Adolescent girls have multiple pressures in their lives, including academic requirements, social stressors and developmental changes that have a significant impact both mentally and physically.
When girls in this age group are confronted with serious difficulties, such as a drug addiction, it is important to seek out early, effective help. Treating an adolescent girl for drug addiction can help her avoid an ongoing substance abuse problem as she transitions into young adulthood, and limit the associated risk factors that can affect her physical and mental health.
Harder For Girls To Quit
A recent study provides an illustration of the importance of early intervention when treating adolescent girls for a substance use disorder. The study, which appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that teen girls have a more difficult time with cessation of drug use.
The study examined methamphetamine use among teen girls and boys, and found that girls hooked on methamphetamines are particularly resistant to treatment. In research that included 10 girls and nine boys, the girls were found to have a much harder time ridding themselves of methamphetamine use. The participants, who had an average age of 17, were treated with a series of counseling sessions, as well as a placebo or the anti-depressant bupropion.
The teens that were given the bupropion were found to have fewer urine tests that were methamphetamine-free when compared with the participants who were given the placebo. This finding indicates that bupropion was not an effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction.
In addition, the results showed that the boys in both test groups had significantly more methamphetamine-free urine samples than the girls. The boys were twice as likely to be methamphetamine-free than the girls.
Lead author Dr. Keith Heinzerling, a health sciences assistant clinical professor of family medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles’ David Geffen School of Medicine, explains that the results mirror what has been found in studies of adults. Women tend to be more susceptible than men when it comes to methamphetamine addiction, and the study findings show that the associated may begin during adolescence.
Importance Of Education, Prevention & Early Intervention
The findings underscore the importance of education and prevention efforts among teenage girls, utilizing schools and extracurricular programs to help spread the message among teen girls about the dangers of initiating methamphetamine use.
In addition, however, the study illustrates how important early intervention and treatment is for young girls. The finding that bupropion is not an effective treatment may lead to more innovative treatment strategies for young girls.
Parents should also be aware of the signs of drug use and keep an open dialogue with their teen children. Early, effective treatment can significantly improve the chances that an addiction can be overcome.