Teenage drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States and it doesn’t help that many celebrities and teen idols are seeing abusing drugs and alcohol themselves. If your teen’s favorite celebrity or celebrities have reputations for abusing substances, these tips can help you lessen their influence on your child and open the topic for discussion.
Stay in the Know about Which Celebrities Your Teen Admires.
Pay attention to who your teen’s favorite celebrities are and keep up with media reports to know if there is any need for concern. Celebrities from Amanda Bynes to Justin Bieber are widely-known for their regular substance abuse problems and associated arrests and legal woes. When an incident happens, use that opportunity to speak to your teen about teenage drug abuse.
Speak to Your Teen about Teenage Drug Abuse.
Talk to your teen about the actions of their favorite celebrities and ask for their opinions about such inappropriate behavior. Have another discussion about the dangers of teenage drug abuse and all of the possible consequences – consequences that even celebrities are unable to escape – ranging from health complications to the risk of arrest and the destruction of their career and future.
Often the negatives of a celebrities drug and alcohol abuse are visible in the media coverage – use these as examples of what can happen, but don’t focus only on the fact that a celebrity is suffering from addiction. Also discuss rehab and treatment with your teen as it may be likely that teenage drug abuse is already a part of your teens social circle – it is important that your teen understand that help is available.
Be Aware That Discouraging Your Teen May Have an Opposite Influence.
You do not want to ask or tell your teen to no longer support their favorite stars. Banning a specific artist’s music or an actor’s films or television shows will likely only upset your teen. Teens also have a tendency to be more curious about and more attracted to what parents forbid entirely. Give them the chance to make responsible decisions by showing them the difference between admiring a celebrity for their art or their style while remaining disapproving of their teenage drug abuse and scandals.
Celebrate the positives about their favorite stars and openly discuss the negatives. The point is not to judge or shame the celebrities based on their behavior but to wish them the best in the form of abstinence from drugs via a substance abuse and addiction treatment program.
An independent and strong teen who is a leader rather than a follower is much less likely to engage in copycat celebrity behavior – including teenage drug abuse. Explain that it’s great to celebrate their favorite stars’ admirable qualities but what makes a person special is their own personal qualities. We are all different people made interesting for our own individual qualities. Attempting to do as a popular person does won’t be the best path for him or her. The point is to be true to themselves and to explore their own talents, skills and abilities while understanding what is attractive about a celebrity and what is simply unacceptable.
Teen alcohol abuse often stems from what goes on in schools – not necessarily in the classroom, but within their social spheres. While it can be difficult for teens to bring alcohol into schools, the ideas and plans for alcohol abuse often begin in school among their peers.
Most teens don’t decide to wake up one day and have several drinks. Peer pressure is a common risk factor in the determining whether or not your child will engage in teen alcohol abuse. Teens can be pressured to drink to look cool, to fit in, to “relax”, to be popular or for any of a combination of these and other reasons. A teen who is totally uninterested in consuming alcohol may quickly change his or her mind about drinking based on who is offering the drinks and social and environmental considerations. This peer pressure can happen in social settings, but also at school.
Parties, School Functions and Field Trips
School security and in-the-know school officials typically make it very difficult for students to abuse alcohol in school undetected. Private parties, visiting friends’ homes without the presence of adults, going to field trips and school functions including school dances and proms are circumstances when your child may be confronted with the suggestion of teen alcohol abuse. The point is not to ban your child from participating in social activities but to speak to them about teen alcohol abuse beforehand in anticipation of any temptations that may arise.
School Absences and Skipping Classes
Pay attention to days missed from school as well as complaints from school about skipped classes. These are red flags for potential substance abuse and other dangerous activities. Teens often feel that their actions lack consequences, but will try to hide their actions anyway. Teens without the opportunity to use substances after school may try to find the opportunity by skipping school or leaving school for periods of time during the day.
The Consequences and Dangers of Teen Alcohol Abuse
The best thing you can do for your teen is to speak openly and honestly about the dangers and consequences of teen alcohol abuse. Explain why it is illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in regards to the effects of alcohol on the body and mind including health risks, impaired judgment, and the destruction of their future. Alcohol abuse can lead to poor school performance, problems with memory, focus and concentration, lowered motivation, health problems, relationship problems and more. Consuming too much alcohol can even lead to fatality in the form of alcohol poisoning or as a result of accidents or incidents due to intoxication including drunk driving.
