Teens’ risk of experimenting with alcohol and drugs is considerable, making it essential for parents to learn how talking to teens about drugs can help keep their child safe. All drugs, including prescription medications, carry the risk of psychological and physical dependency.
Teens can access prescription medications from their friends, and adolescents may steal medications from their parents. In states where medicinal and recreational marijuana is legal, access to marijuana is easier for teens. Using drugs during adolescents increases the risk of addiction later in life. If your teen needs substance abuse treatment, contact our North Carolina treatment center today.
Talking to Teens About Drugs
49.5% of 12th grades have used an illicit drug in the past year, with 35.7% using marijuana. While most teens who have used illicit substances used marijuana, 11.5% of 12th graders have used illicit substances other than marijuana in the past year, such as:
One reason talking to teens about drugs is important is because teens may think certain substances are safer than others. Many teens believe that prescription drugs are safer than substances like heroin, while other teens mistakingly believe marijuana is not addictive. When talking to teens about drugs, using factual information is the best way to build trust, establish healthy boundaries, and ensure your teen understands they can come to you if they are struggling with a drug problem.
Before talking to teens about drugs, it is imperative to know what the signs of teen drug use are. Symptoms of substance abuse problems in teens include:
- Changes in appearance, such as losing weight or having bloodshot eyes
- Having friends who use drugs
- Needing money
- Skipping school
- Sneaking out at night
If you notice signs that your teen is abusing drugs, it is important to confront the issue and ensure that your teen has your support during recovery. Addiction is a progressive and chronic condition, which is why early teen substance abuse treatment is essential to positive recovery outcomes.
How Teen Addiction is Treated
Addiction occurs when you compulsively abuse your substance of choice despite wanting to quit and experiencing negative consequences because of your use. That means many teens struggling with substance abuse disorders genuinely want to achieve sobriety. Since addiction causes significant neurotransmitter imbalances and alterations to brain chemistry, recovery can take time. Psychological dependency causes your brain to become dependent on your substance of choice to release neurotransmitters, which can lead to cravings and mood changes.
During recovery, your brain begins to heal from addiction. Drug and alcohol abuse damages neurotransmitter receptors, which is why your brain must re-learn how to release neurotransmitters during recovery properly.
Teen substance abuse treatment programs offer evidence-based and holistic treatments. Inpatient teen rehab programs are residential, which makes them an excellent option if you have a co-occurring condition, physical addiction, or a lengthy substance abuse history. Most inpatient programs also offer medically supervised detox services and last for up to 28 days.
Outpatient teen substance abuse treatment programs allow you to return home each night and can allow you to continue going to school. Outpatient offers partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. Partial hospitalization teen treatment programs meet for at least five days a week for five hours or more. Teen intensive outpatient programs meet for two to three days per week for several hours.
Finding Help Today
Talking to teens about drugs is essential, as substance abuse issues are a potential consequence of recreational and experimental use. When a teen develops a substance abuse disorder, it increases their risk of experiencing addiction in adulthood, making early treatment imperative. If you would like to discuss our teen substance abuse disorder treatment programs, contact us today at 866.300.5275.