How can you help your teen who has substance abuse problems?

Many parents become aware of the influence of drugs on their teens’ lives when they become wrapped up with the law. Many kids who face drug charges also have a substance abuse problem.

The National Institute on Drug abuse has information to help parents with teens who have substance abuse issues.

How can you tell your teen has a substance abuse problem?

Any sudden change in your teen’s behavior can be a red flag. If your teen seems depressed, withdrawn or hostile, there could be a serious reason behind it. One of those reasons could be a drug-related issue.

Some parents wrongfully think that their child’s moods are a normal part of growing up. This might be the case for some teens. In other instances, however, drugs may be the answer to your child’s behavioral problems. Some other substance abuse indicators include:

  • A change in eating habits
  • A change in sleeping habits
  • A deterioration of familial and friend relationships
  • A decline in school performance
  • A troubling record with the law or the school
  • A lack of grooming habits

Any teen can become addicted to drugs. To intervene as soon as possible is the best way to treat addiction.

How can you help your teen?

Drugs can cause changes in a teen’s brain. This can make quitting extremely difficult. Most kids require support, but will not choose a rehabilitation facility on their own. Instead, the juvenile system or the family may have to incentivize rehabilitation. While your teen may fear what will happen when they become clean, it is up to you to reassure that treatment will keep him or her as safe as possible.