Written By: Fiona Stockard
Addictive Tendencies At Adolescence
Addiction is a progressive disease. This means that over time it gets worse, not better. However, there’s a bright side to addiction being progressive.
Potential addicts and alcoholics often exhibit addictive tendencies from a young age. If a child begins to show these traits, it’s a good bet they’ll struggle with addiction later in life. Although it’s not guaranteed, these tendancies can allow for early intervention and education to prevent addiction.
Tell-Tale Signs and Behaviors
- Engaging in risk-taking behaviors
- Engaging in delinquent behavior
- Aggression towards others
- Rebelling against authority figures
- Trouble managing relationships
The Number One Warning Sign
Drug and alcohol use is common during adolescence. Many, if not all, teenagers are unaware of the seriousness of abusing drugs during such a pivotal time in cognitive development. If a teenager is abusing drugs, well, there’s a much higher chance they’ll struggle with addiction down the road.
In fact, almost all addicts report that they began to use during adolescence. Teenage drinking, using, or experimenting with prescription pills is a pretty good sign of future addiction.
Genetics plays a huge role in childhood and adolescent development. A family history of addiction makes it much more likely a child will end up addicted to themselves. In fact, science has discovered a direct link between addiction and genetics. Genetics accounts for approximately 50% of an individual’s likelihood to be an addict.
Trauma also plays a large role in telling if someone will develop addiction issues. According to the National Trauma Consortium, 90% of female alcoholics were physically, emotionally, or sexually abused as children.
Children growing up in unstable homes often don’t learn healthy coping mechanisms. Because the child never learned how to deal with struggles in a healthy way, they’re prone to turn to drugs and alcohol as a solution to problems.
Individuals suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are at risk for addiction as well. PTSD sufferers have been known to use drugs and alcohol to numb anxiety, fear, and emotional pain.
What are Some Personality Traits of Addicts?
- Black and white thinker
- Prone to anxiety
- Low self-esteem
- Unable to forgive
- Victim mentality
- Compulsive liar
Early signs of addiction can be detected and worked on through therapy and education. If your child exhibits any of these early signs, this is not a means to worry, rather a means to take action. An early introduction to addiction treatment could prove beneficial in the long run. Addiction education is the best possible option for ensuring someone with addictive tendencies doesn’t engage in drug abuse!