Thursday, June 7, 2018

Teens and Drugs; What to Do As a Parent

Are you worried that your child is using drugs? Some parents have no idea what they would do if they found out that their teenager was actively using substances. Perhaps you have developed suspicions because your child is acting strangely or they are hanging out with a different crowd. Maybe you are noticing strange signs that don't add up, like they are always tired or they have odd marks on their arms.

When it comes to teen drug addiction, it's a complex subject. If you think that your teen may be using drugs, you should read up on what different drug use looks like and realize that different substances come with different challenges-- and potentially different reactions from the person using them if they are confronted.

While there may still be yet an important conversation ahead of you, the thing to do is to not panic and also figure out a way to move forward. The first step will likely be speaking with your partner or spouse about the topic before going ahead.

The first thing that you'll want to do is talk to your partner or spouse. If you don't live with the biological parent of your teen, you may want to speak to them as well. Talk to each other about what you think and commit to be a united front and if you do have that conversation with your child, come from a place of love and not anger.

Your goal may just be to speak to your teen and let them know that you do not want them using drugs. They may be confrontational and confront you about past use; even when it comes to current use of tobacco, you're allowed to do what you want as a legal adult and using a legal substance. Emphasis, however, the difficulty of becoming addicted to a substance and how you would ideally like your child to not have to make the same mistakes.

Not everyone has the temperament to take on the conversation. Don't avoid it because it is uncomfortable; however if you are the type to get angry or fly off the handle, it may be better to let the cooler head prevail if your partner is calmer. Your son or daughter may be uncomfortable or even try to bait you. If the conversation gets too heated, it's your responsibility to end it and come back to it later.

A counselor may also be able to help all of you navigate this as a family and also learn techniques for communication and perhaps even improvement. It might help to have an outcome in mind or even to set small goals or steps to deal with this. If you need to set rules for the home and your teen moving ahead, then that's what you need to do.

You and your partner need to be prepared to enforce any rules or guidelines that you set, as well as consequences for breaking the rules. Drug and alcohol dependence happen all the time, but you want to break the cycle of addiction early if you can. The best thing you can do is to be honest and to try and find a way to break your teen's substance use before addiction gets really bad. Thanks for reading and good luck talking to your teen.

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