. If you look especially at the kinds of drugs readily and easily available on the streets today, heroin and amphetamines being two of the worst, it doesn’t take long for kids to get addicted. And these are drugs that weren’t available as easily 15-20 years ago.
Fighting the battle against teenage drug addiction and alcoholism is getting more difficult by the day. As a parent, providing a supportive and loving home environment is your most important job, and in reality pretty much as you can really do. You then just have to hope and pray it will be enough.