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Does Bullying Influence Substance Abuse?

a bullied teen struggles with the impact of the bullying on his new or worsening substance abuse

Bullying in school is a serious problem all across the country that can impact a teen’s education and development if not properly addressed. Bullying and substance abuse are common if they do not have a healthy outlet for their feelings and emotions. The person being bullied and the one doing the bullying are at a higher risk of substance abuse as they try to cope with what is happening to them. A teen mental health treatment program can give teens the confidence and skills necessary to abstain from drugs or alcohol and learn to accept themselves for who they are.

At Imagine Bellevue, we help teen boys and girls 12-17 years old who are struggling with substance abuse caused by bullying or other issues. We work directly with your teen to understand the problems they are facing and develop a tailored treatment program to address their addiction and the cause behind it. Teens regain their confidence and self-esteem and learn healthy coping skills that will benefit their development. Reach out to our friendly staff today at 425.295.2459 for more information about our teen mental health treatment program.

What is the Relationship Between Bullying and Substance Abuse?

Teens who are bullied are more likely to suffer in school, experience depression, and have a harder time reaching their full potential. It directly affects their self-esteem and can cause feelings of worthlessness, leading to depression, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse. If teens hide the fact they are being bullied by their parents and begin using drugs or alcohol to cope, it can lead to serious mental and physical harm.

Bullies are also at a high risk of substance abuse. Their aggressive behavior can come from abuse at home from parents or siblings, and they turn to drugs or alcohol as that is the only coping mechanism they know. They bully others they feel are weaker than them to feel stronger. If left unchecked, their behavior can worsen and lead to a worsening addiction, depression, rage issues, school expulsion, stealing, and incarceration.

At Imagine Bellevue, we understand how bullying affects substance abuse for both the victim and the attacker. Our behavioral therapists work with teens to uncover the root cause of their behavior and how to cope with those feelings instead of turning to drugs and alcohol.

Ways That Bullying Affects Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and bullying affect thousands of teens every year. It can impact their education, relationship and communication skills, and overall happiness. Here are some ways that bullying affects substance abuse for both the bully and the person they are bullying:

  • Bullies often have low self-esteem and inadequate coping skills to process their emotions and turn to drugs or alcohol because that’s what their parents or friends do.
  • Bullies come from homes where drug or alcohol use is common and are often bullied or neglected by parents or siblings.
  • Teens who face bullying will feel frightened, alone, and that no one can help them. They turn to drugs or alcohol as a means to cope and can quickly form an addiction due to the intense euphoria.
  • Victims of bullying will withdraw from friends and family and continue the substance abuse rather than admit to being bullied.

Imagine Bellevue is Your Top Choice for Treating Substance Abuse Caused by Bullying

At Imagine Bellevue, we support teens aged 12-17 who are struggling with substance abuse. Our outpatient treatment programs give teens the help they need to stop abusing drugs or alcohol and learn healthy coping skills to process their thoughts and feelings.

Our certified behavioral therapists use a variety of therapies to address bullying and substance abuse, such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Trauma therapy
  • Teen relationship counseling
  • Crisis intervention
  • Family therapy

If you suspect your teen is dealing with a bully at school and struggling with substance abuse, call 425.295.2459 or fill out our online form today to get them the help they need to thrive.