Finding out that your child is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol can be one of the scariest moments of your life. You raised your child to know better than to go near drugs or alcohol, yet some how they fell victim to addiction. Statistics show that parents who regularly talk to their teenager about the dangers of drug and alcohol use are 42 percent less likely to use drugs and alcohol compared to those whose parents don’t. I know you are asking yourself “So why did my kid become addicted, I took all the right steps to protect him.” Each individual is different, some are predisposed to addiction and peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol becomes overpowering and they give in, things spiral out of control and addiction sets in.
Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Teens
Parents typically have suspicion that their child is abusing drugs and alcohol but are unsure of what to look for. It is important to observe your teens behavior for signs such as;
- Mood changes;
- Indirect anger
- Change in Physical appearance
- Poor hygiene
- “New look”
- Missing school
- Skipping class
- Complaining they are to sick or to tired to attend
- Academic failure
- Grades dropping dramatically
- Lack of interest and dropping out of usual activities; sports, art, ect.
- Drastic change in friends and social scene
- Stealing from family and friends
- Dramatic change in sleep patterns
- Staying up to late
- Sleeping to much or to little
- Lack of motivation
Some parents just see that there is SOMETHING wrong with their kid. With teenagers it is not always easy to just ask what is going on with them and get a truthful answer. Parents typically will have to do some investigating such as reading e-mail and text messages, looking for drugs and/or alcohol in their bedroom or car. Some teens are able to keep their drug and/or alcohol abuse a secret until they realize things are to out of control and they need help.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse help
If your teen is using drugs and/or alcohol there are treatment facilities designed to help. It is important to seek help immediately, to stop the problem before it gets to out of control. The human brain is not completely developed until age thirty. This is why stopping them from using drugs and alcohol now will stop the damage they cause to their brain and allow it to heal.
When your teen enters into an Addiction Treatment Facility they will go through an assessment process to determine the severity of their addiction. This will provide the staff with vital information to put your teen into an appropriate treatment program, thus increasing their success rate.
Outpatient program – This program is designed for those with a less intense drug and/or alcohol addiction that can be controlled through regular meetings and the support of friends and family.
Inpatient program – This program is designed for those with a severe drug and/or alcohol addiction. Typically medical detox is necessary for those with an addiction problem. During this process the body is cleansed of any chemicals and toxins related to drug use. Depending on the severity of the addiction, one may need to be sedated during this process while others require prescription medications to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and help control cravings. Behavioral modification therapy is extremely important when it comes to teen addictions. Here they will get to the root cause of their addiction and learn the tools they need to remain sober, ignoring peer pressure and other temptations that may occur throughout their life. The support of friends and family is extremely important to help insure your child’s sobriety and to continue to a healthier and fulfilling life.
Addiction is hard not only on the addict but on all of those around them, do not be a victim and do not allow your teen to be a victim to addiction any longer. An addiction treatment facility will help you and your child get your lives back.