Teen Drug Abuse: How to Stop Teens from Taking Drugs

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Drug addiction is a serious disease that can severely impact and impair all aspects of an individual’s life. The neurological changes that result in the brain due to chronic and uncontrolled use of drugs need to be combated with proper drug addiction counseling and treatment plans. At Cadabam’s, we address the various sides and causes of drug addiction with our three decades of experience.

Our multispeciality team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists work around the clock to build customised treatment plans that suit all needs and prevents relapse. We work on developing plans that focus on long-term recovery while keeping caregivers an essential part of the treatment. If you or someone you know are facing issues with drug addiction, call us on the helpline at +91 96111 94949 or mail us at for any queries or support. We are here for you.

Drug abuse is rampant, and the drug of choice is changing. Thousands, if not millions, of teens and young adults, are at the forefront of drug abuse. Drug abuse continues to claim lives and negatively affect millions. However, the stigma around addiction prevents many from seeking professional help and recovery. 

Parents frequently wonder what they can do to keep their teenagers from taking club drugs and other harmful substances, such as alcohol and tobacco. Unfortunately, teenagers tend to experiment with substances that make them feel good or help them gain access to certain social privileges. To reduce the amount of experimentation (or, in some cases, prevent it), keeping a good and healthy relationship with the teen is necessary.,

What Are the Symptoms of Teen Drug Problems?

Drug abuse or substance abuse affects people from all walks of life. Teens and adults are drawn to drugs equally, irrespective of whether they started taking drugs recreationally or as prescribed. Tolerance (needing more of the substance to attain the same desirable effect) and dependence (physiological dependence of the body on the substance, when not taking the substance for long periods of time may result in unpleasant reactions)  can sometimes develop even before the user realizes it. There are various long-term effects of drug and substance abuse. The following signs and symptoms will help you figure out teen drug problems.

Physical Symptoms

  •         Poor physical coordination
  •         Staggering walk 
  •         Insomnia
  •         Loss of appetite 
  •         Abrupt weight changes
  •         Sweaty palms
  •         Watery eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  •         Nausea, vomiting
  •         Excessive sweating
  •         Irregular heartbeat

Behavioural Symptoms

  •         Change in attitude or personality
  •         Temper tantrums 
  •         Chronic dishonesty 
  •         Sudden oversensitivity 
  •         Paranoia
  •         Mood swings, irritability
  •         Nervousness 
  •         Depression
  •         Lethargy
  •         Major habit changes
  •         Involvement in criminal activities

Common Drugs That Teenagers Abuse

Every drug that adults abuse is also abused by teenagers, the most common being alcohol and tobacco products like cigarettes. Other drugs that teenagers commonly use are –

  • Cannabinoids: Examples include marijuana, hashish. They also go by names like Mary Jane, pot or weed, and are smoked in a joint, pipe, bong, etc.
  • Inhalants: Huffing of gasoline, ammonia
  •   Depressants: Barbiturates, benzodiazepines, which are also referred to as yellow jackets, reds, yellows, roofies among teen drug addicts
  • Cold medications: Chlorpheniramine, pseudoephedrine, diphenhydramine
  •   Stimulants: They are commonly referred to as crack, bennies, rock, toot, black beauties, crystal, etc. Examples include amphetamines, cocaine, methamphetamine.
  •         Narcotics: Heroin, oxycodone, codeine, morphine, acetaminophen
  •         Dissociative anaesthetics: Ketamine, phencyclidine
  •         Club drugs: Ecstasy, also called “X”
  •         Hallucinogens: LSD, mushrooms
  •         Other drugs like anabolic steroids

Dangerous Effects of Teen Drug Abuse

Teen drug abuse can lead to dangerous effects, which can include the following:

  • Decreases the ability to concentrate on things
  • Early drug use increases the chances of developing a substance-abuse problem in the future. Besides, they will also have a hard time quitting drug use.
  • Drug use in juveniles can cause them to indulge in unhealthy sexual behaviour like unprotected sex, risky sex with strangers thereby putting them at a higher risk for pregnancy, rape commission or victimization, and STDs under the influence of the drugs.
  • Use of anabolic steroids has been linked with impotence in boys, clitoral enlargement in girls, and other health effects like heart attacks, strokes, liver diseases, cancer, infections, stunted growth, etc.
  •  Emotional problems like anxiety, depression, or hallucinations are often masked among drug abusers. This can lead to death by suicide or homicide.

