Teens with mental health issues tend to self-medicate to handle their own problems. Too many young people are making a bad situation worse by using drugs in a misguided effort to relieve their symptoms of depression, anxiety, etc,” said John P. Walters, Director, National Drug Control Policy. As parents, you should monitor your teen’s actions and get them professional help as soon as possible. The dangers of self-medicating can be prevented, and here’s how.
1. Be aware if mental illness is present in your teen.
Firstly, you need to know if your teen has a mental health issue. “Parents must not dismiss teen moodiness as a passing phase. Look closely at your teen’s behavior because it could be a sign of something more serious.”
Most teens usually start becoming more moody, distant and easily agitated. Be attentive and monitor them daily so that changes in your teen will be evident especially if they’re self-medicating.
Also, sit them down. Talk to them about what you’ve noticed about their behavior. Don’t be afraid to dig deep for your teen to open up because there they may tell you that they are dealing with mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety.
2. Get the child immediate help.
If mental illness is present, get the teen professional help immediately. Professionals will be able to help the teen quickly and be able to work towards solutions. There, your teen will be offered many different ways to overcome the mental health issue, such as psychotherapy and, or prescribed medications.
Don’t waste any time once you are well aware your teen has a mental health issue. Professional help will prevent the teen from taking matters into their own hands.
3. Lock up and monitor medications
Locking up medications around the home is crucial to prevent your teen from self-medicating . Lock up any medications “If there are opioids left in the medicine chest at home adventurous kids are going to start to play with them,” Barakett said.
Monitor their medications, if any, because they may use them in ways not prescribed. They might not think twice about it because it’s medication they’ve been taking already or have before. Also, if you’ve been prescribed medications, most teens aren’t educated on the dangers of taking medicine that belongs to others; even if they may have the same medication the doses vary.
Following these few tips should help you prevent your teen from self-medicating. As the saying goes, know the signs, learn the actions, be the lifeline.