One of a parent’s greatest heartbreaks is if he or she learns their child has a drug problem. This has torn many a family apart. Issues of trust, control, and respect all become exposed, and dealing with a child’s addiction is a complex challenge.According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the effects of illicit drugs on society are costly, too. Taxpayers pay almost $200 billion annually in costs related to drug crime, lost hours at work, and healthcare. Teens represent a large part of this. The best way to avoid having your teen become just another statistic is to catch the problem as early as possible and address it by getting them the treatment and professional support they need.Teens can be quite careful and stealthy about their behavior when they want to be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep an eye out for common signs
. Just make sure that you don’t confuse the common moodiness of adolescence as proof of a drug problem. Puberty, adolescence and young adulthood can be a challenging time, especially for the sensitive child, and mood swings are both common and natural at this stage. However, if your child begins to exhibit behavior other than simple moodiness, there may be cause for concern.Read more: Teen and Adolescent Rehab
According to the U.S. Department of Education, these are some signs to watch for:
- Social retreat, depression without specific cause, tiredness
- Lack of care in personal grooming
- Hostility, violence, or lack of cooperation
- Worsening relationships with family and friends
- A brand new social circle filled with unfamiliar faces that may be negative influences
- Slipping grades with spotty school attendance
- Reduced involvement in hobbies, sports, and social activities.
- Altered sleeping habits or insomnia
- Inability to concentrate
- Missing money or items around the house
Physical clues may include smoking pipes, cigarette papers, bongs, prescription bottles, eye drops, syringes, and cigarette lighters.
If any of these tell-tale signs are present, parents should be fairly certain drug abuse is affecting their child and determine what steps they’ll take to form a cohesive strategy before speaking to their child about it. The last thing that you want to do is disagree with each other (or yourself!) in the middle of a potentially tense conversation about drugs. If other family members are present in the home, they may be included in the discussion as well.
Since teens are often defiant, make sure to avoid accusations when speaking with your child about suspected drug abuse. If possible, wait until your child is clearly not under the influence and then gently urge him or her in the direction of abstaining from drug use.Determine the Cause
Also, try to find out why they may be turning to drugs in the first place. Is it a romantic problem? Are they being bullied? Are they stressed out? Simply engaging a child will reassure them that you are concerned for their wellbeing. If they fail to listen or refuse to address these issues, it’s time to include a school counselor, therapist or drug treatment specialist in the conversation.Seek Treatment
Once their involvement with drugs is out in the open, the next step is to figure out whether or not the teen needs a rehabilitation program. Occasional marijuana smoking and meth use are two completely different animals, and it takes a trained eye to know at exactly what point your child is in too deep and spiraling downward.Many professionals will turn to the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) to determine the level of a teen’s problem. This is a test that not only reaches into their more distant past, but also assesses a recent history that will help fill in the blanks as to how quickly things may have deteriorated over the previous 30 days. Start looking into rehabilitation programs dedicated to working with your child to rid them of their reliance on drugs once the teen’s level of drug involvement has been assessed.Teen treatment programs are run differently than those for adults, and different people may react better (or worse) to different kinds of therapy and treatment. It’s important to do your research ahead of time so that you can ensure you find the facility and program that are best for your family and your teen.
Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.
Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.
But how does one go about finding the right program?
If this all looks very overwhelming....it is! But that's what we are here for. Call us at 888-205-8608 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It's as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!
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