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Cami Renzoni is a creative writer and editor for The Recovery Village. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified in The information has been screened and edited by health professionals to contain objective information on diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Contains bibliographic reference sources. Addressing a serious drug or alcohol abuse issue within the family puts parents to the test as much as anything ever will. No matter what, this is still your child; how you react can mean all the difference in their recovery.
Catching your teen using drugs or drinking can, in itself, be a hard pill to swallow. Taking the time to let that reality sink in, acknowledging the fact that your son is going against your will and putting himself at risk, can be the most difficult part of all for many parents.
How long has he been doing it? How do I react? What am I supposed to do next? The fact is, most teens today have already tried drugs or alcohol before their high school graduation.
For that reason, a part of you may want to simply accept the situation, talk to your teen, and move away from it. The problem with that is you may miss a ificant part of the larger picture.
What to do if you think your child is taking drugs
While you may have only caught your child smoking once, or partying a few times over the summer and punished him respectively, you may not know the entire scope of his substance use. Adolescents are especially prone to addiction, and teen drug use is nothing to ignore. As a parent, you need to be prepared for this situation.
You need to not only prepare to talk, but also to listen. Most of all, you need to prime your reaction, and decide your next steps moving forward. There are many steps you can take if you have just caught your child using drugs or alcohol.
As you begin to plan for a conversation with your child, consider the following. The point of this conversation will not be to lecture your son, but rather, to get all the facts about his situation.
The best thing you can do in this moment is remain calm. This is a reaction that may need to be prepared. Tell your teen you need time to take everything intobut that you would like to discuss this situation later on.
How to spot the s of teen or young adult substance use
Explain that you need to think about everything he has told you, and perhaps confirm some facts with his friends, their parents, or even his teachers before you decide your next move. These are facts that you may not get from him right away. Chances are, your teen is not going to tell the whole truth immediately.
This is not necessarily because he wants to lie to you, but because he is anticipating your reaction.
What to do when you catch your child using drugs
No child wants to disappoint a parent, and in his heart, he is probably most worried about letting you down. As you begin this conversation, emphasize the importance of honesty and give him an opportunity to tell the whole truth, without immediate judgment or repercussions. You can then deliver what you know and what you learn to your son.
Get the facts on the detrimental effects of teen drug addictionand the warning s of the popular drugs used by young adults. Whatever you do, do not let this go. If you have done your research, you will know that drugs have a damaging impact on adolescents.
Drugs and alcohol react differently in the adolescent brain than they do in the adult brain, making a young person much more vulnerable to addiction. Teens who begin using an addictive substance before age 18 are six and a half times more likely to develop a substance use disorder, and your son is no exception.
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Whether it is asking your son directly, monitoring his behaviors, or uncovering the facts yourself about his drug use, it is critical to establish whether or not he has developed a habit of substance abuse. Consider professional help. We know more than ever that drugs and alcohol affect the teen differently than they would at any other age. We also know, however, that drug addiction in adolescents and young adults can be successfully treated.
Early intervention is critical to maintaining his health and his wellbeing, and helping him achieve a sober, drug-free lifestyle in the future.
One of the most important things to remember is that you should not wait for your son to become addicted before you seek help. Discovering the first s of drug or alcohol abuse in your teen will be the best time to act.
Prepare to take action if you suspect teen or young adult drug use
It is never too early to talk to your teen about his drug using habits, and never too early to bring in the help of addiction professionals. For more information on getting your son professional addiction treatment help, please call us today at Turnbridge operates leading mental health and substance abuse treatment programs throughout Connecticut. This blog is a resource for people seeking addiction and mental health recovery information and inspiration, and the latest Turnbridge news and events.
The most important thing you can do first is simply listening to your .
How & where to look
Your child may not be ready to talk, and if you find that this may be the case, prepare a list of specific questions regarding his recent behaviors. Ask him when his substance use began, and how exactly is he getting the drugs or the alcohol. Is he being pressured by anyone? Try not to react right away upon catching your teen using drugs.
Of course, a huge part of you is going to want to be upset and angry at the situation. Your immediate reaction may be to yell at your son. According to research on the adolescent brain, though, this sort of reaction will not have much impact on your son or his behaviors that follow. In fact, lashing out at the situation may actually promote even more misconduct moving forward.