While teen alcohol abuse may not be a physical problem in the school environment, it is important that parents and teachers are aware that many of the risk factors for drug and alcohol abuse do occur at school. Keeping the lines of communication open, watching for potential signs and not ignoring school as a potential place for drug or alcohol abuse are important tools for adults in the fight against teen alcohol abuse.
Drug and alcohol abuse can be brought on by specific triggers. There are universal triggers that affect all clients of substance abuse and addiction as well as personal, specific triggers for substance use. Identifying what these triggers are is paramount to maintaining a strong recovery from substance abuse and addiction and avoiding relapse.
Universal Triggers for Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Stress and boredom are two major universal triggers for individuals suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. Why? Like people struggling with food or eating problems, we do these when we are stressed or bored without even realizing it. These triggers are so powerful that clients are even taught how to manage and minimize stress in rehabilitation programs via stress management techniques and they are taught how to find new, healthier interests in lifestyle counseling to stave away boredom and to bring on healthier mindsets.
Some effective ways to manage stress are exercising regularly, getting sufficient sleep, enjoying a healthy diet, practicing breathing exercises, practicing mindfulness, meditating and keeping a journal.
Personal triggers for drug and alcohol abuse vary from individual to individual. These triggers often include specific people, specific places and specific emotions. Some examples of trigger people are individuals who sell substances, friends who abused substances with a individual in the past and people who have a history of mentally and/or physically abusing the individual. The places may include places known for abusing substances, places known to have drugs and alcohol, places of past traumatizing events and others. Emotions must be under control as unhealthy emotions can also quickly lead to drug and alcohol abuse. This is a significant focus of substance abuse and addiction programs.
Relapse Prevention Strategies
Clients of drug and alcohol abuse rehab program create and use relapse prevention strategies for everyday living. These strategies are specific, step-by-step plans of action to avoid triggers for substance use. These strategies can include anything from turning down offers to go to parties, creating a regular exercise regimen, exploring new healthy activities and pastimes to meet people with similarly healthy and positive mindsets, avoiding specific neighborhoods or areas and more.
It’s important to avoid triggers as even the smallest amount of exposure to a trigger can send a client to relapse whether it be immediate or after some period of time. It may sound impossible to avoid all of one’s triggers, and it is – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to minimize your exposure as much as possible.
How to Help
If someone you love has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, you can do your part to help him or her to avoid their triggers for substance use. You can help to create a healthy home environment with minimal stress, provide an avenue for counseling or mental health care at the first signs of anxiety, depression or any other mental health dilemmas, maintain an alcohol and drug-free home and help them with their relapse prevention strategies. It is also good to learn the signs of a potential relapse so you can help if their recovery begins to waver.
Teenage prescription drug abuse is a very dangerous habit that has become more and more widespread in light of the nation’s epidemic of prescription drug abuse and addiction. Teens often feel immune to the consequences of their behavior and don’t see a problem with using “study drugs” temporarily. Unfortunately, these drugs do have serious consequences, including: legal problems, chemical dependency and drug addiction, psychological woes, health complications and even the risk of fatality.
Many parents don’t recognize the signs of a prescription drug problem, as it is often masked by a teen’s typical behaviors. Learn the signs of prescription drug abuse to provide your child with help as early as possible.
Behavior Connected to Potential Prescription Drug Abuse
These are some of the common behavioral signs seen among clients of prescription drug abuse treatment centers. The signs vary from person to person as well as depending on the type or types of drugs being abused, but if you recognize any of these symptoms it may be time to ask for professional help
- Displaying extreme and sudden mood swings
- Isolating and otherwise withdrawing socially
- Experiencing forgetfulness and memory lapses
- Spending significant amounts of money on unknown expenditures
- Taking more medication than prescribed
- Taking medication prescribed to someone else
Physical Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse
The physical signs also vary depending on the types of drugs being abused. Here are some of the most common signs of prescription drug abuse.
