Teens And Substance Abuse: Common Triggers

Substance abuse is a crisis that rarely comes out of nowhere. Often, teenagers face a trigger that prompts them to turn to drugs or alcohol. If your teen has made this wrong turn, you must get your child professional treatment. However, it's equally important to do your research on why your child might have turned to substance abuse. Learn about some of the common triggers teenagers face and how you can combat them.

Peer Pressure

Many children start on the journey of self-exploration during their teenage years. As they start to try and learn more about who they are, it's common for teens to listen heavily to their friends. As a result, for a child that is surrounded by friends who are constantly encouraging them to try drugs or alcohol, it can get harder and harder for them to resist. Talking to your child about being an independent thinker is critical to him or her avoiding this negative pressure.

Confidence and Self-Esteem

Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, including your teen son or daughter. A child that feels like they're the odd-ball out or uncool because they don't drink alcohol or take drugs might turn to substance abuse as a way to feel included and boost their confidence and self-esteem. Regularly give your child positive affirmations to show them that they are good enough just as they are. Keeping your child active in sports and other extracurricular activities like dance is another great way to boost self-esteem.


Being a teenager is not an easy walk. There is school, life decisions, social media, and even familial issues that can cause a child to feel overwhelmed and possibly even feel depressed. Depression is a common trigger for substance abuse because people often feel like drugs or alcohol offer them an opportunity to mentally escape from their problems. If depression is impacting your child, it's vital to address their issues with depression along with the substance abuse recovery. 

Environmental Concerns

Children of all ages learn by examples. If a child is in an environment where drug or alcohol abuse is rapid, he or she might think these behaviors are normal. When possible, parents should keep their children as far away from substance abusers as they can. Additionally, if a close family member is dealing with the issue, don't avoid the topic. Speak with your child about the persons' struggles so that they have a firsthand look at the real cost of substance abuse. 

What triggered the abuse and the path to recovery is different for every child. Ensure your approach to substance abuse recovery with your child is a personal journey.

For more information, contact places like Lifeline.