Addiction Drug abuse

Teenage Drug Abuse: Help Teenagers Avoid Drugs

Table of Content

Teen Drug Abuse: Causes, Signs, Symptoms & Treatment Options 

Adolescence is the phase where most individuals are eager to try new things and explore the world. Now these activities may incorporate both good and bad. 

According to an NGO survey, about 13.1% of teens are involved in drug and substance abuse in India. Hence drug abuse is a major life threat for a teenager. Utilizing drugs on a long-term basis might have massive damage to a person both mentally and physically. As a parent, here is some information to help you identify and prevent teens from drug abuse.

Is Your Child Using Drugs?

As a parent, recognizing and understanding whether your child has engaged in drug use can be a sensitive yet crucial matter. Paying attention to the signs and having an open line of communication that answers their curiosities rather than dismisses them is paramount to protecting them from drug use. Further, if they have used drugs, seeking early diagnosis and intervention can go a long way in recovery and improving one’s overall well-being. 

Why Do Teens Abuse Drugs?

There are many reasons why a teen abuses drugs. Here are a few common ones-

  • Peer pressure-

A peer can mean a person or set of people who are the same age, grade, or profession. Peer pressure is one of the most common reasons for first-timers to consume the drug. It influences the teen to adopt the behavior that the person or the set of people tends to do. For some teens, saying no to peer pressure can get difficult leading to drug use and addiction

  • Role modeling-

According to a study, teens are likely to develop the practice of drug use as a result of observing their parent's behaviors and experiences. Behavior such as smoking, and intaking drugs might highly turn their mind to imitate the same style. This influential behavior might make a teen become a long-term addict.

  • Curious mind or want to experience-

How will it feel like? What kind of essence does it contain? Curiosities like this might make them investigate and try it out.

Some Important Facts About Teen Drug Use 

  • Apart from addiction, frequent usage of the drug may lead to mental illnesses such as bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, and insomnia.
  • Commonly used drugs in India are cannabis, heroin, opium, and hashish.
  • 18-23 is the average age of teen in India who abuses drugs.
  • Teens who abuse drugs often practice prescription drugs such as painkillers, tranquilizers, and stimulants (excluding illegal drugs).
  • 50% of all road accidents that happen around the world involves drug either directly or indirectly.

What are the Effects of Drug Abuse on Kids?

As outlined earlier drug abuse has a huge impact on both physical and mental health.

Physical Health-

  • Drug abuse might frail the immune system and increases the susceptibility to infections.
  • Irregular heart rate leads to abnormal conditions.
  • Weaken the veins and toxicate blood vessels and valves.
  • Severe stomach pain, vomiting, and nausea.
  • Cause liver failure or damage.  

Mental Health-

  • Depression
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations
  • Poor judgments
  • Low self-esteem
  • Sleep issues

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Drug Abuse in Teenagers? 

Several signs may be indicative of drug abuse in teenagers. As parents, here are a few to keep in mind-

  • Problems at school (unreasonable lateness, poor grades, suspension, etc).
  • Inconsistency in mood and temperament.
  • Social withdrawal 
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns.
  • Breaking family rules and isolating from family.
  • Poor judgment
  • Hygiene or cleanliness
  • Lack of confidence
  • Irresponsible behavior
  • Destructive or self-harm behavior.
  • Violating the law (violating curfew, venturing crime, and stealing)

Common Drugs That Teens Abuse


One of the most common substances abused regardless of age is alcohol. Studies show that around 25 percent of minors engage in drinking. 


Although it is declared illegal, marijuana is the second most abused substance due to its accessibility. Initially, the use of this substance can feel harmless. However, in the long run, it can lead it psychosis, lung damage, and severe addiction. 

Prescription medications

It is commonly assumed that medications prescribed by doctors are safe and harmless. This is nothing but further from the truth. Typically such medications are abused in combination with alcohol or other drugs. Common prescription medications include methylphenidate, amphetamines, opioids, depressants, and more.  

Over-the-counter medications

Medications like cough syrup that contain ingredients such as methamphetamine and dextromethorphan can be highly addictive. 

Teen Drug Abuse Statistics 

Various studies and survey reports indicating the prominence of drug abuse among youth only signifies the importance of early detection and intervention.  

  • One in three 16 to 25-year-olds engage in drug abuse. 
  • Within the past year, there has been an increase in smoking tobacco or cigarettes to almost 1 in 3 from 1 in 5 of the youth population. 
  • Studies show that 17 percent of youth have used mind-altering drugs within the past 12 months. 
  • In 2021, only 16 percent of youngsters engaged in drug use once a week. However, this increased to 23 percent in 2022. 
  • There has been an increase in drug addiction among youth from 5% in 2021 to 14% in 2022. 

Talking to Your Kids About Drug Abuse 

When you are talking to your child about drug abuse, it is important to keep in mind that there is no one size fits all approach. But here are a few principles to keep in mind before starting this conversation-

  • Make your rules and values clear
  • Ask and listen to your questions but don’t lecture them on the same 
  • If your child has used substances, explore the reasons for such behavior 
  • Know when and how to intervene
  • Reward positive behavior 
  • Keep in mind any family history of substance use disorders 

When Should You Seek Help?

We acknowledge that asking for help can be challenging. Although we recognize that accepting assistance requires time, it is vital to remember that the earlier you seek help, the smoother your recovery journey will be. If you observe any of the following signs, it is crucial to contact a medical professional promptly:

  • Excessive drug consumption
  • Continuing to use the drug despite the harm it causes
  • Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms after stopping drug use.

How to Find a Mental Health Professional?

Choosing the appropriate treatment approach is crucial for a successful recovery, which involves assessing the skills, specialization, experience, and other pertinent factors of rehabilitation or de-addiction centers. In addition to qualifications, it is essential to prioritize a sense of comfort and compatibility with the specialists. Nurturing a positive relationship facilitates a smoother healing journey, and it is natural to explore different practitioners until finding the perfect fit.

We understand that seeking help can be challenging, but at Cadabams, our esteemed healthcare professionals are a trusted support system for long-term recovery. They offer a comprehensive range of customized solutions and evidence-based treatments tailored to address the unique needs of each client.

Why Cadabams?

At Cadabam's Hospital, a dedicated team of qualified psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and certified healthcare professionals is committed to providing a broad spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services, prioritizing safety, effectiveness, and the confidentiality of treatments. 

We take pride in delivering personalized and holistic care, encompassing prevention to aftercare, to every patient. Our facility offers round-the-clock medical support, personalized diet plans, exercise routines, and more, creating a nurturing environment to accelerate recovery and ensure optimal physical and mental well-being. 


What are the causes of drug abuse in adolescence?

Several factors can lead to drug abuse including-

  • Peer pressure
  • Curiosity 
  • Genetics 
  • Mental health issues 
  • Lack of education 

What is the solution to drug abuse?

A few key components that can be effective in solving drug abuse include-

  • Prevention 
  • Early intervention 
  • Rehabilitation 
  • Social support
  • Education 
  • Community involvement 

How can we prevent drug abuse in youth?

To prevent drug abuse in youth, you need to keep a few practices in mind. These include educating and raising awareness, surrounding teens with positive role models, encouraging community involvement, providing access to mental health care, and restricting drug access. 

How does stress cause drug abuse?

People depend on drug use as a way to seek relief from stressful situations. However, in the long run, this can alter brain chemistry and lead to serve addiction. Hence seeking help and finding healthier alternatives to coping is essential to one’s overall well-being. 


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