What Are the Most Common Illegal Substances Used By Teenagers?
It is important to think about the mental well-being of teenagers so that they don’t become involved in substance abuse as a way to overcome their feelings. Alternatively, a teenager may develop a mental illness because she is using an illegal drug or consuming alcohol. Mental health issues combined with substance abuse is a common problem, requiring rehabilitation facilities to create customized treatment plans for teenagers to overcome addictions while they are also managing a mental health problem. Some of the most common substances used by teenagers include:
- Inhalants – glue and household cleansers
- Alcohol – easy to obtain from older friends
- Prescription opioids – stolen from other people
- Attention deficit or hyperactivity medications – stolen from friends
- Hallucinogens – purchased from drug dealers
- Synthetic marijuana – referred to as spice
- Sleep aids – purchased at drugstores
Teenagers experiencing anxiety or depression often don’t have the appropriate coping skills, and they don’t understand how to seek counseling from a therapist, leading to substance abuse as a way to stop feeling sad or upset.
Teenagers Require Dual-diagnosis Treatment While Overcoming a Drug Addiction
Not only do teenagers require a different type of treatment plan when they are overcoming an addiction, but also, they will require non-addictive medications for mental health issues. Counselors will need to make a customized dual-diagnosis plan for their teenage clients who are undergoing rehabilitation for alcohol or drug abuse. It is important for a teenage addict to disclose her mental health problems during the detoxification process so that the counseling team can have a physician prescribe medications for these issues. Here are some of the mental health issues that make substance abuse treatment more complicated.
Mental Health Issue 1: Depression
Teenagers who are depressed may withdraw from everyone, and rather than going to school or attending social events, they may sleep or watch television. However, some teenagers will act out when they are depressed, engaging in behaviors such as shoplifting, vandalism or promiscuous sex. While in a drug rehabilitation facility, a teenage addict will continue to withdraw from illegal substances, but at the same time, she will need antidepressant medications that don’t interfere with the treatment process.
Mental Health Issue 2: Anxiety
Modern teenagers often experience anxiety at home, school and social situations. They may want to have excellent grades so that it is easier to enter a great college, or they may want to excel in sports to impress their friends. At home, many teenagers live in single parent situations, or they might spend some of their time with a different parent part of the year. In social situations, teenagers want to fit in by having the best type of vehicle, smartphone or clothing. The teenagers who don’t fit in with the crowd are often ostracized or bullied by their peers.
Mental Health Issue 3: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has numerous symptoms, including:
- Mood swings
- Repetitive behaviors
- Short attention spans
When a teenager has this condition, he requires specialized medications along with behavioral cognitive therapy. Unfortunately, some teenagers with this condition use alcohol or drugs to change their behaviors, but substance abuse will make this disorder worse.