Teen Drug And Alcohol Abuse

Sexual compulsivity and substance abuse can be a common co-occurring issue with teens, particularly those who have unresolved childhood trauma. Both problem behaviors are used as tools to achieve a temporary escape from the emotional pain associated with the trauma.

Sexual compulsivity and substance typically results in a variety of family problems that can become disruptive to the entire family unit. Family therapy sessions can be a helpful intervention for assisting teens and parents to communicate about the family conflicts. Often, parents suspect that the teen is engaged in problem sexual behavior and experimenting with drugs or alcohol, but are not sure.

Common signs of drug abuse or addiction include lying, stealing money or valuables (to pay for the drug), hanging out with new friends, and withdrawal from family, old friends, and favorite activities.

Listed below are typical symptoms observed in teens who are using drugs:

STAR Guides Wilderness - Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Marijuana – Increased appetite, visual and auditory abilities, memory problems, concentration difficulties, paranoia, coordination issues, red eyes, increased heart rate and blood pressure, lack of motivation and depression

Methamphetamine – Euphoria, inability or lack of desire to sleep followed by a major crash and extended sleep, rotten teeth, lack of care for hygiene, signficant weight loss, and obsessive behavior

Cocaine – Irritability, insomnia, depression, fatigue, nausea, muscle pain, anger, exaggerated cravings and increased anger

Heroin – Dilated pupils, watery eyes, diarrhea, head nodding as if dosing off, panic, tread marks noted on arms

Prescription drugs – Depends on the drug, usually accompanied by depression, irritability, extreme fatigue or energy, or psychotic episodes

Parents need to remember that signs of these addictions are not always obvious. Many teens might be ashamed of their behavior or fearful of being caught and will do whatever it takes to hide their signs of addiction and abuse to keep it a secret. Some teens become aggressive when confronted. Many teens are in denial, convince themselves it is not a problem and believe they are not addicted.

At STAR Guides, want to help you as parents to learn to guide your child to understand themselves and their sexual compulsive and drug addiction. We believe it is of great value for parents to keep the lines of communication open and to watch your teen for any signs of sex addiction and drug abuse. Because of this, STAR Guides provides family therapy for assisting teens and their parents in learning new healthy ways of communicating. We recognize that helping teens and parents learn to talk about the hard issues now will result in a happy, improved family life in the future.

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