Why Do We Experiment with Drugs as Children?

Why Do We Experiment with Drugs as Children?

For many of us, our addictive patterns began years ago, when we were still very young. We develop specific patterns as children, and we lay the foundation for certain habits and cycles that continue well into adulthood. We might have been introduced to drugs and alcohol by friends, classmates, older siblings or cousins, or even our parents. We might have discovered our parents’ or caretakers’ prescription medications and thought we’d give them a try, not realizing we were risking developing a dangerous dependence. Why do we experiment in the first place?

Sometimes we first try drugs and alcohol when we’re young because we want to fit in with the “in-crowd.” We want to be seen as cool and popular. We want to be accepted. We want to feel validated. Childhood and adolescence can be very sad, lonely times for us. We’re dealing with all kinds of changes, physical and hormonal changes, changes in our sexuality, and transitions in our mental and emotional health. We can feel so overwhelmed that getting high provides us with the escape, the relief and the distraction we’re looking for. We might be feeling pressured and coerced by other children or by family members who themselves are addicts. We might also be exploring our sexuality for the first time, and we use drugs and alcohol to cope with the intense fear, stress and anxiety we feel around dating, relationships and sex.

Sometimes as adults we undermine just how stressed out children can be. They’re coping with all kinds of overwhelming challenges, many of which didn’t exist when we were young, such as social media and online bullying. Many of us who experience depression, anxiety and other mental health issues first began developing them as children. Many of us report first feeling suicidal when we were children. We haven’t yet developed the coping skills we need to deal with our very serious mental health issues. The pressure that kids are under, with intense school schedules and standardized testing, applying to college, conflicts in friendships and relationships, bullying and peer pressure, it’s no wonder children might look for ways to escape all the difficult emotions they’re feeling.

Sometimes we experiment as children because we’re bored with our daily routines. We hate school. It doesn’t interest or fulfill us. We would much rather skip school and get high with our friends. We might not have found the hobbies and interests that will help us offset boredom and serve as healthy outlets for our emotions.

Our knowledge of addiction coupled with our experience in various types of treatments means we know the steps necessary to help you achieve a successful recovery. Call or text The Beach House at (310) 564-2761 today for more information.

Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.