These days, teen drug abuse runs rampant. From poor to rich families, numerous teens fall into bad habits, and if that behavior is not corrected, then it can impact the teen for the rest of his life. One study from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 9% of children between the ages of 12 and 17 were presently using illicit drugs. For people between the ages of 18 and 25, that number increases to 22%.
It is vital for parents to be well-informed about what their children are doing at all times. The sooner you can intervene and get your child the help he needs, the better off your teen will be. For parents who are struggling, Lakeside Academy is here to help, and we have programs available to help your teen overcome addiction. However, recovery starts at home, so here are the basics every parent needs to know about.
Signs of Drug Use
Many parents have an instinctual knowledge of when something is not right with their child. You should follow those instincts, but you also need to look for clear physical and emotional signs something is off with your teen.
Some typical symptoms of drug use in teens include:
- Declining grades in school
- Skipping school
- Being sleepier than normal
- Being untruthful
- Being depressed or unhappy
- Retreating from social or family activities
- Unusual mood swings
- Persistent cough
- Bloodshot eyes
You may not want to jump to conclusions as these signs could also indicate a different health problem. You also do not want to confront your teenager when you are angry. You need to approach your child in a calm tone and express your concerns about your child’s safety. Ultimately, you want to condemn the behavior instead of the person. Get help when necessary and set clear boundaries for the time being.
Know Where Teens Can Acquire Drugs
The most common drugs used by teenagers today continue to be alcohol and tobacco. They are “legal” drugs, and although your teen may not be old enough to purchase them at a store, he may have other ways to get his hands on them. Research indicates that teens who start drinking at a young age are much more likely to continue abusing alcohol later in life.
While you need to watch out for alcohol coming into your teen’s life, you also need to pay close attention to what you have at home. The family medicine cabinet has continued to be a common starting place for where teenagers get their first high. Prescription opioids have fueled a crisis in the United States, and they can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs.
Therefore, parents need to keep a close eye on any medication they have around the house. You need to know precisely when some pills go missing. If you are done using a certain medication, then you need to dispose of it properly.
Why Teenagers Use Drugs
There is a cacophony of reasons why teens choose to try drugs for the first time. Unfortunately, statistics show that isolated experimentations are becoming far less common. As overdoses become commonality and kill young lives on a daily basis, young people still want to experiment. So, why is that the case, what has changed over the decades?
They may want to fit in with a specific group of friends, or they may want a reprieve from unpleasant emotions they feel at home or at school. The World Health Organization presents five basic reasons why young ones might be drawn to drugs:
- They want to feel grown-up and make their own decisions
- They want to fit in
- They want to relax and feel good
- They want to take risks and rebel
- They want to satisfy their curiosity
Drug availability and peer pressure also increase the likelihood that a youth will begin this self-destructive course.
Parents also cannot rule out the fact that mental health problems and drug use often go hand-in-hand. You need to take your child to a therapist to determine whether there are any underlying mental health problems at play so that you can give your child comprehensive treatment.
Seek Help and Speak with a Substance Abuse Counselor at Lakeside Academy Substance Abuse Center Today
If your teen has problems at home and at school, then you need to look into the counseling services at Lakeside Academy. Contact us with any questions you may have and to learn more about our services.
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