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3 Ways to Help a Teen Using Drugs or Alcohol

Are you worried about your teen’s use of alcohol or drugs?  Teen use of substances can hurt families, affect school life and lead to other negative life choices.  If you’re concerned about negative patterns you’re noticing, here are some steps you can take to help your teen.


1. Build trust with open communication


Setting up more and more rules in a teen’s life often doesn’t help.  One of the most important factors for healthy teen development is the presence of relationships built on love and trust.  Start by telling your teen that they mean a lot to you and how much you care about them. In a non-judgemental way, you can then let them know what you’re observing and why it concerns you.



2. Understand what causes teens to use drugs or alcohol


Substance use is a complex issue that’s often a result of deeper issues.  Peer pressure and social anxiety can be a major contributor to substance use and parents can help by talking through social struggles together.  Another factor that can lead to substance use is a teen attempting to self-medicate or cover pain from depression, anxiety or other trauma in their life.  Use of substances for self-medication can contribute to a deeper addiction and usually requires the support of professional help.


3. Take a family approach with professional help

Helping a teen work through substance use or addiction is complex and challenging.  Serious problems with substances are best addressed with the help of professionals. Arbor Place has an integrated approach to youth problem behaviors that uses the support of family to set an individual up for long-term success.


ALSO: Read our post on what parents need to know about teen drug use.


Interested in learning more about Multidimensional Family Therapy for your teen? Click Here.