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Early exposure to drugs at a young age has become increasingly common. The increase has caused more and more young folks to develop substance use disorder (SUD). Watching anyone go through drug addiction is hard. However, when it’s your own child, it can quickly feel like your whole world is falling apart. Not only is it hard seeing your child struggle, but there’s an added challenge. Parents must navigate seeking help for their child, especially when the child doesn’t want it.

Thankfully, addiction recovery professionals today are more equipped to manage drug addiction treatment for youth. You can find help for your child by recognizing the warning signs and conducting interventions. There are also accessible resources to help your child overcome SUD. The road may be long, but the destination will be worth it. Let West Coast Recovery Centers get you on that road today. 

High-Risk Factors of Drug Addiction

There’s not always a way to determine whether or not a child may be prone to SUD. However, some risk factors to note include the following: 

  • Family history of addiction 
  • Early exposure to trauma or abuse 
  • Mental health conditions or behavioral health issues 
  • Social influences such as peer pressure or exposure to parental substance use 

Drug Addiction Among Today’s Youth

When we discuss addiction among today’s youth, we’re not just talking about rebellious high schoolers smoking marijuana and experimenting with alcohol. Misuse of prescription drugs and illicit substances among these teenagers is a growing concern. It’s bad enough that we have youth experimenting with weed and alcohol before their brains are fully developed, but looking at some of the other substances of abuse makes it even more alarming. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sheds further light by addressing youth high-risk substance use. According to them, 15% of high school students report using illicit injection drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines. Additionally, 14% report misusing prescription opioids. Not only are these substances dangerous in themselves, but they typically lead to risky behaviors that put youth at an even greater risk of harm.

The Dangers of Youth Substance Use

Dangers of youth substance use don’t only refer to the harmful consequences of drugs and alcohol. These dangers also include: 

  • Injury due to accidents 
  • Effects of an overdose
  • Erratic and risky behaviors 
  • Transmission of HIV/AIDS
  • Risk of sexual risk behavior or physical violence 
  • The development of mental or physical health conditions 

Combatting these dangers is possible, but the first step in getting your child help is recognizing the signs of substance use and drug addiction within them. 

Recognizing the Signs of Drug Addiction Within Your Child

Admittedly, recognizing the signs of substance use within a teenager can be more challenging than anticipated. The teenage years are chock-full of hormones, mood swings, and sometimes an overall disconnect from who your child was in their younger years. However, observing these mood swings, along with other significant changes in appearance and behavior, can help you determine if your child is using drugs or alcohol. 

Some signs to be on the lookout for include the following: 

  • Changes in friend groups and how they hang out with 
  • Sleeping more than usual or other odd sleeping patterns 
  • Excessive breaking of the rules or opposition to authority 
  • Lying, sneaking around, or exhibiting other secretive behaviors 
  • Loss of interest in school, extracurricular activities, or other hobbies 
  • Isolation or changes in familial relationships 
  • Spending more time than usual out of the house 
  • Increasingly erratic behaviors or becoming more violent
  • Clumsiness exhibited by stumbling and lack of coordination or motor skills 
  • Periods of sleepnesses and hyperactivity, followed by crashes of sleep 

There are also many physical signs to notice, such as: 

  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Bloodshot and watery eyes 
  • Body shakes and tremors 
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Sores around the mouth and other abrasions 

Getting Your Child Help

Upon recognizing the signs of drug addiction within your child, you can create a plan to get them help. Unfortunately, doing so can be easier said than done. Individuals must want to get better, and when dealing with a child who doesn’t know what’s best for them, getting them to see things your way can be hard. Nevertheless, here are some things you can do: 

  • Educate yourself on SUD
  • Get the opinion of an addiction treatment professional who specializes in helping teens recover 
  • Set aside a time to talk with your child – be clear and direct with your concerns, but don’t forget to be loving and compassionate
  • Consider hosting an intervention by hiring an interventionist, forming an intervention team, making a plan, offering help, setting boundaries, managing expectations, and following up on the matter
  • Utilize additional support, like an addiction treatment program, working with an alcohol and drug counselor, seeing a family therapist, and utilizing other resources for you and your family

Watching your child go battle SUD is one of the hardest things you’ll have to do, but you don’t have to go through it alone, and neither does your child. Consider treatment and contact West Coast Recovery Centers to start learning more today. 

Parenting is certainly not for the weak. There’s no manual for raising kids, and when they struggle, so do you. One of the hardest things a parent can do is watch their child struggle with drug addiction. Substance use among teenagers is becoming increasingly alarming, with more and more experimenting with prescription opioids and illicit drugs. Not only does this put them at risk for dependency, but it increases their risk for several other health complications and mental or physical health conditions. Thankfully, there’s support and resources for you and your family as you navigate this challenging time. To start learning more about helping your child recover from drug addiction, call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509