Individuals who begin using drugs and alcohol at a young age place themselves at significant risk. Drinking and driving, alcohol poisoning, physical altercations, and overdose are some of the dangers of using mind-altering chemicals, regardless of one’s age. However, people who begin using during adolescence face a myriad of other adverse effects.
The brain is not fully developed until one’s mid-twenties, which means introducing drugs and alcohol can lead to temporary and permanent alterations. People who use during their formative years are exponentially more likely to develop alcohol and substance use disorders compared to their non-using peers.
There are other risks besides addiction; teenage alcohol and drug use can inhibit one’s ability to learn the necessary skills and abilities for managing emotions. They also struggle to communicate their thoughts and feelings effectively. High schoolers who use drugs and alcohol regularly often struggle with problem-solving; naturally, this can lead to social and academic problems.
Teens and Young Adult Invincibility Complex
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is responsible for planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior. Since the frontal lobe does not finish developing until around the age of 26, alcohol and substance use can significantly alter maturation. Please note the decision-making aspect of the PFC.
It’s well known that teens make rash and impulsive decisions. Adolescents are notorious for not thinking through their actions fully and believing that they are immune to certain dangers. Young adults, those in their early twenties, also have similar traits, albeit they may be more rational than sixteen-year-olds.
Those who use drugs and alcohol in their youth regularly often maintain the delusions that they are not susceptible to addiction. Each person learns about such dangers in health class, but many shrug off the knowledge of inherent risks associated with alcohol and substance use.
It’s a concerning fact that many young people are in denial about having an alcohol or substance use disorder. Young adults are often resistant to the idea of seeking help because they believe they can control their disease. In such cases, the disease progresses, and more problems arise in their lives.
Young People in Recovery
If you are a young adult who is struggling with drugs or alcohol, then please know that you are not alone. Moreover, there are many young people working programs of addiction recovery today because they sought professional assistance. You might be thinking that if you seek treatment, then you will be the youngest client pursuing care. While many older adults enter treatment each year, there exist age-specific treatment programs.
At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we offer a program for young adults and one for older persons. While the disease of addiction affects everyone in similar ways, we have found that some clients respond better when amongst individuals in their age group. HVRC’s Young Adult Addiction Treatment Program caters to people in their late teens and twenties.
Our skilled team of clinicians utilizes innovative age-appropriate experiential approaches to enhance the therapeutic experience for young people. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and learn healthy coping skills for living a productive life in recovery. Please contact us today to take the first step toward healing.