I Think My Teen Has a Drug Addiction, What Do I Do?

If you notice that your teen’s behaviors and actions have drastically changed in recent months, it may be an indication that they are developing a drug habit. Indications could include:

  • Changes in friends
  • Slipping grades or they missed classes
  • Troubles with the law
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Change in mood
  • Secretive and elusive behaviors (not letting you know who they are with or what they are doing)

Drug addiction can be difficult to treat without the support of medical professionals, so the best way to diagnose if your teen has a drug problem is through a consultation with a doctor. A doctor can screen for drug use and addiction, as well as assess the overall health of your child. Another option is to seek out an addiction specialist to assess your teen and provide a referral for a treatment program.

Screening will include a series of questions for your teen regarding drug use and associated risk behaviors, and they will likely take a urine sample to test for drugs in the body.

Most teens enter treatment programs because they are pushed by their family or ordered by the court system, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. If you are going to seek addiction treatment for you teen, you must understand the difficult journey ahead for both of you. Treatment is a challenging and long process, and your unwavering support will be needed. It is also important that as a parent you find adequate support for yourself, as the treatment and recovery process is physically, mentally and emotionally taxing.


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