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Issues That Make Substance Abuse Among The Youth More Problematic

Sep 7, 2008
Substance abuse is definitely a major problem in itself, but when the victim is a young person, the issue becomes much more serious. Today, there is a large number of treatment centers that cater especially to young people that are trying to come out of an addiction, but it is appalling to see how there are patients as young as ten and twelve years seeking admission to these centers. This clearly indicates that the age of people getting into chemical dependencies is going down. Moreover, these treatment centers claim that they face many more problems in doling out treatment to the younger patients than to adults. Here we discuss some of these problems that the treatment centers face in treating adolescent and teen substance abuse.

Ignorance in the Patients

The first problem that is encountered with young-age substance abuse is the fact that these patients are too immature to understand the gravity of their situation. They do not comprehend that the habit they are with is a life-threatening habit. Being young, they only see that they get temporal pleasure by chasing the addiction, without actually realizing the repercussions on various aspects of their life that the habit might cause.

Why do young people get into an addiction in the first place? Substance abuse resources reveal that most youngsters who pick up a chemical habit are under some or the other kind of emotional stress. This could be an overburdening pressure to compete in academics or sports or the feeling of neglect within their family. They may also succumb to the habit due to sheer pressure from their companions. If we see this, we realize that youngsters do not take up addiction for the sake of the addiction. For them, the addiction is a kind of a release from some perceived problem or a way to make their presence felt to the people around them.

This is why we say that ignorance plays an important role in harboring substance abuse in teens and adolescents. It is quite a challenging task for the treatment providers to help their underage patients come out of this ignorance and know better about the precarious situation they are in.

Young Age of the Patients

Of course, the tender age of the patients poses difficulties too. The body and the nervous system of the person are still developing. In such a situation, it is quite possible that the addiction houses itself in a much intense manner in the person's constitution. This will only make it more difficult to pull the person out of the dependency.

At the same time, it becomes difficult to provide them intensive forms of medication. This is because most medications provided in substance abuse treatment are addictive themselves and because of their young age, there is a danger that they might experience a withdrawal because of the substance that is actually provided to mitigate their dependency. Due to this reason, only mild forms of medications are provided to the younger patients. This makes it more difficult for them to undergo the detox phase of the treatment program, but there is no solution to this situation.

Strong Denial

This actually ties up with the fact that most young patients who are into addiction are ignorant of the situation they are in. Because they have no judgment of the seriousness of their condition, they will shun treatment processes. They will feel that their addiction is no more than a habit and that they don't need any treatment to snap out of it. They will be confident about this fact. This strong denial is quite difficult to overcome. Treatment centers that cater to substance abuse in the youth find that their patients who are into denial will not respond to the recovery process. It is a certainty that they have to be pulled out of their denial. But it is a challenge for the centers to make that happen.

Possibility of Secondary Addictions

Most states today have a presence of addictions that target the youth. Methamphetamine and crystal meth are very good examples of this. The labs that manufacture these substances distribute them in places where youth frequent, such as the nightclubs and the rave parties. It is quite possible then that these youth may have taken up some such club drug addiction or some other kind. When that happens, it becomes extremely difficult to bring them out of their dependencies.

As time passes, young substance users find that they lose the kick that they get from one substance. This is when they try higher forms of addiction, making the treatment quite difficult.
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