Substance Abuse In Teens

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Understanding Substance Abuse In Teens

Substance abuse in teens is characterized by excessive use of substances such as marijuana, alcohol, or prescription drugs. A variety of influences can lead to substance abuse in teens. These include: a history of the family using substances, peer influence, family conflict, strict parents, lack of education about substance abuse, impulsiveness, and emotional and behavioral disorders.

Knowing when your teen is abusing substances is crucial to getting them the help they need as soon as possible. Substance abuse in teens can escalate quickly. One usage of drugs may lead to an overdose and/or brain damage. Symptoms of substance abuse in teens include:

  • Red, puffy eyes
  • Rapid loss of weight
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden change in friend group
  • Change in behavior and mood
  • Irritability and anger
  • Strange smells on body, hair, and clothing
  • Money going missing, not knowing where your teen is spending their money
  • Lack of care about schoolwork

Substance abuse in teens can lead to damaging legal issues, a loss of relationships, and physical decline. It needs to be addressed in order for your teen to have a successful future.

Treating Teen Substance Use - 8 empty glass alcohol bottles sit on the grass.

Trails Carolina and Substance Abuse in Teens

Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program, helps teens ages 10-17 overcome their struggles. Substance abuse in teens is addressed by Trails Carolina through a comprehensive approach to wilderness therapy. Teens are removed from their comfortable environment and placed into the wilderness, without access to the substances they abused. There, teens learn survival and life skills such as responsibility, respect, accountability, and teamwork.

At Trails Carolina, teens build positive relationships with their peers and feel empowered to become the best people they can be. With a caring, experienced staff, Trails Carolina provides an experience that can help teens overcome substance abuse and other behavioral and emotional struggles.

Substance Use In Teens Research

A 2015 study on substance abuse in teens found that alcohol use in films is associated with a higher risk of alcohol use in teens and adolescents. Adolescents with the highest exposure to alcohol use in films were 1.2 times more likely to have tried alcohol compared with other teens not as exposed to alcohol use in films. They were 2.4 times more likely to drink weekly and 2 times more likely to have substance abuse issues than other teens.

Contemporary Article About Substance Use In Teens

An article on Futurity discusses studies that found teens who use marijuana because they are bored are more likely to use illicit drugs such as LSD, cocaine, and heroin. The studies also found that those who use marijuana to experiment with drugs aren’t likely to move on to illicit drugs.

Substance abuse in teens defined by:

Wikimedia Commons

Alcohol Use in Films and Adolescent Alcohol Use

Everything we do at Trails Carolina is meant to prepare students and families to transition their wilderness experience into the real world and create a bright future.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022