Drugabuse.gov states that in 2013, approximately 24.6 million Americans over the age of 11 used illegal drugs. While your teenager may not seem like the type to use drugs, drug use is a problem that isn’t restricted to class, social standing or age. Marijuana is a big problem throughout the United States, with 22.7 percent of high school seniors reportedly used marijuana in 2013.
Prescription drug abuse is an issue among teens as well. More die from using prescription drugs than cocaine and heroin combined.
So, what can you do about it? How can you prevent your daughter from becoming just another statistic?
Talk to Your Teen
Sitting down and having a conversation with your teenager about drug use and its risks may not sound like a lot, but it can actually be very beneficial. According to Dosomething.org, teens who learn about drugs and their risks from their parents on a consistent basis are 50 percent less likely to use them.
Adolescence is a time when teenagers naturally pull away from their parents. It can be hard to stay involved in their lives, but it is important to continue making the effort. Monitor where they are and what they do, pay attention to their behaviors and attitudes and support them constantly. The more involved you are, the more likely you are to notice when drug use is occurring.
Be sure to be available for conversations and open communication. Your teen needs more than a monitor (although this is an important component). They need the freedom to come to you with questions and subjects they are confused about, without the fear of judgement or adverse repercussions.
If your daughter is hanging out with a questionable crowd and potentially using drugs, consider offering alternative options that can provide her with the same feelings of fun and excitement. Activities like competitive sports or charitable activities can provide her with the peer environment she craves while also keeping her safer from temptation. If she’s not interested in this, consider making your home the ‘place to be.’ Invite her friends over to spend time at your home. This will keep her close and give you the opportunity to monitor what occurs.
Before addiction becomes a problem, consider helping your daughter by enrolling her in a wilderness program. This type of outdoor therapy involves various challenges in nature, like backpacking and rock climbing. It also places your teen in a remote setting where she can truly focus on herself and think about the actions she has taken. Most wilderness programs feature experts and therapists that can readily assist your daughter with developing a healthy approach to her life so she can take responsibility for her actions, improve her self-esteem and better her communication skills.
Therapeutic Boarding School
Many troubled teens dealing with substance abuse and addiction often benefit from attending a therapeutic boarding school, either in combination with a wilderness program or on its own. A therapeutic boarding school like Greenbrier provides your daughter with an alcohol- and drug-free environment. Our school also offers addiction recovery therapeutic options. In therapy, your daughter will start to understand how her struggle to form intimate relationships has led to using drugs or alcohol. She will then begin learning how to change her past negative perceptions that have made developing relationships difficult so she can begin creating healthier relationships with others.
Is your daughter struggling with drugs or alcohol? Are you unsure but concerned? Make sure you’re taking steps to prevent addiction in her life.