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Teen Drug Abuse

The warning signs of drug abuse or alcohol abuse may be easier to spot than you think. Teen drug abuse may be accompanied by teen depression and possible teenage suicide. Keep reading for more information on how teen drug abuse correlates with teen suicide.

Teenage suicide is a real danger to teens. In fact, teen suicide is the third leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. This makes it a serious problem. However, some people do not realize the roll that drug abuse can play in teen suicide. It is important to understand that teen drug abuse can contribute to attempted suicide and to completed suicide.

Teen drug abuse and teen suicide

One of the risk factors associated with teen suicide is drug abuse. Drug abuse is one of those things that can really affect the chemical balance in the brain, intensifying feelings of depression and sadness. Added to that, however, are the withdrawal symptoms that come with teen drug abuse. Dependency on drugs, both legal and illegal, can lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The drug becomes increasingly necessary, both physically and mentally, and this can lead to unpleasant feelings associated with being out of control. Other problems arise when one is not on the drugs. Physical sickness, and feelings of lowness (or “crashing” or “coming down”) are usually very unpleasant and can contribute to feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts.

Symptoms of teen drug abuse

In order to forestall teen suicide stemming from teen drug abuse, it is important to recognize the symptoms of teen drug abuse. Some of these indications include:

  • News friends (often of questionable character) 
  • Increased secretiveness 
  • Pulling back from family and friends 
  • Paying less attention to appearance and hygiene 
  • Dropping school grades 
  • Lack of interest in extracurricular activities

Recognizing teen drug abuse can help you save teenage lives from suicide.

Depression and teen drug abuse

Sometimes teen drug abuse is not the main cause of teen depression leading to teenage suicide. There are occasions that stresses and life events cause depression and contribute to teen drug abuse. Sometimes teens feel so depressed, and so overwhelmed with life, that they turn to drugs to help them feel better. This is known as self-medicating, and it can lead to teen drug abuse. This drug abuse can, in turn, lead to increasingly severe depression, which, if not treated, can result in teen suicide. Here are some factors that can trigger teen depression: 

  • Stressful situations at home, work or school 
  • Exposure to violence (mental, physical, sexual or emotional) 
  • Loss of a loved one 
  • Divorce of parents 
  • Change in economic or social situation 
  • Changing schools 
  • Moving to another town

Treating teen drug abuse and depression to prevent teen suicide

Proper treatment of teen drug abuse is necessary in order counteract the effects that can lead to depression and even teen suicide. There are a variety of treatment options, including in and out patient treatments. For the most severe cases of teen drug addiction rehab, in patient treatment programs can help with a combination of therapy and sometimes medication. Such programs should also include help for teen depression and suicide prevention measures. It is important to remember that helping a teen with drug abuse problems involves support and love from family and friends.

Teen Drug Abuse Main Source Material: “Teen Suicide,” Resource Center. National Youth Violence Prevention. [Online.]

Related Article: Teen Alcohol Use >>



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