What to do if Your Teenager is Using Drugs

Discovery that your teenager is using or thinking of using drugs can be a stressful realization. Anger. Sadness. Fear. Confusion. These are some natural reactions. This may present challenges for your family and will require a commitment by your family to deal with the problem. The important thing is to not let emotions guide your decisions, and address the problem in steps that build toward a solution for the whole family.

Acknowledge

Communication around this issue with family members is important. As hard as it may be, you must tell them that your teen has a drug problem. Short and to the point will keep emotion from settling back into the issue and might strengthen your ability to deal with the problem. What you need from the family is support, understanding, and a non-judgmental attitude. More disruption from family members can make the problem worse.

Assess

Since this may be new to many parents, you want to use this time to see what the best course of action is to solve the problem. What are your options? Seeking information from various sources and gathering as much knowledge is helpful, but do not make a decision until you have weighed all the options. Talk with someone you trust, such as a teacher, school counselor, family doctor or faith leader. Other things that might be worth looking into are treatment centres, drug prevention coalitions, and other resources that are designed to help stop the use of drugs or alcohol.

Get Help

Talk with someone you trust, such as a teacher, school counselor, family doctor or faith leader. Other things that might be worth looking into are treatment centres and other resources that are designed to help stop the use of drugs.

Visit our Get Help page for information on accessing resources in your area.