If you think your teen has an addiction, you might be wondering how they can get help with recovery. You might consider a treatment facility such as Polaris Teen Center, or even seek out inpatient treatment to address addictions. Since there are many different kinds of addictions, you might also be wondering what your teen is addicted to and how they were able to get the substance in the first place. 

This guide will cover the most common addictions that teens experience and how you can help them get better through a recovery program. 

Common Addictions in Teens 

Not sure what you’re dealing with when it comes to your teen having an addiction? Here are the most common ones teens experience. 


Alcohol is one of the most common addictions in teens mostly because it’s very easy to get a hold of. They might have an older friend that can buy it for them or they might even steal it from other adults who will not notice that it’s missing. 

They might begin by drinking at parties or with friends and then slowly start drinking by themselves or when you are not around. 


Marijuana is another common addiction among teens. Since there are many teens selling marijuana who have access to it, it’s easy for your teen to get it. They might smoke it or buy edibles where the marijuana is baked inside it. 


Cocaine is a harder drug and your teen might begin doing it when they get involved with the wrong crowd or when they get bored of alcohol and marijuana. 


Heroin is another serious drug that your teen can get access to when they begin hanging out with the wrong crowd. Heroin is highly addictive and can be one of the harder substances to recover from. 


Tobacco comes in many different forms and is easy to buy if your teen has a fake ID or if they have older friends who can buy it for them. 


These include things like spray paint. Spray paint is only available for people who are 18 or older but teens can easily buy it when they have a fake ID. The fumes are highly addictive and some teens become addicted to smelling the spray paint and other inhalants. 

Prescription Drugs 

Sometimes this happens if your teen has been on prescription drugs in the past for an injury or other problem and then they become addicted to it. They might continue to get access to it by buying it under the table or even taking it from the medicine cabinet in your home if you happen to have some. 

Why Do Teens Experiment with Addictive Substances? 

While teens might know that these substances are dangerous and addictive, they will still want to experiment with them and try them out for various reasons including:

  • They have a rebellious spirit and they want to defy their parents or other authority figures 
  • They want to take risks and show that they are in charge of their life 
  • They have friends who are experimenting with drugs and they also want to join in 
  • They have mental health issues and they want to try and self-medicate 
  • They want to fit in with their friends by doing drugs 

Marijuana Addiction 

Some people agree that marijuana is not addictive so it can be confusing to know that your teen is addicted to marijuana. While addiction is rarer than with other drugs, youth can become addicted to marijuana especially if they begin to use it before the age of 18. 

Most doctors think this is because the brain is still developing at a younger age and it is more likely to become addicted to substances. 

Opioid Addiction 

If you watch the news or live in a drug epidemic area, you know that opioid addiction is becoming more widespread and more serious. Most opioid addictions in adults are formed before the age of 25, so teens are very susceptible to forming addictions at a young age.

Signs of Addiction in Teens 

Your teens’ addiction might be very obvious if you see them using drugs or if they start saying they need certain substances to feel better or to get daily tasks done. However, sometimes, it can be hard to know if your teen is addicted to drugs or not. 

You might have a suspicion, but you are not sure how to confirm it or not. 

Here are some signs to look out for:

  • They have lost interest in school and no longer want to do their hobbies or play sports 
  • They are getting bad grades or doing worse in school 
  • You notice they feel shaky or sick often 
  • Their moods have changed or they have different sleep patterns and eating habits 
  • They have stolen money or other things in order to buy drugs 

Keep in mind that some of these signs can be normal for teens especially as their hormones are changing or if they have had major life changes recently such as moving to a new town or their parents getting divorced. 

Getting Help

If your teen is experiencing substance abuse, you need to help them get into a recovery program as soon as possible. The sooner you can get them help, the more of a chance they have of full recovery and not using substances again in the future. 

There are many different kinds of recovery options including putting them into a residential treatment program, having them do weekly counseling, or giving them outpatient or inpatient services. The type of recovery program they should join depends on the substance they are addicted to and how long they have been addicted to it. 

The Bottom Line 

There are several addictions that are common in teens and they are all serious because you want to ensure your teen is getting the help they need to recover and live a healthy and normal teen life. 

If you know your teen is addicted to any kind of substance, make sure you address your concerns with them and get them into a recovery program right away. 

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].