·Drug abuse can have severely negative impacts on the body depending on which drug is abused and how it is taken. For example, inhalants could lead to permanent brain damage, while stimulants could lead to heart attack or strokes. Death could also occur as a consequence of drug use.

How to Help Your Teen Avoid Drugs?

Teen Drug Abuse

Does peer pressure help stop it? Unfortunately, the contrary is true. In reality, peer pressure is one of the major reasons for both the beginning and the continuation of a drug habit. An increasing number of teens and young adults participate in "drug parties" where the use of addictive drugs is rampant. There is more peer pressure to participate in taking prescription pills, than trying to talk a person out of it.

Merely giving out advice and an incomplete discussion may not be the best solution as it does not cover the different aspects of teen drug abuse. The best approach on how to avoid drugs is to build a comprehensive plan and strategy to tackle drugs.

Providing a positive, uplifting, long-term solution is a better way of addressing the problem. Get them involved in planning for their future and take responsibility for their lives and stand up for what's right. Here are some ways how you can, as a parent, help your teen avoid drugs and stay away from teen drug abuse.

Preventing Teen Drug Abuse: Advice for Parents

Teen Drug Abuse

If you want to guide your child on how to avoid drugs in college or school, the best way is to talk to them. You, being a parent or guardian, can also take other preventative measures to check on the matter and help them avoid drugs.

Check on your teen's activities: Keep yourself updated on their daily activities and their peers. This will help you identify any unusual activity.

Help them to speak up about their problem: Oftentimes, teens know they need help but are unable to talk about it or ask for help from parents or elders.

Show love and acceptance to your teenager: Show your love and concern for them in a way that they can understand. Doing so is an important factor in raising a well-adjusted teen. Parents who show unconditional love and acceptance to their teens and still set rules and boundaries are often the most successful.

Developing self-confidence in them, from an early age: This is a crucial factor in raising a successful teen who makes good choices. This can be built through the feeling of accomplishment in activities and sports, through creative outlets, and from supportive, attentive, and proud parents who serve as good role models.

Help your teen develop appropriate social skills: If these skills are developed then the teen will have friends, know how to act in school and in groups and will feel socially accepted. Positive social skills lead to peer acceptance, which during the teen years is critical in their emotional development

Get to know your teen’s friends: Invite them to your house. Appreciate the trust your teen places in you when they invite their friends over with them. This lets you know their whereabouts and know their friends. 

Communicate: Accomplishing things together with your teen and communicating to them that you are keenly interested in their life will develop self-confidence and prevent them from straying.

Keep your teenager away from the wrong crowd: It is an arduous but rewarding process. Invest in your teenager and communicate to them that they are loved and accepted unconditionally. It is crucial to keep your teen away from associating with the "wrong crowd". It is an approach that is both proactive and preventative.

Express your concern and give them the help they need: Start with expressing your commitment and deep concern to support and help them in taking positive action. Recovery might seem to be impossible while in the process of withdrawing from drug addiction, but it is never impossible!

Treatment for Teen Drug Abuse

Entering the world of drug abuse is easy, but quitting can be excruciatingly painful. It is painful for the teen, their family, and friends. Teen drug abuse can quite easily consume the user's life and disrupt their academics and every relationship they cherish.

This also causes side effects such as short-term memory loss, weight loss, gain in appetite, and more, which can be dangerous and affect the teen's life in a very harmful way. In some cases, addiction to prescription medicines, cocaine, and heroin can result in overdoses that may be fatal.

