Addiction is an epidemic, not just in the United States of America, but across the entire world. What’s worse is that most addicts start their use in their teenage years. Teen addiction is a pretty serious problem and it’s something that parents should be actively concerned about. Because of external factors, such as peer pressure, even the absolute best parenting techniques aren’t a surefire way to prevent or stop teen drug use. If you’ve seen the signs and think your teen is on drugs, it is imperative that you act.
How to Tell if Your Son or Daughter Is On Drugs
Knowing and analyzing the signs of teen drug use is important because it will help you decide the best course of action. It could be that all your kid needs is a preventative talk, but it could also be that you need to nip their habit in the butt before it becomes a full-blown addiction. You must have acute situational awareness in this situation; putting various, seemingly harmless, events or signals together will be the difference between success and failure.
The two top outward signs to assess are changes in your teen’s habits and physical appearance. Changes in appetite, acting out, bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils, unexplained bruises or shaking can all be signs of teen drug use. For a detailed guide on how to know if your teenager is using drugs, please refer to our article.
Keep Calm and Collected
It’s necessary that you remain calm when approaching the issue of drug use with your offspring. Even if all the signs point to addiction, you don’t know for certain unless they confess or you find circumstantial evidence. That being said, if your teen is definitely using you should still approach the issue with a calm, calculated plan of attack.
No matter what, they’re still your child. You want to appropriately scare them, but doing it in an off-putting way will have the opposite effect of what you intend. It’s in the teenage nature to rebel, so you have to come at them from a place of understanding and comfort. Respond to them with love.
Talk to Them
Whether preventing future drug use or thwarting current addiction, the first step is communication. Don’t directly accuse them of drug use, but rather ask questions that will allow you to get a better sense of the situation. The subject is already delicate and using teens are already more fragile than they would be otherwise.
Don’t assume that you know what is happening or why it is happening because drug abuse, in general, is largely circumstantial. Avoid confrontation and cement the idea that it’s always okay for them to talk to you about anything without the worry of angering you.
One of the best tactics for conquering drug use is to ask your kid about their friends. Ask them if they know anyone who is using, if anyone at school has gotten in trouble for drugs and what they think about it. This has the potential to give you insight into their mindset. If they’re upfront with the information and seem opposed to the idea of drug use, there’s a higher chance that they aren’t using. If they seem apathetic or evasive about the subject then there may be cause to worry.
Whatever the result of the conversation, don’t act on emotion and whatever you do don’t judge them. Your child’s perception of your talk will significantly affect whichever step you choose to take next.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help
Most teenagers have a uniform dislike for parental advice. That’s to be expected, so you should plan around it. On the slight chance that your teen does listen to you, you should still understand that handling this situation on your own is a bad idea. Any mistakes you make could have dire consequences and no amount of reading will make you a professional in the matter.
You should, therefore, reach out for help from familiar people and professionals. Close family or family friends can be beneficial because of the familiarity and proximity that they already have established with your teen. Teachers or school counselors can be good for advice for you, but for the same reasons that your teen won’t listen to you, they probably aren’t the best to reach out to your kid.
Professionals such as doctors or, more importantly, addiction specialists are typically the most effective option. Addiction counselors, rehabilitation coaches, and intervention specialists are all specifically trained to efficiently handle your teens habitual or addictive drug use. Some parents think that, by going to a qualified professional, they somehow make the situation seem more real and by extension worse. This is a detrimental way of thinking, you should do anything and everything possible to get control of your teenagers drug use.
Be Careful Not To Enable Your Teenager
Often unbeknownst to the parent, teens who use drugs are enabled to do so 90% of the time. Ostensibly innocent things such as giving them money or letting them stay out too late too often can have stained implications. That’s not to say that you should just flat out not do these things, but that you should add them to your list of factors to be aware of and connections to make.
You should also be careful of occurrences like ignoring signs of use, covering for your teen, misplacing blame and resentment. You might not even be aware that some of these are happening, but it will be good practice to start paying attention.
It’s not the end of the world if your teen is on drugs. It’s obviously not a good thing, but there are methods of treatment that will reverse and repair damages. Do your due diligence first, research the facility you find suitable and call them to speak with a professional for a run-down of the addiction healing process.
There’s no obligations, no fees, and all information is strictly confidential. They will help alleviate your fears and to get a game plan going. They’ve also got some pretty decent tactics for approaching your teen about treatment.
The teen years are perfect for mind molding. It’s never too late to help your teen to stop using drugs and even if they aren’t using it’s always positive to take preventative measures. Don’t worry too much, but don’t be complacent. Seek help, follow this guide and everything will turn out fine.