Teen Drug Abuse and Addictions
Teenagers who experiment with drugs or alcohol in their youth are at a higher risk for addiction, when they become adults. Knowing the difference between abuse of drugs and addiction is important for a parent to understand. Many kids can experiment with drugs or alcohol without developing an addiction but develop one later in life. Teens that abuse drugs in their early teen years can develop long-term behavioral and cognitive effects due to their brains still developing.
Prevention is the best way to ensure that, as a parent, we recognize the problem before it exists. By setting good examples and talking to our kids we can give them strong tools that they will need in the future.
Recent studies have shown that almost half of all new drug users are teens under the age of 18. When your son or daughter experiments with drugs or alcohol it is important to understand that this doesn’t always mean that they are addicted. Learning why some teens are tempted and helping them before they start down a path that they may or may not need help overcoming.
There are some common reasons that teens start experimenting with drugs or alcohol.
–escape from life and challenges
–emotional struggles or problems
–trauma past or present
As parents, it is up to us to safeguard our children initiating conversations if you suspect drug or alcohol use. Parents who suspect their child is using drugs or alcohol should intervene through talking to their teen about what is going on in their lives. This can give you the information and understanding of what is going on in their lives help us recognize the signs of drug use
As parents it is important to ask questions in a tone that is understanding and caring, asking simple questions like “Have you been using drugs?” or “Have you been offered drugs recently?” can be enough sometimes to get the conversation started. If your teen denies use, be sure you respond with a positive tone, as this can be reinforcing positive actions and further their drive to stay off of drugs.
What to do if your teen admits to using drugs:
As parents we want what is best for our children, overreacting can prevent your son or daughter from feeling comfortable opening up about their experiences. Keeping the conversation going so you can find out more information as to types of use and frequency of usage can help you determine if this experience was a one time thing or an ongoing problem that quite possible could lead to addiction.
If your teen denies drug use:
When confronted about drug and alcohol abuse it is possible and sometimes common for some teens to deny or lie about their use. Reassuring your teen about your concerns and make them understand that if their is a problem that you are there to help in any way you can.
If you suspensions are not laid to rest, or the behaviors that alerted you to the possibility of drug or alcohol abuse continue and your teenager still denies use, maybe it is time to have your teen take a home drug test or speak with a therapist. Counselors, pediatricians, therapists can help in the diagnosis of a teen drug addiction problem.
Call us now and we will help you find a teen addiction specialist in your area that can help with diagnosis for teenage drug problems.