Few Young People Get Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids

Although the United States is going through an opioid crisis, too few pediatricians and family doctors are trained in how to appropriately address and treat opioid addiction. Treating teenagers can be difficult enough, but those addicted to such volatile substances can become an even bigger danger to themselves and others if they aren’t getting to right help to come off the drugs. Continue reading “Few Young People Get Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids” »

Why Do Teens Do Drugs?

Many parents understand that drugs + teens = bad news. And many of us are on the hunt to understand. We’re looking for signs of drug use. We’re smelling our teen’s breath as the come in the door. And if truth be told, a few of us may have searched through a bedroom or book bag a time or two looking for clues.


You're not alone if you've searched your teen's room for drugs.

While we’re on the hunt to learn about our teens and the drugs they may be using, let’s not forget one of the most important steps: identifying why teens might use drugs in the first place.

What Prompts a Teenager to Try Drugs

Now this isn’t an inclusive list by any means, but there’s more than one reason a teen may be prompted to try drugs. The old thought of “peer pressure” still applies, but there’s a lot more to it this time. Each decade, there seems to be a new generation of teens that are motivated by factors those of us in an older generations don’t really understand. So if you’re trying to wrap your brain around what all is happening in your teenager’s brain, here are some helpful things we’ve learned by meeting families coming in to drug test their teenagers.

Peer Pressure

We’ll start with the most common, most well-known reason teens do drugs:  peer pressure. Even today this still applies. Your teen may feel pressured to fit in, appear cool or even avoid being bullied… which is a bigger problem these days than ever. However while you think of the traditional forms of peer pressure (name calling, harassment on the school bus, note passing) – remember that this generation of teens also has camera phones, texting and social media to manage on top of everything else. It’s all to easy for teens to say “yes” to the pressure to try drugs or alcohol these days to skirt the embarrassment or humiliation that may come with an alternative answer.

Relaxed Parenting and Spoiled Teens

Warning: toes may be stepped on. However, if you’re one of those parents that lets it slide that the dishes weren’t done, room is trashed and homework isn’t finished – you might be setting yourself up for trouble. According to Teen Drug Use, “this type of parenting can lead to substance use and abuse.” Spoiled teens have a tendency to use drugs and alcohol more. Don’t believe us? Read more…

Crazy Emotions & Depression

You remember your teenagers years. Well, maybe you do. If you don’t, here’s a fresher: think roller coaster. Between 13 through 19, a teenager changes dramatically. Guys and gals both undergo huge hormonal changes. Depression roles in. Attraction to the other sex makes its entry. Joy, sadness, anger, fear, insecurity – these are just a few of the emotions a teen will go through as they navigate some of the most complex years of life. So, teens in a volatile situation may turn to drugs & alcohol just because they don’t know where else to turn. That’s why it’s really important for parents to be engaged and supportive. Don’t necessarily be a friend, but don’t unplug either. Know how your teen is feeling.

Because Dad’s An Alcoholic

If addiction runs in your family, you need to keep your eye on your teen for similar patterns. Teens that come from a family history of addiction may be more prone to use drugs or alcohol as well. For one, it’s the principle of modeling. A child watches a parent and takes cues, so if alcohol and/or drug abuse is near, the child-turned-teen may mimic those same behaviors. Additionally, addiction in the home often causes a stressful situation, and teens may turn to substance abuse as a way to escape.

Other Reasons Why Teens Use Drugs

These are just some of the common reasons we see teens using drugs, we know there are many, many more. If you’re looking for more information, we highly recommend this fantastic website:

Time To Act

It will walk you through how to know if your teen is involved in drugs, why they might be experimenting, and tips for you as a parent on how to handle the situation.