One of the worst mistakes a parent can make is believing substance abuse is a natural part of growing up. Another mistake is to believe some drugs pose no real danger to teens. If your teen is using any type of drugs, he needs to stop immediately. An adolescent substance abuse treatment center may be the ideal solution.
Teenage drug abuse is not something your teen will grow out of by himself. Although many youngsters try drugs and stop using them almost immediately, your teen is at a very high risk of becoming addicted. If he has not yet reached that point, now is the time to help him stop using.
Second, the concept of “safe” drugs is a dangerous myth. Whether your youngster is abusing alcohol, marijuana, prescription medications, or another substance he believes is safe, he can be putting his health and life in danger as easily as if he were using a drug that he knows is dangerous.
Both of these common misconceptions show many adults, including parents, need substance abuse education as much as their teens need it.
Teens who are using substances need professional help, whether or not they are addicted. Your teen may already be showing signs of how drug addiction can affect his life. Even in its earliest stages, it can lead a teen to change the friends he associates with, the places where he spends his time, his attitude toward school and work, and his relationship with his family.
Counseling in a teen rehab can help your youngster get back on the right track. One part of it is helping him recognize the role drugs are having in his attitudes, behaviors, and choices. If he is like many teenagers, learning that he is controlled by drugs can lead him to want to recover and change.
If left untreated, substance abuse can have serious effects on a teenager. His social life and home life will suffer, and he will give up his goals and plans for the future. At its worst, he may begin to feel he has nothing to live for, giving up on himself and on his life. Teens who engage in ongoing drug abuse can become very depressed. His life can end by an overdose, suicide, or driving while under the influence of drugs.
The key to preventing longterm complications and tragedies is to help your youngster get clean and stay clean. A good treatment program will also help him understand and resolve his problems. Learning healthy communication skills, coping skills, and how to set goals for himself, can make the difference between living for drugs and living a productive life.
Many adolescent treatment centers include education as part of their treatment programs. Your teen’s education does not have to be put on-hold while he is in a rehab. If he needs extra help with schoolwork, help will be offered. If he has already dropped out of school, he will have options to complete his education.
If your teenager has started using any type of drug, it is not too soon to find a solution. Remind yourself that any mind-altering substance is harmful, and can create a wide range of problems you do not want him to deal with. If you can still communicate well with your youngster, let him know that no drug use is acceptable. However, if you cannot communicate with him, do not hesitate to ask for assistance.
Assistance may also be needed if you know your teen is using drugs but he refuses to admit it. Teens who know their parents do not approve of drug use often go out of their way to hide what they are doing. This does not mean you should allow substance abuse to continue.
Whether you can talk to your youngster or must ask for help from his doctor or another professional, the time to stop adolescent substance abuse is as soon as you are aware of it. The longer it goes on, the more problems it will cause. You do not want him to go through life addicted to drugs, or have his life ended at a young age. An adolescent treatment program should be your first priority.