When it comes to addiction, there is no such thing as a “harmless habit.” Any form of addiction negatively influences your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Addiction robs you of your self-control. This is just as true with a vaping addiction as with any other.
While vaping may seem like a minor habit, it can become a dangerous addiction – especially in adolescents. Vaping has been shown to physically change the chemical balance in the adolescent brain. What’s more, it is physically damaging to the body and can cause long-lasting health consequences. Vaping has also been linked to emotional instability and depression.
Just as the use of cigarettes was promoted in the 20th Century, the same is happening with vaping in the 21st. This is especially true in the way vaping is being marketed as a less harmful alternative to smoking cigarettes. Nonetheless, if you suspect that your child is vaping, it is crucial to seek help as soon as possible.
The Surge of Vaping in the Teenage Population
Vaping has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry in a matter of only a few years. What was once marketed as a smoking cessation tool is now almost primarily sold as a trendy way to get your “nicotine fix.”
While it does come with a range of risks, many adults choose to vape. Adults can, of course, make their own decisions. However, when it comes to adolescents, the choice to vape is often out of their control, whether they know it or not.
As in generations past with cigarette marketing, marketing companies for the vaping industry are preying on the impressionability of youth. The way they do this is by having celebrity endorsements and candy or dessert-themed flavors.
Now, many of you may have heard the news that flavored vapes were being banned in the United States. However, that has not seemed to quell vaping’s use among teens.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Flavor Use: Among youth who currently used e-cigarettes, 84.7% used flavored e-cigarettes including 85.8% of high school and 79.2% of middle school users. The most commonly used flavor types were fruit; candy, desserts, or other sweets; mint; and menthol. (Note that these results refer to flavors other than tobacco.)” The vaping industry is not going away quietly, and this industry is still targeting our youth.
The Dangers of Vaping
The vaping industry wants us to believe that vaping is highly regulated; however, the truth is it’s not. There is very little regulation on the manufacturing of vaping devices, as they are known to explode and contain toxic properties. Also quite alarming is also how the vaping industry has managed to skirt the FDA on vape cartridge’s chemical makeup.
According to the Missouri Medical Journal, “The flavoring additives of electronic cigarettes on the mass market are typically passed through the FDA under a provision that these chemicals, almost exclusively synthetic, are ‘generally accepted as safe’ for human consumption. The caveat with this provision is that consumption refers to oral ingestion. It is unknown what potential health effects result when something perfectly safe to eat and digest is vaporized at 500 degrees and inhaled.” In other words, the vaping industry is using a loophole to make themselves profits while making our kids sick.
There are now several chemicals, like Vitamin E acetate and diacetyl, that can still be found in vape cartridges that have been linked to bronchiolitis obliterans. This is more commonly known as “popcorn lung.” It is a build-up of scar tissue in the lungs that slowly but surely begins to block airflow. Scary, right? Unfortunately, for teens, that’s not even the scariest part of what vaping can do.
The Elevated Dangers of Vaping for Teenagers
Nothing is scarier than thinking about how your daughter’s decisions today can affect her for the rest of her life. But that is exactly what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains can happen to adolescents who engage in excessive vaping.
Here are some of the facts:
- The human brain is not fully developed until roughly the age of 25.
- Nicotine use in adolescence has been shown to drastically affect the parts of the brain that control mood, learning skills, and impulse control.
- Nicotine can change the way synapses are formed in the adolescent brain.
- Nicotine use has been shown to lead to other substance use disorders (SUDs).
The dangers of vaping are real and not to be ignored. The good news is that many treatments can help your child recover from a vaping addiction.
How Elk Mountain Academy Treats Vape Addiction
Here at Elk Mountain Academy, we treat each of our students with a personalized approach. Within that specific focus, we have several options that we use to help your daughter succeed.
For something like a vaping addiction, we may utilize our professional staff of psychologists and therapists to begin cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address the underlying cause(s) of why your child may have turned to vaping. We may also incorporate some neuroscientific practices into treatment, such as neurofeedback or craniosacral therapy.
We encourage our students to take advantage of our open spaces here in Montana. Our dietary professionals can help them incorporate a wellness practice. This will help not only to heal the mind but also to heal the effects vaping may have already had on the body.
We also encourage our students to bring spiritual practice into their lives. We aim to follow what Jeremiah says in the scriptures, “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord.” Our primary purpose is to help your child heal. Whether recovering from vaping or any other mental health problem, We are here to help.
Vaping has seemingly become commonplace in today’s social landscape. This does not mean that vaping is harmless. This is especially true with the adolescent population that is still mentally developing. Vaping is much more serious than many people think. Vaping can lead to nicotine addiction, serious physical health problems, and even manifest into other mental health issues. That is why it is important to seek help right away if you feel that your daughter is vaping. If she is exhibiting signs of a vape addiction, it may be time to seek treatment. Don’t shrug off teenage vaping as “normal, as it can have dangerous and lasting consequences. Elk Mountain Girls Academy can help. For more information, please contact us at (888) 403-0346.