When a child turns thirteen a parent isn’t supposed to need to watch out for drugs and alcohol. They should be enjoying sports games like baseball or volleyball. Kids at thirteen should be trying to win science fairs, not getting high in their friend’s basement or stealing a six pack from the garage fridge while their parents are busy. But as it turns out this is the age that most kids who start drinking and using drugs early become addicted to intoxicants. Thirteen is puberty, 8th grade, crushing on someone different every week. It’s three years before sweet sixteen. But if a parent doesn’t address the possibility of substance abuse at this age, it could also be the beginning of a lifelong substance abuse and chemical dependence.


What Happens When Teens Abuse Substances

When an adolescent gets ahold of drugs or alcohol and start to use the substance consistently they often begin to change. Their behavior may alter slowly and steadily with use, or depending on the drug and its side effects, it may be noticable sooner that the teen is misusing some kind of substance. Even if your child is the paragon of responsibility, if they begin using drugs or drinking with their buddies regularly, they will start to do things like show up late to classes, or not want to get out of bed to begin with. Students who use drugs or drink alcohol at this age generally lose focus in school and they begin to see their comprehension and ultimately their grades slip.

They may end up getting in trouble at school. Maybe they start to get detention or even get suspended for some kind of unusual behavior. Substance abuse can change a kids personality drastically. There are even advanced cases of substance addiction where some children who go so far as to dropout of school as early as 8th grade, never even making it to highschool.

Many teenagers, even the most extroverted of adolescents, may start to withdraw from their social circles and standing up even the closest of friends when they start to use drugs. They may become combative, defensive, argumentative, and secretive. In the end the kid who has started using drugs or alcohol to the point of developing an addiction may develop a habit of engaging in risky behavior such as breaking the law, either in order to access more of the intoxicant they’re consuming, or out of an emboldened sense of invulnerability and heightened impulsivity. They may even begin stealing from their own family – money from your purse or wallet, expensive items around the house.

Discovery InstituteDrugs and alcohol, in addition to personality changes, can lead to some medical complications.  It can present minor as bloodshot eyes, or changing pupils that they try to conceal. Your teen may try to avoid eye contact with a pair of sunglasses or a low cap on their head. Your teenager may might lose or gain weight at rapid speeds. They may get nose bleeds or they might begin to reek of alcohol. Of course the worst possibility of all is that they will lose control and overdose.


Treatment For Youth Addiction at  Discovery Institute Drug Rehab Centers in NJ

Drugs and alcohol are a cornerstone of rebellion during the teenage years, almost a right of passage. Kids who are known as “the good kids” and kids who are known as “the bad kids” alike will try different substances throughout their adolescence. The only way to work toward preventing teenage substance abuse is to talk with kids and to educate them about substance abuse. If you know someone struggling with addiction or have questions about Discovery Institute’s Young Adults addiction recovery program call us today. There’s help at Discovery Institute drug rehab in NJ. Our detox and rehab centers provide quality holistic treatment so that your young adult can live their best life, their whole life. Call us today

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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