Statistics from 2010 from a Partnership for a Drug-Free America/MetLife Foundation Attitude Tracking Study showed that the decline in drug and alcohol use that had been consistent in North Carolina since 1998 saw an upward trend. The number of high school students who consumed alcohol rose up to 40 percent, with marijuana use was up at about 20 percent. The biggest increase was in Ecstasy use, which spiked 67 percent.
These trends are based on behavior about drug and alcohol use among teens, which is becoming more commonly accepted. Three-quarters of teens see their friends use drugs and alcohol to get high at parties.
Prescription drug abuse remained level, with about 20 percent of North Carolina teens admitting to at least one previous instance of use. About 56 percent of teens believe prescription drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs.
Unfortunately, the lack of parental involvement is concerning. Less than half of parents (47 percent) want to take action or have not taken any action at all regarding drug prevention among their teens.
Having an Intervention
Even if you have a feeling your teen is using drugs – without any clear evidence – it is never a bad time to talk to your teen about drug use. Simply experimenting with drugs can quickly turn into abuse and addiction. Parents need to be involved in their teens’ lives and have regular conversations with them. They should also be aware of changes in their teens’ behavior as this is often of the first sign of drug use.
Having an intervention with your child can be as simple as having a casual conversation with them or as formal as having a professional interventionist join the family and facilitate a discussion. It’s best to have a small discussion with your teen at first to see how they react. However, don’t expect things to go smoothly. If you used drugs or alcohol before or still do, then your teen might find your discussion hypocritical. After all, why was/is it all right for you to do it, but not them? You want to drive the point home to your teen that you love them and care about them and don’t want them to make the same mistakes you made.
If your teen denies drug or alcohol use, don’t end the conversation. Instead, stay calm and ask them to tell you the truth so you can get them help. Your teen may be willing to admit drug use if they know they won’t be punished for it, so focus on the fact that you want to help them. However, if they continue to be in denial about the problem and refuse to get help, but you notice your teen is still exhibiting signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol use, then you need to be firm. At that point, they need to limit their use or there will be consequences. Don’t enable your teen. Sometimes tough love is needed in order for someone to get help.
Finding a Treatment Clinic for Your North Carolina Teen
You can find more than 100 drug and alcohol treatment options throughout North Carolina. Don’t despair. If your teen is using drugs or alcohol, there are numerous choices for recovery, from residential treatment to 12-step programs to medications. Let us help you get the help your son or daughter needs. Don’t continue to watch their addiction suck up their life. Call us today and we can connect you to many resources that can help your child. A better life is waiting for your child. Together, we can get your son or daughter on the path to clean and sober living.
This help line is for anyone who is looking for treatment for a loved one or themselves. Advisors are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide private and convenient solutions to your questions.
Calls to this help line will be answered by Newport Academy, a sponsor of Teen Rehab.org.