Drug and Alcohol use and Teens
Drugs and Alcohol: A Problem Among Teenagers
Drugs and alcohol can be a way for a teenager to escape day to day life. Teenagers are under a lot of stressors these days and some may choose to escape reality through the use of substances or drinking. Some teens may experiment and not be addicted to drugs or alcohol (this is normal). Other teens may find it hard to stop doing the drugs or stop drinking when the party is over and they are alone. The teens that find it hard to stop may have an alcohol or drug addiction.
When a child is young it is important as a parent to talk to your child about drugs and alcohol and how they can affect the body. Children are taught about drugs in school but some people feel that the education is too little too late so it might be a better idea to broach the topic at dinner or another time when the youth is listening. These talks can usually be effective but some youth still have an interest in trying drugs or alcohol.
A teenager may become addicted to drugs or alcohol if there is a genetic predisposition to abuse. When talking to your child let them know there is an increased chance if family members are addicts. If you are a recovering addict explain the difficulty of quitting drugs or alcohol to the child. Some teenagers will abuse drugs if they have mental health problems like Depression or other problems regulating emotions. The child may feel the drug is like a medication and continue to self medicate their issues.
Some drugs that children abuse are alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, ecstasy, heroin, and cocaine to name a few. There are many drugs out there and children may be doing drugs that I did not list due to a list that would be too long for this article. When a child is doing drugs there are symptoms to look for, these include, tiredness, not feeling well, red eyes, they may start behaving differently, they may become disruptive at home and in the community, and they could start hanging out with children that do not seem to be beneficial to the youth. If these signs are noticed it is time to find out if the child is using drugs or alcohol.
A parent can try talking to the child to see if they will admit to drug use. Often times teenagers that abuse drugs will deny such behavior. The teen may even lie to protect themselves from getting into trouble.
Once parents discover that their child is hooked on drugs, they should waste no time in finding facilities offering rehabilitation for addicts before the addiction gets any worse.
The school can be a good resource in finding out how the child participates and if the teachers or if the staff suspect the teenager is using drugs. A child that is perceived to be doing drugs would benefit from counseling to overcome the addiction and also to understand why they used drugs in the first place. If counseling does not work the child may benefit from an inpatient treatment center. There are lots of options for drug and alcohol abuse treatment.