Addiction @ 20

Just Having Fun

When it comes to dealing with addiction most people don’t know what to do, especially teenagers and young adults. It may just seem like they’re just enjoying their youth, living their life and using drugs and/or alcohol to relate to their peers. Until that person suffers a lot of consequences, they won’t see the problem with their consumption of alcohol or drugs. To a teenager or young adult it may seem like they’re just having fun and there is nothing wrong with that. Or it could be that they are using to fill a void, that they are somehow misunderstood and the only way to feel like they have a sense of belonging is by using with their friends and doing whatever they can to fit in.


Addiction  is about more than the substance, it is a problem with the state of being or how a person views them self and the world. Because of the lack of knowledge and education in our communities about addiction, a lot of addicts do not get the help that they need and a lot of those people are teenagers and young adults.


Unmanageability Happens So Fast

The results of drug and alcohol abuse may only appear when they are much older. But in some cases, teenagers and young adults find themselves in the depths of addiction, having to seek help at what seems to be a young age. This would mean that the consequences of their lifestyle has gotten to a point where their lives are unmanageable. This is termed as outward unmanageability. Where inward unmanageability is the reason they use in the first place. Inward unmanageability is the constant feeling of not being good enough or unable to fit in at a social setting, such as school or other social situations.


When the outward unmanageability presents itself at such an early age, most teens and young adults are written off as “bad apples” and have to face the consequences. But the problem lies in the lack of knowledge as to what is wrong with them. Why do they behave the way that they do? Most of the time schools and society are not interested in that question. They would rather write them off and work with the ones that are easier to work with. This only makes the situation worse. If help is sought out at this stage, when their life seems to be going off the rails, the chances of them changing their lives are high, because it is very evident that there is something wrong here but no one seems to know what it is or what to do.


Too Young?

Rehabilitation at this stage of a person’s life, given that they have suffered enough consequences and the unmanageability is evident, can help change their life for the better. Even if it may seem like they are too young to go to rehab. There are cases where teens and young adults destroy their lives at such a rapid pace that the idea of rehabilitation is not too far off.


Some cases may not be so easy to deal with, when it comes to rehabilitating teens and young adults. In some cases the family will force these individuals to go to treatment when the individual does not see their substance abuse as a problem. The denial may be that, it’s recreational or that it’s not a big deal, they can cope. This means that the individual has not suffered a lot of consequences and the outward unmanageability is not very evident to them. Cases like these seem to be more resistant to the idea of rehabilitation. That does not mean that treatment is not required.


Being young is not an excuse as to why one should not go to rehab. Addiction varies, it affects people in different ways and at different paces. So do not write off the idea of treatment just because you or your loved ones are still young and “experimenting”. When things seem like they are going out of control, intervene before it’s too late