Help for Teen Drinking and Drug Use

How to help my teen doing drugs and drinking?   In today’s society, kids have access to many different substances that can be addictive and damaging. Teen drug addiction and alcoholism is a major concern for parents.   It can be frightening especially with rise of online drug sales. Drug testing is helpful, but not always accurate.   canstockphoto6202177P.U.R.E.™ receives many phone calls from parents who say that their teen 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.   Is your teen vaping? Vaping has become more common with teenagers today. Teen vaping of marijuana doubled between 2013 and 2020, indicating that young people may be swapping out joints, pipes or bongs for vape pens, according to a JAMA study.   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.    Is your teen using cocaine? Xanax? Heroin?    Many teens view Xanax as a safer and more plentiful alternative to prescription opioids and heroin — with similar euphoric effects. Have you checked your medicine cabinets? Your relatives? It’s imperative that your child know the risks of taking medications that are not prescribed for them.   These substances are all addictive. The long-term effects of cocaine addiction in teens are especially pronounced. Because adolescent brains are still forming, cocaine use alters brain cell structure permanently — impairing behavioral, developmental, and cognitive growth.   Read: 5 Signs of Teenage Substance Abuse.  

Teenage Drinking

  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. Studies have shown, parents are the number one influence in their child’s life — remember always be a good role model.   Drugs and alcohol usage is definitely a sign that your teen 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. Read: Why Behavior Modification Works for Troubled Teens.


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Family consultants help parents find reputable residential schools and treatment programs for troubled teens when they have utilized all of their local resources and are overwhelmed by their online searches.

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Many parents are at their wit’s end with the challenges of raising teenagers. If you are considering residential therapy, contact us for a free consultation.

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