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Teens & Drugs

Many teens and children suffer from addiction but in most cases, substance abuse in teens is much different than it is for adults.  Teens use drugs for much different reasons than adults do and therefore, teens require specialized treatment and care to ensure that they can make a full recovery early on in their addiction.  The right type of drug rehab for a teen who suffers from a substance abuse problem will ensure that they get the help they need and may make a lasting impression on them.

The teenage years are marked by an increased desire to become independent, to have time alone and with friends and to take on new relationships.  This can be a good thing or it can be a very bad thing.  This is especially true of teens who find that they wind up in new peer relationships that lead them into drug and alcohol abuse.

Parents should be on the lookout for signs of teen drug abuse early on.  Though there are many changes going on at this time in a child’s life, drug abuse should not be one of them.  Pay attention to these signs of teen drug abuse:

  • Missing money or asking for money with no explanation as to why money is needed
  • Spending a lot of time away from home
  • Telling lies about where they have been or where they are going
  • Staying out past curfew
  • Finding new friends and giving up on their old social networks
  • Signs of depression, anxiety or other mental illness
  • Lack of physical appearance

If you think that your teen may be abusing drugs or alcohol, the best thing you can do is get to the bottom of the problem quickly.  There are some steps that you can take to stay involved with your teen and involvement can greatly reduce the risk of them becoming involved with people who abuse drugs or alcohol and who may peer pressure them into doing the same.  Stay involved with your teen by:

  • Taking time out to spend together
  • Talking about serious problems and the consequences that come from drug or alcohol  abuse
  • Talking about risky behaviors or actions that can lead to accident or injury
  • Sharing meals as a family on a regular basis
  • Listening to what your teen has to say without judging
  • Setting reasonable limits on time spent away from home, time spent online and time spent watching television
  • Setting guidelines for school, home, chores and behaviors and setting consequences that are reasonable and understandable

If you think that you teen is using drugs or alcohol, have a talk with him or her about your suspicions and discuss the dangers of drug or alcohol abuse openly with your teen.  Sometimes, a simple explanation of the dangers associated with such behavior is all it takes to get a teen to confess and ask for help.  If you’re still unsure about how to approach the situation, seek medical care or counseling.