An addiction to drugs or alcohol can take hold when a person is young and impressionable. While some teenagers experiment with drugs or alcohol, others discover that they can't live without the substances. Continued abuse of drugs or alcohol leads to a need for teen substance abuse treatment. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that almost 21% of high school seniors have stated they used marijuana in the last month, while 1 in 5 teenagers have abused prescription drugs. Access to alcohol, prescription drugs, and marijuana has created addiction problems for teenagers throughout the United States. While treatment options for teenagers may be difficult to find, there are substance abuse clinics for adolescents designed to meet the specific needs of teenagers with addiction.
Figuring out the Addiction Exists
If you are the parent of a teenager and you suspect drug or alcohol abuse, it can take some investigation to figure out if you are right. While you might know that your teenager was drinking one night, you might not know if they have been abusing substances regularly. Take the time to get to know your teenager's friends, and keep track of where they go on the weekends. If you are concerned, search their room for evidence of a drug or alcohol stash.
Talking to Your Teenager About Addiction
When your teenager's mood has changed significantly, or you have noticed a steep decline in school, it's time to have an honest talk with your teenager. While substance abuse and addiction may not be the reason for the sudden changes in behavior, it can play a role. Talk to your teenager about your concerns, and let them know you are there if they need support. When you are sure that your teenager is abusing substances and is not taking steps to stop, it is your right to make the decision to send your teenager to treatment.
Teen substance abuse is on the rise. The abuse of alcohol and marijuana are acceptable in many teen social circles. You may not know that your teen has an addiction problem until there is an incident that points it out for you. If you are concerned that your teenager may be abusing drugs or alcohol, it's time to get some help. A substance abuse clinic for adolescents can assess your teenager and come up with a treatment plan if further care for an addiction is needed.