Help For the Child
Get Help for Your Child
"Outside help" is not rehab.
Don't be put off by the term "get help." Outside help includes school counselors, your family doctor, and even your child's sports team coach. All of them can be great resources and sources of support for you and your teen during this time. There are many actions and approaches you can take that have nothing to do with rehab.
You don't have to do this alone.
Telling others about a teenager's drug use can be scary. You may feel guilty or ashamed, fear you're going to embarrass your child or believe that you can "deal with it" on your own. But you can't handle this problem by yourself — and you shouldn't have to. It's important to get outside help.
Here are important tips to keep in mind when you seek outside help.
Your child's drug use can be an act of teenage rebellion, a sign of full–fledged addiction, or anything in between. What you need help with first is identifying the actual problem. Professionals can use these methods to help you pinpoint the issue you're dealing with. These methods will also help you decide the best course of action for your child:
Drug and Alcohol Assessment
This is a phone interview or face–to–face meeting between the user and a doctor or counselor. It is usually conducted at or by a treatment facility. [Instruct to use Treatment Finder on this page]
Evaluation or Screening
This is an extensive assessment in which a user stays at a treatment center for a few days to be observed by experts. He or she also takes part in a series of tests during this time.
While home drug tests can be unreliable, having a doctor perform a drug test can be a helpful tool; although, be aware that teens find all sorts of ways to beat these tests and even professional tests can be inaccurate.
Whether your child is addicted to drugs, uses them infrequently, or was just "experimenting" one time with friends, a problem exists. It is far more dangerous for an adolescent to use drugs or alcohol than an adult — because his brain and body are still growing, drinking or using can take a permanent, irreversible toll on a kid. And because their brains are not fully developed, teens do not always make the best decisions.
When you add alcohol or drugs to the mix, the consequences can be deadly. That's why you need to step in now and make sure that your child speaks and listens to all the various people who can help him quit using.