Defining the Vice: Helping Parents Identify Teen Addiction

teen addiction

Teenage addiction has many faces. Teenage girls are not necessarily more prone to addiction to drugs and alcohol than other things such as exercise or the internet. Teenage boys, likewise, are not able to be fit into a box, either, when it comes to addiction, It is not a good thing to over generalize addiction to only one thing or another when it comes to teenagers. Many things can become addiction as demonstrated by the following situations.

 

Exercise Addiction

Healthy eating and exercise are emphasized in school, online, among friends and in the stores. Now, more than ever, adolescents may feel as though weight is an issue when it may not be at all. Teens gain weight during crucial developmental periods which is normal. Exercise addiction occurs when a teen starts to burn more calories than are consumed which can lead to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa.

If a teen loses weight, counts calories and exercises more fervently than ever before, it may be time to have a conversation. It helps to remind the teen appearance is only skin deep and the way the teen looks is just fine and to expect some changes to occur. Encourage a healthy lifestyle but warn against going overboard and allow space for the teen to address any concerns.

 

Internet Addiction

Four in ten teenage girls are addicted to the internet. While it may not seem like a huge problem, it can interfere with school work and socializing with friends or family. Difficulties in school can arise which may hamper success later in life.

One of the best ways to address teenage internet addiction is to take it seriously. Support the teen to identify the addiction, point out the amount of time spent online and take steps to reduce the time gradually.

 

Sexual Addiction

Teenagers want to be accepted. With changes happening at a fast pace, it can affect a teen’s self esteem and confidence. Sexual promiscuity is one way girls may boost confidence which can fall into sexual addiction if left untreated.

The best way to address sexual addiction is to talk with the teen about skills, talents and other positive attributes and provides positive attention the teen desires.

 

Prescription Drug Addiction

Many teens are turning to prescription drugs which are more easily accessible than other drugs from friends and family members. It is not believed (in the teen’s eyes) prescription drugs are as bad as illicit ones. Teen drug stats demonstrate high rates of addiction, overdose and death for those using prescription drugs.

If a teen may be struggling with prescription drug addiction, it is best to hide all medications. Voicing concern with the teen may help he or she to fess up but if a confession does not happen, continue to keep an eye on what is around and express concern at that point. It is proper to offer help if the behavior continues or escalates.

 

Addiction is a serious problem with potentially deadly consequences. Don’t wait until it’s too late, seek help for your teenager today. Call us at 800-910-9299 for more information on how we can help you help your loved one recover from addiction.