Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



October 2010

How to Know If You Have a Substance Abuse Issue

by Staff, on at risk youth, substance abuse, teen alcohol abuse, teen drug abuse, Teen Substance Abuse

Many teens become scared to death once they realize they have a problem with substance abuse, but most of them often deny that. It is very often that teens don’t realize the seriousness of the situation. If at any time you had someone like a family member or a friend tell you that you have a problem with drugs and alcohol it is the right time to think about your actions and where they will take you if you don’t change something.

At that point you have to think carefully and evaluate your situation. If you want to analyze your choices and your actions here are some of the ways you can recognize that you have or that you are developing a substance abuse problem.

-    You use drugs or alcohol in order to relax
-    Secluding yourself from friends and family
-    Sudden low academic achievement
-    Thinking about acquiring alcohol or drugs
-    Money issues caused by the purchase of alcohol or drugs
-    Sleeping issues
-    Physical withdrawal symptoms when you are not using alcohol or drugs
-    Weight loss
-    The need to increase the dosage of drugs or alcohol because your body doesn’t react to your usual intake quantities

It is hard for teens to quit by themselves, so if you want to quit you need to get help from friends, family and professionals. The first place you should turn top is someone you trust, after that the best choice would be to seek out professional help for substance abuse counseling or even enrolling into a rehab or drug treatment program.

In order to make sure that you will quit drugs or alcohol there are a few things you have to do, like telling all your friends about your decision. This is the part where you will recognize real friends, they will offer their support. The ones who try to convince you otherwise should be avoided. This is also good for you, making your decision public is a great motivation for you. Make sure which friends are available and when. You may need to talk to someone in the middle of the night, so you need to be prepared for that situation as well.

The next step is to stay clear of all the places where you know you will be tempted by drugs or alcohol. Try to keep yourself busy with new activities or old activities you did before you gave in to substance abuse, which will keep your mind off of substance abuse for a while.

In other words, you need to make a plan of recovery. If you have a professional counselor he will help you make a plan, or if you are involved in a drug treatment or rehab program, a plan will be provided for you with supervision. This can be the greatest battle of your life, so be prepared for the hard times, as you will surely have a few during your rehabilitation. Staff