While you might think your teen understands the dangers of drug use and would never take the risk of abusing drugs, chances are good your child is now or will experiment with drugs. Teen seek novelty and thrills, and their immature brains aren’t capable of fully regulating their behavior. In fact, researchers now understand that the behavior regulation part of the brain doesn’t finish developing until about 25 years of age. At our program for outpatient addiction treatment in Delray Beach, we’ve helped many young people who first began experimenting with drug use in their teens. Kids often use drugs for many of the same reasons adults do – to cope with stress or emotional pain, for example. Here are some of the common reasons teens use drugs – and what you can do to stop your kid’s drug use in its tracks before he or she winds up in our program for outpatient addiction treatment in Delray Beach.
1) To Cope with Mental or Emotional Issues
Teens struggle with emotional and psychological problems just as adults do, but unlike adults they often aren’t equipped to deal with them. Your teenager doesn’t have access to mental health care and doesn’t have the life experience to have developed coping skills. When teens begin struggling with mental health issues – depression, anxiety, eating disorders or bipolar disorder, for example – they may start self-medicating with drugs. Likewise, teens may use drugs to cope with low-self esteem, or even physical pain.
At least half of the people we help at our program for outpatient addiction treatment in Delray Beach are suffering from a concurrent mental health disorder. If you think your teen is depressed, anxious, or suffering from other mental health problems, seek professional treatment. Signs of a mental health problem include changes in behavior, mood or grades.
2) To Make Friends
If you remember anything about your own teen years, it’s probably your desire to be popular and well-liked and fit in. Teens are still developing emotional maturity, and as a result they base much of their sense of self-worth on the opinions of their peers. They struggle mightily with peer pressure, tough social situations and bullying. If the “popular” kids are doing drugs, or if “everyone is doing it,” your teen will do drugs just to fit in and avoid every teen’s worst nightmare, social ostracization.
To keep your teen’s misguided search for acceptance from landing him or her in our program for outpatient addiction treatment in Delray Beach, keep track of his or her friends. Invite your child’s friends to hang out at your house, where you can keep an eye on their activities (without being overbearing, of course). Keep the lines of communication open so that you will be aware of any social problems your child may be facing, and you can help him or her.
3) To Relax
Teens are just as prone to stress as anyone else, and they may use drugs to cope. One survey found that 73 percent of teens use drugs to cope with stress related to schoolwork, but teens can also get stressed about fights with friends, going through puberty, moving, changing schools, graduating, or coping with death and illness in the family or parental divorce.
Protect your teen from stress by staying involved with his or her life. When you nurture a good relationship with your teen, he or she will feel safe coming to you with his or her problems. You can help your child learn healthy ways to cope with stress that won’t lead him or her into our program for outpatient addiction treatment in Delray Beach. Help your child with his or her homework, share family meals, go to his or her performances and sporting events and make time for regular parent-child bonding.
Teens seek novelty and get bored easily, as any parent knows. Your teen could turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to stave off boredom, especially if they don’t have access to entertaining or fun hobbies. Keep your kids entertained and occupied with volunteer work, sports and other extracurricular activities, community classes and other hobbies. Make it clear to your teen that you expect him or her to obey your rules regarding substance abuse, and he or she will be far less likely to someday wind up in our program for outpatient addiction treatment in Delray Beach.
5) Out of Curiosity
Kids want to see what doing drugs is like, especially if their friends have done them. Kids who learn from their parents about the dangers of drug use are 50 percent less likely to use them – but be realistic, because kids can tell when you’re exaggerating. Give your teen plenty of safe thrill-seeking opportunities like travel, adventure sports and experimenting with fashion.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment in Delray Beach
Our program for outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach has to offer has helped thousands recover from addiction. Call us today at 888-699-5679 to learn more about our program.