When you think of addiction, you might be envisioning a 20-30 year old, or maybe 40’s. What you may not know is that 90% of people begin drinking or doing drugs before they are 18 years old. With this statistic, you can assume that many addiction problems begin at an early age. Being young and addicted can be better than learning at an older age that you have a problem. It can also be harder to maintain your sobriety as you’ll need to learn responsibility at a younger age.
An average addict can begin seeing problems at any age. You’ll likely realize your problem if you find yourself craving more of it after the first use. Many drugs don’t take much to become addicted. For example, heroin, crack and nicotine are the most addictive drugs. After the first use, you could become addicted. Other drugs such as molly, LSD, and marijuana are less addictive.
Young people who drink alcohol before 15 years old are 5% more likely to become addicted than someone who waits until the age of 21 to drink.
Challenges of Someone Young and Addicted
Challenges of Someone Young and In Recovery
Too depressed to understand
Don’t know the health risks of addiction
Simply don’t care
Don’t have the money/insurance for ongoing support and treatment
Scared to go to school/college sober
Chances of relapse
Does Rehab for Teens Work?
71% of teenagers finished their program with significant improvement.
78% of teenagers say they received the right kind of help for their addiction
39% of teenagers remained clean after graduating
71% of teenagers say they were happy with the treatment they received
Addiction is a scary world to live in. But when you realize the consequences of being addicted and not seeking help for it, you’ll want to change your habits. Addiction is a chronic disease, but it can be treated. It can make you feel hopeless and worthless, but if you start with detox, go to group meetings, seek a therapist and continued care, you can conquer it. Motivation is a powerful thing, but when you’re around people who want help just like you do, it makes it easier.
Many teens and young adults find it easier to maintain their sobriety while still in rehab. This is one of the reasons why the success rate is usually lower after they graduate the program. Sobriety is a lot easier to maintain if you have ongoing support after your treatment is done. Ongoing support can include: attending AA/NA meetings, family counseling, join an alumni group, individual therapy, and more.
Is Relapsing a Bad Thing?
Relapsing can go both ways. In most cases, addicts in recovery will relapse once or twice before they achieve a long lasting sobriety. But in some other cases, addicts will go to rehab and come out clean and determined without relapsing again. In a sense, relapsing can be a rock bottom or a realization for them to get sober again. It usually doesn’t take many relapses to fully understand your problem and to become motivated to get treated again.