Drug and alcohol addiction are what comes to mind when people generally think of teenage addiction. Many other addictions may occur including food, relationship and other types of addiction. Explore the most common types of addictions which afflict teens and how to seek help for a loved one.
Healthy eating and exercise are discussed in school settings now more than ever. Since adolescents gain weight during this developmental stage, it can be common for boys and girls to worry excessively over weight gains or losses. This may lead to exercise addiction to either burn calories or put on muscle. Eating disorders tend to be more common in teens with exercise addiction.
The following tips may help combat weight loss or gain in a teenager:
- If a teen begins to count calories, exercise constantly or seems overly preoccupied with his or her weight, sit down and have a talk
- Remind the teen attractiveness is nothing to do with weight
- Explain how the body goes through changes and it is normal to gain weight
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle and eating habits
Four in ten teen girls are addicted to the internet. The problem is not exclusive to girls as it also affects boys as well. Internet addiction may interfere with schoolwork and socializing. If this happens, learning difficulties and social isolation may occur which can hamper success later in life.
The following tips may help parents or caretakers support a teen with internet addiction:
- Help the teen identify addiction by pointing out the time spent online
- Implement steps to gradually ease amount of time spent online
Teenagers crave acceptance from peers. With changes in teen bodies, self-esteem may plummet. Sexual promiscuity may boost some girl’s confidence and boys as well, which is how addiction starts (positive affirmation for negative behavior).
Addressing the issue using the following tips can be helpful:
- Help teen talk about skills and talents aside from sexuality
- Let the teen know he or she is loved and everyone is proud of accomplishments
- Let the teen know he or she is good looking or beautiful and there are positive ways to get attention
Teen girls and boys struggle with prescription drug addiction because many of the drugs are easily accessible from family members and friends. Teen drug abuse stats are connected to addiction, overdose and even fatal outcomes if not addressed.
Addressing the issue can begin with the following:
- Put away all prescription medication
- Throw away old medicine
- Monitor usage
- Voice concerns and let the teen know help is available
- Drug testing is not recommended but may be an available option
Addiction of any kind should be taken seriously. If your teen is struggling with dependence or addiction issues, call The Villa to find out how we can help your teen get on the path to recovery and healing.