The rapidly growing number of teen abusers is now becoming a major concern in the society. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently revealed stunning statistics on substance abuse among adolescent students. It stated that nearly 50 percent (47.9%) of high school seniors abused alcohol, 21.4 percent abused marijuana and 19.2% smoked cigarettes in the year 2010.
These statistics clearly state that teenagers are more likely to get into these unhealthy habits unless they are warned by sensible parents. Parents are responsible to make sure that their kids stay away from these harmful habits. If you are concerned about the well-being of your kid, go through the article to know how to deal with kids who are vulnerable to unhealthy habits.
Observe unhealthy habits in kids
Always look for symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse. Observe physical signs of unhealthy habits that include change in food habits, inability to sleep, and smell of substance or alcohol from breath, body and clothes, needle marks on hands and legs, puffy face, red eyes, excessive talkativeness and so on. Coming to behavioral changes, there will be sudden drop in grades at school, sudden avoidance of old friends or hanging with new friends (drug users), excessive need for privacy, stealing money or items, depression, extreme defensiveness, moodiness, change in personal grooming habits etc. When you identify any of the above of these symptoms, go for immediate confirmation.
Don’t ignore – confirm the usage
Soon after observing these symptoms, confirm the drug usage. Any delay in confirmation may result in aggravating harmful effects posed by these substances.
Use home drug testing kits to confirm the usage by yourself. They include breath tests, saliva tests, and urine tests. They can find one drug at a time or can detect several drugs with a single test. In general, urine tests are used for drug testing and alcohol tests are done using alcohol breathalyzers.
Drug testing kits are quick, reliable and accurate. They are very handy as they provide privacy. They are the easy means to confirm the unhealthy habits of children.
Find the reasons for drug use
Even if your kid tests positive for abuse, don’t panic. Try to figure out the reasons for his unhealthy habits. Try to know the reasons from their friends and school teachers. Try observing the lifestyle for a few days and trace out the changes, if any. Feel free to ask about other problems they are struggling with. Try to be close and friendly with your kid, till you find out any reasons for this habit.
Explain your concerns
Don’t shout at your kid, immediately after knowing that s/he is abusing harmful substances, though you are concerned. Showing extra love and affection at this point of time is very important. Just explain to them how much you care and how it bothers when they become unhealthy and sick. Try to explain the values and ethics of life, and tell them how to become successful in life.
Exemplify the lives of drug addicted people
This is one of the best ways to make your kid understand your concern. Collect the information about the people who used drugs at early ages and destroyed their lives. Spending a couple of hours before the Internet helps you get the required data. However, the real life stories of the people who you know (in family, friends or relatives) are more effective in making your kid realize his mistake.
Find treatment facilities
Successful completion of all the preceding steps drives you to the final phase when you need to find treatment facilities for your child with his agreement, so that he co-operates well with the treatment. This step will also make your child understand that you care for him, in spite of all the mistakes he made. In general, drug abuse treatments are given to serious addicts. However, it is important to seek assessment by a trained professional of your child’s health, and to follow timely suggestions for his speedy recovery.
Unhealthy habits among kids and teens may be attributed to their ignorance. Parents are therefore required to be responsive in educating and supporting them.