Teen drug use is something no parents can really prepare for as every teen is different. A parent’s role in a child’s addiction can be uncomfortable as parents are meant to protect children and it can feel a violation of the parent-child contract when a young person turns to drugs. Learn about the signs of addiction and how to make a plan for supporting teens through the challenges addiction brings.
Young People and Drugs
When kids are teens, experimentation with drugs, alcohol and marijuana may be part of maturing into adulthood. As long as open lines of communication are open about rules and expectations, many people feel this is sufficient. As kids enter the teen years, it is likely teens will encounter offers to use drugs or alcohol in social situations. When it becomes a problem depends on the young person but sometimes it is a minor issue such as being hungover after drinking one night and after some stiff consequences, the child is no longer likely to abuse alcohol again. Other teens may develop a desire to keep drinking, using drugs or continue abusing them until it becomes more serious than a one-time infraction.
Even after arguing, negotiating, threatening and working with a teen to stop abusing drugs or alcohol, things may only settle down for a time before things pick back up again. When a problem is suspected, it may be much larger than a parent anticipates. It is best to act on the instinct right away and not leave it for later. It may be a larger issue that is just now being noticed and, if left unchecked, could lead to serious consequences down the road.
Parent, Teens and Responsibility
Ultimately, the responsibility for a teen’s drug abuse lies with the teen themselves. Parents have a larger role to play in supporting the teen to get advice, help and treatment when needed. Teens ultimately need to decide whether or not to be using and when it feels like less of a choice and more of a dependency or addiction, it will be much harder to curb the behavior. Adults in a teen’s life have many opportunities to engage teens by talking and sharing information about the risks and dangers of alcohol and drug use but the teen has to take the advice and learn to do something positive with it.
Responsibility matters when it comes to teen drinking and drug use. A family can only do so much but it is the responsibility of a teen to work with parents and find ways of proactively engaging in positive activities that do not require drug or alcohol use and empower the teen to make more healthy life choices going forward.
The Villa seeks to provide opportunities for teens and adults to find the best options for treatment and resources available when it comes to addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling, call us to find out how we can help you recover.