- Extreme weight gain or weight loss
- Troubled sleep
- Changes in appetite
- Extreme lethargy
- Appearing to be high on drugs
- Walking unsteadily or otherwise experiencing coordination problems
If your teen does in fact have a prescription drug abuse problem, substance abuse and addiction treatment can help. Contrary to popular belief, substance addiction treatment programs are not reserved solely for individuals facing serious addictions to drugs and alcohol. These programs also offer help and hope to clients of substance abuse providing them with an important path to healthier and more productive living. Untreated prescription drug abuse will leave your teen in danger of heading to a world of addiction as well as a number of other dangers along the way including damaging mental and physical health.
Depending on the breadth and extent of your teen’s prescription drug abuse, the first step will be a medically-supervised detoxification process. Many prescription drugs are very chemically addictive creating physical dependencies that can lead to withdrawal symptoms ranging from the uncomfortable to the life-threatening. The treatment program is next where your teen can uncover what underlying personal sources are contributing to his or her substance abuse. This is achieved through psychotherapy, the main treatment method for substance abuse and addiction. Other treatment methods include attending and participating in support group meetings, receiving lifestyle counseling and counseling on stress management and creating and utilizing relapse prevention strategies for continued recovery success.
Drug abuse prevention is an important aspect of a comprehensive learning experience for teens. Along with giving your students the tools, skills and knowledge required for academic success, it is important to guide them towards safe and healthy lifestyle practices and good ethical and legal standing in society. These tips can assist you with your drug abuse prevention efforts in school.
Be Informative and Honest.
Exaggerating the consequences and dangers of drugs is a fast way for drug abuse prevention attempts to end up backfiring. Your students have probably already heard a lot about substances and it is all too easy to find out if claims have been inflated. Be honest and respect your student’s ability to make the right decisions by giving a clear picture of the truth about drugs. The accuracy of the information you provide is a testament to your credibility in the eyes of your students.
Discuss How Drug Abuse Can Destroy Futures.
As your students focus on achieving academic and extracurricular excellence, explain how drug abuse can stand in the way of everything they have worked so hard for. Drug abuse is not conducive to academic success, getting into great colleges, securing good jobs or getting recruited for professional team sports. Show your students how drug abuse prevention can actually benefit their lives and help them achieve success.
Teach Students How to Say “No” as a Drug Abuse Prevention Method.
Turning down the offer of drugs or alcohol can be challenging for teens in the face of peer pressure. Students who otherwise would not try drugs or alcohol may decide to do so in an attempt to fit in or to look cool when confronted or offered drugs by friends. Offer up useful suggestions for standing firm and staying away from drugs. Have your students roll play so they become comfortable saying no or removing themselves from a high risk situation.
Be Observant and Proactive in Your Drug Abuse Prevention Efforts.
Pay attention to your students and learn the signs of potential drug abuse and addiction. If you suspect a student is using drugs or alcohol bring your concerns to the student and their parents in a non judgmental, open way. Drug abuse prevention means more than just saying no, it also means guiding a teen who may have lost their way. Teenagers often feel immune to disease like addiction, but early intervention and proactive adults can prevent experimentation from becoming addiction or substance abuse.
Recommend Therapy or a Counselor for Any Student Experiencing a Difficult Time.
Our most difficult life moments are also the times when we become our most vulnerable. Always suggest therapy or a school counselor for students going through particularly challenging times such as the loss of a loved one or other traumatizing occurrence.
Emphasize the Importance and Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle is not a welcoming environment for drug abuse. Promote the benefits and joys of leading a healthy lifestyle – from eating a balanced and nutritious diet to playing sports.
Drug and alcohol abuse may be discovered by paying attention to the telltale signs. Learn three major signs of drug and alcohol abuse you should never ignore.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Sign #1: Frequently Missing School and/or Work or Otherwise Failing to Fulfill Responsibilities.
It’s time to pay close attention if your child or student has suddenly begun to miss classes or miss days on the job frequently. While not every case of poor attendance comes hand in hand with drug and alcohol abuse, it is a common reason when it comes to young adults. You may especially want to be concerned if he or she was once so passionate about going to school and/or work and now they are missing so many days they risk losing their job or failing classes. Other responsibilities will also likely be neglected as well if drug and alcohol abuse is the culprit.
There are a number of reasons why people involved with drug and alcohol abuse would miss days of attendance including avoiding showing up to work or school while under the influence, taking the time away from work or school to try to recover from the effects of using substances (such as a hangover) or simply lacking interest in going to work or school as they would prefer to use substances.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Sign #2: Poor Performance in School or on the Job.
