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5 Reasons Teens Use Drugs

Updated 27 October 2022 Written by Deborah QuinnMedically Reviewed by Sahar Wahed, RN

Why The Teen Years Are Some of The Most Difficult Ones

5 Reasons Teens Start Using Drugs & Alcohol

No two teens are alike, and neither are the challenges that they face. However, there are several common reasons why teenagers may begin to experiment with drugs or alcohol in the first place.

1. Peer Pressure

The National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted a survey in 2016 and discovered that 1.9 million adolescents ages 12 – 17 years old had used illicit drugs within 30 days of the survey. A majority of these teens reported being given drugs or alcohol by a peer. Teens want to be accepted and to fit in. When their best friend offers them drugs or alcohol, it’s unlikely that they’ll say no.

2. Self-Medication & Escape

It’s not uncommon for mental health symptoms to begin to make an appearance during the teen years. In order to cope with symptoms of depressionanxiety, or other mental health disorders, teens often begin using drugs or alcohol to minimize their symptoms or to “numb out”.

3. Performance Improvement

With immense amounts of pressure relating to academics and extra-curricular activities, teens may begin using performance-enhancing drugs or stimulants in order to meet the expectations of their parents, teachers, or coaches.

4. Experimentation

Kids are naturally curious, and kids grow into teenagers. It’s not uncommon for teens to seek out drugs or alcohol just to know what the sensations of being inebriated are like.

5. To Feel Grown Up

Teens want to feel grown-up, and it’s no surprise that they do! The idea of being an adult is new and exciting, and being able to drink, smoke cigarettes, or use illicit and harmful drugs is also exciting for many teens.

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Where Do Teens Go To Get Substance Use Treatment?

At Sandstone Care, we value teens and their families. We understand that every teen is different, and do our best to treat them as such. That’s why we created Cascade Canyon Teen Residential in Colorado and Chesapeake Teen Residential Center in Maryland.

Both centers are specifically designed for teens struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our whole-person treatment program helps teens learn healthy coping skills and resiliency.

At Cascade Canyon and Chesapeake, our clinical and medical team works together to create a unique and effective plan of action for each teen that enters our program. We not only provide treatment for the teen, we believe in treating the entire family unit. That’s why we devoted an entire weekend to providing support for the entire family through experiential activities, group therapy, psychoeducation groups, and family meals.

If you suspect your teen is using drugs or alcohol, reach out to one of our admissions coordinators today to start getting help for your teen and for your family.

Maryland Teen Rehab

Maryland Teen Rehab

2020 Martins Grant Ct., Crownsville, Maryland, 21032

Age Groups: Teens
Levels of Care: ResidentialAssessments
Treatment Programs: Mental HealthSubstance UseDual-Diagnosis
Sandstone Care Adolescent Treatment Center Cascade Canyon

Colorado Teen Rehab

5250 Pikes Peak Hwy, Cascade, Colorado, 80809

Age Groups: Teens
Levels of Care: ResidentialAssessments
Treatment Programs: Mental HealthSubstance UseDual-Diagnosis