While there are millions of books and articles about parenting children, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for success. You do everything you can to raise your child right and provide them with every chance they deserve, but they might easily go down the wrong road.
Drug misuse among teens is a high-profile public health issue with at least one out of every eight teenagers taking an illegal substance in the previous year. Furthermore, according to a 2019 survey, a large number of young individuals consume alcohol. According to the study, 24.6 percent of 14 to 15-year-olds had had at least one drink. In the same year, 7.0 million young people aged 12 to 20 said they had had more than "just a few sips" of alcohol in the previous month.
When you know your adolescent's hobbies, interests, and routines, you'll be able to detect early warning signs of trouble since you'll notice when something doesn't seem right. If you overlook concerns, justify underage drinking or smoking marijuana as "experimentation" or "just a phase", or avoid having open and honest conversations with your kid, casual drug use may easily spiral out of hand. When warning signals first appear, it's far easier to change troublesome behavior than when the situation intensifies or an emergency develops.
If you're concerned that your child is on the wrong track, here are some warning signs that can help you determine whether or not they are misusing drugs or alcohol. Paying attention to early indicators of difficulty especially for children who are at higher risk of alcohol or other substance addiction can lessen the probability of a future issue. As a parent or concerned adult, please take action right away - early intervention might save their life.
Change in behavior or attitude. Have you observed that your child is getting more evasive or secretive? They may have a stronger desire for privacy and may be separating themselves from family and friends. Do they respond to straightforward questions with vague responses? When you speak with them, you may observe that they are secretive and avoid eye contact. Do they appear irritated, sluggish, unmotivated, or withdrawn all of a sudden? You may notice that they are becoming stubborn, difficult, or angry toward you. They may lack respect for authority, as evidenced by their disregard for your rules, curfew violations, and outbursts. Have you noticed them neglecting their duties? They may be demonstrating poor academic performance such as skipping classes, disregarding assignments, and failing to participate in extracurricular activities. They may also be losing interest in hobbies and activities that they once enjoyed. Have you lost any valuables or money? They might be looking for new ways to gain money, so they can acquire drugs or alcohol. Is it possible that they've met a new group of people? You could notice that they've made new friends and that their social circle has changed.
Change in appearance. Is your child looking frail, pale, or sickly? Some medications may induce weight loss as a side effect of appetite reduction. Repeated drug usage can also cause skin changes such as paleness, jaundice, and acne. Has their skin quality changed in any way such as blemishes, bruises, or open wounds? Track marks from intravenous drug usage may be visible. Even in warm weather, you could observe them wearing long sleeves to hide these markings. Have you observed that their hygiene has declined? Bathing, cleaning one's teeth, and maintaining bodily cleanliness may decrease in someone who is dependent on drugs. Are their eyes bloodshot? Do they have pinpoint or dilated pupils? These are some of the most prevalent indications of drug abuse. Keep a watchful check on their eyes since these may provide clues. Has your child started to burn incense, use cologne/perfume or room deodorizers? They might be masking cigarette or joint odors. When they return home from school or somewhere else, you may notice them smelling like drugs, booze, or anything unusual.
Have you found any suspicious items? Small baggies? Torn up pieces of paper? Burnt foil? Cut up straws? Visine or other eye drops? Lighters? These are some of the possible hints in the child's room. Although there is a possibility that these items will be well disguised. It may be advantageous to be familiar with the techniques for concealing these objects. Look around the room for probable hiding spots, such as controllers, storage cans, office supplies, and cosmetics and hygiene products.
While this is far from an exhaustive list of warning signs, this list will hopefully help you take a closer look at your child’s behavior. Don't put it off - if you suspect your child is abusing drugs or alcohol, take action now before it's too late.
What to Do if Your Child is Misusing Substances
If you fear your child is abusing drugs, the most essential thing you can do is educate yourself on the subject. You must be aware of the warning indicators that your kid is displaying, as well as the substance that they may be using.
When it comes to these circumstances, communication is crucial. Have a conversation with your child after equipping yourself with reliable knowledge and being aware of the indications you've found in them. Maintain a cool demeanor and avoid becoming enraged. Explain to them that you've been observing odd occurrences and are concerned about possible abuse or misuse. Keep in mind that they may deny using or become angry or defensive if you do. They may not openly admit it, so it’s important to still keep an eye on them at all times. Maintain your composure and remind them of your affection for them at all times.
If this situation persists or has progressed to the point that you can no longer handle your child, you should seek professional help. However, it is also important to keep in mind that prevention of this condition is a lot more helpful than waiting for it to develop into something else - that is why, if you see warning signals in your kid, you should seek expert help. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, overcoming addiction almost always necessitates the assistance of a professional.
Find Treatment at Pacific Solstice
For a long time, substance abuse has been a serious problem, and it is critical that it not be ignored. This is a serious condition that should not be overlooked. Fortunately, with the right treatment, this illness may be reversed. If your child is addicted to drugs, good treatment is critical to both terminating the drug misuse in the short term and preventing relapse in the long term. Choosing the appropriate treatment program for your kid will ensure that they have the highest chance of recovering.
Pacific Solstice ensures that every treatment program is tailored to your child's specific requirements by doing a thorough examination and acquiring a detailed medical history. Treatment teaches patients how to manage major triggers like stress, negative emotions, and cravings by teaching them skills and techniques. It demonstrates the importance of purpose and meaning in a life free of drugs and alcohol, as well as how to have fun and enjoy life without them.
We have a variety of treatment options that you can choose from, some of these are Intensive Outpatient Program (https://pacificsolstice.com/psychiatry/intensive-outpatient-iop) and Partial Hospitalization Program (https://pacificsolstice.com/psychiatry/partial-hospitalization-day-treatment-php). If you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be here to assist you.
Seeking treatment for a child who may have a drug issue requires a lot of courage. However, your bravery will be rewarded since therapy works and children may recover from addiction. You want to make sure your child is healthy before allowing him or her to venture into a world with more freedom and substance availability.