A substance use disorder is a pattern of using alcohol or drugs that leads to serious personal, family, and health problems. The more of these statements that apply to your child, the more severe his substance use disorder is.
Substance use disorder may also be called drug abuse, substance abuse, dependence, or addiction.
Substances commonly abused by teens include alcohol, marijuana, K2, Spice, amphetamines, cocaine, prescription pain medicines, cough medicine, and others.
There are many kinds of treatment that may be recommended for your teen. The type of treatment depends on whether your teen:
Short-term methods, lasting less than 6 months, include outpatient therapy, day treatment, and medicine.
If your child is likely to have severe withdrawal symptoms, he may need to stay in a hospital or treatment center. This is often called detox, and usually takes 5 to 7 days. Your child will need another type of treatment after the medical detox is completed.
Residential therapy often lasts much longer than 6 months. Your teen will live at the residential treatment home. Residential treatment programs are also used for teens that have gone back to substance abuse after treatment, or who have been in trouble with the law. Random urine tests are often part of these programs.
Talk to your teen about your suspicions and listen to what they tell you. Follow your instincts. If your teen has a problem with alcohol or drugs, it won't go away without treatment. If you suspect a problem, seek help from your healthcare provider, a mental health professional, or local treatment center.
Other things you can do to help your teen include:
When someone has a substance use disorder, it is up to them to stop using drugs or alcohol. You didn’t cause it and you don’t have the power to do it for them. However, there are some things you can do that might help:
Get emergency care if your teen has serious thoughts of suicide or self-harm, violence, or harming others.
You may want to contact: