Glee's Goodbye: An inside look at teenage, Monteith's addictions - KMSP-TV

Glee's Goodbye: An inside look at teenage, Monteith's addictions

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It's an emotional episode that pays tribute to the star who tragically died in July, Cory Monteith. In Healthworks, we take a closer look at what really took the young actor's life: addiction.

His boyish, naive character on Glee hardly represented the real life Monteith was living. After the breakup of his parents the Canadian teen started abusing drugs and alcohol, and would later drop out of school.

Years later, even with all his success, he couldn't escape the addiction and a combination of heroin and alcohol killed him.

But Monteith isn't alone.

It's estimated as many as 2 million teens have a substance abuse problem. But why?

"There's family history, there might be pre-existing psychiatric conditions. Also we're influenced by our environment. It's probably not one thing, it's probably a number of things that go into addiction," Beaumont psychiatrist Joel Young says

Young adds addiction is on the rise with young people, with marijuana topping the list. Then there's synthetic marijuana and prescription pain killers.

How do you distinguish between normal, teenage experimentation and an addiction?  

"You crave a substance, you need more and more of it over time, and the quality of your life goes down," Young says.

Some of the first warning signs of teenage drug use:

  • A change in friends
  • Grades decline
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anger

 

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