A great fear of many parents is finding out that their child is experimenting with drugs or alcohol.  It can be difficult to figure out the best way to handle the situation without completely alienating their child.  Some parents have viewed it as a normal thing for their teen to have exposure to and experiment with drugs or alcohol, and feel it is just a phase and will pass.  While many times kids experimenting with certain substances does pass, it is simply not the best route to leave it alone to see if that happens. The fact is that some of these teens may become dependent later on, and no parent wants it to be their child that becomes dependent upon any substance.  Addiction is a progressive type of disease and usually gets worse, so intervening early on when they are only experimenting could be key in preventing dependence.

The Facts of Teenage Drug and Alcohol Abuse

There are a multitude of facts regarding teen drug and alcohol use that every parent should be aware of as their child gets older.  Even if every child does not fall into experimenting with substances, it is important for a parent to be aware of these facts so that they can be on the lookout for it.  The statistics of how many teenagers actually experiment with drugs or alcohol are higher than many would think.  In fact, according to a fact sheet about teens and drug use on DoSomething.org:

● “In 2013, more high school seniors regularly used marijuana than cigarettes as 22.7% smoked pot in the last month, compared to 16.3% who smoked cigarettes.”

● “By the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana.”

● “About 50% of high school seniors do not think it’s harmful to try crack or cocaine once or twice and 40% believe it’s not harmful to use heroin once or twice.”

Talking with Your Teen

There are a variety of reasons that a teen may begin experimenting with drugs.  This could include things like stress, peer pressure, or wanting to fit in.  It is important to find out why your child is experimenting with drugs, as this could be the key in resolving it.  Remember to listen to your child, do not simply chastise without discussing it with them.  Having open communication with your child allows them to feel more comfortable opening up to you and speaking about their difficulties in life, which could also prevent them from ever experimenting with drugs or alcohol in the first place.  Be involved with your child’s life, and ask them questions about it.  Being a support point for your teen can be crucial in intervening during them experimenting with drugs.

Remember to be supportive of your child as well, not in their experimentation with drugs, but be there to offer encouragement and praise for positive points in their life.  Having a positive support system bolsters them against experimenting or long term experimentation, and encourages them in their good behavior.  Being there for them could help to curb the factors conducive to their experimentation.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, let us assist you in finding help.  We know it can be difficult to find the right treatment center that will address all of the factors of an addiction.  Our advisors are knowledgeable in the treatment centers around the country, and can help you find one that will be the right fit.  Give us a call today and we will help you find the perfect private inpatient treatment facility for you or your loved one.