Many teenagers use drugs and alcohol; some simply experiment, while others experience addiction at a young age. Deciphering between the two can be challenging. As a parent, it is crucial to know the signs and risk factors of your teenager becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. Recognition and prevention of drug or alcohol use can end an emerging problem before it starts.
According to a study conducted by researchers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, half of all new drug and alcohol users are under the age of 18. However, experimentation plays the most significant role in teenage drug and alcohol use. As a parent, you may be worried about your teen experimenting with drugs and alcohol, but experimentation is a part of life and growing up. Just because your teen has experimented with drugs and alcohol does not mean they will become addicted. Common reasons teens experiment include:
While experimentation may be normal, it is essential to watch out for signs of abuse and addiction.
There are many signs that your teen may be abusing drugs. However, it can be challenging to tell the difference between drug or alcohol use and the signs of your teen just having a hard time with adolescence. Some common signs of teenage drug abuse include:
As a parent, the best way to understand what is going on with your teenager is to talk to them. It is up to parents to initiate a conversation with their children if they suspect drug use.
Risk factors for teenage drug and alcohol abuse include:
As a parent, you significantly influence your child’s life. Even if it seems your teenager is pulling away and eager for independence, they most likely still want you involved in their life. A strong bond with your teenager can help reduce the chances of engaging in unhealthy behaviors, including drug and alcohol abuse.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has researched factors that help prevent teenage substance use. These are known as protective factors. Some protective factors for substance use in teenagers include:
When your teenager is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, it is imperative to talk and listen to them. Discuss the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. Clearly communicate that you do not want them using substances. Talk about the short- and long-term effects drugs and alcohol can have on their physical health, mental health, and safety.
Make sure you approach the topic of drug and alcohol abuse with openness. To help yourself be open, consider:
Having to decide to send your teenager to treatment for drug and alcohol abuse can be challenging. If your teen has already tried quitting or reducing use and failed, then it’s essential to receive treatment as soon as possible. The earlier an addiction is recognized, the easier it is to treat.
Many teenagers experiment with drugs and alcohol. However, spotting the signs of substance abuse is crucial to helping your child. Your child may show physical signs of substance use, such as bloodshot eyes, or behavioral signs, such as bad grades in school. Recognizing the difference between signs of substance abuse and teenage behavior can be challenging, so it is essential to speak to your child. Talk to them openly about consequences and listen to how they are feeling. If you believe your child is struggling with addiction, it may be time to send them to treatment. At Hired Power, we provide adolescent transports to ensure safe travel from the home to a rehab facility for your child. We offer services to those going to a wilderness program or ranch and have gender-specific staff members. We work closely with the family and professionals involved to create the safest possible arrangements and experience. To learn more about services, call us today at (714) 559-3919.
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