YOU CAN HELP.
Your involvement makes a difference.
If you suspect that your teenager is using substances, it's important to address the issue as soon as possible. Here are some tips that may be helpful:
Look for signs: Pay attention to any changes in your teenager's behavior, such as mood swings, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, sudden decrease in academic performance, loss of interest in hobbies or friends, unexplained injuries or accidents, etc.
Have an open and honest conversation: Talk to your teenager in a calm and non-judgmental way. Let them know that you are concerned and that you are there to support them. Ask them if they have been using substances and listen to their response.
Educate yourself: Learn about the dangers of substance use and addiction. This will help you have an informed conversation with your teenager and make informed decisions about next steps.
Seek professional help: If you suspect that your teenager is using substances, consider seeking professional help. This may include consulting with a substance abuse counselor or therapist, or reaching out to your family doctor for advice.
Set clear boundaries and consequences: Let your teenager know that substance use is not acceptable and that there will be consequences for continued use. Be clear about what those consequences will be, and follow through if necessary.
Provide support: Offer your teenager support and resources to help them stop using substances. This may include counseling, support groups, or rehabilitation programs.
Remember, it's important to approach this issue with empathy and understanding. Your teenager may be struggling with underlying issues that are leading to substance use, and they need your support to overcome these challenges. By becoming informed and learning to talk to your children, you can help ensure the information they're getting is correct.