How To Deal With Teenage Addiction – A Guide For Parents

Drug addiction or abuse can have a major impact on the life of a teenager. Teenage kids addiction to drugs puts their health in severe danger while compromising their fitness and is difficult to deal with. Not only do they cause potential damage to themselves, but also impact the lives of friends and family members in a harmful way. Parents need to know all about teenage addiction and ways to deal with it accurately. 

Reasons for teen addiction

There are various major factors underlying the causes of teenage addiction. Teens start using drugs for the first time in social gatherings where substances are fairly easy to get. Alcohol and cigarettes are common things in these social settings. As far as continued use is concerned, a teen may choose this path because of certain insecurities or to fulfill the need for social acceptance. Teens may also feel indestructible at some point in their lives. They do not consider the results of their doings and may adapt to addiction without thinking about the risks associated. To make things worse, drug abuse also makes it tougher to adopt new healthy habits for students and teenage addiction becomes hard to deal with in a sound manner.

Here are a few other reasons why a teen might get into drug abuse or addiction:

  • Mental or behavioral health condition
  • Issues like depression, attention deficit, depression or hyperactivity problems
  • Family history related to substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Risk-taking attitude
  • Trauma in the past such as an accident or being a victim of abuse or bullying
  • Wrong mindset emerging from social rejection 
  • Lack of confidence

Consequences of teen addiction

deal with teenage addiction

Needless to say, there are consequences of teen addiction that are quite important to address for parents. These include:

  • Mental health disorders– depression and anxiety can find a permanent home in the brain of a teen if he is on drug abuse for a longer period. Drugs also impact children’s mental health growth.  
  • Drug dependence– misusing drugs can cause an increased risk of dependency. This becomes a habit and is quite impossible to leave in the later parts of our lives, leading to grave consequences. 
  • Lack of focus– teens who are addicted often find it quite tough to concentrate on studies or sports. They become weak in curricula and academics, resulting in poor grades. 
  • Lacks good judgment– teens with drug addiction are unable to judge people in social interactions. They often fall prey to the wrong company and keep on drowning in the pool of erroneous behavioral elements. 
  • Sexual behavior-teens taking drugs show unusual sexual activity. They might indulge in unsafe sex and girls may even face unwanted pregnancies, posing a greater risk to their health.
  • Poor driving– since drugs halt the mind’s ability to focus, teens face impaired driving. Be it a cycle, a car, or a bike, the driving gets affected putting everyone at risk. 
  • Violent behavior– a teen can show unexpected violent behavior. He can get anxious about certain things and may find himself in a repulsive condition without any particular reason. 

Effects on health and healthy habits for students

Every drug poses a harmful effect on a teen’s growing body. Drug addiction and serious impairment are some of the most dangerous illnesses one can encounter. Various studies1 tell us how substance use in teenagers can cause long-term morbidities. They are not in any way propagator of healthy habits in students. Constant drug use can lead to teenage addiction and can be difficult to deal with.  

Let’s look at the other health risks of some of the commonly used drugs by teens:

Inhalants– can cause risks to the heart, liver, and lungs. These also cause permanent damage to kidneys if taken long-term. 

Cocaine– is one of the most common and starter drugs for teens. Being equally harmful, it causes various short and long-term mental problems affecting children’s mental health. Cocaine also increases the risk of a heart attack. It can also lead to serious cardiac arrests, seizures, and strokes. 

Marijuana– long-term usage of Marijuana is associated with memory impairment. A teen might face learning and problem-solving issues accompanied by a lack of concentration. Marijuana also increases the risk of psychosis diseases. There are instances of increased hallucinations, paranoia, and schizophrenia after consumption. These effects can occur during teenagers or later in their lives after frequent usage. 

Opioids– opioids often make you feel drowsy. Teens may associate this with the feeling of happiness which is a misconception. Prolonged use can slow down the breathing rate and even lead to cardiac arrest. Other harmful effects include euphoria, slowed heart rate, constipation, and nausea. One can also experience the risk of respiratory distress on the consumption of higher doses of opioids. 

