It will be no surprise that the majority of the most common substances teens abuse are the ones that are readily available to them. Teens may turn to substances to cope with the stressors they face in school, socially, and at home. They may also attempt to escape dysfunctional relationships and home life or self-medicate the underlying mental health disorder symptoms. Whatever the underlying causes are for your teen’s substance abuse, it is never too soon to seek help at a drug addiction treatment program.
If you want to get some answers today, reach out to Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC). We can walk you through any adolescent drug addiction or treatment aspect about which you have concerns or questions. Our team has extensive experience in treating teens over the age of 18. In addition, at our outpatient treatment center through the Naaman center, we can address the needs of those between the ages of 14 and 18. To learn more, fill out our easy online form or just call us by calling 844.442.8673.
Common Drugs Abused by Teens
If you have concerns about a teenager in your life, consider the following information about the most commonly abused drugs among adolescents.
As the most readily available addictive substance, it is commonly the first one that teens experiment with – right in their own homes. A central nervous system depressant, alcohol can take the edge off everything from social anxiety to the fallout of trauma, such as sexual abuse. Underage drinking occurs in about one in four young Americans.
The second most prevalent drug among teens, marijuana, is also easy for them to get their hands on. Due to the easing of laws and its legalization in many states, marijuana, like alcohol, is readily available but still not safe for developing brains. In fact, some experts have linked its use to the onset of psychosis among some adolescents who use it regularly. One in six teens is likely to abuse marijuana.
Also easy to find, available in many medicine cabinets across the country, teens can access prescriptions of all kinds right in their own homes. Because pill bottles from the pharmacy have a figurative medical stamp of approval, young people often believe them to be harmless. They may be abusing a wide range of medications, including:
- Stimulants include methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) and amphetamines (Adderall, Dexedrine)
- Opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin), morphine, codeine, fentanyl, and hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Depressants like barbituates (phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium), and sleep medication (Ambien, Lunesta)
K2 or Synthetic Marijuana
This synthetic drug with lab-created artificial cannabinoids is highly addictive. It has severe health consequences, including hallucinations and even heart attacks.
Adolescent Drug Treatment and Addressing Its Underlying Causes
In a drug addiction treatment program geared towards teens, therapists, physicians, and recovery coaches have proven strategies that work well to help adolescents begin and sustain recovery. They also can expertly address the root causes of environmental and psychological triggers of addiction.
Teens turn to substances for a number of reasons. Addicted teenagers often begin using to:
- Ease social anxiety: If diagnosed, anxiety can be treated along with addiction as a co-occurring disorder.
- Meet social pressure: Dealing with self-esteem issues, learning coping skills to face peer pressure and bullying, and learning how to shift thinking patterns can help teens avoid social triggers in the future.
- Numb painful emotions: In treatment, teens learn to identify, face, and address the range of painful emotions.
- Escape from a harsh or disturbing living situation or family dynamic. Including family members in therapy is an important piece of teen addiction treatment. By beginning the healing process for the whole family, your teen will be able to stay free from substances.
If you’re ready to help your teen end their substance use, please contact Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge today.
Learn More at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
If your teen is using drugs or alcohol, PAATC can help. Our evidence-based adolescent drug treatments meet teenagers over the age of 18 where they are. We also offer outpatient treatment for teens over the age of 14. Call 844.442.8673 today or simply complete our easy online form. Our adolescent drug addiction treatment center staff is standing by.