How many times have you been tempted to try drugs? Has a friend ever persuaded you to try a particular drug? Drug addiction in youth is a prevalent issue. It is very easy to fall prey to substance abuse. You only need a very vulnerable point in life, and boom, you can be addicted to drugs. You may not be performing well at school, and a friend mentions a performance-enhancing drug. Don’t tell me you won’t be tempted to try it! But you do realize that this temptation will lead you to destruction.
Drug addiction in youth is a serious issue. Teenagers are more prone to being addicted as they are full of adrenaline in that period. Unfortunately, despite the significant risk and numerous negative consequences, many teenagers consider drug and alcohol experimentation an essential part of growing up.
Some teenagers are introduced to drugs through prescriptions and then begin to use recreationally. Some teenagers start experimenting with drugs due to peer pressure or after hearing a song about drug abuse. Some even get their hands on drugs by stealing from their parent’s medicine cabinets.
Teenage drug addiction is a genuine risk, regardless of how an adolescent first begins using drugs. However, it is essential to know what drug addiction is.
What Is Drug Addiction?
Drugs impact how your body and mind work; they can alter how you feel, think, and behave. People use drugs for a variety of reasons and in many ways. If used for a prolonged time such that you crave them and are dependent on them, it means you are addicted.
Stages Of Drug Addiction
Addiction happens in four stages.
- Experimentation: Taking a drug out of curiosity or simply recreational purposes
- Social Use: Taking drugs in social groups may be for social reasons
- Problem: Taking drugs without any consideration of the detrimental consequences
- Dependency: Taking drugs several times, daily, without any fear of the consequences
Types Of Drug Addictions
There are many types of drug addictions in youth. The most important are:
- narcotics addiction
- nicotine (tobacco) addiction
- marijuana (pot) addiction
- cocaine addiction
- medicinal drug addiction
Causes Of Drug Addiction In Youth
The youth is a very vulnerable part of society. Teenagers are more susceptible to turn towards drugs. There are many reasons why youngsters fall prey to this evil.
Peer pressure is an authentic problem. Teenagers try to fit in the society by agreeing with others. If your social circle has one or two drug addicts, you are at a higher risk of becoming one too.
Suppose you are sitting with your friends and one of them takes out a cigarette. They offer you one, and you refuse.
There is a high chance that they will make fun of you. You might give in and try it once. There opens the door to addiction. You do it again the next time they offer you.
And again. You don’t seem to get enough of it. This becomes a habit of yours, and lo and behold: you are now addicted to nicotine.
It is important to understand the consequences of drug addiction in youth due to peer pressure. You become chained to a drug and are insatiable.
Peer pressure might push you to do something you would never do. It is crucial to keep your guard open and say no each time someone offers a drug and walk away confidently.
Research proves that family problems are a leading cause of stress among numerous teens.
Parental fights, poverty, fight with siblings, etc., pay a toll on their mental health. Distressed from their homes, adolescents may turn to drugs to escape reality.
A puff of cocaine or a whiff of marijuana is just what the individual might be seeking. Or so they think. The temporary state of euphoria takes them to the stars, and they love the feeling.
But when they come back on Earth, reality hits them, and they want to go back where the drug took them. Their addiction starts here.
Stress, anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems that can cause drug addiction in the youth. Sometimes, one feels as if one is going deeper into the darkness.
This creates a feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness. One dreams of a way out but can not find any. Then comes the devil in disguise: a drug that will relieve them of all their anguish and despair. This provides an incentive to them to become addicted.
Learn more about mental health issues here
It is very common that if one partner is addicted to a particular drug, the other is more prone to become addicted. It is usual in young couples.
They try to be adventurous and daredevils but end up going out of their minds. In addition, break-ups are also a very vulnerable time for them to find solace in drugs. It ends with drug addiction in youth.
The study load gives a lot of tension, especially to those students who slack off. They constantly search for shortcuts but end up failing. Failing an exam makes them depressed, and to alleviate that feeling, they might try a drug.
Another significant risk is trying a performance-enhancing drug. If you find that a specific drug enhances your mood and performance, you are more likely to take it.
Symptoms Of Drug Addiction In Youth
It is critical to look out for the signs of substance abuse in the youth. The signs of drug addiction are:
- trouble between identifying true feelings and sensations caused by drugs
- increased irritability
- losing your temper if the drug is not available
- elevated anxiety
- withdrawal symptoms if you can’t find the drug
- not being in the correct state of mind
- feeling furious at the slightest issue
Read more about signs of addiction here.
Drug Addiction In Youth Of Pakistan
According to a recent study, the youth comprises 29% of the total population in Pakistan. An estimate suggests that 3000 to 5000 street children are present in society. Many of them engage in drugs and survival sex. University and college students also engage in drugs within small groups.
Drugs are easily available on university grounds due to a lack of a monitoring system and, in some cases, the involvement of university staff. Students are frequently involved in the drug business in universities. Other factors, such as mass media, influenced students’ involvement in drug addiction.
Furthermore, addiction impacts students’ academic and social lives because they spend more time with drug addict friends, miss classes, have fewer contacts with their families, and spend the majority of their pocket money on buying drugs.
Drug addictions in youth of all kinds can be treated. Because addiction often affects many aspects of life, the best plans are comprehensive. Treatments will be aimed at assisting you or someone you know to stop seeking and engaging in their addiction.
Among the most common therapies are:
- medications used to treat mental illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia
- behavioural, talk and group therapies are all forms of psychotherapy
- medical services to assist in the treatment of severe complications of addiction, such as withdrawal during detox
- addiction case manager to assist in the coordination and monitoring of ongoing treatment
- treatment for addiction in a hospital
- self-help and support organizations
You can also seek evaluation from your primary care physician. The type of treatment recommended by a psychologist is determined by the severity and stage of the addiction.
A psychologist may recommend medication and therapy in the early stages of drug addiction in youth. In later stages, inpatient addiction treatment in a controlled setting may be beneficial.
1. Why are drugs especially harmful for young people?
As the brains are still developing, drugs may cause physiological and psychological impairments. This reduces their proper functioning and performance.
2. Which drugs are most common in the youth?
The most commonly used drugs are tobacco and marijuana. They have serious health effects.
3. Can drug addiction in youth be prevented?
Yes, engaging in prevention programs and creating awareness among the masses can help prevent drug addiction in youth.
Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the best psychologists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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