When Did My Child Start Using?

drug rehab raleigh NC

From working with drug rehab Raleigh NC facilities and other recovery treatment centers in the U.S we get to meet with a lot of people and learn about new trends that are threatening the sobriety of our youth. Thanks to ongoing research, we can also help pinpoint the age and time period when teens are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol. For various reasons, most drug and alcohol problems start fairly early. Some kids even start using as early as the eighth grade, while others tend to wait until at least high school. There have actually been scientific studies where the data clearly shows that substance problems in young people started before they were 17 and typically at ages 13 or 14.

A friend of mine recently told me that he was speaking to a group of ninth graders at a local high school. He asked them to do an Alcohol Use Disorder test and a Cannabis Use Disorder test. As drug rehab Raleigh NC counselors, we use these types of tests to help kids that might not normally think they have a problem, realize that they do, because it can be hard to self-assess drug and alcohol issues. The tests showed that about 7% of the class scored relatively high.

These teens appeared to be healthy, normal-looking kids. There were no external signs indicating any type of substance abuse problems. They all said they were doing OK in school with their grades and some even played sports. All of them also said they had healthy relationships at home with their parents and guardians.

One specific teen said that he started drinking during the summer after eighth grade, and then a bit more once he got into high school. He said at 14 he really didn't know that what he was doing was wrong. He wanted to fit in, be cool, and do what his friends were doing - and then he also said he liked it.

Then there was a girl that was the same age. Her story was not much different. She said she started drinking in high school but quit because she didn't want to become an embarrassment like some of her friends. She didn't like how people were talking about the "party girls".

Both teens said that their parents had no idea of what was going on. They said they used "sleepovers" as a cover to get away with partying.

Tips for Parents & Guardians

Here are a few tips that you can try at home to make sure your teenager is not drinking or getting high. First, stop being the cool parent. Responsibility starts at home. You are the parent, not the friend. Being your child's friend can lead to being the enabler. Do not let underage drinking occur in your house with your kids or their friends. It is actually illegal to allow minors to drink on your property even if you think it is OK. You can go to jail, get fined, and could actually be helping your child become an alcoholic. Let that sink in for a moment. Next, if your child says they're going to a “sleepover”, then call the other friend's parents. When you make sure the kids are actually where they're supposed to be, you ensure a little bit more of their safety. This also sends a message to the other parent so they know that you are not OK with your child drinking or using drugs. This means knowing who your child is hanging out with and meeting their parents. You really have to be careful today because there are some bad parents that will cover for your child's dangerous behavior.

Be sure to talk to your kids about drug and alcohol use. It is never too early to start the conversation, but it can be too late. Make sure to listen to them and their concerns. Make them feel loved and help them understand how losing them to a life of addiction would be devastating not only for them, but for the rest of your family as well. Talk to them about the consequences of jail time, injury, and even death.

Holistic Alcohol And Drug Rehab in Raleigh NC

If you have a child suffering from addiction, please get them the help they deserve. Stop enabling - stop being codependent. Do the right thing and call Legacy Freedom Treatment Center. Our facility for alcohol and drug rehab in Raleigh NC takes a holistic approach healing their addiction. We refuse to use drugs to treat a drug problem. Call us today and get their life back.

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