What chance does a teenager have to avoid the “drug tentacles” reaching into every crack and crevasse of American society? Drug addiction and drug abuse are not simply about “street drugs” sold by nefarious persons to innocent victims. Both illegal and legally prescribed drugs mimic each other in the many in which they exploit the structure or neurobiology of the user’s brain. The bad news is that teenagers have free-and-easy access to any number of mind-bending mood altering substances.
The money culture of America has created an “open hunting season” for access and “market share” of Americans’ consciousness by alcohol, tobacco and drug marketers of all ilk and stripe.
Beer and spirits ads promote brand use, yet finish with “drink responsibly” throwaway lines, as though the millions of kids and adults might “just have one”.
Smoking and cancer are proven bed-fellows, yet brand sellers “pitch” their products, while placing label warnings and even advertising their “stop smoking” web sites.
Last but certainly not least are the research and pharmaceutical firms, embracing FDA approvals for distributing all manner of body and mood-altering drugs.
The intersection between government and money interests simply rubber stamps the “she’ll be right, Mate” attitude towards creeping drug addiction. Everyone has seen the somber and chilling TV ads about “Just Say No To Drugs” government campaigns to build awareness of teenage drug addiction, as well as law enforcement muscle applied to illegal drugs trafficking. To what impact? Precious little, as drug addiction and drug abuse proliferate across all age groups and economic classes.
Sign Of Drug Addiction – What To Look For
At its core, teen drug addiction describes an inner drive, and an inner void, towards self-medicating. Why? Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin and crack swamp the teen’s mind, diffusing anxiety while creating a distanced abstracted “dream like” safety space from the press of reality.
* Physical Signs
Your teen shifts towards an out-of-phase approach towards eating and sleep. Food tastes change, cravings pointing towards intense high caloric sweets and fats. Sleep disorders prevail, with late nights and impossible mornings the new order. Weight gains are interchangeable with weight loss as eating disorders slowly surface. Concentration lapses, missing school work and poor grades. Beginning with headaches and dizziness, physical sign of drug addiction can suddenly “blow up” into a full scale anxiety panic attack.
* Anti Social Behavior
For allegedly “normal” teens, all parents are “pathetic and lame”. Add drug use and hostility and suspicion towards parents becomes legion. Teen drug addiction amplifies the normal tendency towards intense secretiveness. Many parents, and even brothers and sisters, are the last to know that a teen “in the next room” has created a life threatening drug addiction. To be a teen is to be a master of the “cover up”.
Cause Of Drug Addiction – Contributing Factors
Peer pressure, stress, struggling self-esteem and identity issues, feeling of worthlessness, inability to manage the whipsaw of daily emotions, body changes and pressure to look a certain way, sex, parental pressures, parental neglect. Any one, or combination of factors, can become a cause of drug addiction once use begins and overwhelms a teenager.
Neither a teen nor her parents will typically “catch” the early signs in time before the snowballing effect of daily drug use radiates into a major drug abuse life crisis requiring aggressive professional intervention for drug addiction treatment of the mind and body. For parents, Hell’s door has just opened as they struggle to learn new attitudes towards their child, and to admit that they “no longer know” their child.
Knowledge Of Brain Changes Key To Drug Addiction Recovery
Consider the staggering complexity of our brains, with over 10 billion individual brain cells each with over 20,000 separate and unique synapse-links to other cells and a neural “roadway” of 4 million miles of nerve fibers.
* Drugs Create Unique Homes In The Brain
All substances, drugs included, travel along unique neurological “pathways”. So-called receptor sites become temporarily “occupied” by drug compounds, creating a short-lived “feel good” mood altering impact. Responding to external pressures, the teen “self medicates” in order to re-create that safety zone. The Catch 22 for all drug users is that they lack the ability to self-analyze and resolve psychological issues, and their self-medication only buries them deeper inside the very problems they’re trying to resolve. This is the inevitability, steep slope and snowballing reality of teenage drug addiction.
* Brain Adapts – Drug Use Increases In Search Of The “High”
Brain receptor sites adapt over time. Result? Starter drugs no longer create the “same high”. Teen response? Experiment and find another, more powerful drug. The cycle of brain adaptation and intensifying drug usage creates a downward spiral of increasing drug addiction, where withdrawal stresses produce a bio-chemical flow of demand for more drugs and shorter intervals.