One of the many conversations those who work in drug rehab facilities have with parents of teenagers who have been admitted is that those parents had been oblivious to their teenager’s drug use until after they had become addicted. The shock when their teenager admitted the fact, or they were made aware of it by a health professional, is significant.
Conversely, some parents can immediately spot the signs their teenager has started taking drugs and can make an early intervention to the extent that the teenager does not become addicted to any drug. We mention both scenarios merely to point out that with drug use and teenagers, parents are often the last to know about it, not through a lack of love, but due to not knowing what the signs are.
As such, we think it is helpful to provide some advice relating to teenage drug use, and we hope it might aid parents who may not be well-educated on drug use, having never taken any themselves. It might help them spot the signs of drug use in their teenage child early enough to take positive action to help them take steps to recovery such as drug rehab at a place like sivanarehab.com.au.
Why do Teenagers Try/Take Drugs
Anyone who is or has gone through their teenage years will know it is a part of everyone’s life that has more than its fair share of challenges. Some of them are related to doing things that parents would be upset by, including taking drugs, the reasons for which include:
- Boredom and wishing to get a kick out of doing something that they should not.
- Peer pressure and wanting to fit in with others.
- Curiosity and wishing to discover what doing something for the first time feels like.
- To find an escape from mental or physical pain, including anxiety and stress.
- To be rebellious and do something they know will annoy their parents.
- Fun and relaxation. Yes, some teenagers genuinely enjoy taking drugs.
Drugs Which Are Taken By Teenagers
Addiction can occur when teenagers start smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol, and we must not forget these addictions can be extremely harmful to health over time. However, there are many drugs that not only cause health issues, including addiction but can also be fatal on the first occasion they are taken. Thankfully, such instances are rare, but the risk still exists. As for what these drugs are, the main ones include:
- Inhalants (solvents, glue etc.)
How To Reduce The Likelihood Of Your Teenager Taking Drugs
There are numerous ways in which the relationship you have with your teenager and how you communicate with them can make it less likely that they will start taking drugs. Examples include:
- Set an example by not taking drugs yourself and only drinking alcohol in moderation.
- Promote good health and fitness within your family.
- Develop a trusting relationship from when your child is young that promotes open discussions both ways.
- Establish and agree on rules about which behaviours are considered acceptable and which are not.
- Encourage your child to make responsible decisions for and about themselves.
- Never shy away from discussing drugs with your child if they ask about them, including the risks.
Steps You Can Take If You Suspect Your Teenager Is Using Drugs
If you believe your teenager has tried or is taking drugs, then here are some steps you can take.
- Do not panic. Take time to weigh up the situation and your options.
- Do not start playing detective by searching through your teenager’s belongings or checking their phone.
- Ensure you are educated about drug use, and if not, do some research.
- Calmly speak to your teenager about your suspicions and your concerns.
- Do not ‘lay down the law’ if they admit to taking drugs, as that can have the opposite effect.
- Attempt to educate your teenager on the risks and dangers of drug use.
- Discuss and offer to get them whatever help they feel they need.
- Seek advice, support, and help from a drug rehab expert.