Adolescent addiction - causes, signs and consequences
Adolescence is unique, during this period there is an intensive restructuring of the body, accompanied by hormonal surges, psychological experiences and social adaptation in the adult world.
At the age of 12-15, teenagers try to try something new, show an interest in illegal substances, but cannot understand the full danger of drugs. As a result, they face the problem of drug addiction, which provokes personality degradation, deterioration in health and a number of accompanying physiological and psychological problems.
According to statistics, more than 25-50% of children aged 12-15 years have experience of using drugs, while more than half of these children have experience of repeated use, which indicates the seriousness of the problem of adolescent drug addiction.
Main causes of adolescent addiction
Today, experts distinguish between two main types of causes of adolescent drug addiction: social and psychological. These reasons can be either single, for example, only psychological, or complex.
Social causes of addiction
This type of cause of adolescent drug addiction includes insufficient parental care and supervision. Children do not receive due attention from their close people, they try to find it from friends, acquaintances, including people directly or indirectly related to drug use. Teenagers listen to the opinion of a person who is authoritative for them and try to model his behavior, taking drugs in order to get the feelings that their idol is experiencing;
Psychological causes of drug addiction
Adolescents aged 12-15 are experiencing an intense change in the physiology of the body and psyche against a hormonal background. Psychological factors such as family problems, teenage violence, improper upbringing, psychological impact of peers, as well as individual characteristics of age development can push a teenager to use drugs. As a result, a teenager tries to get away from existing problems in the simplest way – by taking illegal substances;
Four main stages of adolescent addiction
Also, like other types of drug addiction, addiction in adolescents has several main stages of development:
- The first stage is the first use or several uses of the drug. As a rule, the first tricks are caused by the desire to use “for the company” with other adolescents, to feel the “taste” of the forbidden, to become the same as their more experienced peers who tell that drugs are good;
- The second stage is accompanied by euphoria from drug use. The teenager feels light and sees this as an opportunity for quick pleasure. At the second stage, there is still no psychological dependence, and the reception is still conditioned by the desire to feel comfortable in the company of his peers;
- The third stage is accompanied by the appearance of mental dependence, observed with a long break between the doses used. The teenager’s behavior becomes irritable, he feels anxiety, which goes away only after using the next dose of the drug;
- The fourth stage is the last and is accompanied by persistent physical dependence on drug use. When refusing to use, the teenager feels severe withdrawal and unbearable physical suffering. The nature of the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms directly depends on the type of drug.
Key signs of adolescent drug addiction (age 12-15)
Symptomatic manifestation may have its own characteristics, depending on the type of drugs used. But, there are general signs, thanks to which, it is possible to determine the involvement of a teenager in the use of drugs
As a rule, adolescents who use drugs try to avoid frank conversations about drugs, lie about the place of stay, the reasons for the delay in walking, they move away from normal family relationships, cease to obey and violate the direct instructions of their parents. Also about adolescent drug addiction can be abrupt changes in behavior, accompanied by impaired speech and coordination of movements, increased emotionality.
In conversations with peers and friends, adolescents use slang expressions that directly or indirectly indicate drugs. After use, classic symptoms may appear in the form of: redness of the eyes, disturbances in the psychoemotional state, etc.
Consequences of adolescent addiction
The consequences are very negative. Young drug addicts may suffer from a delay in intellectual and physical development, they have dysfunctions of internal organs, mental abnormalities, girls have menstrual irregularities and infertility, and men have impotence. Also, there are often concomitant diseases transmitted through a syringe injection or sexually: gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and other infections.
When detecting adolescent drug addiction or reasonable suspicion, it is necessary to immediately contact narcologists in a narcological clinic for diagnosis and treatment.
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