Many families learn too late to prevent it that their teen is either experimenting with drugs or worse, he or she is already addicted. Open lines of communication can help send children in a better direction, especially if you broach the topic sooner rather than later.
Teenagers are especially susceptible to peer pressure. If they do not have the facts about drug abuse and addiction, all that it might take is a nudge from a friend to encourage them to make the wrong decision. Just remember, it is not only what you say but how you say it that can make a difference.
Knowledge about Substance Abuse Really is Power
Many teens and their parents have at least a slightly adversarial relationship. Teens are coming into their own and testing boundaries. You are trying to guide them through the rough waters that you have already been through. Believe it or not, you still have influence, even if they rail against your advice on the surface.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) explains that talking does “make a difference.” Unfortunately, so does silence, but it is not a positive one.
Capitalize on opportunities to talk about drugs and alcohol with teens and let them know that it is safe to tell you the truth. Some conversational topics that the APA recommends include:
- Ask them what they understand about alcohol and drugs.
- Explain the science behind drug and alcohol addiction.
- Give them tools for avoiding risky situations, including letting them know they can always call you for a ride home.
- Explain how drug rehab in Orlando works, even if you do not suspect that they have a drug problem.
- Give them clear household rules, expectations, and consequences.
- Do not do all of the talking; listen to what they have to say.
Stay Alert for Signs of Mental Health Issues
The statistics on teen drug abuse are a bit staggering. According to CBS News, one in 10 teenagers between 12 and 17 either experiment with drugs or are addicted. Many of them have an underlying mental health condition, such as anxiety or ADHD.
Co-occurring disorders are common in drug addicted teens as well as adults. In fact, many people who become addicted later learn in drug rehab that addiction was a result of attempting to self-medicate. Maybe a friend with diagnosed ADHD had a prescription for Ritalin. Taking one pill might not seem risky to a teen. The resulting increased focus or relief from symptoms creates a perfect pathway for teen drug abuse and addiction.
The more you communicate with your teen, the better chance you will have of spotting the signs of an underlying condition. What appears to be lashing out, moodiness, or a lack of attention to grades could really be a cry for help.
Teens with a Drug Problem Can Turn Their Lives Around
Drug abuse and addiction can happen in any Florida family regardless of your social standing or financial stability. In fact, opioids claim 10 Florida lives every day. It has nothing to do with your station in life and everything to do with a drug’s ability to affect the brain. Fortunately, drug rehab in Orlando can help addicted teens take back control of their lives.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism lists these warning signs that a problem either exists or your child is vulnerable to experimenting with drugs and alcohol:
- Mood swings, defensiveness, and temper flareups
- Skipping school, poor grades, and discipline problems at school
- Defying parental authority
- Taking up with new friends that they do not want you to meet
- Friends with a history of partying and binge drinking
- Lack of attention to hygiene and appearance
- Physical signs, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and memory lapses
With consistent communication and a quick intervention, if you witness warning signs, your teen can get the help that is needed. If your child is already addicted, drug rehab can help him or her through the challenges of detoxification and move into a treatment program that is designed specifically for your child’s needs.
Communication gives kids valuable information that goes far beyond the topic at hand. Casual dinner chats, as well as family meetings about substance abuse, help them understand the real-world dangers of addiction. When they can talk honestly with you, teens learn that they have an ally on whom they can always rely.
If your teen shows the warning signs of drug or alcohol addiction, you do not have to go it alone. There is help available with a caring and knowledgeable Florida drug rehab center. Contact us today and learn more about the options available for your child.