As a counselor for both in-class and online drug classes, as well as being a recovering drug addict myself, I recognize the signs and potential for addiction issues. So, how can you tell if your child has a problem or has a proclivity for a drug problem?
Addiction has a strong genetic component. If a parent, grandparent, sibling or other blood relative has struggled with some form of addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, sex), your child is at greater risk as well. For example, children of alcoholics are two to four times more likely than other children to become alcoholics themselves.
This includes those babies born addicted to prescription medication and other drugs taken by their mother in utero!
One of the traits often associated with addiction issues is impulse control. Those who suffer from the inability to control actions and the need for high levels of stimulation are associated with a higher risk for later drug and alcohol problems.
What does stress not negatively impact? The answer is almost nothing. It is no surprise that high levels of stress put teens at greater risk for drug use. Who went through their teens without feeling a high-level of stress. The stress to achieve academically and socially can be almost unbearable.
Abuse of stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin, commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, has become an issue among students competing to get into top colleges. To get a faster effect, these kids are even snorting these drugs.
One of the most common excuses for abusing drugs is to deal with negative feelings and emotions. Those who have depression, anxiety, personality disorders or other mental health conditions are at greater risk for self-medicating with drugs.
Where are Your Parents?
I cannot state enough how important it is to be a role model who is involved in your child’s life. Teens who do not have a close relationship with their parents, or who receive little parental monitoring or supervision, have an increased risk of addiction.
If you or someone you care about may need a drug class or MIP class, I urge you to seek help immediately. If you prefer to maintain anonymity there are online drug classes too.