10 Teen Drug Abuse Myths Debunked

Teen Addiction Myths

Teen substance use is a serious problem among today’s youth. With easy access to illicit substances and misconceptions regarding the dangers of drug and alcohol use, teens are engaging in risky behaviors that can have disastrous consequences. Likewise, many parents and guardians also misunderstand teen substance use and addiction. Debunking some of the most common myths about teen drug addiction can help teens get access to the treatment they need for recovery.

Myths About Teen Drug Abuse– Debunked

1. Marijuana is the gateway drug.

While this may be true in some cases, most teens who develop a substance use disorder begin with alcohol before moving on to other drugs.

2. Teen substance use isn’t that serious.

Teen drug and alcohol use, when left unaddressed, becomes adult substance use disorders. As addiction further develops and deepens it becomes more difficult to treat and overcome. Early intervention during the teen years helps to prevent the lasting effects of long-term drug abuse.

3. Every teen experiments, it’s just a phase.

This common misconception is why some parents allow their children to engage in underage drinking or excuse teen drug use. While well-intentioned, this mentality stands in the way of finding the root causes of teen substance abuse, allowing the issue to develop further.

Teenagers drinking beer

4. It’s okay to give teens alcohol or marijuana as long as they use it under supervision.

Similarly to the previous myth, this one follows the ‘well, they’re going to do it anyway, they may as well do it here’ mentality. This is enabling behavior, not being a ‘cool’ or understanding parent.

5. They’re only using/acting out for attention.

Teen substance use often has an underlying cause, this is true. However, brushing their harmful habits off as just attention seeking behavior ignores the fact that your child is in need. 

6. Strict parenting prevents teen substance use.

Being a strict or overbearing parent isn’t guaranteed to keep your child away from drugs or alcohol. In fact, it may cause them to be more sneaky or less likely to come to you when they need help. Instead, fostering an understanding relationship with your teen so they know you are there to support them when they need it the most. 

7. They’ll eventually grow out of it.

Assuming your teen’s drug or alcohol use is just a phase they will eventually grow out of is a dangerous gamble. It may be true, or they may end up down a dangerous path of addiction that may be difficult to recover from. That risk just isn’t worth it.

8. It must be the parents’ fault.

Addiction is no one’s fault. It is a complex condition with a variety of factors that impact its development. Pointing fingers and shifting blame distracts from finding help and support for overcoming the problem at hand. 

9. Only the ‘bad kids’ drink and use drugs.

No one is immune from the risk of developing addiction. Substance abuse disorders are not a moral failing and they don’t denote someone’s character. These social stigmas and misconceptions only stand in the way of addressing the substance abuse epidemic among teens as a whole and in the individual.

10: There are no options for teen addiction treatment.

Early intervention and comprehensive treatment for teen substance abuse helps to get your child back on track for a bright, successful future. Safe Landing Recovery is one of the few addiction treatment facilities specializing in adolescent care in South Florida. To learn more about our services and how we can help you and your family, contact us today.


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