Alcohol and Drugs Misuse

Case Study 2 – A 16-Year-Old Girl’s Story of Multiple Drug Use

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse | 0 comments

Sixteen-year-old Shelley is from a white, working class family. Her mother works in a restaurant kitchen, and her father, recently released from prison where he spent time for forging checks, is unemployed. Shelley’s older brother introduced her to smoking pot and drinking alcohol when she was 12.

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Case Study 1 – A 14-Year-Old Boy’s Pot and Alcohol Use

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse | 0 comments

Dillon, a 14-year-old Native American, lives with his mother, stepfather, younger brother and sister in a small community. Dillon was involved in substance misuse, especially with pot and alcohol. He also was into “Goth” music culture, particularly the music and lyrics of Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor’s band, Nine Inch Nails. When the substance misuse influenced Dillon to take some lyrics literally, he considered killing himself.

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Teenagers and Drugs

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse | 0 comments

Why do teenagers use drugs? Why not? Do all teenagers use drugs? Probably not. There are a variety of opinions about teenagers’ use of drugs. These opinions usually suggest that teenagers just want to experiment, try new things, or have some “out-of-body” experience. However, “using” drugs is different from “misusing” them. A misuse of substances may include other variables, such as mood, problems at home or in school, fear of failure, mistaken ideas, along with other possibilities. Drug use most often starts with wanting to try something new and/or to get away with something.

Teenagers are relatively free from responsibility. They do not have to survive by their wits, make money, support someone else or themselves, and they can make choices that do not carry severe consequences. Parents try to help their kids see long-term consequences so that they will be able to create relationships and a career, live independently, and have a satisfactory life. However, the connection between going to school, getting good grades, making friends, and — to teenagers — the far-away future, is a tenuous one at best.

Thus teenagers are in the enviable position of having few cares and worries along with relative freedom. What does this mean to them? What does it mean to their parents? For teenagers, it is a precarious balance between enjoying life and learning responsibility, between making decisions and living on the edge. For parents, it is a balance between setting limits and trying to trust.

How does our current culture help kids manage set the parameters for decisions both parents and kids make? It does so in significant, but unclear ways. It is a dangerous world. Gangs, easy access to alcohol and drugs, fear of the future, changing norms, are variables that “up the ante,” making it difficult for kids to negotiate a path toward their particular future. There are many possibilities and also many problems and fears. Kids may be better than their parents at dealing with multiple technologies, but they may not be as adept at dealing with multiple possibilities.

Drugs and alcohol are numbing. They affect the central nervous system. They change one’s position toward one’s life. For kids, this often seems like a good thing.

For parents it is a scary proposition. How do parents try to help kids manage the many possibilities that are available to them and focus on what works specifically in their lives? Visit this site and give them a call.

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Possibilities for Change

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse | 0 comments

Here are some things to remember:

  • Substance misuse and abuse is a complex and emotional concern for everyone involved.
  • This dilemma has no simple or easy solutions.
  • Your child did not invent the substance misuse and abuse.
  • Factors pushed her or him toward this lifestyle.
  • The solutions you discover will be different and unique from everyone else’s. Keep trying.
  • Don’t let fear dictate your actions, or inactions. You have nothing to lose, and you have a connection with your child to gain.
  • Don’t keep the problem a secret.
  • Get help from a counselor that sees the strengths your child had prior to the substance misuse.
  • Let the school and/or work authorities know about the problem and ask for their understanding and support.
  • Behind the bravado of the substance misuse, your child experiences a lot of pain, sadness, embarrassment, self-doubt and fear.
  • Remember who your child was before and who they might be again.
  • No matter what it takes, listen to your child and don’t be afraid of his or her pain.
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Living with the Problem

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse | 0 comments

Living with the problem of substance misuse can be an experience marked by humiliation, embarrassment, discomfort, and distress for everyone involved. Sometimes the experience can be tragic. Young people, especially, find that misusing substances can have horrible results. Listen to what a variety of young people have to say about what happened to their lives when drugs took hold:

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Understanding the Problem

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse | 0 comments

Being Mindful of Your Child’s Well Being

“You are either part of the problem, or part of the solution”

— 1960’s button.

Young people who try illegal and legal substances can easily begin to misuse those substances, and more tragically, abuse them. Misuse or abuse can affect young people in a number of ways: physically, developmentally, cognitively, and socially. Also, it usually has devastating effects on their friends and family.

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