Drug and alcohol abuse affects users physically and mentally leading to such side effects as difficulty concentrating, memory problems, problems focusing and others. A person who is abusing substances will likely see a change in their grades in school or in their performance level at work.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Sign #3: Lacking Interest in Activities Once Loved or Close Friends.
We all have our interests that mean so much to us. Talk to your child or student if they have begun to ignore their closest friends or if they have suddenly expressed a lack of interest in activities they once loved. It takes a lot for a person to stop being passionate about their interests in a short period of time but drug and alcohol abuse is a quick road to not caring about favorite activities – particularly healthy activities such as sports, volunteering or even working out regularly. If they have suddenly dropped their closest friends without explanation it could be that their friends will not accept their substance abuse. They may have decided to avoid them altogether to spend time with friends who are abusing substances.
Alcohol abuse in teens is a possibility. Alcohol abuse is unfortunately not just a problem reserved for adults.
Alcohol Abuse in Teens is a Reality
There is a common misconception that teenagers are simply too young to suffer from addiction. The truth is that teens can suffer from alcohol abuse and even alcoholism. Addiction does not discriminate based on socio-economic background, gender, nationality or any other factors – including age.
Alcohol abuse in teens does occur and it happens more often than you may think. There are different reasons why teens may abuse alcohol and peer pressure is often at play when it comes to getting involved with such unhealthy and dangerous habits.
Preventing Alcohol Abuse in Teens
Here are some of the ways you can try to prevent teen alcohol abuse.
- Speak to your teen about the dangers and reality of alcohol abuse in an open and honest conversation.
- Teach your teen to be an independent thinker and a leader. Followers and people who rely on group decisions and group thinking are quick and easy prey to peer pressure.
- Look for the signs of alcohol abuse in teens for early detection.
Learning the Signs of Alcohol Abuse in Teens
Do you know what the signs of alcohol abuse are? Read some of the potential signs of alcohol abuse so you can reach out and help your teen as soon as possible.
- Missing school or work frequently
- Letting go of responsibilities
- Neglecting personal hygiene or grooming habits
- Engaging in high risk behavior
- Losing interest in activities once loved or good friends
- Lying or secretiveness
- Physical symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, appearing to be experiencing a hangover, extreme lethargy and others
Alcohol Abuse in Teens: Getting Help
If your child or student is abusing alcohol, stay calm and realize there are incredibly effective alcohol abuse and addiction treatment options available. Your teen may go to an alcohol abuse and addiction center especially for teens and young adults to receive personal and specialized care appropriate for clients of such an age group. The main treatment method for alcohol abuse in teens is psychotherapy. It helps teens to uncover their personal, underlying reasons for abusing alcohol through psychotherapy sessions including individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy. Other tried-and-true treatment methods include such efforts as lifestyle counseling, stress management courses and relapse prevention strategies.
Drug abuse in teens is an unfortunate reality for many young adults. Learn how to teach your child to stay away from drugs, learn the potential signs of drug abuse in teens and learn how to provide your child with help for drug abuse or addiction.
Drug Abuse in Teens: It’s More Common than You Think
While you may like to think that it’s rare for teens to abuse drugs, the truth is that it happens much more often than you may think. Education, prevention strategies and learning to look for the signs of potential drug abuse are great tools for trying to keep your child safe from drug abuse in teens.
Though it is likely that your child receives some sort of drug education in school, teach your child about the dangers of drugs on your own time as well. Start an open conversation discussing why drug abuse is such a problem as well as the dangers it presents. Teens face plenty of peer pressure at school so maybe the best drug prevention skill you can offer your child is learning how to say no. Speak with your child about effective ways to turn down offers for drugs and other ways to face peer pressure successfully. Let them know that anyone expecting them to use substances is not a real friend and not someone with their best intentions in mind.
Signs Pointing to Potential Drug Abuse
Drug abuse in teens may be spotted by paying attention for the signs. Here are some common signs pointing to teen drug abuse.