E-cigarettes– electronic forms of  smoking cause dependency on nicotine, leading to nicotine addiction. These are as harmful as traditional cigarettes and cause lung disorders. E-cigarettes are also known to be an underlying cause of mouth and lung cancer. 

Methamphetamine– leads to various psychotic behaviors in teens. Overdoses are linked with certain violent teen conducts. 

deal with teenage addiction drug

Tips for parents and healthy habits for students

Parents can play an important role in helping their teens avoid and quit drug use. Having multiple conversations about it can pave the way to better understanding. As a parent, you need to choose the moment when you and the kid can talk without any interruptions. Parents should also realize the instances where having conversations can make things go wrong. For instance, never converse about drugs when you are angry or when the teen is high. 

Here are some important tips for parents to get good results:

Demand the view of the teen

Parents should avoid giving long lectures without listening to the kid. The conversation should be two-way and addressing the teen is equally important. Make sure that he is honest with you and can talk frankly. Don’t shout or scold him without listening to his point. 

Always converse without any distractions

Set aside phones, switch off the televisions and choose a good place to converse. This will instill positivity and help the conversations proceed in the right direction. If possible, chose an outdoor area where positivity flows in to help with the talk. Avoid talking in pressurizing situations such as before a game or an exam. 

Discussing the reasons

Talking about the reasons why one should never use drugs is the ideal approach. Parents should, by all means, avoid advocating for their children with scare tactics. The main focus should be on educating about the ways drugs can affect the most important things in a teen’s life. Tell your teen child how his health, driving, appearance, and performance in sports or studies will be affected by drug use. 

Consider digital methods

When not able to converse properly, you can always use digital means. You can send an educational video, a media message, or some movie clips about drug use. 

Discuss healthy habits for students with peers

Making a habit to allow the teen to discuss his fellow friends and new companies will make you understand where he is getting the wrong signal from. As a parent, you should brainstorm with the teen about ways he can say NO to drugs being offered. This is one of the good healthy habits for students too. 

Share your stories

Sharing stories about how you left the drug addiction or how you never indulged in one can help motivate the teen more than anything. Be ready to answer curious questions and always come up with an encouraging and positive reply. Setting an example can do the work for many parents. 

Keep a check on the teen’s activities

Parents need to stay informed about the whereabouts and the daily schedule of the teenager. You can even encourage the teen to concentrate on various activities that are supervised by adult mentors. This will avoid getting involved in the wrong company. 

Creating rules to deal with teenage addiction

Address the family rules and regulations to the teen. You can create rules for the teens like not staying the night at a friend’s house or leaving the party if drugs are involved. Also, advocate about never riding in a car with a driver who is high on drugs. Try enforcing consequences if the rules are broken. 

Keep track of medicines at home

Your teen might be taking up drugs from the home shelf. Parents need to keep track of the prescription drugs and keep them away from the reach of the teens. 

Know the friends

Keep an eye on the friends of your child. If anything seems susceptible, you can consult the teacher or school authorities to gather more knowledge about the friends. Note that if his friends are using drugs, he might be curious to try them too. 

Reward for healthy habits for students

It is important to provide support through rewards and gifts if the teen is following the rules and staying away from drugs. Parents need to offer praise and encouragement to keep the teen on the right track.

Setting an example

By leading the way, parents should quit smoking or any other drug addiction. Using only prescribed drugs and avoiding illicit drugs can also help set an example for the teen. 


Parents can easily track the drug habits of the teen. Once he is in the red zone, it is not tough to determine the unusual behavior. When such things occur, parents can always seek professional guidance. But the main approach should always be to avoid such instances firsthand. Keeping a good environment at home and encouraging the teen to divert his mind towards healthy habits, physical activities and studies are important. When things turn awry, recognizing the warning signs becomes equally important.

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