How Does Teen Mental Health Cause Addiction?

 In Mental Health

Mental health and addiction are often related. People with poor mental health may choose to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Although the illicit substances may provide temporary relief, they do more harm than good in the long run.

Teens are particularly susceptible to developing an addiction due to mental health issues. They are dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety considering peer pressure, a need to get good grades, and an impending transition into adulthood. They are exposed to environments, like parties, where drugs are readily available.

When addiction occurs during adolescence, it’s important to treat it as soon as possible, before it gets out of hand. This article will answer the question, does teen mental health cause addiction, and it will let you know what you can do when dependency issues occur.

What Mental Issues Commonly Impact Teens?

Teens are most likely to be dealing with anxiety, mood, attention, and behavior disorders. These include: 

  • Anxiety: Anxiety can occur due to the pressure teens are under to conform to peer pressure, get good grades, and transition to adulthood. Teens may suffer from various types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety, social anxiety, or a panic disorder. 
  • Depression: Depression often goes hand in hand with anxiety. It can occur if teens feel they are not living up to their potential. It can be brought on by teasing, bullying and poor grades. 
  • ADHD: ADHD commonly affects teens and children. Symptoms may diminish in adulthood. It is characterized by an inability to focus, restlessness, lack of concentration, difficulty sleeping and mood swings. 
  • Disruptive Behavior Disorders: These include conduct disorder which is characterized by behavior that violates age-appropriate societal norms and oppositional-defiant disorder, which involves hostile, defiant behavior. 
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: This type of disorder involves a person engaging in compulsive behavior to manage obsessive thoughts. 
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A posttraumatic stress disorder can develop if the teen was exposed to trauma at some point in their lives. It can lead to flashbacks, nightmares, and general feelings of fear. 
  • Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating feelings of soaring highs and bottomless lows that can be periodic or ongoing.

How Does Teen Mental Health Cause Addiction Issues?

Many teens don’t know they are suffering from a mental health disorder. They may be feeling emotions that are beyond their control, but they may not understand why they are happening.

If they don’t have a healthy home life, they may be too embarrassed to talk about their feelings. They may feel like they will get made fun of by their relatives and peers. 

During this time, they may be introduced to drugs and alcohol. When they experiment with these illicit substances, they may feel relief from their emotions. 

For example, if they feel depressed, they may find certain drugs have a euphoric effect. If they feel nervous, alcohol may loosen them up. 

However, they will also experience severely depressed states when the drug wears off. This will make matters worse in the long run. And if they continue using the drug, an addiction will form, giving them two disorders to deal with. 

How to Find Teen Dual Diagnosis in Florida

There are many approaches to take when treating teen addiction, but teen dual diagnosis is the most effective. It addresses both the addiction and the underlying cause giving teens the tools they need to manage their condition. It is proven to yield high success rates in long-term recovery.

If you are looking for a teen mental health and addiction program in South Florida that provides a dual diagnosis approach, the Adolescent Wellness Academy is highly recommended.

AWA is a Florida afterschool program that allows teens to recover without taking a lot of time away from school and friends. We specialize in teen mental health treatment, addressing them at their level in a relatable manner. We provide transportation and serve various cities throughout the Florida area. 

No one wants to see their teen addicted to drugs, but success rates are high if they are treated early on. AWA provides the comprehensive treatment they need to put addiction behind them and move forward toward a healthy adulthood. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

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