Treatment for teen drug abuse depends on the severity and the substance of addiction. The first step in recovering is for the patient to admit that they are facing an addiction problem. The treatment involves providing aid and support to the patient and addressing their possible tendencies to abuse drugs.

  • Psychotherapy – Different types of psychotherapies are used for drug addiction. Individual counselling, group therapy, family therapy, CBT, etc are used based on the requirement and case history of the teen. 
  • Self-Help Groups – The teen will have close interactions with other similar patients suffering from addiction problems. They share each other’s story and often act as a motivation factor in recovering from the disorder.
  • Help with Medications – There are treatments available to prevent the cravings for drugs which involve both medications and regular monitoring and counselling.

Why Cadabam’s for Treatment of Teen Drug Abuse?

Cadabam’s is one of the best teen drug abuse rehabilitation centres in Bangalore where we can help your child walk on the path to holistic wellness by destigmatizing dependency and treating it like any other illness. We have over two decades of experience in the rehabilitation space and thousands of successful recoveries to our credit. Our wellness experts use a number of techniques such as mindfulness, therapy, meditation, and yoga to help detox.

Cadabam’s recognizes the social and family aspects of addiction as well. We provide support groups for individuals and families. There is 24/7 support with immediate crisis intervention and a multifaceted team of psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, and other professionals. Cadabam’s takes evidence and solution-based treatment plans which are customized for every individual.

Teen Drug Abuse Help

If you would like more information on what immediate action steps you can take to help your teen stop drug abuse, then please feel free to contact us on our 24/7 helpline at 96111 94949. You can also visit us at Cadabam’s Anunitha. We are here to help you through the journey.

Disclaimer – We strive to treat our patients with dignity and the utmost sensitivity. We understand that addiction is a disease and that it is not a sign of weakness. The terms like drug addict, drug abuser or drug addiction are used not in a derogatory fashion but to remain relevant to user search trends and common usage. It is important to note that addiction should be referred to as ‘substance use disorder’ to better address the effects of this psychological condition.

Words like addict, junkie, etc should be avoided as they place the blame on the individual. In case you or your loved ones are struggling with drug abuse and share a unique viewpoint on how we can improve this content for our readers, please reach out to us at

FAQs About Teen Drug Use

  • Can teen drug abuse cause depression?

Yes. Drug abuse and depression often go hand-in-hand in many cases. Teens who abuse substances usually also require treatment for depression. In addition, drug abuse can result in various other mental health problems, like anxiety and psychosis.

  • How does teen drug abuse start?

The brain functions differently when one consumes drugs. It releases more dopamine. And that ‘feel good’ or euphoria lasts over a prolonged period. People often try to achieve the same feeling so they consume the substance again. Our body builds tolerance against the substance. So, in subsequent instances, one consumes more of the drug to feel the same level of excitement and euphoria. This is how many addictions start. This is how teen drug abuse starts. (It’s worth noting that drug abuse and drug addiction aren’t the same. Drug abuse can lead to drug addiction.)

  • Why do teen drug abusers relapse?

Recovery from addiction (or addiction-like tendencies) is not easy. It’s a challenge. So, in that, many people give up and go back to their ‘old ways’. This happens even with teens who abuse substances. The need to consume drugs and get the euphoric, feel-good feelings get so much, they often relapse. 

  • How teen drug abuse can be prevented?

It’s parents’ responsibility to ensure their teen isn’t on drugs. They must educate their teens about the negative effects of drug abuse and why it should be avoided. In addition, they must always keep a close eye on them (without being intrusive). Like, know what kind of activities they are involved in, what kind of people they hang out with, and so forth. In case if they do find out their teen doing drugs, they must provide complete support (without judging), which includes taking them to experts who can help with drug abuse. 

  • When is it considered to be teen drug abuse?

In general, if you’re consuming non-prescription drugs, that’s a red flag. This is especially true if you’re consuming it to “feel good” or “feel better” and it’s now affecting you physically, socially, and emotionally. 

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