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Teen Drug Addiction and the Family

    Parents and families face some of their most difficult battles in our society; that is raising their teenager’s drug free. The goal of this article is to help families realize that they are not alone and that there is help and support available. These support systems include valuable resources, which stress prevention and ways to cope with their teens when facing addiction.

    Most of us know that anti-drug efforts alone are not enough. Our youth need effective tools and support to make correct choices. Learning what works in preventing the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs will help you by showing what to look for in the users. Look for any self-destructive behavior, such as:
  •  Teenagers coming home intoxicated or high.
  •  Anorexic behaviors - not eating right or excessively thin.
  •  Gambling with friends every day or night.
  •  Always on the computer without any breaks.
  •  Playing video games all the time.

Please place the responsibility for the way your teen lives into the proper perspective and allow them to be accountable for their choices. Love them no matter what is going on in their life, but do not enable them by allowing these destructive behaviors to continue.

    Catching and punishing teens does not always work; most teens seem to become more surly, rebellious, and defiant. In order to tackle the problem of substance abuse, we need to identify, help, and listen for new ways to explore and fight the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products. Please keep in mind that the disease of addiction is a family disease. The alcoholic/ addict is obsessed with doing the drug, and the family is obsessed with the problem.

    Some people may think that just mentioning drugs to a teenager will make them want to explore usage even more. According to research, this idea is a myth. What is encouraged is that the parents talk to their children about addiction and how it affects people’s lives in negative ways.

    One of the best tools found to help families in crises is effective communication skills. By keeping communication an open door, you will find that it is very useful for putting together a plan of action that you and the family can agree upon. Try addressing this issue toward kids and as if you are the audience. We as parents are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. What is your position going to be? Look at the here and now, what can I do right now?

     Move on to the future and find things that you can do right now to help your teen. Try not to live in past; this will make the person you are trying to help agitated or upset. With addiction comes a lot of damage; material and emotional. In the wake of the episodes that the addict can create, remember that you are not alone. There are people around you that care. Those that have been and are in the trenches of this disease can help the addict when no one else can.

     By allowing your child to interact with a third party you will find that recovery often goes better, because often times the family is too emotionally close to the addict to be of any real help.  Please realize that you are the parents and you are not responsible for the disease of addiction. Get help before it is too late. Remember that this disease does not discriminate against anyone or anything. 

Mary Barr. Stephen J. Murray, NICD Director. “My son/daughter is Using Drugs- Am I to Blame” http://www.nicd.us/adaskresourcespartnine.html
Teen Boot Camps - Are boot camps appropriate for struggling teens? When you should and when you shouldn't consider a boot camp.  What are the risks?

Talking with Kids
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
This site is designed to serve both AACAP Members, and Parents and Families. You will find information on child and adolescent psychiatry, fact sheets for parents and caregivers, AACAP membership, current research, practice guidelines, managed care information, awards and fellowship descriptions, meeting information and much more.

American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its member pediatricians dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Its mission is to attain optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is a medical specialty society recognized world-wide. Its 40,500 U.S. and international physicians specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses and substance use disorders.

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Teen Drug Abuse Articles
Methamphetamine - Physical and Social Effects.
Teen Smoking - Why they start and how it is effecting teens socially and physically.
Teen Drug Use Statistics I - A few alarming statistics of teen drug use.
Teen Drug Use Statistics II - Some more interesting statistics on teen drug use.

Alcohol on Campus - The trends of alcohol consumption on college campuses.
Teens and Steroids - Effects and warning signs of teen steroid use.

Ecstacy - Teens and the Drug Ecstacy.
Over the Counter Drug Abuse - The rising trend of teens abusing over the counter drugs.

Household Products - If your teenager decides to experiment with drugs, their first high may not come from illicit drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, or marijuana.

Club Drugs - As clubs grow in popularity among teens, so do the drugs associated with clubs.
Marijuana - Marijuana Use Among Teens.

Teen Drug Use
- The Health Effects of Teen Drug Use. 
Teens and Alcohol - The Health Effects of Teen Alcohol Use.
Teen Drug Addiction -  Addiction patterns and statitistics of teen drug abuse.
Inhalants - The Silent Epidemic: Teens and the Use of Inhalants.
Cocaine Use Among Teens -  A definition and warning signs of cocaine use among teens.
Prescription Drug Abuse -  Recognizing the prescription drugs that are being abused by teens.

Hallucinogens -  Understanding hallucinogens and how they are abused by teens.

Addiction and the Family -  Raising drug free teenagers.

Overindulgent Parents -  There is a link between teenage drug use and overindulgent parents.

Teen Addiction -  Talking to teens about addiction.
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