To determine the risk factors of teen substance abuse, you need to find out if the teen’s parents struggle with substance abuse, determine whether the teen lacks parental guidance, learn about the teen’s problems at home, find out if the teen experiences peer pressure, look into the neighborhood where the teen lives, discover if the teen has been abused in any way, find out if the teen has any untreated or hopeless illness, and analyze certain personal characteristics that may lead to substance abuse.
Substance abuse involves the frequent use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and other substances that can harm a teen’s health and future. Determining the different possible causes behind teen substance abuse is very important to help end the abuse and save a teen’s life. Here are ways to determine the risk factors of teen substance abuse:
Find out if the teen’s parents struggle with substance abuse
One thing to look at in order to determine whether a teen is at risk for substance abuse is whether one or both parents abuse substances. When parents abuse alcohol or drugs, there is a greater chance that their teen will also struggle with substance abuse. The teen will think there is not much risk associated with abusing alcohol or drugs, since his parents have a positive approach towards using such substances. In this case, at risk teenagers will regard the abuse of his or her parents as permission that he can do the same.
Determine whether the teen lacks parental guidance
When parents do not actively monitor or are careless regarding their teen’s whereabouts, it is easier for the teen to leave the home and use different substances. The risk of substance abuse is greater among teens who lack parental attachment compared to teens who are constantly with their family or those who are being sufficiently monitored by their parents.
Learn about the teen’s problems at home
Teens who do not know how to handle problems at home tend to escape reality and bitterness by getting involved in drugs or alcohol. If you identify difficult problems at the teen’s home, such as divorcing parents, a constantly nagging mother, or an alcoholic father, then the risk for teen substance abuse is higher.
Find out if the teen experiences peer pressure
In some cases, peer pressure can drag a teen into substance abuse. No matter how carefully parents monitor their teen, he or she may learn to make excuses and get away with it. If all or most of his friends are into drugs or alcohol, the teen may try to go with the flow to make sure he fits in.
Look into the neighborhood where the teen lives
The neighborhood where the teen lives is also an important determining factor. In places where alcohol and illicit drugs are rampant, the chance for substance abuse is also high.
Discover if the teen has been abused in any way
Any emotional, physical, or psychological abuse a teen has experienced can cause him or her to resort to alcohol or drug use to temporarily forget and dull the pain. Find out if the teen has been abused in any way at home, in school, or among his friends in order to determine the likelihood of substance abuse.
Find out if the teen has any untreated or hopeless illness
Another risk factor of substance abuse is any untreated or hopeless health condition the teen might have. Depression may lead him to use or abuse alcohol and drugs. Teens in this situation may think that whatever they do with their lives doesn’t matter because of their hopeless condition.
Analyze certain personal characteristics that may lead to substance abuse
Finally, a teen’s general disposition can also help you to determine the possibility of substance abuse. Having an extremely disobedient and rebellious character can be a risk factor, as well as an extremely insecure personality.
Any teen can fall into substance abuse. You need to learn more about his family, his friends, his personality, and his condition to help determine the risk of substance abuse. Prevention is always better than the cure, so it helps to be mindful of a teen’s environment and act to save his life and his future.