It is not unusual to see more and more teen drug addiction popping up in our world today. One thing that is especially scary is the fact that teens are using such a wide variety of drugs now, rather than just the old standbys that we used to worry about. For example, more than ever before now, teens are experimenting with opiate drugs. This includes both prescription painkillers and also street drugs such as heroin. In some cases they are starting out on pain pills that they find in the home, and then progressing to street drugs when they run out of supply. They might ask around at school or with friends: “What can I get to replace these Vicodins?” Of course, any opiate will work for that, including more powerful opiate drugs or even heroin itself. In fact, some studies suggest that opiates are the new gateway drug for young people, and may have even overtaken alcohol and marijuana as the new drug of choice among teens. And with a risk of overdose and death with these drugs, it is certainly nothing to ignore.
Getting teens who suffer from drug addiction to get help is not an easy task. In fact it is very difficult to get teens and younger people to change their whole life due to drug addiction, and most would argue that it is almost impossible to do so. The problem is that the drug addict is too young and has not yet experienced enough misery in their life in order to be inspired to make real change.
Addicts and alcoholics are motivated to change by pain. And of course, different people have a different threshold for the pain and misery that they experience in addiction. Just look at all of the old men you see wander into AA, who have been miserable and drunk for decades. Now imagine a teen who is not even in high school yet and is still having fun and exploring new drugs, still excited to be searching for that next big high. Where is the motivation for someone like this to get sober? It’s just not there. The younger they are, the more they are still having fun, and the less likely they are to surrender to their disease.
Most teen drug addicts are still in denial, because they really have not tried to stop using drugs on their own yet. So they believe that if they wanted to quit, they probably could, but they just don’t want to try yet, as they are still having fun. Piercing through this denial and inciting them to take action can prove to be very difficult indeed.