Most parents of teenagers are scared about drugs, and they should be. If a teen gets involved in drugs, it can quickly become a life altering or even life-threatening problem.
Of course, you need to be aware of the risk factors and the signs of any kind of drug or alcohol use. But what do you do if you see those signs? Your answer to that question can have a lasting impact on their life.
Do Something Right Away
If you discover that your teen is using drugs, it is critical that you take immediate action. This problem is progressive and if you stand by and do nothing, it WILL get worse. When parenting a teenager, sometimes it’s best to just hold your tongue and wait for the phase passes. That is NOT the case with drugs. Every day that you stand by wondering what to do is a day that makes the problem worse and more difficult to treat.
You should take immediate action for two reasons:
- The sooner something is done, the easier it is to treat
- Drugs can be fatal with just a single use
Find Professionals to Use
There are psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors who specialize in addiction. Find them and use them. These people have received a great deal of training. You may be an expert at your child, but these people are experts at addiction and you should rely on them for help.
In some cases, drug testing can work as a deterrent for your teen, and it will prevent them from starting to use drugs. However, it can also cause problems between you and your teen and there are also many websites online teaching people how to beat these types of tests.
Because of that, if you want to pursue drug testing, don’t do it yourself. You should use the professionals mentioned in the above paragraph to administer the drug test.
Get Treatment, But Get Proof That It Works
Without question, if your teen escalates and treatment is needed, get it. But the trick can be to find the right treatment.
The problem is that everyone and every teen is different. What worked for your neighbor’s kid might work for yours, but it might not. This issue is too important to leave it to chance.
The one guideline you should stick to is using “evidence-based” treatment. This may sound complicated, but it simply means that you need to choose a treatment that has been proven to work in clinical trials. You should also avoid programs that are considered “harsh” because they usually cause more damage to the teen than they help.
You should also be aware that many times, there is a dual-diagnosis for addicts. This means that your teen could be suffering from addiction as well as a mental disorder like depression. It is critical that you get the proper treatment for both issues to give your teen the best chance at success.