Teen Addiction

Causes of Teen Addiction

Teenage addiction is a rising problem for many families and schools in the United States. It is also due to the puberty stage of these teens, where they are highly energetic and curious to try new stuff, even when it’s not healthy.

In this article, we are going to discuss the following causes enabling the occurrence of teenage addiction in the United States. Moreover, we will cover related topics on adolescent drug abuse that shall make your read worthwhile.

Detecting Symptoms of Addiction

Teen Addiction Oftentimes, your teenager won’t immediately confess if he is abusing drugs or drinking alcohol, so here are some of the signs you can look for as a manifestation of it.

  • Declining academic marks
  • Red eyes
  • Lack of proper grooming
  • Dilated pupils
  • Inability to make straight eye contact
  • Sudden loss or increase in appetite
  • Frequently coming home late
  • A distinct smell of cigarette or vape on clothing
  • Unexplained mood swings

When you see three or more signs in your teens, then it’s about time that you have a friendly intervention with them. With that, you can directly gauge if they are doing it or not.

Drug Misuse Leading To Addiction

Teen Addiction CauseOur body naturally produces dopamine (“happy hormone”) whenever we do fun things with our family, friends, schoolmates, or colleagues. Also, this brain chemical plays an essential role in our development and social learnings.

However, when you use drugs, it disrupts the natural manner of producing dopamine, whereby it produces an abnormal amount of this hormone in your body. Your system, in turn, feels that euphoric feeling due to the surge of the amount of dopamine.

Consequently, your underdeveloped brain will have a hard time controlling one’s desire for that synthetic happy feeling. With that, it encourages you to take the drug again to experience the same level of highness and then leads to addiction.

Four Main Causes for Teenage Addiction

Among the various researches conducted, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) categorized four main drivers for adolescent drug abuse which are enumerated below:

  1. Sprucing Positive Feelings

Teens are abusing substances because of the intense euphoric sensation they are getting from it. Also, their dose is getting higher the next time because they have built tolerance from the substance.

  1. Social Rewards

It is slightly relevant to the first factor, yet it’s more on doing a recreational activity with friends and peers. Teens are easily bored with the usual things around them, the main reason they are trying new and exciting things in their environment.

  1. A means to cope with pain or traumatic events

Most teenagers are misusing OTC and prescription drugs to ease their pain, depression, anxiety, and other physical or behavioral problems. With that, they tend to consume these medications even without a prescription bottle.

  1. To be accepted in a group

Peer pressure is also one of the most influential variables pushing teenagers to use illicit drugs or drink alcohol. To please their friends and be accepted, newcomers do what they are told to do, that includes abusing substances.

  1. Boost performance

There is one last thing that motivates adolescents from abusing drugs, which is boosting their physical performance for an exam or sport. The common drugs abused for these purposes are Adderall and steroids.

What Are the Top Substances Abused By Teens?

There are different substances abused by teens, yet the top ones are listed below:


  • Around 42.9% aged 12-17 years drinks alcohol
  • 6% aged 18-25 years drinks alcohol


  • 5% of teenagers aged 12-17 are using marijuana for recreational purposes
  • 1% are aged 18-25 years

Prescription Drugs

  • 2% aged 18-25 years abuses prescription drugs for self-medication and recreation
  • 7% aged 12-17 years


  • Around 12.6% of the users are aged 18-25 years
  • 6% of the users are aged 12-17 years


  • 4% of the population of addicts are aged 18-25 years
  • 3% are between the age of 12-17 years


  • Around 11.1% of the addicts are aged 12-17 years
  • 9% are users between the age of 18-25 years


  • 7% of the users are in the age of 12-17 years
  • 6% of the users are in the age of 18-25 years

Essential Elements of A Trusted Rehab Center

If you think your teenager needs medical advice and treatment, then you need to find a reputable rehab treatment facility near you. Here are the important traits or services offered by a professional rehab recovery treatment center:

  • Brain health services
  • Medical services
  • Educational programs
  • Sexually-transmitted services
  • Legal services
  • Family-based services
  • Vocational services

A trustworthy rehab treatment center can do these additional tasks for the customized recovery program of your teenager.

  • Management of clinical cases
  • Aftercare program
  • Community and Family-focus support plans
  • Evidence-based recovery programs
  • Close monitoring process

Factors Increasing the Risk of Teenage Addiction

Teen Addiction EffectsTeenagers can eventually develop an addiction when they repetitively consume the substance or alcohol. First, dependence will be established, and then later on addiction.

Here are some common factors that can aggravate teenage addiction:

  • Stressful life
  • History of violence or sexual assault
  • Hereditary behavioral problems
  • Exposure to alcohol during the prenatal stage
  • A family member or peer is abusing drugs or an alcohol drinker

Is it dangerous to abuse prescription medicines?

Using prescription drugs beyond the details of your prescription bottle leads to detrimental health effects which can lead to coma or death. Some of the typically prescribed medicines abused by teens include opioids, antidepressants, and sleeping pills.

Moreover, abusing these medications alongside other illicit substances elevates its associated risks. Some of the usual substances used together with these prescription medicines are alcohol, meth, heroin, and cocaine.


Addiction among adolescents is a pressing matter to all states in the United States and other countries. Early detection and preventive measures are still the best countermeasures for this problem.