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Parenting and teen drug abuse

Within Inspirations for Youth and Families we help teens with an array of problems such as drug abuse, behavioral and mental issues. One common factor we’ve seen for our teens is their strained family relationships. We’ve helped many families get back to their way of living before drugs or other factors came between them through our weekly family counseling sessions. In these sessions we address why the teens are abusing drugs and what can they do as a family to relieve the situation and though each situation is different we have had countless success stories.

“I learned that I do not have to parent them.” – a teen client at Inspirations for Youth and Families (IYF).

Although this testimony taken from our client may seem harmless it actually may indicate that a deeper issue may need resolution. During their adolescence years your teen may become someone you can’t recognize and do things you cannot imagine, but whether you are aware or not your relationship with them plays a huge role in their development. Teens may not care to admit it but the interactions that take place between you and your teens can be a deciding factor in how they view drugs and other potentially harmful aspects in their life.

Parenting is very similar to a roller coaster ride. There are many roles you can take and there are definitely numerous ups and down. For some, parenting is a daunting task especially during the teenage years but, here are some ways you can help your teens struggling with or curious about drug abuse.

How to help your teen:

Be understanding

For parents with teens who are misbehaving or abusing drugs it is important to be understanding. What may seem to you as a simple or irrational circumstance could be a very important issue for your teen. At times like this it is good to remember what it was like being a teen and how you felt, all the pressures you were under, choices you had to make and how that made you feel.

Be firm in disciplinary actions

When addressing your teens issues and how they must take responsibility for their actions it important to remember to be firm. For parents who are not used to setting disciplinary actions please keep in mind your teens are undergoing this so they can learn. When disciplining always be fair and firm. Only allow exceptions when absolutely necessary. Without fully undergoing their punishment teens will only learn to defy or manipulate you to their advantage.

Talk with your teen

Your teens could be using drugs for various reasons – some of which could be unknown to you, no matter how close you may be. It is important to inquire if they are having a hard time or even just how they are doing overall. If your teen decides to open up and confide in you it is also important to remain non-judgmental. They are sharing this information to relieve stress not to feel attacked or judged. For teens that ask for advice it is important you give the proper advice not what you think they want to hear but what they should hear.

In cases of extreme misbehavior and drug abuse your teens need additional attention immediately.

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