What is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is defined as the continued use of any substance in a manner that can be harmful to yourself or others. If untreated, substance-related disorders can develop into addiction, which overrides “a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

How do I identify Substance Abuse in my teen?

Symptoms of abuse will vary depending on the substance, and although a teenager may attempt to conceal the warning signs, parents should look for changes in:

  • Personal appearance
  • Health
  • Eating habits
  • Behavior around peers and adults
  • School performance

As a parent, you cannot always know what your teen is doing at all times, and nor should you. Teens deserve a certain amount of space to grow. But it’s your parental responsibility to familiarize yourself with the different types of substances, as well as the patterns and symptoms of abuse. Educating yourself about drugs is one of the smartest things you can do.

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What are the causes of Substance Abuse in teens?

For many users, drugs and alcohol provide a means of escape. Teens may cite peer pressure, stress, or anxiety as reasons for substance abuse, while others may claim to be experimenting and pushing boundaries.

What types of Substance Abuse should concern me?

Any type of abuse is a cause for concern. We’ve been warned about the dangers of drugs and alcohol since we were kids. Today’s teenagers are no different, although they’ve grown up in a world in which substance-related disorders have taken on many non-traditional forms.

Once you recognize that your teen has a substance abuse problem, it’s imperative that you seek help immediately. Teen rehab is different from adult rehab in many ways, and a holistic recovery program that includes personalized treatment, relapse prevention programming, and aftercare will not only help your teen cope with and overcome addiction, but will also strengthen the bond within your family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I handle my teen’s addiction within the family?

If your teen’s substance-related disorder has reached the addiction stage, you can’t afford to risk their life and the lives of others who may be affected by their actions. Addiction cannot be overcome by willpower.

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Linda G

It has been a journey but M is clean and sober. When she left Destinations, it wasn't easy. She has made this transition on her own and we are quite proud of her. She has realized that her family is her support system and has been there through the thick and thin of it and always will be there for her. She has come to see the light. Destinations provided what she needed to start this recovery Journey.

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Thank you for your hard work for my son. You guys are a god sent for us. I appreciate all you have done and continue to do.

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