Helping Your Teen Cope with Traumatic Stress and Substance Abuse

Helping Your Teen Cope with Traumatic Stress and Substance Abuse
Posted 3/2/2020

All parents wish that their children could go through life without experiencing any kind of pain or stress, but every day children around the world are exposed to potentially traumatic experiences: from natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes to man-made events such as car accidents, crime, or abuse. In the United States, for example:

  • Four out of 10 adolescents have witnessed violence
  • Seventeen percent have been physically assaulted
  • Eight percent have experienced sexual assault

Sometimes teenagers who have experienced trauma turn to alcohol and drugs in an attempt to deal with overwhelming feelings about the event. When they do, they are more likely to become dependent on drugs or alcohol than teens who are not dealing with the effects of trauma.