Sometimes parents incorrectly believe that there are only certain triggers for substance abuse in teens. To a parent, if a teen is going to begin taking drugs or drinking, it is going to be because some bad seed from their school pressured them into it. They were coerced, they were forced, they were pressured, they were lured.
But the truth of the matter is that there are a wide variety of different things that can cause a substance abuse problem in teens. Sometimes teens try a substance like drugs or alcohol once, and then it is environmental factors or other triggers that cause them to continue turning to that substance for a high, a euphoric feeling or simply to get through problems.
What many parents are going to have difficulty dealing with is the fact that a stressful home or an unhappy home can actually contribute quite readily to a substance abuse problem in a teen. For this reason, it is vitally essential that parents be aware of how their teenage children are feeling in order to prevent a substance abuse problem from occurring.
Here are things you need to know that can trigger teen substance abuse, ways to to prevent teenage drug abuse and ways to deal with teen substance abuse issues.
- There are a lot of different triggers for depression in a teen. Teens can become depressed because of friends, romance, because of school and grades or because their home life is not ideal. For example, if the parents are fighting then the odds are good that the teen is going to experience depression and stress, and this can lead them to want to self medicate using substances such as drugs and alcohol.
- When teens are stressed they will try anything to deal with the problem, even if it means breaking into the medicine cabinet or the liquor cabinet in order to find a tranquilizer, a downer, an upper or a euphoria-inducing drug. Teens are less likely to buy drugs on the street and more likely to try whatever they can get their hands on. Unfortunately what this means is cigarettes, alcohol, prescription drugs and other easily acquired substances are much more likely going to be chosen over drugs like marijuana and cocaine.
- You also need to be aware of the fact that teens will go out of their way to hide that they have a substance abuse problem. They will take drugs behind closed doors, and hide out until the symptoms of abuse subside. In other words, unless you are vigilant about watching your teen or teens, you may never become aware of the fact that there is a substance abuse problem at play.
- One of the best things that you can do in order to deal with this problem is to communicate openly with your child or children. When you keep the lines of dialogue open and you focus on communicating honestly and openly with your children, then it will become easier to find out when something is going on. If you deal with your teen's depression or stress when it first becomes a problem, then you are going to find it significantly easier to prevent a substance abuse problem from occuring.
Why do teens turn to substance abuse when their home life is stressful or unhappy? Because the problems do not resolve themselves, and so the teens begin looking for their own solution. If you feel like your home is unhappy and that your teen or teens are hurting as a result, then the best thing you can do is address the problem(s) in the household, restore happiness and balance, and then there is a chance you will not have to deal with your teen or teens having a substance abuse problem.
The world is never going to be perfect, and there are going to be unhappy moments in your household and in your family. The key to being a good parent is going to be to open up the lines of communication with your teen so that you can prevent this type of thing from happening. It is well within your power to do so, but it is going to take effort to have an open, honest and communicative relationship with your child rather than one based on secrecy and privacy. Keep this in mind when you are communicating with your child. Let them know that you have the right attitude and that you want them to be healthy and happy. This is how you can foster trust for a healthy family relationship.