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Adolescent Drug Addiction – Don’t Discriminate

by James Heller 5. May 2010 12:37
Teen drug addiction does not only occur with drugs like heroin and methamphetamines.  Prescription opiate and benzodiazepine abuse can quickly lead to addiction, and we should not forget about marijuana and alcohol which are still drugs.  Parents need to be aware of these facts so they can easily spot the signs of impending drug addiction with their youth.

Don’t be fooled by the idea that if you don’t catch your adolescent using strong drugs, then it is not a big deal.  Granted, finding evidence of heroin or methamphetamine use can scare any parent into contacting the closest drug treatment center.  Too many parents, though, do not take the same drastic action with other drugs, and may simply resort to grounding or other minor punishments.

Alcohol and marijuana are the best examples.  Many parents still believe it is okay to allow teen alcohol use in the home, in hopes that they will not drink outside the home.  In most cases they will and put themselves at risk of injury and death.  Adolescents, in most cases, simply don’t drink responsibly like adults.  Getting a buzz is the purpose as opposed to having a social moment with friends.

The 21st Century has seen an equalizing with alcohol of the social acceptance of marijuana.  The drug has become normalized with such a high percentage of the population having smoked pot in younger days.  If marijuana use caused them no major problems, parents may allow their teens to use it or just wave it off as typical youth behavior.   What they don’t know is that marijuana is now much more potent and addictive, and can also lead to injury or death if they drive under the influence of pot.

Now prescription drugs like Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin), and benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium) have become popular with adolescents.  Adolescent prescription drug abuse is largely driven by a low perception of risk.  Teens believe there is no danger that comes with the high, as long as they take the drugs in controlled situations.  But drug addiction can take hold quickly with these drugs, which can lead them to try heroin addiction since it is cheaper and more potent.

Drug addiction treatment usually begins with drug detox or alcohol detoxDrug withdrawal symptoms include flu-like aches and intestinal problems among others, and alcohol withdrawal can be fatal in serious cases.  It is best to avoid the need for medical detoxification before teen drug treatment.  The way to do this is to treat all teen drug abuse equally, and seek treatment at the earliest signs of use.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment, as well as prevention education.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.