There are plenty of things to be worrying about as your child grows up, and when they hit the teenage years, the allure of sex, drugs and, occasionally, rock and roll could start to lean into their lifestyles. It’s one of the biggest worries for parents, particularly in the case of drugs.
It’s a scary time, but there are things that you can do to ensure that a positive outcome comes from it.
Across the world teenage drug misuse is rife, and in the USA alone record numbers of drug overdose deaths are being recorded. Naturally, this is incredibly concerning for parents, particularly with the growing trend of college kids abusing fentanyl.
That’s of course on top of the likes of cocaine and heroin which have been causing huge problems for years. So, what do you do if you find your teenager with drugs?
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Before you approach your teenager, you do need to gather your evidence, just as you would if you were to confront someone about an addiction. Now, we’re not suggesting here that your teenager has got to the addiction stage, however, gathering evidence will only help emphasise the problem and ensure that you are looking after their wellbeing.
We all know teenagers, and if you were to find a small packet of pills or one solitary needle, then you’ll be met with a series of excuses suggesting they are holding it for someone else.
By gathering evidence, you can be more prepared to combat any excuses and, ultimately, develop a bit of a case. It’s likely that teenagers may have a secret stash or evidence could be gathered from things like clothes or even plasters in their rubbish bins.
Understand you may be being hypocritical
One of the big comebacks from teenagers when caught having or consuming a certain substance is being called a hypocrite. For example, with alcohol, your teenager may see you drinking it relatively often. The same goes with smoking, or even trying recreational drugs in your youth.
That doesn’t justify their actions though, so while you may be greeted by being called a hypocrite, use honesty to combat that. Explain that drugs can affect people in different ways, or if you yourself have had problems with drugs, discuss how it changed your life and how by going into recovery it improved your life. Everyone has made mistakes, and it’s about owning those to improve the lives of younger generations through your family.
Make a plan of action
Once evidence has been gathered it may give you a sense of how much of a problem the relationship is between your teenager and drugs. At this point, you can begin to plan solutions. In the more simple of circumstances, it may be a case of banning them from seeing particular friends or strong disciplinary action.
In others it may be a case of finding a course of treatment. Signs of addiction may be starting to show, and whether it be fentanyl or the likes of heroin, getting your teenagers life back on track is a must.
That will begin by the withdrawal and detox stage. Heroin detox treatment, for example, is an important first step for anyone suffering with addiction from the drug. You’ll find many treatment centres offering help for this, with detox clinics providing safe environments to do so.
Spending time researching these centres and then putting them forward to your teenager is a good step to encouraging them to take action. It will make them feel like you’re trying to help rather than simply disciplining them, while you should also be patient and empathetic with them. You are on their side, and they need to know it to give the best possible chance of a positive outcome.
It is a scary time, but providing a united front with your partner or anyone you share parental responsibility is a must, while you may also be able to seek solace and advice from not just local charities and action lines, but their school as well, who may have trained professionals to help with these kinds of problems.