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Helping Drug Abusing Teens Early On Can Make all The Difference

Parents who discover that their teenager has been abusing drugs may feel like it is the end of the world, but it is really just the beginning of a long and difficult recovery process. The approach that parents take to helping their troubled teen has a profound effect on whether or not they can overcome their addiction. Early intervention in teens who are using drugs can make all the difference when it comes to the ease and duration of recovery.

Early Warning Signs

One of the best ways to ensure that teens who struggle with drug abuse get the heap they need early enough is for parents to keep their eyes open for signs that their child may be using drugs. Knowing some of the early warning signs can prompt parents in to action, where they might otherwise simply ignore the behavior or chalk it up to typical teen behavior.

Here are 7 early warning signs that teens who are abusing drugs may demonstrate:

  1. Decline in grades

  2. Fluctuations in eating and sleeping

  3. Exchanging old friends for new

  4. Skipping classes

  5. Decrease in personal hygiene

  6. Abandoning favorite hobbies and activities

  7. Lying about whereabouts and activities

When parents first notice one or more of these early warning signs, it’s a good idea to act quickly because early intervention can mean getting a troubled teenager help before drug use becomes a full-blown addiction. There are plenty of resources where parents can get help.

Why Early Intervention Is Best

Drug use changes the user’s brain when it comes to judgment, memory and more. The longer the brain is exposed to harmful drugs, the harder it is to overcome it. That’s why early intervention is important for teens. Not only does it take them less time to recover, it may also mean that the long-term effects are not as severe.

For parents who suspect or know that their child is abusing drugs, the first step is getting the teen to visit with a doctor who can screen for drug use and similar health issues. The doctor can then meet with parents to talk about the best course of treatment. Some doctors will recommend an outpatient program, while others may find that therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers and similar programs are best.

Today, doctors and experts know a lot about how long-term drug use affects the brain. Teenagers are generally not well informed about the harmful effects of drug use and need parents and other authority figures to help them get into a rehab program. With plenty of professional help, plus love and understanding from family, teens who use drugs can be successfully treated and well on their way toward recovery when help is received early.

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