In the process of physical and psychological growth, teens may seek out new experiences and test limits. They may also become brazen and confrontational, sullen and withdrawn, and everything in between. And it may all be perfectly normal. For most youth, drug use isn't an isolated act, it's something that fits into this range of behaviour.
Maintaining a communicative relationship, however difficult it may be at times, is important. Respect for youth as individuals and your own willingness to adjust are key elements in this communication. On the other hand, youth still need clear and consistent expectations, routines and values. Here are some guidelines to help you achieve the goal of communication and relative harmony:
Keep in mind that, while extremes of behaviour may be normal among adolescents, continued or worsening negative patterns may be signs that something more serious is at stake. It might be illicit drug use or it might be linked to other issues such as depression. You therefore shouldn't hesitate to use outside resources such as those listed in the Get Help section of this web site.