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Overview of Teenage Drug Addiction
In this Overview of Teenage Drug Addiction we learn about what the stages of drug addiction and drug abuse are. This article also talks about which drugs are commonly abused by teenagers and what effect each drug has on the teen.
Teen drug abuse and addiction are becoming more prevalent these days, and it is important to understand a little bit more about substance abuse, and the kids of drugs students are using. It can also help to have a good idea of what is involved in addiction.
What is drug addiction and abuse?
One of the most basic items related to drug abuse is addiction. An addiction is when the body has developed a dependency upon a substance. Teen drug addiction happens when the student’s body craves - and may even need - the drug in order to satisfy an irresistible urge. Addiction is also characterized by tolerance. This means that a teenager needs more and more of a drug in order to feel its effects. If enough tolerance is built up, eventually one’s life can be threatened by overdose.
There are five stages of drug abuse, as identified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders circulated by the American Psychological Association. These five stages of drug abuse include:
Commonly abused drugs by teenagers
Cold medications: These cause a slight “buzz” when taken in great quantities. Cold medications like Benadryl, NyQuil and Sudafed can be taken in a number of ways. However, many teenagers do not realize that they can be dangerous because they are mostly over the counter medications. However, they can result in health problems - and even death.
Inhalants: Such common household products as ammonia, cleaning products, aerosol products and gasoline are used as inhalants. The use of these products is referred to as “huffing.” This practice is a popular way to get a “buzz” because the products used are easily accessible. However, lung damage can be caused by these actions, and some teenagers have immediate and deadly reactions to the chemicals they are inhaling.
Stimulants: Stimulants come as illegal drugs and also as prescription drugs. Illegal stimulants include cocaine and methamphetamine. Other type of stimulants include ADD and ADHD medications, like Ritalin and Strattera, as well as over the counter wakeful aids like No-Doz. These can speed up the heart and cause other problems - especially when taken in large doses.
Prescription narcotics: Illegal narcotics such as heroin are not very popular amongst teenagers these days. However, prescription narcotics are gaining in use. This is because they are easier to get, and are perceived as being less dangerous. The more popular are pain prescriptions like Vicodin and Oxycontin, as well as codeine.
Club drugs: These are drugs meant to enhance the senses while at a party, especially at clubs. Drugs like Ecstasy provide sensory stimulation through vision, sound and touch.
Steroids: These are performance enhancing drugs, often taken to help students gain an edge in sports. However, these can stunt development, as well as cause other problems that can remain evident throughout life.
It is important to be aware of the possibility of teen drug abuse and addiction, and do your best to guard against it so that your teenager is as safe as possible.
Sources: - medicinenet.com
Related Article: Teen Drug Statistics >>