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Teenage Drug Use: Preventing and Treating

Teenage drug use is a severe problem in our society. It is a big concern for parents with very few clear directions on how to parents should prevent it from occurring in the first place. This is due to the fact that it is a subject that is considered “taboo” in our society leading to parents avoiding talking about the risks and dangers. It should be no surprise, then, that over-indulgent parents tend to have children with the highest drug abuse problems.

The problem of teenage drug abuse is huge.  According to the US Center for Disease Control, approximately 75% of teenagers have tried alcohol, 35% of teens have used marijuana at least once and almost 20% of teens currently use it regularly. Reports from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health state those 5.2 million youths ages 12 and older used non-medical pain killers within the month prior to being surveyed.  It is reported that drug use has affected the lives of nearly 40 percent of all teenagers in America. This would include health problems, driving under the influence, highway crashes, arrests, impaired school and job performance. The drugs that teenagers most often use range from Alcohol, LSD, Marijuana, and tobacco products, to name just a few. 

Signs that your teenager might be using drugs include: loss of interest in family activities, sudden increase or decrease in appetite, disrespect for family rules, disappearance of valuable items or money, lying about activities, verbally or physically abusive interactions between the teen and the rest of the family, secretive behaviors, and/or excuses for bad behavior. Other warning signs include missing prescription drugs, finding cigarette rolling papers, pipes, small glass vials, plastic baggies or remnants of drugs, use of incense or room deodorant to hide smoke or chemical odors, and using breath mints or mouth wash to cover up the smell of alcohol.

If your child has any of these signs, it is important to address those concerns directly. Don’t be in denial or fear your child’s anger at your questions or concerns about drug use. Better a little negative reaction from your teen then allowing a problem to move from use to abuse and long-term addiction or death. Permissiveness is as big a factor as peer pressure when it comes to why teenagers use drugs or alcohol.

As much as teenagers attempt to reject being like their parents, they do view their actions as role models. The positive side of this is that parents who handle the problem with directness and empathy will have a better chance at treating the teenager’s drug use and maintaining a healthy relationship. The negative side is that parents who abuse drugs and alcohol themselves cannot preach what they do not practice. Additionally, parents who react in an overly hostile manner toward their children will reinforce the very problem they are trying to stop.

Protective factors that will help parents prevent or treat drug use include learning better family communication skills, appropriate discipline styles, firm and consistent rule enforcement, and other positive family management approaches. Research confirms the benefits of talking to children about drugs, monitoring their activities, getting to know their friends, understanding their problems and concerns, and being involved in their school activities.

If you are a parent that is looking for teenage drug treatment and teenage rehab centers there are many options available.

Refer to sites like http://www.rehabs.com to see if there is one near where you live.

You can look into detoxification, residential rehabilitation, an intensive outpatient program, or an aftercare/continuing care program.

For the successful fruition of the drug treatment program the role played by the family is very vital. Drug addiction is a problem that affects not only the individual but also the family members. The family should act as a support system for the recovering patients. For these teenagers to be able to stay clean and free of drugs they need the involvement and support of their family.

An addicted teenager must be given timely and proper help from a professional source to take care of their condition. For proper treatment a correct diagnosis of the condition is very vital at the beginning. During the recovery process at a teenage drug treatment center a patient goes through a treatment procedure that suits them and their requirements. Drug abuse has several physical and emotional challenges which must be dealt with in a highly professional and caring manner.

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Contact Ron Huxley:

Ron Huxley is available as workshop or Keynote Speaker. Contact him by checking out the "about" page details.

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Ron Huxley has been on several TV and Radio Shows as parenting expert. Contact him at ptmembers@aol.com

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