Teen Drug Abuse
A Family Problem With A Family Solution
Your whole family may be struggling with the effects of teen drug abuse. As your teenage son or daughter grows more hostile and secretive… As his or her grades fall… As the atmosphere in the home is disrupted on a daily basis… everyone feels threatened. Other children in the home become confused and begin to seek attention in unhealthy ways. Your job performance suffers. Each one of the family feels isolated and tuned out. Your confidence as an effective parent is eroding quickly.
Maybe you know what's causing the chaos. But maybe you don't know what's really happening. Maybe all you know is that control is slipping through your fingers… that your life is in a continually looping nightmare.
It's hard for a parent to detect substance abuse because of its similarity to behaviors that are part of the natural process of growing up. It's also a big part of our culture. Alcohol and drug use amongst adolescents is pervasive.
Over half of students in grades 5 to 12 surveyed said that alcohol advertising encourages them to drink. A third of children in 4th through 6th grades say that they have received "a lot" of pressure from their classmates to drink beer and to try marijuana or cigarettes.
Teen use of illicit drugs has declined while the use of over the counter and prescription drugs has increased. They are easier to get. He can buy them himself. She can raid your medicine cabinet. They can steal them from stores or other people's homes.
With the dangerous prevalence of substance abuse among teenagers, families need professional help. It's too big a problem to tackle on your own. The daily emotional trauma gets in the way of clear thinking and problem solving.
Turn your situation around. Restore harmony to your home. Picture the family doing things together again. Laughing and playing…or at least talking.
Don't Wonder If There's A Problem
Watch For The Signs
The first step is to identify whether teen drug abuse is the root of the problem.
Look at this list of behaviors that may indicate substance abuse on the part of a teenager:
If your teen exhibits any of these behaviors, check it out now.
- Smell of alcohol on breath, or sudden, frequent use of breath mints.
- Abrupt changes in mood or attitude.
- Sudden decline in attendance or performance at school.
- Losing interest in school, sports or other activities that used to be important.
- Sudden resistance to discipline at school.
- Uncharacteristic withdrawal from family, friends or interests.
- Heightened secrecy about actions or possessions.
- Associating with a new group of friends whom your child refuses to discuss
If it continues to worry you, take action immediately.
Don't Wait To Get Help
Learn The Right Actions To Take
Be Encouraged And Supported
Teen addiction progresses more quickly than adult addiction. It's important to get a handle on it immediately. It's important to learn all you can about teen drug abuse and what you can do about it.
An educated parent is an effective parent. Knowledge is a powerful tool. It gives you the strength to do those things that are most helpful. More focused monitoring of your teenagers activities and talking about the effects of substance abuse, can be very helpful.
Teenagers whose parents talk to them regularly about the dangers of drugs are less likely to use drugs than those whose parents don't. Find out how best to have those conversations. Be supported while you do.
Contact Jeff of Joan of Arc Counseling.
Through his structured, supportive treatment program, you and your teen will get a clear picture of the causes and consequences of teen drug abuse and how to best to respond to them.
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