How to Provide Teen Substance Abuse Help

The teen years can be a time of confusing changes and challenges.  While dealing with problems in their social lives, family issues, struggles in school and more, some teens may experiment with drugs or alcohol.  If you are worried that a friend or family member is abusing drugs, it is helpful to know how to provide teen substance abuse help

Some young people may be able to experiment with the use of recreational or prescription drugs or alcohol, and not experience addiction.  However, for many other teens substance use can cause problems at home, school and in relationships and can bring on feelings of shame and helplessness.  Times of transition such as moving, divorce, or changing schools can increase the risk of substance abuse.

It is important to be able to see the difference between the normal ups and downs during the teen years and what may be red flags of the need for teen substance abuse help.  Some of the signs to watch for include bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils, skipping class and declining grades, or getting into trouble at school.  The teen may be angry, withdrawn or depressed and lose interest in what used to be fun.  He or she may even drop a group of friends and then keep the new group secret from friends or family.  Maybe it seems the teen wants more privacy, sometimes locking the door or sneaking around.  Family or friends may notice they are suddenly missing money, valuables or prescription drugs.

Once you are convinced of the signs, it is time to take action to help.  Talk to the teen about your concerns.  Understand that it will not be an easy thing for someone to admit to a problem with substance abuse.  Encourage and support the teen and suggest talking to a parent or trusted adult.  If the problem looks too big to handle alone, ask a professional for immediate help.

When you are concerned for a teen and feel there is a need for teen substance abuse help, knowing the warning signs of addiction is important and then you can proceed to get the support the teen needs.

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