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Reasons Why Teens Are More Prone to Addiction

As a parent, it’s important to understand every stage of your child’s development. By not doing so now, you may end up learning about it during a visit to one of the Orange County treatment centers such as Yellowstone Recovery, because teens are simply wired to be more prone to addiction. Couple their natural development with the unique pressures that teens face today, and you obtain a whole new understanding of why many teens turn to drugs and alcohol.


Older generations may look at teens today and think they have it much easier than their parents did. To be sure, many teens don’t face the chores or household responsibilities that older generations had, but they have a whole new set of issues to contend with. The standardized tests, alone, are enough to make you cringe. Then you consider the societal rules today, which are basically to have no rules, but to embrace materialism as a symbol of your social status. In other words, their basic needs are taken care of, but there is a whole other set of underlying pressures that can be more serious than you think, many of which they have absolutely no control over.

Teen Development

Have you ever seen your teen doing something and wondered what in the world they were thinking? What seems blatantly obvious to you may not even occur to them. No, your teen isn’t stupid. Their brains simply aren’t fully developed yet, so they miss out on some of the obvious details that go into the decision-making process. Part of their development is also a constant feeling of being on a stage. So, when you wonder if they are stupid, you can assume that same thought goes through their mind, only it’s internalized and mentally damaging. They may eventually seek to escape those feelings through drugs or alcohol.

On the topic of teen development is an issue that runs rampant through a technology-driven society today, and that issue is instant gratification. Since the frontal lobe isn’t fully developed, teens don’t have the patience that an adult has, and they don’t have the buffers that prevent people from making social mistakes based on the internal moral compass. The connections in the brain simply aren’t happening fast enough to be processed in time for efficient and healthy decisions.

Drugs and the Brain

Your teen may seek out some relief from the pressures, confusion, and mistakes of daily life. That relief may come in the form of drugs and alcohol, which offer an element of instant gratification. However, since the brain isn’t completely developed until the age of about 25, drugs and alcohol have a serious potential to damage the composition of the brain and lead to addiction much faster than they do in adults.

Make sure you understand how your teen is developing, and share that information with your teen, so they can understand some of their own behaviors and thoughts. If you need to seek help or learn more about the potential for addiction or existing addiction, contact Yellowstone Recovery today.

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