Dealing with Teen Drug Abuse: Parents’ Common Mistakes (Part 1)

A 2009 government survey in the United States showed that one in every ten kids aged 12 to 17 years old is hooked on drugs.

This figure has increased over the past few years to make drug abuse one of the top problems that parents are faced with. Yet parents aren’t left helpless when it comes to this issue as addiction specialists like Dr. Joseph Lee from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry lists the common mistakes parents make when dealing with drug abuse.

parents talking to teen1. Expectations are not set.

Dr. Lee suggests that parents should make their expectations clear on the issue of substance abuse to their kids at the soonest possible time. Studies have shown that kids are less likely to use drugs if they know that their parents condemn it.

2. Denying mental health issues.

If a child is diagnosed with mental health issues like depression, ADHD, or anxiety, the risks for substance abuse are high. Parents should not disregard these problems because, most often than not, mental health issues and substance abuse can happen simultaneously to kids.

3. Not coming clean on your own issues.

Parents should come clean with their own past experiences of drug abuse. While it could prove to be an awkward and uncomfortable discussion, it’s one of the best ways to discourage children from taking drugs by sharing your own horrific situations in the past.

4. Feeling guilty for your child’s problem.

Nobody’s perfect so parents should stop blaming themselves or their spouses once their kids get into trouble. This will only aggravate the situation and will separate families in times when unity and teamwork is most wanted to solve the problem.

5. Ignoring kids’ experimentation with drugs.

Assuming that there’s nothing wrong with kids who play around with drugs and alcohol can be the heaviest mistake parents could ever make. Experimenting with drugs and alcohol should never form part of any stage in a child’s development.

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