- Staying home from school or work frequently
- Skipping classes or skipping school with friends
- Extreme mood swings
- Sleeping very little or sleeping excessively
- Lying or engaging in secrecy
- Letting go of favorite hobbies and activities or even good friends
- Spending excessive amounts of money without explanation
- Getting in trouble at school or with the law
- Performing poorly in school
Drug Abuse and Addiction Treatment Options
The good news is that drug abuse in teens may be treated via a substance abuse and addiction program. If your teen is abusing drugs, seek help from a professional treatment facility offering tried-and-true treatment methods of care. It’s important to seek treatment for your child as soon as possible to keep them away from the dangers of drug use as well as to prevent addiction.
Substance abuse tips are important for clients of substance abuse and addiction recovery as well as for everyone else to be aware of where lines get crossed and drinking habits cross into substance abuse. Greek life social events can be notorious for heavy drinking, binge drinking, drug use and other dangerous activities. Read these substance abuse tips to learn how you can work to navigate away from the perils of substance abuse and addiction.
Substance Abuse Tips: Avoid Parties Involving Known Drug Use or Alcohol Abuse.
If it is possible to stay involved with your fraternity or sorority while avoiding the wildest parties they host, it is best advised to do so. Going to wild events notorious for drug and alcohol abuse only makes it a matter of when you will be offered or even pressured to do so as well.
Substance Abuse Tips: Keep Your Priorities in Line.
Greek life can be incredibly rewarding and fun but your top priority at your college or university is to learn and grow as a young adult and to advance your education for a higher level of ideas and improved odds for success in the business world and/or job market. Getting caught up in substance abuse can destroy your grades, your health, your relationships, your chances for getting hired and more.
Substance Abuse Tips: Focus on Health and Wellness.
A healthy lifestyle is not a very welcoming environment to substance abuse and addiction. Take care of yourself as a measure for avoiding unhealthy and dangerous life habits and also as a way to manage stress, improved your self-esteem and self-confidence, improve your mental and physical health and more.
Substance Abuse Tips: Learn More about the Signs of Substance Abuse.
Do you know what substance abuse really is? Learn some of the signs pointing to substance abuse so you can make a good self-assessment to see if you have been drinking appropriately.
- Drinking has negatively impacted your life in some way
- Binge drinking
- Experiencing blackouts from drinking
- Neglecting or avoiding responsibilities due to alcohol or drugs
Substance Abuse Tips: Avoid Substance Abuse as an Addiction Prevention Measure.
Substance abuse can easily lead you down the path to substance addiction so keep up healthy habits when it comes to your alcohol consumption. Don’t drink to keep up with others, stay away from binge drinking, drinking games and other abusive drinking habits.
Addiction treatment is a challenging process requiring the hard work and dedication of your student. Here are five things you can do to help support the recovery efforts of your student in addiction treatment.
Assist with Stress Management Efforts.
Stress management is an important part of the addiction treatment recovery process. Help create a non-stressful class environment. Serious studies are important but a balance is necessary to keep students from experiencing heightened or unhealthy levels of stress. If nothing may be done to make a course less stressful, you can still promote the importance of stress management. Give students tip for managing stress at home and even allow for stress management activities to be carried out in class by giving students 5-10 minute breaks each class for anti-stress time for meditation, silence, journaling or other relaxing activities or other initiatives.
Reach Out with Your Support.
Addiction treatment clients need as much support as they can get. Be supportive to your student and reach out and let them know you understand they are in the midst of a challenging recovery process and you are there for them if they need someone to talk to.
Ask How You Can Assist with Addiction Treatment Relapse Prevention Strategies.
If your student is comfortable with discussing his or her addiction treatment you can ask to hear what their relapse prevention strategy needs may be. For example, it could be that someone who is a trigger for your student (such as a friend who abused substances with him or her) is in the same class and you can arrange for special considerations for keeping the students in different classes. Or, for example, your student may ask for ideas of how he or she may get more involved with activities at school to fill their free time more productively.
Discuss Time Management and a Work-Life Balance.
Teach your student in addiction treatment as well as the other students in your class how to manage time successfully for less stress. Teach on the premise that 24 hours a day is much more than we realize when we don’t live with good organization, planning and prioritizing. The better our time is managed, the more time we can find for relaxing, taking care of ourselves, spending time with our friends and family and more.
It’s also a great idea to express the importance of a work-life balance. Working and studying successfully are our drives but it’s equally important to manage our personal lives and be present in our personal lives as well. A healthy work-life balance begins with proper time management.