How To Deal With Teen Addiction

Teenagers live in a state of exploration and self-discovery. Unfortunately, this can lead to some dangerous choices, such as experimentation with drugs and alcohol. 50% of teenagers have abused drugs at least once. Sometimes, exploration spirals out of control and develops into an addiction. As parents, you need to address the issue in its infancy before it negatively impacts their adulthood. Learn what to do if you suspect your teenager suffers from addiction. 

1. Look for the signs 

Experimentation does not necessarily indicate an addiction. Addiction refers to a physical dependency on a substance. Teenagers who suffer from addiction will exhibit signs of their addiction, including:

  • Legal issues
  • Poor grades
  • Friends with addiction problems
  • Familial isolation 
  • Increased depression, anxiety, paranoia, and anger
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Change in appetite
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Red/glossy eyes
  • Cognitive impairment

Some teenagers will attempt to hide their abuse, making it more difficult to recognize the signs at first. Stay alert. 

2. Set a good example

Teenagers turn into unique adults, but adult influences help shape the person they become. Set a good example yourself by displaying healthy behaviors with drugs and alcohol. Drink in moderation, such as having a glass of wine or a beer at dinner, and no more. Never get overly intoxicated in front of your child or keep illegal substances around the house. 

3. Talk about it 

If you suspect addiction, sit your teenager down to talk. Approach the topic with a positive, nonjudgmental attitude when you can talk to the child in private. Ask direct questions without getting invasive or getting too bogged down by the details. Express your concerns but also emphasize how much you love them and want to work through the addiction as a family. Encourage open dialogue. If the teenager denies an addiction, show them your evidence. Avoid a drug test unless absolutely necessary. 

4. Get them into teen addiction recovery 

Every teenager can benefit from mental health services in some form. Offer your teenager mental health services specifically targeted toward teen addiction recovery. Support the recovery process by taking them to and from appointments. Offer to go to family therapy if they feel like it can help. Finally, encourage your child to open up about the recovery process but give them privacy until they want to talk. 

While you go through the recovery journey as a family, set clear boundaries with appropriate consequences. At the same time, allow your child to make their own choices, including mistakes.  

For more information about teen addiction, contact a local professional. 

About Me

Understanding Early Childhood Education

Hello, my name is Derrick. Welcome to my site about early child education courses. When I was raising my two young kids, I learned all about the importance of early child education. I helped my kids learn how to read and do arithmetic by the age of four. With my support, my kids developed a deep love for learning that has benefited them throughout life. On this site, I will talk about all of the different approaches you can use to help your own children embrace learning from an early age. With some luck and hard work, your kids will have a life-long love of learning.