Juvenile addiction is a serious concern affecting young individuals across New Jersey. According to the New Jersey Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Substance Abuse Overview for 2021, over 7,000 individuals under the age of 24 were admitted for treatment in addiction centers. Addiction also has the potential to lead to criminal behavior with serious and lasting consequences.
The battle against addiction is challenging, but with the right support, treatment and resources, there is hope for recovery.
Recognize the signs
Adolescents struggling with addiction might display changes in behavior, show a decline in academic performance, experience mood swings and withdraw from friends and family. Recognizing these signs early on may help parents to intervene early, before other potentially harmful habits set in.
Promote open communication
Parents, guardians and mentors ought to create a safe space for open dialogue. Having non-judgmental conversations encourages adolescents to share their struggles, fears and concerns. Active listening, open communication and offering emotional support foster an environment where adolescents feel better understood and cared for.
Seek professional help
In some cases, juvenile addiction requires professional intervention. Medical professionals, counselors and therapists can tailor guidance to the specific needs of each individual. Professional support helps adolescents to understand the root causes of their addiction, develop coping mechanisms and work toward lasting recovery.
Build a strong support system
Surrounding struggling teens with individuals who believe in their ability to overcome challenges boosts their motivation to stay on the path to recovery. A solid support system of friends, family members, teachers and mentors provides encouragement, accountability and positivity for an adolescent’s journey toward recovery.
Adolescent addiction is a serious issue that can end up affecting a young adult’s future. Recognizing the signs of addiction early on may help parents to take action sooner to overcome addiction’s grip and build a brighter future for their children.