By: Toni Wright
Many teens are curious and experiment with drugs, whether due to peer pressure, stress at home, or just curiosity. According to Drugrehab.com in 2016 about 1.9 million youths ages 12 to 17 used an illicit drug in the past month. In addition to that, in 2016 1.4 million teens needed treatment for an illicit drug abuse problem. What many young teens don’t know in hindsight, or thoroughly think about, is that trying those drugs can have lasting long term effects that can change their lives forever.
- Changes in choice of dress
- Loss of interest in what they enjoyed (hobbies or activities)
- Decline in academic performance (failing classes, poor grades, skipping class, etc.)
- Recurring arguments, unexpected mood changes, and unspecified violent actions.
Parents, prevention can start within the household:
- Ask your teens perspective on drugs – Don’t lecture. Actively listen to your teens views on drugs. Reassure them that they can be open and honest with you.
- Discuss the negative impact drugs use can have – Emphasize how drugs can impact the things your teen cares about. For instance, health, appearance, school performance, etc.
- Go over ways to not give into peer pressure – Come up with different ways your teen can say “no” to drugs.
Overall, parents, you play a crucial role in your teen’s life. Provide support for your teen. Having a solid foundation between you and your teen may make them less likely to use drugs.
If you or a teen you know abuses drugs, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.