What To Do If You Find Out Your Teen Is Using Drugs

29. September 2015

Drugs are always an ongoing issue with teens. They are exposed to it in school and with friends, often as early as elementary school. Whether in the form of alcohol, marijuana, street drugs or pills, teens continue to experiment with substances for a variety of reasons. Pressure to fit in, curiosity, and as a means to cope with stressful situations are all reasons that your child may get involved with using drugs.

Some kids will try something a couple of times and then decide that it isn’t for them. Some will drink  or smoke marijuana occasionally. It can be difficult to get teens to see the risks involved with even occasional use. Ideally, you want your children to avoid using alcohol, drugs and tobacco period, but this isn’t always the case.

While in many cases this recreational use doesn’t amount to anything serious, using alcohol and drugs regularly can lead to addiction. Even the recreational use of drugs isn’t safe. Alcohol is a leading cause of car accidents, and accidental overdoses from pills or club drugs is a dangerous reality.

Today’s kids are more likely to start experimenting with opiates in the form of prescription drugs. This trend is alarming, because kids can quickly become dependent on the drugs, and because the potential for overdose is significant, especially if he is mixing them with alcohol or other drugs.

It is important that your teen be educated on the different types and classes of drugs and what the effects and risks are.

What if you suspect your teen is having a problem with drugs?

mother struggling with her son

If you suspect that your teen is using don’t wait to confront them about it. The sooner a dialogue is started, the better. Parents are sometimes hesitant to bring up the subject because they are afraid of pushing their teen away or starting a fight. Perhaps you are convinced that your son or daughter won’t be honest with you, or will get upset that you are accusing them of using.

These reactions are common. If you have reason to believe that your adolescent is using, it is okay to confront them. Yes, they may get angry, and yes, they may try to deny or minimize their use. This is standard behavior. If you are feeling doubtful of whether or not your child has a problem, here are some signs to look for:

  • Sudden drop off in school grades or attendance
  • Loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed, such as extracurricular activities
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Change in sleeping patterns. May not sleep at all, or may suddenly start sleeping all the time.
  • Weight loss or gain.
  • New friends.
  • Becoming more argumentative, defiant.
  • Breaking rules, such as a curfew.
  • Lying, manipulative behavior.
  • You have found drugs or paraphernalia in the home.
  • They appear “high” and are behaving erratically.
  • You notice money missing, or your teen is being secretive about what she is doing with her money.

When To Use An Adolescent Intervention

parents talking to troubled daughter

If you have talked to your teen about his or her drug use, but the problem persists, it may be time for an adolescent intervention.

One of the problems with waiting to do an adolescent intervention is that you don’t know just how bad things will get. Depending on the type of drugs your child is doing, and the level of risks he or she is taking, your teen may be exposing himself to numerous risks. Accidents, overdose, disease, and trauma are all real outcomes as long as he continues using.

While trouble with school or trouble with the law are certainly concerns, they really take a back seat to the dangers of driving under the influence, exploitation, sexually transmitted disease, victimization and the other long-term effects of drug use.

You don’t have to wait for things to get that bad. If your teen is using, an adolescent intervention can help things turn around before things get any worse.

What Happens During An Adolescent Intervention?

A professional intervention specialist will work with you and your family to determine the best course of action for your teen’s intervention. Having an outside party involved can make a huge difference in how the intervention is received and the outcome.

Teens tend to listen to outside adults more than their parents, and an intervention specialist is highly trained and experienced in conducting interventions. He or she will support you and your family throughout the process. The assistance of the specialist is not only helpful for your teen, but also for you and the rest of your family.

The goal is to get your child to understand the severity of the issue and to become willing to get help. While you can force a minor into treatment, the outcome will be more successful if he or she goes willingly. Adolescent interventions can help break down the denial and fear that your teen has so that she can be open to getting the help that she needs.

Where To Get Help

Contact Intervention Services, Inc. today to get help for your family. As soon as you make the call, your intervention specialist will be there for you from that first call through the intervention and after treatment. Call 1-877-478-4621 to learn more and to get the help your child needs today.