Talking to Your Teens About Substance Abuse

Talking About Drug Abuse & Misuse

Most people who dabble in illicit drug use do so in their adolescence, making it increasingly important for parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of substance abuse. The experts at Tranquil Shores are here to help you start that conversation.

Understanding Addiction

Statistics about Teens & Drug Abuse

Common substance abuse issues affecting teens and adolescents include:

  • ⅔ of high school students have drunk alcohol by grade 12.
  • 50% of teens have smoked marijuana.
  • 40% of adolescents have tried smoking or using tobacco products.
  • 1 in 5 high school students has taken a prescription that was not theirs.
  • The most commonly abused substances by teens are alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco products.

Physical Addiction

Oftentimes when we think of addiction issues, we think of physical addiction. This is when a person’s body becomes dependent on a substance. Oftentimes, when people become physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, they develop a higher tolerance—meaning that the user would need more and more of a given substance to get the same effects.

For those suffering from physical addiction, withdrawal symptoms are experienced when they stop using.

Psychological Addiction

Psychological addiction, on the other hand, happen when a person has a psychological or emotionally driven craving to use drugs. In this instance, they have an intense desire to seek and use drugs rather than a chemical dependency.

People with psychological addiction are more likely to lie or steal in order to satisfy their desire to use drugs and alcohol.

Signs & Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Common signs and symptoms that parents can look out for that may be a sign that their child is struggling with substance abuse or addiction include:

  • Using drugs and alcohol as a means to relax or forget issues
  • Increased secrecy and withdrawal from family members
  • Trouble with schoolwork and academic performance
  • Mood swings and behavioral changes
  • Increased feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Spending time thinking about how to get drugs or alcohol
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Stealing or selling belongings
  • Sudden changes in friend groups
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Changes in eating habits

Talking About Drugs & Alcohol

When opening up the lines of communication about substance abuse, it’s important for parents to approach the subject from a place of care. However, this can prove to be an awkward and uncomfortable conversation to have.

Fortunately, the following tips can help you to ease into the topic and build a level of trust with your teenager:

  • As thoughtful questions about their lives and experiences.
  • Set a time and place to talk.
  • Choose a quiet and private place to talk, free of distractions.
  • Talk about yourself and your experiences.
  • Model positive behavior and communicate clearly.

Seeking Help at Tranquil Shores

Whether you’re recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, Tranquil Shores can help you every step of the way toward wellness and recovery. Our experienced clinical team of addiction experts is dedicated to providing unique and personalized therapy to those looking for help with substance use disorders in Florida.

Please call us at (727) 591-4119 or reach out to us online to take the first step on the road to recovery today.

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