Girl in need of substance abuse treatment in Eau Claire, Menomonie, and River Falls

Here is What Parents Need to Know About Teen Drug Use

As teens navigate their youthful years the transitions and challenges of life can lead some teens to slip into dangerous lifestyles of substance use or addiction.  It’s normal for a parent to feel caught off guard and not know how to process it.


Here are some things a parents should know about drug or alcohol use in teens and young adults.


1. Understand why your son or daughter is using substances


Teen years are often considered the hardest years of your entire life.  Some teens feel crushed under the weight of peer pressure or mental health disorders and engage in activities they never imagined they would do.  Others have a hard time coping with trauma such as a death or divorce and feel unable to handle to pain without self medicating with drugs or alcohol.


2. Know the risk factors


Illegal substances can cause life to spiral out of control.  Drugs and alcohol hurt families and ultimately cause the most damage to the person using them.  Here are some of the risk factors associated with substance use in teens and young adults:


  • Missing school and worsening grades
  • Legal trouble including fines and incarceration
  • Problems with family
  • Anxiety and other mental health disorders


3. Recognize the signs and know when to get help


Sometimes, substance use is easy to see and other times it’s harder to recognize.  If you’re familiar with some telltale signs, you may be able to help your teen get the support they need before it’s too late.  Some of the common signs are problems with core relationship, unusual shifts in temperament, negative lifestyle changes and recurring lack of responsibility.



Teens using drugs and alcohol should seek support


Helping someone overcome addiction is complex and often requires professional help.  If you’re unsure if your loved one needs professional help, we can talk you through your situation or click here to learn more about our family therapy program.

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