Top 5 Reasons Teens Use Drugs

There are many reasons why teens abuse illegal or prescription drugs. Past studies used to point to “having fun” as the number-one reason teens used drugs, but more recent studies show that teens are using drugs to solve problems. This is important for parents to understand because most parents severely underestimate the impact of stress on their teens. By understanding what motivates your teen to use drugs, you can hopefully step in help them find better ways to cope with their problems.

Top Reasons Why Teens Abuse Substances

1) Stress: A recent study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America showed that 73 percent of teens report the number-one reason for using drugs is to deal with the pressures and stress of school. Surprisingly, only 7 percent of parents believe that teens might use drugs to cope with stress, showing parents severely underestimate the impact of stress on their teens’ decision to use drugs.

2) Social Acceptance and/or Low Self-Esteem: A 2007 PATS Teens study reported 65 percent of teens say they use drugs to “feel cool.” Teens’ self-worth depends on the approval of others, and their desire for social acceptance can drive them to engage in destructive behaviors, even if they know it could harm them. The same study found that 65 percent of teens use drugs to “feel better about themselves.” Teens who have low self-esteem are more likely to seek acceptance from the wrong crowd by using drugs.

3) Self-Medication: The teen years are rough, and many teens who are unhappy don’t know how to find a healthy outlet for their frustration. These pent up emotions can take an emotional toll and can even lead to depression or anxiety. A 2009 study reported an estimated 70 percent of teens suffer from undiagnosed clinical depression at some point in their life. Many teens are unaware that they have an underlying mental or mood disorder that is causing them to use illegal or prescription drugs to self-medicate and cope with their symptoms.

4) Misinformation: Studies show that teens are widely misinformed about the dangers of drugs. Did you know that 40 percent of teens don’t perceive any major risk with trying heroin once or twice? While abuse of serious drugs is steadily declining among teens, their intentional abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications remains a serious concern. Many teens, 41 percent to be exact, mistakenly believe that it’s safer to abuse a prescription drug than it is to use illegal drugs. Nearly 1 in 5 teens have already abused a prescription medication or prescription painkiller in order to get high or deal with stress.

5) Easy Access: One reason teens use drugs is simply because they’re easy to get. Nearly 50 percent of teens report that it’s easy for them to get marijuana; 17 percent say it’s easy to get meth; 14.4 percent say it’s easy to get heroin; and more than half of teens say that prescription drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs.

Teen Drug Abuse: Prevention and Help

Research consistently shows that kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs from their parents are 50 percent less likely to use drugs than kids who do not learn about the dangers of drugs at home. Unfortunately, only 32 percent of teens report that they are getting this vital message from their parents.

If you know a teen who is abusing drugs, don’t wait to intervene. The sooner your teen gets help for drug abuse, the more likely they’ll be able to avoid the long-lasting consequences. Fortunately, there are many different teen drug rehabs to choose from. The most effective teen drug rehab, however, may be a residential treatment program. Here your teen will have access to 24/7 supervision and care, detoxification, dual diagnosis treatment and a variety of holistic treatments based on their individual needs. Talk to a medical doctor about your teen’s symptoms and determine which type of drug abuse treatment is best for your teen.

Don’t let your child suffer at the hands of addiction any longer. Call Casa Palmera today and put your teen in the hands of trained, highly skilled professionals who will bring your child back to a healthy, happy life.

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23 Responses to “Top 5 Reasons Teens Use Drugs”

  1. Nicole ~

    Most don’t want to fit in. Most teens are going through something difficult in their lives. Their teenagers, their growing up. They don’t see another way out other then to get high and get away from reality .

    Reply
  2. PBS.kids

    some see their friends do it and think it cool but its really not Peer Pressure is a major issue in the united states

    Reply
  3. looaya

    they think they’ re having fun bt they wil be addicted.They wil then find it difficult to STOP!

    Reply
  4. capable

    Taking drugs make the teenager to feel on top not knowing that it can kill

    Reply
  5. jaseem muhammed

    Peer pressure & self esteem issues contributes to a good extent.

    Reply
  6. Marissa

    I honestly think kids these days don’t have enough desire to stand out and away from the crowd. They, the ones who use drugs, don’t have enough inner strength to deal with their problems through other ways, such as creativity (poetry, art, etc.).

    Reply
  7. Lesego

    Being a teenager is tough, so teenager also needs proper attention just like infants so the lack of parent-child relationship contribute more

    Reply
  8. Patrick

    I’m a teenager and I would say curiosity is the main reason, followed by to have fun. Haha it’s funny how all these reasons are negative as if only a troubled or weak minded person will do drugs-just not true.

    Reply
  9. moses Aol Jabuya

    Drug abuse among the youth is majorly caused by peer pressure, stress of school work, pressure from parents, family background, loosing parents at tender age and nobody to take charge of well being, unemployment, idleness, exposure to substances, environment they stay in among others.

    Reply
  10. Cuan Austin

    Teens take drugs because parents and adults say they cant so they just going against us because they teens, if they want to take drugs they will and if they dont want to take drugs they wont it just depends on who you are as a person, i mean how many of you guys have atleast tried it once or twice

    Reply
  11. hetty

    some teenagers lack parental guidance or support,even the parenting style at home contribute as some teenagers are left to do what ever they want under no supervision

    Reply
  12. Maddie Holman

    Because it makes them feel like they fit in!. they think doing drug makes them cool or popular. but in all reality it doesn’t. People will look at you and think “omg look at her/him shes so stupid and did drugs now look at wheres shes at!” kids are under the influence of trying a drug because they see others doing and get that thought i wanna try it see how it is see how fun it is i want to see why people do it all the time so they try and they fu** their life up. Take it from me your life will change no matter the drug no matter how much you did , the people who gave it to you, family, friends, teachers, parents, society, the world, your schools, your piers, everyone will look at you in discus and disappointment and think “wow she/he was a perfect child” “she had good grades” “she had her whole life planned and was focused on it” “what happend” “what made her do this” “what did i do to make her do this”??? All those good thoughts and comments about you before are long gone!!! and those thoughts arnt coming back any time soon!!!.

    Reply
  13. Hasita

    Some teenagers aren’t perfect but are asked to be so they take drugs because they might be scared

    Reply
  14. sally

    I agree that most teenagers just do drugs for the fun of it but the ones that do it for being depressed or stressed out should have another way of fixing their problems. Using drugs wont fix anything it will just make it worse for themselves.

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera Staff

      PATS stands for the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, it is the name of the study done with Drug Free America sponsored by MetLife Foundation. Link to the full report.

      Reply
  15. vanessa

    as a teenager i too understand, but above all their is a God who gives a real happiness, joy, peace etc than the worldly lust gives

    Reply
  16. Bob

    Honestly, as a teen, it’s normally just curiosity that makes other teens do drugs.

    Reply

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