Teen Drug Use and Addiction

Teens often use drugs out of social needs, isolation and poor emotional regulation skills. Strength based approaches encourage teens to develop a sense of independence that allows them to resist peer pressure. Teens can suffer from addiction however it is far more rare than in adult life. Most teen drug use falls into substance abuse, not addiction. What’s the difference? Addiction or dependence is a stage of drug use in which the individual can no longer function without the drug. Abuse is characterized by irresponsible use, inability to manage consequences and problems created by their use.

Abuse is often an issue of poor emotional regulation, the influence of a negative peer group or family impact. Abuse is treated primarily by equiping a teen with tools for use, replacement strategies and means of emotional coping.