Is my child using drugs?
What can I do?

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This isn’t easy. You are concerned that your teen may be using drugs. You have lots of questions and want to make the right decision. Rosecrance can help.

Adolescent brain development and vulnerability to addiction

Adolescence is a critical period for the onset of substance use and its potentially debilitating consequences for two reasons:

  • The regions of the brain that are critical to decision making, judgment, impulse control, emotion and memory are not yet fully developed in adolescence, making teens more prone than adults to taking risks, including experimenting with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
  • Because the teen brain is still developing, addictive substances physically alter its structure and function faster and more intensely than in adults, interfering with brain development, further impairing judgment and heightening the risk of addiction.

The science of addiction and evidence of its consequences are clear enough to conclude that there is no level of safe use of addictive substances by teens.

(Adolescent Substance Use: America’s #1 Public Health Problem, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2011)

Does my child need help?

At this point, you are not sure. You may think he/she is going through a phase or just experimenting. Making it more difficult, your child is telling you he/she doesn’t
have a problem at all.

You want to believe your child and give him/her the benefit of the doubt. It’s easy to second guess yourself. All parents go through this.

If there is any question in your mind, it makes sense to have a professional evaluation. You’ll get the answers you need so you, your child and your family can go on with life.

Rosecrance provides free, confidential consultations and educational/prevention services to help teens and their families during this time.