How do I know if my son is using drugs or drinking?
Drug testing is helpful, but not always accurate. Teen substance abuse can escalate to addiction.
P.U.R.E.™ receives many phone calls from parents who say that their child is only smoking pot. Unfortunately in most cases, marijuana can lead to more severe drugs and, with the exception of a few states, it is an illegal drug. Smoking marijuana is damaging to the child’s body, brain, and behavior.
Even though marijuana is not considered a narcotic, teens may become hooked. Many teens who are on prescribed medications such as Ritalin, Adderall, Strattera, Concerta, Zoloft, Prozac and other prescription drugs – are more at risk when mixing these medications with street drugs.
It is critical you speak with your child about this and learn all the side effects. Educating your child on potential harms may help them to understand the dangers involved in mixing prescription drugs with street drugs. Awareness is the first step to understanding.
Alcohol is not any different with today’s teens. Like adults, some teens use the substances to escape their problems; however, they don’t realize that it is not an escape but rather a deep dark hole. Some teens use substances to “fit in” with the rest of their peers– teen peer pressure.
This is when a child really needs to know that they don’t need to “fit in” if it means hurting themselves. Using drugs and alcohol is harmful, especially when combined with prescribed medication. The combination can bring out the worse in a person.
Communicating with your teen, as difficult as it can be, is one of the best tools we have. Even if you think they are not listening, we hope eventually they will hear you.
If your teen is experimenting with alcohol or drugs, please step in and get proper help through local resources. If it has extended into an addiction, it is probably time for residential placement.
If you feel your child is only experimenting, it is wise to start precautions early. An informed parent is an educated parent. This can be your life jacket when and if you need the proper intervention. Always be prepared; it can save you from rash decisions later.
For a teen who is just starting to experiment with substance use or starting to become difficult, a solid short term self growth program may be very beneficial. Keep in mind, however, that if this behavior has been escalating over a length of time, the short term program may only serve as a temporary band-aid.
Drugs and alcohol usage is definitely a sign that your child needs help. Teen drug addiction and teen drinking are serious problems in today’s society; if you suspect your child is using substances, especially if they are on prescribed medications, start seeking local help. If the local resources become exhausted and you are still experiencing difficulties, it may be time for the next step; a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center.
Read more about the 15 warning signs that your teen is using drugs.
P.U.R.E.™ invites you to fill out a free consultation form for more information on finding the appropriate help for your teen.