You might have seen some disturbing signs of your teen abusing drugs and noticed them acting strangely. You even thought about confronting their behavior. Is what your seeing something else, like anxiety and depression? Or, did you not educate them enough about drugs so as not to worry about the issue? There might be a million questions you have and may not know how to talk to them about what you see. Learn how to speak with your teen about their addiction, so it’s an open conversation and not a confrontation.
Signs Your Teens Is Using Drugs
Before you decide to talk with your teen, let’s discuss the signs to make sure you know they’re abusing. Signs to look for are:
- Noticeable changes in appetite and weight
- Neglecting normal responsibilities
- Changes in self-care and personal hygiene
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Behavior changes
- Symptoms of intoxication, such as constant runny nose or sniffing, flushed face, body tremors, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, excessively tired, excessive itching, difficulty walking and controlling body movements
- Dramatic mood changes
- Financial problems
Have a Conversation
If the above signs seem apparent, it’s time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk. Be calm and avoid letting your frustration and anger get the better of you. Remember, your teen may clam up, get defensive, or break down. First and foremost, listen to them. Ask them what’s going on in their life, their fears, failures, or what they want out of life. Also, ask open-ended questions, such as “How did you feel in that situation?” What can I do to help you?” “Can you tell me why you started using drugs?”
Having them open up with no judgment and support from you could be the difference between asking for help or running from the situation. It’s a delicate situation that needs compassion and patience. When you talk to them, they may deny they’re using or be casual about it. Now is the time to reiterate your house rules about drugs and alcohol and what consequences come with those choices.
This sounds contradictory to educate your teen about drug abuse and addiction after they’re already hooked. However, reminding them about the effects of their addiction lets them know the reality of what drug abuse can cause behavior changes to health issues—ones that could be life-threatening. You must keep the lines of communication open, so they’re more willing to talk with you. There are many reasons someone chooses to try drugs, whether it’s peer pressure, anxiety, and depression, just wanting to experiment, or genetic disposition.
Don’t Punish Them
Giving ultimatums or punishing them for their drug abuse will send them away from you, the opposite of what you want. Taking their phone away won’t stop them from using drugs, neither will forcing them to quit. They need a calm demeanor without threats, and they need support from you to get treatment. They need to know you love them and want what’s best.
Contact Ardu For Help
You must let your teen know they need help and that you will be with them throughout the treatment process, but that it’s non-negotiable. Be firm and clear about their usage and discuss with them the treatment options. Saying something like, “As your mom and dad, your safety is our top priority,” reassures them they’re loved no matter what. Then, explain that because you love them, it’s time to make an appointment with a counselor or treatment center.
We are here to help your teen recover from their drug abuse and invite you to contact us for more information about our treatment programs. Our staff cares about your loved ones, and they want a successful outcome, like you. Please, call us today.