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your teen drug dependent?
you even know?
and drugs is certainly not a new issue and in fact many parents will admit
to drug use in their teenage years. As such, some parents are less able to
recognize drug dependency in their teens, confusing it for perhaps their
own “experimental” drug use.
it is certainly common for teens to “experiment” or through curiosity,
simply desire to find out what being “high” feels like, there are some
teens who are at risk for developing drug dependencies – a reliance on
drugs to maintain a sense of well-being. Drug dependency though, can lead
to poor school performance, conflict with family, friends and within the
community and conflict with the law. Teens who are drug dependent are at
risk for less achievement socially and economically as adults.
Generally, teens at risk for drug dependency share several factors. They may have low self-esteem, poor relationships with parents or siblings and poor school performance. There may also be family difficulties such as the death of a close or extended family member or the separation or divorce of parents. While prolonged “experimentation’ alone can lead to drug dependency, if drug use coincides with these factors, there can be an increased risk for developing a drug dependency. Facing turmoil in one’s personal life at a time when trying illicit drugs can minimize the emotional pain of the situation and thus increase the desirability of the drug. Ongoing drug use lends the user to then associate with other similar drug users where drug use is normalized, accepted and encouraged by the group.
your teen drug dependent? Consider these warning signs:
healthy teens may show a few of these signs anyways, but a drug dependent
youth will show several signs. If you suspect your teen may be drug
dependent, you should take action including:
your teen is drug dependent, by definition, they are out of control. It
will be necessary for you to take control in the short turn at least to
help them overcome their dependency. Never fall into the trap of denying
their problem because it is too difficult for you to admit! A drug
dependent teen can use clean and sober parents for support and direction.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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