5 Causes and Effects of Teens Using Drugs

Teens Using Drugs

The medicines that are useful to humanity may also be the ones that are injurious if taken in excess. Substance abuse isn’t a label of moral failure – it is a complicated condition that requires comprehensive, long-term treatment.

Generally, youngsters seem to be the victims of drug abuse. Teenagers who haven’t encountered drug addiction problems may be perplexed and wonder why a person would start abusing drugs.

Why would people put themselves in harm by choice? In fact, there are various reasons why young people begin substance abuse, and the aftermath of addiction can be life-threatening.

If you’re a parent whose child is addicted to drugs, you may need to figure out the causes, treatment, and consequences with your child.

From curiosity to peer pressure and bad company, there can be a variety of causes your child is using drugs. Your child’s case may be different and require a unique addiction treatment plan.

While each case is distinct, some patterns are general, such as why teens turn to drugs, how addiction builds up, and the effects of substance abuse.

As a parent, you can start by encouraging your child to talk to you while discussing treatment options with them.

There are several ways of overcoming drug addiction. One of the best and most effective ways is through a rehab center.

Renowned rehab centers like The Palm Beach Institute offer customized treatment plans for individuals after evaluating their state of addiction.

With that said, let’s look at common causes of substance abuse in teens and their effects.


1. Curiosity

You’ve probably heard the phrase “curiosity kills the cat.” Today, young people are curious to know about everything that’s happening.

So, when they hear about new trends regarding their interests, they want to try those. In the case of drugs, this curiosity can sometimes become an addiction and may lead to a life-shattering situation.

The media glamorizes substance abuse, showcasing celebrities involved in drug trafficking and abuse cases.

Many teenagers see these celebrities as mentors and try to imitate their actions, making them addicts and ruining their lives.

2. Boredom

One of the many causes of drug addiction you may find interesting is boredom. Contrary to popular belief, boredom isn’t always about people who have nothing left to do.

You may find many busy people getting bored with their daily routine and responsibilities. In the same way, teenagers get bored from their school or everyday routine too, which results in them seeking ways to please and divert themselves through drugs.

3. People around You

Your company and the environment can be an immediate cause of your addiction. When you see people in your surroundings, including your friends and parents, using substances like vaping, marijuana, or alcohol, it may increase the urge to do the same.

Sometimes teens are pressured by their friends to indulge in substance abuse.

4. Stress

Young people often experience failure, get discouraged and frustrated for different reasons. When this stress isn’t released, teenagers may use drugs to find pleasure.

Depending on what substance they use, they may find solace, helping them feel at peace without putting up with life’s pressures.

5. Media

Television and radio stations publicly advertise cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs. These drugs are presented as a tool for enhancing performance.

What’s more, people are even informed about the places where drugs could be bought, subtly. Reports show that around 45% of youth agree that TV shows, movies, and music make drugs such as marijuana seem in vogue or something normal.


1. Mental Health

People start abusing drugs for many reasons; however, no matter the reason, drug addiction can have a long-term negative impact on mental health.

For instance, using marijuana can enhance your risk of developing mental disorders. Not just that, other mental health problems that are related to young people who are addicted to drugs include:

  • Psychosis
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Apathy
  • Amnesia
  • Bipolar

2. Academics

Adolescence substance abuse can weaken cognitive development. Not only this, drugs can affect students’ overall performance, including their grades, their ability to memorize, concentrate, and engage, and their IQ.

Studies show that behavioral and cognitive problems faced by youth addicted to drugs or alcohol may also hinder learning for their peers.

3. Physical

Physical effects of substance abuse in young people may include increased risk of suicide, accidental injuries, homicide, and health disorders.

Substance abuse, especially over a prolonged period, can have different chronic health effects, such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, liver disease, kidney damage, and HIV/AIDS.

4. Social and emotional wellbeing

It’s not only your health that is affected due to drug abuse; the worst effects aren’t even linked to it. Substance abuse can have severe consequences on one’s emotional health, contributing to frequent mood swings, irritability, and emotional outbursts.

An addict may also experience social issues such as loss of friendship/relationship, financial problems, incarceration, and homelessness.

5. Legal

Owning illegal drugs can land adolescents in court. Not only that, using or distributing drugs may even lead individuals to a prison sentence.

Once such records are published, it can be challenging for teenagers to live everyday life.

Criminal history can cause problems for them in the long run, like job opportunities, school admissions, and financial aid for education.

It can be a costly matter dealing with these legal causalities because of the penalties involved, court and representation expenses, etc.


Drug abuse among young people is common today. Curiosity, media, company, stress, and sometimes boredom are the most prominent causes of substance abuse amongst teenagers.

Whatever the reason, once your child is addicted to drugs, it can have detrimental effects not only on their physical and mental health.

Still, it can result in various academic, social, as well as legal issues in their life.
As a parent, it is essential to be aware of your kid’s behavior, provide them with addiction treatment (if they are already into drugs), and a healthy environment.


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