Kids addiction

Hopelessness, melancholy, sadness, anxiety, depression. These are just some of the hollow, negative emotions that many teens and young adults experience daily. Sadly, instead of asking for help, they usually opt for alcohol or a variety of dangerous drugs, which in the worst case scenario may lead to addiction.

But are there other factors that play into a teen’s decision to choose drugs? According to psychiatrist Patricia Conrod’s recent findings, there are four different traits that affect a child’s potential for future drug use.

Sensation seeking

The sensation seeking trait is characterised by a constant search for excitement, intense experiences and fearlessness. Sensation seeking individuals are seemingly always full of energy and ready to embark on the most dangerous of adventures. They show little regard for safety and undermine the importance of considering the consequences. Subsequently, this trait is highly linked to potential addiction, as sensation seeking teens will most likely enjoy the dangers of drug abuse. To avoid such a damaging scenario, joining a sports team is a great option.


Impulsiveness is somewhat similar to sensation-seeking in that it refers to one’s tendency to disregard negative consequences and act on a whim. It is a trait that describes teens who display a demeanour characterised by practically no forethought or reflection. In some cases, these are individuals who might also suffer from ADHD. Teens who can relate to these psychological properties are advised to practice quiet time and self-control and think twice before taking a pill or two.

Anxiety sensitivity

Structured rituals, hyper-vigilance, and resistance to change are some of the properties that characterise this trait.  Anxiety sensitive individuals are known to always stay on the alert, as the smallest change or stimulation can trigger fear and tension. Anxiety seems to be a common trait in many people, however, it is the way in which they react and cope with it that shows how sensitive they are. Teens and young adults who can relate to these symptoms are advised to get into the habit of engaging in calming activities, such as swimming or yoga, instead of taking drugs to calm them down.


Hopelessness is closely linked to a psychological condition called depression. It is a state in which one experiences severe despondency and dejection. Individuals who struggle with symptoms of depression often opt for drugs in order to improve their emotional state; however, that is a dangerous decision, as mood-boosting drugs are highly addictive. If your state of melancholy and desolation continues for a long time, do not be ashamed to talk about it with someone you trust or seek professional help.

Edifying young children and teens about the dangers of addiction is paramount in order to help them avoid the snare of drug abuse. Additionally, it is equally important to identify these four traits as they can help parents advise their young ones on how to manage these traits that predispose them to addiction.

Written by Jackie Edwards