Lies and Drugs: Tips on How to Approach Your Teen

shutterstock_232628977When parents realize that a child is blatantly lying about something, it can be a disheartening moment. When that lie has to do with drug abuse, it can be a devastating one.

A study in the journal Pediatrics showed how common these kinds of lies can be. As reported by Val Willingham for CNN, Wayne State University researchers surveyed “high-risk urban teens” and their parents about drug use. Then they took hair samples and tested them for opiates and cocaine. A key result: “The data found that young people were 52 percent more likely to test positive for cocaine in their hair samples than they were to actually report using cocaine on their questionnaires.”

“They are giving socially acceptable responses,” said Dr. Virginia Delaney-Black, the study’s author, in the CNN story. “People are not willing to admit to drug use so freely as they are other things. … We’ve known from other studies that adults downplay their drug use. This is the first time we’ve documented it in teens.”

What can parents do when they realize their children are using drugs and lying about it? Here are a few tips. [Read more…]

Steps for stopping addictive teen behavior

shutterstock_483300244Once the Christmas rush slows down, the holiday season can be a time of reflection. For parents of teenagers that are using drugs and alcohol, the time may be useful to contemplate this dangerous path, and to make a plan to stop the teen’s behavior before it gets worse. The way parents interact with the child is essential, and it may be necessary to examine the possibility of a treatment center.

Here’s a look at some of these potential steps for parents. [Read more…]

How to have a stress free holiday season

shutterstock_523883950The fun and festive nature of the holiday season also comes with potential stress. And for people dealing with substance abuse issues — teenagers and adults — the holidays can significantly amplify that stress.

In a story for Psychology Today, Adi Jaffe writes that this stress “can bring even long-dormant behavior back to the surface.” And those without a strong family background “are often left feeling alone and isolated during the holidays, another powerful source of the shame and boredom that can drive addictive behavior.”

Here’s a look at some of the challenges that the holidays can present and tips on how to approach them. [Read more…]

The season of giving

shutterstock_529261663The holiday season can be a difficult one to navigate for people dealing with alcohol and drug issues, especially for those in their teenage years. It’s a festive time, filled with parties for family and friends. But the happiness inherent in many of those gatherings may be harder for addicts to embrace.

It also may be difficult for friends and family to know how to treat the addict. This can come into play with gifts: What do you get for someone who has a substance abuse problem? The first instinct is obviously to look for items that are in no way related to alcohol and drugs, and there are plenty of options there. Another way to go would be to find something that could provide a healthy experience for the addict, something constructive that can be a boost in their struggle. Here’s a look at a few suggestions. [Read more…]

The power of gratitude

shutterstock_520034698It’s Thanksgiving week, and once the school and work tasks slow down, it’s a day typically filled with family, friends and warm vibes all around. It can mean much more than just a fun day of turkey, parades and football on TV, however. For teenagers who have struggled with drugs or alcohol use, Thanksgiving can be a reminder of the power of gratitude, as in being thankful for the people around us who care, and staying positive about being on the right path.

Here’s a look at some of the benefits of gratitude. [Read more…]