NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwire - Jan 17, 2013) - Social pressures aren't what they were 20 years ago: Today's teens are faced with the same challenges and pressures of life and school, but those are now significantly magnified by new technologies like cell phones and social media. To cope, many turn to illegal drugs, now easier to access than ever before. In fact, drugs can often be acquired right in school hallways.
Cumberland Heights, a Nashville-area alcohol and drug treatment facility with a renown adolescent program, often treats teens driven to drug and alcohol abuse by peer pressure and stressful school and home lives.
"A troubling percentage of our population is made up of teenagers and young adults," said Dr. Chapman Sledge, chief medical officer at Cumberland Heights. "Life for them seems to grow more complicated every year, and sadly, many of them turn to substance abuse for stress relief."
Last year, 7.2 percent of eighth graders, 17.6 percent of 10th graders, and 22.6 percent of 12th graders reported using marijuana in the past month, up from 5.7 percent, 14.2 percent, and 18.8 percent in 2007, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. More alarming, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported more teens are seeking treatment for heroin abuse, jumping nearly 80 percent -- in just 10 years.
"To help young people as they work to manage adolescence, parents should watch for warning signs and trust their gut if they're suspicious their teens are using drugs or alcohol to cope," Sledge said. "If they are, parents should quickly seek professional help."
Important warning signs of abuse
- Withdrawal from normal activities
- A change of peer groups
- Failing or worsening grades
- Social withdrawal from family
- Unordinary mood swings
- Radical weight loss
- Increased lying
Cumberland Heights, open since 1966, has helped more than 200,000 patients through long-term and short-term treatment programs. The nationally recognized treatment facility offers programs for adolescents and adults and has a unique program for those in high-stress professions. In addition, Cumberland Heights' proximity to the Music City makes it uniquely equipped to provide rehabilitation services to patients who are creatively inclined.
For more information about Cumberland Heights and its recovery programs, visit www.cumberlandheights.org.