A million reasons surround a teen’s choice to use drugs. Something is happening in their life that they are not discussing with anyone, perhaps they just don’t know how to talk about it. One of the first indicators that your child may be toying with illegal drugs is a change in behavior. This can be something like mood swings, periods of rage, displayed depression and changes in sleeping/eating habits. Parents can purchase at home drug test kits to have on hand and ready when the time comes to confront the teen.
Approaching the Confrontation
It is vital that you approach the confrontation gently. Teens are likely to become very agitated and defensive when asked what is troubling them. If you start the confrontation in an argumentative way, it is not likely to go well. Start with pointing out changes in mood, behavior, and/or routine. This tells them that you pay attention and that you do notice things.
Let your teen know that you are concerned with recent behavior changes. Let them know that they can come to you and talk about anything at any time. Sometimes teens feel like their parents are hard to approach with things. Talking about serious subjects can be difficult, but it is important as a parent to get through those hard topics and provide solid advice.
Requesting a Drug Screening
Expect a battle when it comes to a teen submitting to a drug test. The teen may say that you do not trust them or that they are not taking drugs. It is important that you let the teen know that you are asking because you are concerned with the changes in their personality, eating, sleeping or behavior as of late. Let them know that they are not in trouble if the test is positive, and that you’ll work through whatever the problems are together as a family.
Ask what is bothering them. Ask about troubles at school or with friends. Try to get to the bottom of the issue before asking questions about drug and/or alcohol abuse. Some teens have a hard time fitting in with different social groups, and that can cause a lot of these issues that lead teens to drug and alcohol abuse. Try to help your teen find out where he or she fits in so that they can feel like they are a part of something with people that share the same interests.