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Substance abuse in teens

Substance abuse in teens defined

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

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 becoming 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.


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

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.

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