Drug abuse, which is also known as substance abuse, is one of the most common problems in the UK. And the worst part is that this problem is becoming more and more popular among teens with each passing day. Drug abuse is a mental problem, which forces a patient to consume drugs in amounts that affect their health. It’s a condition that not only affects the patents but also the people around them such as their loved ones, friends, and relatives, etc. According to multiple reports, the problems of drug abuse are highest in the UK teens, when compared to the rest of Europe. Therefore, it is essential to treat this condition as soon as possible.So, for example, if your teenage son is suffering from the same condition, you should try to intervene in the matter to convince them to seek professional help.However, before we discuss how to handle teens with substance abuse, let’s take a look at the signs and symptoms of this problem first.
Signs & Symptoms of Substance Abuse
- If your teen child often complains of nausea and vomiting, they might be suffering from drug abuse
- Excessive sweating and extreme hyperactivity also suggest substance abuse
- Abnormal eating behaviour like loss of appetite and consuming foods late at night is also a sign of this mental condition
- People with this condition experience bad breath, red eyes, and irregular heartbeat
- They also have trouble falling asleep, and experience fatigue most of the times
- Reduced hygiene, loss of interest in daily activities, and bunking classes
- Change in behaviour, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating
- Seeking privacy all the time and avoiding social gatherings and family functions
- Indulging in anti-social behaviour
- Avoiding friends and family members whenever they approach them
- Spending long hours alone in a locked-up room
- Waking up late in the morning and changes in grooming habit
- Running nose, falling sick frequently, and trembling while shaking hands and talking
So, if you are observing some of these signs in your child’s behaviour, they might be a victim of substance abuse.
Here’re some of the drugs that your child might be taking.
If they are having difficulty talking and walking, unable to sleep, and have slurred speech, then they might be consuming alcohol in excessive amounts.
If your child is showing weird behaviour like talking too much, laughing uncontrollably, have red eyes, and have also lost interest in activities they used to love the most, it means they are consuming Marijuana.
If your child has contracted pupils, sleeping problem, and complains of vomiting, then they might be taking Heroin.
People who consume cocaine show signs like weight loss, sleeping difficulty, and abnormal eating behaviour. Besides, they also experience problems like anxiety and depression.Other kinds of drugs that people take to high include hallucinogens, inhalants, and depressants, etc.
Here’s How To Help Your Child Recover From Substance Abuse
Listen To Their Problems
As a parent, if you find your child disturbed, then you must ask them what is causing the problem in their life. In case they are not talking to you, then you should try to find an opportunity to start a conversation. While approaching them, make sure that you behave politely. Ask them questions like, ” Are you having fun with your friends?” or ” Why are you not inviting your friends at home nowadays?”
In this way, if they are facing any problem with their friends, they will let you know about it. On the other hand, if they are not having any problem with their friends, but are dealing with some other issue, they might end up sharing it with you. So, the first thing that you should be doing is to get closer to your child by asking them to share their problems with you.
Talk To Their Friends
If your chid’s friends used to visit your home frequently, but they have stopped such activities now, then you can talk to them as well. Make sure you conduct a secret meeting with them; otherwise, it can irritate your child. While talking to your son’s friends, it’s vital for you to ask straightforward questions; otherwise, you won’t be able to the right answer.
For example, if your child prefers to spend their time alone, you should tell their friends about it, and then ask “what could be the reason for it?” Similarly, you can ask them questions like, ” Did he fight with you?” In this way, you will get a lot of crucial information, based on which you can take further steps.
Talk To Them About Their Changed Behaviour
In case, your child is unable to sleep, or they get irritated fast, then ask them the reason behind it. You should ask them about their problem, even if they are trying to hide their behaviour from you. While questioning them about their changed behaviour, make sure you try to convince them that you care for them.
Until they believe that you want to help them, they won’t share a single thing with you. So, make sure you approach your child in a friendly manner and yet show your concern for their health or overall well-being. Once they understand that you want to help them, they will start sharing their problem with you.
Encourage Them To Focus On Their Health
If your child’s health has diminished, then you should encourage them to live a healthy life. For example, you can ask them to start morning walks or low-impact exercises at home. In fact, it would be great if you start doing these things with them. And while you go on a morning walk with your child, you can discuss their daily routine. It will give you a comprehensive idea of how they spend their time.
Encourage Them To Seek Treatment
If you feel that your child can’t recover without professional help, then you must ask them to visit a reliable addiction treatment centre and Awakenings Rehabilitation, if you are from London. They will use behavioural therapies like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for treating your child.
Motivate Them To Learn New Skills
In case your child spends a lot of free time alone, then it’s better to ask them to learn a new skill because it will help in keeping them occupied. For example, you can encourage your child to learn swimming, drawing, or singing.