Adolescent Addiction

The Disease of Addiction

At AARC, we take a very straightforward approach to addiction: it is a chronic and progressive disease.

AARC is convinced by medical evidence that addiction is a disease with serious impacts on adolescents in particular, rather than a psychological or moral affliction. The effects of addiction are biological and social, as well as psychological and spiritual. Everything we do is guided by the belief that addiction is a chronic disease, not a temporary phase that a teen is going through.

A Disease That's Spreading

Adolescent addiction in Canada is a fact of life. The statistics for youth are disturbing.

In 2012, 60% of illicit drug users were aged 15-24 (CCSA). UNICEF published a report in 2013 that stated “Canadian children 11-15 are the #1 users of cannabis in the world.”

As parents, guardians and healthcare professionals we need to be constantly aware of the dangers that addiction poses to vulnerable minds and bodies. In this section, you can research the facts about addiction, complete a checklist on addiction warning signs, find out what the disease model means for treatment, and consider the challenges that carers face when treating teens in a semi-residential setting.