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Addiction is a chronic and recurring disorder that leads to compulsive drug seeking and drug use behavior despite negative outcomes. It is a brain disorder as it affects the brain circuits associated with stress, reward, and self-control. Addiction can lead to functional changes in the brain via these brain circuits, which may be visible in the long run even after the drug consumption has stopped. Like any other physical ailment, addiction affects the organs and if left untreated can last a lifetime leading to fatal consequences.

An individual starts abusing drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and illegal and prescription drugs during adolescence and young adulthood. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 70 percent high school students try alcohol by the time they are seniors while 40 percent have smoked a cigarette. Additionally, 20 percent have used a prescription drug for nonmedical reasons.

Teens resort to drug and alcohol use to:

  • Perform better at work or school.
  • Try drugs and alcohol out of curiosity and/or social pressure.
  • Feel good as drugs make them feel confident, energetic, relaxed, and satisfied.
  • Feel in control as individuals who struggle with mental disorders like anxiety or depression might take a substance to feel less anxious or elevate their mood.

Symptoms of Drug Addiction

While every person may experience diverse symptoms of addiction, there are a few symptoms which are common to all drug users. These include:

  • Tolerance
  • Extreme cravings
  • Isolating behavior
  • Physical dependency
  • Drug seeking behavior
  • Relationship problems
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Indulging in risky activities
  • Altered physical appearance
  • Changed personal hygiene habits
  • Poor performance at school and work
  • Financial problems due to repeated drug use

Risk Factors

Some of the risk factors associated with teen addiction or substance use are:

  • Early age – Turning to alcohol, opioid or other drug use at an early age, when the ability to separate good from bad is still not developed.
  • Genetic predisposition – If someone has a family member who has experienced addiction, they would also have a propensity towards it.
  • Environment – Environmental factors, like lack of parental supervision, neglect, abuse, peer pressure, availability of the substance in a social setting, and a peer circle comprising active drug users, can also increase the risk of addiction.
  • Dual diagnosis – Underlying mental health conditions can increase the susceptibility of substance abuse and vice versa.
  • Surgical procedures – Prolonged use of prescription medication after a surgical procedure might lead to addiction.
  • Coping mechanism – Teens start using substances as a coping mechanism to deal with pre-existing social, emotional, behavioral, and physical problems.

Consequences of Drug Addiction

Substance abuse whether short- or long-term can lead to grave consequences like:

  • Depression, anxiety, mood-swings and psychosis
  • Physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms
  • Interpersonal, legal, and social problems
  • DUIs – driving under the influence
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unplanned pregnancies
  • Overdose and death
  • Self-harm or suicide
  • Chronic disorders
  • Financial strain
  • Brain damage

Addiction Treatment at ADEONA Healthcare

Addiction affects men, women and teens differently. In the case of teens, they need a specialized treatment intervention plan that not only treats their addiction, but also addresses their emotional, physical, social, family and social environment. The medical team at ADEONA Healthcare designs teen treatment plans to comprise effective medication and behavioral approach, individual, group and family therapies and recovery support services.

To know more about how ADEONA Healthcare can help your teen recover from their addiction to drugs, alcohol or any other substance, call our 24/7 helpline (888) 997-3966 or chat with an online representative today.

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