Teenage Addiction Can Steal The Last Years of Innocence

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Is your child a model student? Maybe you proudly sport a “My Child is In The National Honor Society” bumper sticker on your car. Maybe they are the president of their class, leader in their youth group or volunteer after school three times a week. But unfortunately they will still likely be introduced to drugs and alcohol, and have consistent access to them in their late childhood and teenage years.


When teenagers start to use an intoxicating substance consistently, they may start to change. Their personalities can alter substantially. You may start to see some of that responsibility slip. They may be harder to get out the door in the mornings, they may even begin to ditch the social events they cared about most of all – ditching out on sports activities, missing youth group all together. Drugs and alcohol can do drastic things to someone at this kind of young age. Puberty which happens slightly earlier in female bodies than in male bodies sees kids bodies turning into mature young adult bodies and with that comes a flood of hormones and changes in the physical body, as well as the neurological systems of the body. Puberty can start in women around the age of 8, sometimes earlier sometimes later based on many different variables. Men begin to go through puberty at a later age of around ten years old or later. At thirteen years old these kids are smack dab in the middle of an uproar in their natural body functions. All of this sees the catalyst for mental health disorders beginning, such as anxiety or depressive disorders. It is also when they begin to experience intoxicants via social situations like parties, dances, behind the bleachers at a basketball game, or even with at a friend’s house with one of their parents.


What Happens When Teenagers Use Drugs and Alcohol

When children who are turning into adults begin to mess with illicit substances they often begin to experience changes that can be both behavioral and physical in nature.



  • School performance suffers due to lack of focus and mental impairments
  • Slipping responsibilities
  • Emboldened impulsivity
  • Avoiding social functions
  • Dishonesty
  • Wildly spending money
  • They may become argumentative – defensive and combative
  • Engaging in illegal activity such as shoplifting, stealing money, stealing expensive items to sell
  • Selling drugs



  • Exhaustion
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Contracting or dilating pupils
  • They may develop nosebleeds
  • Tremors
  • Severe weight gain or severe weight loss
  • Cardiac and pulmonary trouble
  • Fatal overdose


Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Addiction at South Florida Drug Rehab & Residential Detox

If you know a young adult who has struggled from a drug or alcohol addiction since middle school, or if you have or are struggling with an addiction the best course of action is to seek out treatment at a South Florida detox facility like 1st Step Behavioral Health. We can put together a treatment program for each individual patient that is specifically suited for their unique needs. Call now to get the answers you need.


Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.