If your teen is already abusing substances like alcohol or marijuana, then social media may be making their addiction worse. Social media sites expose your teen to all kinds of people, both aspirational and peers that may be using and actively promoting alcohol and drugs. The teen years are a deeply impressionable time. If teens become addicted to a substance during this time of personality and behaviour formation, it may affect them their whole lives. When teens see celebrities and influencers glamorising the use of drugs, it makes it seem like this is a normal part of life. However, social media and addiction can derail a teen’s future.
At Venture Academy, your teen will learn to engage in authentic life experiences in individual counselling sessions with our caring and professional staff. In addition, our team will teach your teen strategies and skills to avoid the connection between social media and addiction.
The Addiction Cycle
Addiction is a disease that is defined by a cycle of substance use. The following stages may be observed as part of the addiction cycle:
- Initial use – This is an experimentation level of the stages. Sometimes peer pressure or boredom can cause teens to start substance use.
- Abuse – This is the stage where an individual may elevate the quantity and frequency of substance use.
- Tolerance – Tolerance is defined as an individual’s diminished response to a substance due to repeated use.
- Dependence – When dependence has developed, individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms when they cease using the substance.
- Addiction – This is the compulsive use of a substance that causes personal harm or negative consequences.
Different types of addictions may start or progress at varying speeds, but once your teen has entered dependence, it can be especially painful to cease using a substance. This can be true for any addictive substance, including non-substances, like technology. An individual can become addicted to technology, including video games, physical media, and social media. This means that social media can be another part of the addiction cycle.
Technology and Addiction
Since social media perpetuates social comparison, it can deepen the effects of the cycle of social media and addiction. Advertisers are trying to get you to the initial use stage so that you can get hooked on their products. This is true of nicotine, alcohol, and many prescription drugs. Unfortunately, studies have shown that regular use of social media can have a negative effect on depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
Many individuals may also start substance use to cope with underlying emotional issues, mental health disorders, or physical ailments. For example, if your teen struggles with anxiety and hears on social media that a famous singer they look up to has used alcohol to overcome their own anxiety issues, then your child may find themselves siphoned through several types of addictive cycles. Coping with the symptoms of an anxiety disorder by drinking can only lead to serious addiction. Also, their addiction to technology has helped them discover this negative coping mechanism. You can stop these cycles by reaching out to Venture Academy today.
Help Your Teen to Heal with Venture Academy
If you feel that your teen is showing the signs of struggling with addiction, social media can make their situation even worse. With Venture Academy’s 30-day assessment, intervention, and behaviour treatment programs, we can guide them to finding positive ways to cope with the stress of life. These programs will offer your teen the support and learning tools that will help them to grow with sober, positive results.
If you are still unsure, contact us at 855.281.5813 or consider taking our interactive child behaviour test. It only takes about five minutes of your time and may assist you in taking the appropriate steps toward finding balance in your family life.