What Pushes Teenagers to Experiment With Drugs?

Positive smiling teenage girl on a couch.

The connection between bad behavior and drug abuse in teenagers is a misconception that needs to be debunked. Kids experiment with drugs for varying reasons; some are psychological and others relate to social issues.

Before you decide the reason for your kidís addiction, itís important to understand what drives them to take drugs. Then you can begin helping your loved one.

It is important to understand that addiction affects not only the people who are addicted but also their family members, friends, and loved ones. Thus, it is essential to take all the possible measures to prevent your teen drug abuse by explaining to them that the habit they have acquired will eventually endanger their health and life.

Below is a list of factors that fuel drug abuse in teenagers.

What They See in Other People

Social influence is a major cause of drug abuse among teens. Teenagers observe what other people are consume and how they live. When they see their relatives and other adults smoking, drinking or using any other substance, they get the validation that it’s ok to participate.

Another major influence is the teenagerís social scene. Itís easy for a kid to get the urge to try different drugs just because they are readily available. This is especially common if they see their friends enjoying drugs. Peers have the ability to make drugs seem like a normal teenage experience or rite of passage.

Mental Health

Stress and depression can make kids turn to alcohol and drugs as a form of escapism. When a childís mind is troubled, they might view substance as a solution that makes them happier and stress-free. If thereís no one to notice depression in kids, they tend to self-medicate by looking for something that seems to satisfy them.

Although most drug cases are mistaken for bad behavior, the kid might be having other underlying problems. Itís always important to be involved in your kidís life to know when they are going through hard times.


Teenagers have a lot of energy to release. If this energy is not channeled to the right place, they might turn to alcohol and substance abuse out of boredom. When a child has no deeper interests, they tend to see alcohol and other drugs as a pastime alternative.

Encourage your teen to take part in extra-curricular activities or other responsibilities that can keep them engaged. Look for something they enjoy doing and try to nurture their interests.

Looking For Validation

The adolescent period is a delicate age when kids are trying to discover themselves. If they are finding it hard to fit in, they might do things they are not supposed to.

For example, your child might take drugs in pursuit of validation from friends. They might also use drugs to be accepted in a certain circle of friends. Follow up on your childís interaction to know the kind of friends they have.

It’s possible that a favorite movie among your child’s peers involves characters that party hard, drink, and do drugs. While this form of fiction is intended as entertainment, it’s easy for young people to engage with popular media and believe that it depicts life as it is.

Social media also influences the way children view the world. If their favorite influencers are drug abusers, they will receive validation for their own interest in abusing substances.

Weight Loss

The craze surrounding body shape in teens and adults is another cause of drug abuse. This mostly affects female teens who turn to hard drugs such as cocaine to lose weight quickly.

Kids become more body conscious in their adolescent years, which makes them listen to all types of advice about weight loss.

Final Thoughts

Drug and substance abuse among teens is a real menace that needs to be treated early. Try to identify what might be the cause of their drug abuse. Ask a doctor for help.