It’s summer time and college students are home for vacation and teenagers are finished with school. According to the Leading Addiction Expert, Dr. Indra Cidambi, increase in vulnerability to alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs in children is a cause of lack of parental control and spending lot of time with friends who can influence them. So, it’s high time now that parents keep tab on children and their activities, and watch out for the red flags. According to the new research, vacation period show remarkable increase in cases of substance abuse. With more than a decade of experience, Dr. Cidambi research shows that children with substance abuse disorder starts experimenting with drugs as early as at the age of 13, and mostly starting with marijuana. It is never too late to communicate with your children about substance abuse and never too early to identify the symptoms. While you cannot control everything your child does, you can take steps to help keep them away from drugs. Start by learning all you can about drugs and its abuse. Know the signs and symptoms of the drug’s use. Then use these tips by Dr. Cidambi to help prevent your child from using drugs.
There are many reasons why teens can use drugs. Some common reasons include:
- To fit in.
Social status is very important for teenagers. Your child may use drugs in an attempt to fit in with friends or to impress a new youth group.
- To socialize .
Some teens use drugs because they reduce that reduces their inhibitions and make them feel more comfortable in social settings.
- To deal with life changes.
Change is not easy for anyone. Some teens turn to drugs to deal with situations like moving, entering a new school, puberty or through the divorce of their parents.
- To relieve pain and anxiety.
Teens can use drugs to deal with problems with their family, friends, school, mental health and self-esteem.
TALK TO TEENS ABOUT DRUGS
It is not easy, but it is important to talk with your child about drugs. That’s one of the best ways to prevent drug use among adolescents. Here are some tips:
NO “great conversation” but instead, talk continually about drugs with your child. Use the news, television programs or movies as a starting point to have conversations.
Do not lecture. Instead, ask open-ended questions like, “why do you think those guys used drugs?” or “Have you ever been offered drugs?” Your child may respond more positively if they have a real conversation.
Tell your child what you feel. Let it clear that you disapprove using drugs.
Give your child time to talk and listen without interruption. This will show that you care what your child’s opinion.
Spend time each day talking about what is happening in your child’s life. This will facilitate conversations when more complicated issues such as alcohol, drugs and sex arise.
Do not hesitate; seek help immediately. The sooner you get help, the less likely that the use of drugs your child becomes drug abuse.
Also be aware of any notable changes in your child for example:
- Change in Friends: As the child starts substance abuse, parents can notice new friends that asserts your child’s new lifestyle will become more present, while old friends, that perhaps refuse to engage in such activities, will disappear.
- Changes in Behavior: Poor performance and increased school absence, not participating in usual activities, secret activities, Lying or stealing, explosively fast talk (due to use of stimulants), slow or mispronunciation (due to use of tranquilizers and depressants)
- Changes in Appearance: Bloodshot eyes, Cough that does not go away, Unusual odor or breath (due to use of inhaled drugs), extremely large (dilated) or extremely small pupils, rapid eye movement (nystagmus). You may notice changes in the energy level of your child, as they are: Laziness, apathy or constant drowsiness (using opiate drugs like heroin or codeine, or may occur as it passes the effect of stimulant drugs), Hyperactivity (as seen with stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamines)
- Change in Hobbies: Hobbies they enjoyed before seem unimportant now. Instead of receiving mental and emotional stimulation from positive activities, they could be turning to drugs and alcohol to fill the void.
- Change in Eating Habits: Loss of appetite (occurs with amphetamine, methamphetamine or cocaine), Increased appetite (with marijuana), unsteady gait.
While there is no foolproof way to ensure that your child never use drugs, you can take steps to prevent it.
Stay involved. Build a strong relationship with your child and show their support for their interests. Be a good role model. The behaviors you show send a direct message to the adolescent, whether you know it or not.
Introduce yourself and meet your child’s friends. If possible, also meet his parents. Encourage your child to invite their friends home so that you can know them better. If you think a friend is a bad influence, do not hesitate to intervene or encourage your child to do other friends.
Set clear rules for your child about drug use. This may include not travel in cars with boys who have been using drugs or not to stay at a party where someone is using drugs.
Know what your child is doing. Unsupervised teens are more likely to experiment with drugs. Stay informed about where and with whom your child is. Ask him to report at certain times of day, such as when leaving school.
Encourage healthy activities. Hobbies, clubs, sports and part-time jobs are excellent ways to keep teenagers busy. By staying active, your child will have less time to engage in drug use.
About Dr. Indra Cidambi , Indra Cidambi, M.D., Medical Director, Center for Network Therapy, is a renowned expert and pioneer in the field of Addiction Medicine. the Center for Network Therapy, under her leadership, started New Jersey?s first state licensed Ambulatory (Outpatient) Detoxification program for all sort of substance abuse, three years ago. Dr. Cidambi is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and double Board Certified in Addiction Medicine (ABAM, ABPN), and is fluent in five languages, including Russian. Center for Network Therapy Center for Network Therapy (CNT) was the first ever facility in New Jersey to be licensed to deliver Ambulatory (Outpatient) Detoxification Services for all substances of abuse – alcohol, anesthetics, benzodiazepines, opiates and other substances of abuse. In the leadership of a Board Certified Addiction Psychiatrist, Indra Cidambi, M.D., experienced physicians and nurses closely monitor each patients progress. With CNTs superior client care and high quality treatment, Dr. Cidambi and her clinical team is successful in detoxing over 600 patients in three years.