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What can I do?

What Parents Can Do If you have found out for sure that your child is experimenting with drugs and alcohol, what you do next is a matter of utmost importance. Some parents shrug drug experimentation off as a phase a child goes through as they grow up. Other parents just want to deny the problem and hope it will go away on its own. But the truth is you can’t ignore your child’s drug problem…it will not go away on its own, it will only get worse! Here are some suggestions on what you can do as parents if your child is using drugs or alcohol. You need to find out what kinds of drug your child is experimenting with. Often children will claim they are only smoking marijuana when they are really using other drugs also. Take the time to investigate matters for yourself, and find out what’s really going on. Begin to scrutinize your child’s choice of friends. If your son or daughter is experimenting with drugs, some of his or her friends are also involved. It is important to find out which of these friends are involved in this experimentation and get your child away from these influences. This is one of the most difficult things to accomplish, but it is also one of the most necessary. Bad friends corrupt good morals. Of those that leave Teen Challenge and end up back on drugs, one of the most common reasons is that they went back to the same old friends and environment where they used drugs before. Those that stay clean invariably find a new set...

The Signs that Something is WRONG

Some Common Signs That Your Child is Using Drugs or Alcohol When children start using drugs they usually exhibit many different signs which parents need to watch out for. Unfortunately, many parents often write-off these signs as normal adolescent behavior and as a result they don’t realize that their child is into drugs until it is too late. So how can you as a parent know for sure whether or not your child is in danger of falling into drugs? Simple … by understanding that every child is in danger of this. The parent who says “not my kid” is the same parent who will miss all the signs that their child has started experimenting with drugs. Often they will stay in this state of denial till their son or daughter is arrested or overdoses — and by then it is too late. So what should you as parents be looking for as signs that your child is experimenting with drugs or alcohol. Dramatic changes in style of clothes, hair, music These outward signs of rebellion should be obvious to a parent. Has your child started listening to radically-different music such as heavy metal or punk rock? Is your kid coloring their hair some weird color just to fit in? Is your child dressing down to fit in with friends at school? All of these are outward signs that your child is succumbing to peer pressure and all these should serve as warning signs to you that your child is in danger of falling into the same kind of peer pressure when it comes to drugs. Hanging out with...

A Parent’s Guide to Drug Abuse

This is a guide for parents which we are always updating with the latest information available. One of the most effective ways parents can prepare themselves to combat drugs is by learning about drugs and drug abuse. Whether it’s the latest street lingo or a list of signs that your child is using drugs, this is your one stop source for information that could save your child’s life. These days kids are experimenting with a wide variety of drugs. While most people don’t associate cigarettes with drugs, surveys as well as our own residents in Teen Challenge report that nearly all people who have used drugs started smoking cigarettes as youngsters before they first experimented with drugs. “No step on this path is inevitable, but this ‘gateway’ principle makes clear that the best way to end new addictions among the young is by drawing a line on the abstinence side of marijuana use, underage smoking and drinking,” the report said. This is not to say that everyone who smokes cigarettes today uses drugs or used to use drugs. But when children begin to smoke, this is an early sign of rebellious behavior — especially if your family does not smoke cigarettes. If you discover that your child is smoking cigarettes, you have to ask yourself – why? If your child is smoking, his friends probably do also. The most common reason a child smokes is to feel “cool” or to be accepted by his friends. According to those who began using drugs as teenagers, the groups of kids at schools who smoked were also the ones most likely to...

Do’s and Don’ts of talking to your TEEN

Many parents avoid talking to their teenagers about drug use and abuse because they fear an awkward conversation or don’t know the best way to approach the subject. However, especially in today’s society, this conversation is more important than ever. The following tips can make this conversation easier to have. Do Do keep it honest Honesty is always the best policy when speaking to teens–especially regarding sensitive subjects, such as addiction history in the family. Parents should educate teens on the history of addiction and outline the consequences of use. Do communicate openly If you have family members who have overcome any kind of addiction, meaning they have obtained and sustained recovery from addiction, open a line of communication between your teen and these family members. This line of communication can facilitate a non-biased and non-judgmental resource for a teen to communicate with regarding substance abuse topics. Oftentimes, when teenagers (or adults) have a person to talk to who has experienced a hardship first hand, it is much easier to communicate openly and honestly without judgment. Do utilize resources Self-help groups and addiction treatment centers can provide resources for teens regarding substance abuse. In addition, youth prevention groups, such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), can be extremely helpful. Do show your support Ensure your teenager that, as a parent, you are coming from a loving and caring place. And if your teen is battling a personal addiction, be sure your teen understands that you will be there to support him/her on the road to recovery. Do set limits It is vital to set boundaries regarding expectations of behavior...