The National Institute on Drug Abuse confirms that peer pressure plays a major part in whether teens try drugs—or start abusing them. A number of teenagers use drugs to fit in with their peers, and to avoid being teased or ostracized. The Institute also asserts that genetic predisposition has a lot to do with whether a teen will struggle with addiction after trying drugs. The hereditary tendency to use drugs is connected to a person’s genetic relationship with dopamine, the “feel good” chemical in the brain. When a person doesn’t create enough of this chemical on his/her, the individual may turn to substance abuse to replace the dopamine—which can turn into a dangerous and possibly fatal habit.
It’s important for parents to be honest with their teens about drugs, and to divulge information concerning whether there are addicts in the family. This information will help young people to make wise decisions when they are pressured into using drugs by those in their age group. The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests role playing with teens to prepare them for a possible encounter with something who may ask them to do drugs.
Parents can also reduce the chances that their teen will want to try drugs by reducing the amount of stress in the home. It’s essential to recognize signs of stress or depression in a teen, e.g. sleeping all day, isolation, inappropriate outbursts, or crying often, and to get a mental health evaluation from a professional if needed. Being aware of what to do to treat a teen’s mental and emotional issues could prevent him/her from turning to drugs for comfort.
If you suspect that your teen may be experimenting with illegal substances, or abusing legal medications, Complete Drug Testing Solutions has the tools you need. The drug tests are very simple to administer and will give you the answers you need to get your teen the right help—right away.