Drug use is increasing in various parts of the United States, including in Pennsylvania. More and more teens are experimenting with drugs at earlier ages and becoming addicted in their early teen years. Statistics show that 60 percent of teens have seen drugs used and sold at school. Marijuana use is becoming prevalent as early as 8th grade, with 20 percent of 8th graders using the drug. Nearly 2 million people are regular users of cocaine.
Pennsylvania statistics from a comprehensive state report on marijuana show that in 2007, teens ages 15 to 19 accounted for 36 percent of all marijuana-related arrests. The majority were males, at 31 percent. As far as marijuana use, 129,000 youths in the 12-to-19 age range had used marijuana in the past year. This accounted for nearly 13 percent of the total Pennsylvania population in that age range. Of these, 65,000 had used marijuana in the past month. Despite marijuana being illegal in Pennsylvania, it is easily obtained by teens. In fact, some teens sell the drug, increasing its availability to other teens.
Talking to Your Teen About Drug Use
If you suspect your teen is using drugs, you will need to sit down with them and let know your stance on drug use. Come prepared with evidence of drug use and be prepared for denial. It is very unlikely that your teen will admit to drug use right away, so show them the evidence and let them explain the circumstances. If they ask if you have ever tried drugs, don’t lie. Be honest, but explain that the dangers of drugs are more well-known nowadays. Plus, today’s drugs are often made of unknown chemicals, many which can cause death.
Let your teen know that you are concerned about their health and that drugs are not allowed in the house. Have realistic expectations for your teen. Don’t expect them to suddenly quit using drugs. Set small goals and expect a gradual process, but be firm. Let them know that there will be consequences for drug use.
If there is a history of addiction in the family, be sure to make that known to your teen. Trying to hide it will accomplish nothing. Use family history of addiction as a way to tell your teen that because of their genes, there is high chance of addiction for your teen and you don’t want that to happen.
Let your teen know that you are there for support. If your teen is having problems at school, for instance, let them know that are there to help them through it. If they are stressed about a personal issue, they do not need to turn to drugs. Assure them that they can come to you with any problem they are having.
Picking Treatment for Pennsylvania Teens
Pennsylvania has several dozen treatment centers in the state. You can choose from inpatient and outpatient programs for your teen. Inpatient facilities require that your teen live there throughout treatment, which can last anywhere from several weeks to several months. Outpatient programs do not require that your teen lives on site. They can continue to live at home and attend regular meetings and counseling sessions. Your teen can work with a treatment facility, local teen substance abuse chapter or directly with an addiction therapist. An outpatient program may take longer to complete, but it is a good choice for a teen busy with work and/or school.
The options are abundant for Pennsylvania teens who need help. With the number of therapies available nowadays, there are many ways to treat your teen’s addiction. We can help you find an individualized program for your teen. Give us a call and we can connect you to resources that can help your teen recover from drug or alcohol addiction.
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.