Teen Drug Abuse in New Jersey

The Teen Substance Abuse Problem in New Jersey

According to the official New Jersey website, the drug deaths in New Jersey have continued to rise for four years in a row. Each year, thousands of people throughout the state are dying from addiction, and many of these people are extremely young. It was just decades ago that the worst substances teens were experimenting with were marijuana and alcohol, but that’s all changed. Today, kids are turning to harder drugs at a much earlier age. It’s common for young people to have tried drugs like prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, meth, cocaine or even heroin before they even graduate high school. In order to help curb the addiction epidemic in New Jersey, we need a better understanding of teen drug abuse in New Jersey.

Why Teens are More Vulnerable to Addiction

Although some teens may practice abstinence, it’s an unrealistic expectation to believe that teens will never try alcohol or drugs. What’s important is that parents as well as young people understand why they’re turning to these substances in the first place and how they’re at risk. During this time, young people are trying to discover who they are and separate themselves as individuals. There is an internal desire to want to fit in with different crowds which can lead to experimenting with substances. 

What’s important to understand is that teens have a brain that’s still developing, and the part of the brain that helps regulate impulsive decisions and emotions isn’t fully there yet. The prefrontal cortex of the brain doesn’t fully form until someone’s mid-20s, so when a teen starts abusing drugs at a young age, they are less likely to have control. In fact, they get a more euphoric feeling because the prefrontal cortex also helps to regulate the flow of dopamine. 

It’s also important to realize that teens aren’t only turning to drugs or alcohol because of peer pressure. As an adult, it’s easy to forget how difficult and challenging it is to be a teenager. There is tremendous stress about grades, relationships, social life, sports and much more. Some teens start to develop anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness. Without talking to adults about what’s going on, they might start to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which can lead to addiction.

Early Intervention is Key

If you have a teen who might be developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the good news is that they have a great opportunity to recover. Addiction is a progressive disease that gets a lot worse as time goes on. As a person continues to drink or use, they become more dependent, and it’s harder for them to quit. When you’re able to intervene sooner rather than later, your child is still in the early stages of addiction and has a much better opportunity to stop before they ruin their future.

Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

Enlightened Solutions is a drug and alcohol rehab in New Jersey, and we’re here to help young people see that there’s a better way of living without drugs or alcohol. Our program starts with a detoxification process, and we offer both medical and holistic treatment methods. Once a person safely comes off of the drugs or alcohol, we then begin the rehabilitation process. We also specialize in dual diagnosis treatment, so if your child needs mental health treatment, we can help them learn better ways of managing their mental health. To learn more, call us today at 833-233-7336.

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