Today, generally speaking, teenagers are not far from someone who participates in recreational drug use. In fact, 86% of teenagers claim to know someone who smokes, drinks, or does drugs during the school day. Therefore, they are often at-risk of falling to the pressures of their surroundings. The four years of high school are an incredibly transitional time in a young life. Entering school as a child, but graduating as a young adult, these are years of growth, hardship, self-discovery and pressure.
Whether it is because of pressure from peers or pressure to do well in school, teen drug use can be anything from self-medication to academic enhancements. Teenagers have been known to do everything from smoking marijuana to relax to ingesting Adderall and Ritalin to improve grade point averages. Even more extreme, 2.5% of high school seniors frequently use cocaine. Although the percentage seems low, it accounts for millions of teenagers doing a drug that can ultimately kill them.
There are some signs that can be very telling as to whether or not your teenager is participating in illicit drug use. Consider the following signs:
- Is your teen worried, stressed, or afraid?
- Are they depressed or unusually quiet?
- Are they more angry, aggressive, or defiant?
- Do they shy away from social activities?
- Are they dealing with a sudden major life change? (i.e., divorce, romantic heartbreak)
- Are their grades suddenly slipping? Have they lost focus?
- Have you noticed major changes in weight loss or gain?
If you are concerned at all that your teenager may be using drugs, contact Advantage Mental Health Center today. The conversation can feel accusatory and even risky, if you are not completely certain. However, a trained therapist will be able to help your teenager cope with their daily pressures, while gathering insight into their motivations.
With psychiatric nurse practitioners who are trained to develop a special rapport with teenagers, Advantage Mental Health Center is able to help open lines of communication that can often be scarce in this age group. In fact, Advantage Mental Health Center offers appointments on Saturdays so no school needs to be missed.
This is one of those cases where waiting to address the issue can lead to a much more complicated situation. Don’t hesitate, our team of professionals is ready to help your teenager with drug and alcohol counseling.