Aug 30 2013

Drug abuse and teenagers: Statistics of drug abuse and how to help an addict- Vol. 115, August 25, 2011

The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse or CASA at Columbia University has reported this June, that adolescent substance use is the number one public health problem. This based on data from surveys 1,000 high school students, 1,000 parents, and 500 high school employees, including principals, teachers, counselors and coaches. According to the researchers a third of the users of these addictive substances fit the medical criteria of being addicted.

The report states that three-fourths of high school students have smoked cigarettes, drunk alcohol or used another drug. Alcohol being the most preferred addictive substance followed by cigarettes, marijuana and controlled drugs such as narcotic pain killers. Two-thirds of high school students have used more than one addictive substance and a quarter of the teens in the survey say they consider marijuana to be harmless.

As bad as the above statistics are the more scary truth according to this article is that people who use addictive substances before the age of 18 are six times more likely to develop a substance disorder than those who didn’t start till over the age of 21.

I have to say that from my practice the majority of people who become addicted to substances started out innocently enough wanting a new experience or as a result of a prescription given for pain control. The abuser got addicted as a result of a subtle change in their biochemistry looking for the dopamine high that would be triggered as a result of the abuse. There is a larger problem with youth becoming addicted to drugs. This would be that the emotional age of the person gets stunted from the time they first became addicted. This is a result of their inability to take part in normal social activities where they would learn how to interact with people in an age appropriate manner. What this means is that many addicts become adults who lack the ability to empathize with others, communicate their desires and needs in a productive manner, or create boundaries with the people in their lives to allow them to feel secure in who they are and what they are doing in their lives. By the time these people become adults they wonder why it is that they feel isolated and misunderstood.

Though the clearing of the addiction needs to happen for the individual to move onto a healthier life, the social interactions also needs to be taken into consideration for these clients to have a quality of life that works better for them.

If you know of an addict who needs help in releasing themselves from their addiction please realize that until they are able to interact at their age level, they are still going to feel at a loss. Hypnotism and NLP interventions are very useful in helping these people to learn the skills they need to turn their lives from one of an addict to a person who can have a normal social life.

If you hire a hypnotist to do this work do make certain that they have experience dealing with this serious situation.

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