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5 Common Mistakes Parents Make When They Find Out Their Teen is Using Drugs

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Making it all about you

Don't make it all about you.

It’s incredibly tempting to take on the blame for your teen’s drug use. If they’re using, it’s because of something you did or didn’t do as a parent. 

Maybe you were too strict and caused them to rebel. Or maybe you were too lenient and let them run wild. 

Maybe it was that time when you let them stay up late and watch TV until midnight, so now they can’t sleep without being high on drugs! 

The possibilities are endless

—and each one makes perfect sense in that moment of crisis when everything feels like the end of the world anyway. 

But if we could pause from our feelings long enough to look objectively at these scenarios, would any of these explanations hold up under scrutiny?

In truth, most teens who struggle with drug addiction had started using long before their parents even noticed anything was wrong

—and many continued using even after parents tried very hard to intervene with resources such as therapy (which often only helps if there are no underlying mental issues). 

So, while talking through your child’s behavior once they’ve already gotten hooked is important, don’t make this mistake: don’t overreact by jumping straight into blame mode just because it feels like an easy way out!

 

Table of Contents

Overreacting

You may be tempted to overreact when you find out your teen is using drugs. Your first instinct might be to yell or punish them

—but this can make things worse.

  • Stay calm: Parents need to stay calm and avoid overreacting when they find out their teen is using drugs. You need to be able to talk about the problem rationally, so it’s best not to let your emotions get in the way.
  • Stay positive: Don’t let anger color all of your interactions with your child around drug use; instead, try focusing on more positive topics and activities together as much as possible.

 

Not listening to your child

When your child comes to you and is upset about something, you must listen without interrupting. 

This isn’t the time for a lecture or advice; instead, just let them talk through their feelings. 

That being said, when they are finished telling their story, ask questions to help understand where they are coming from. 

Take some time to digest what they have told you before responding so that you can give sound advice based on facts rather than emotion.

 

Taking on the blame

It can be difficult to hear that your child has been using drugs. It doesn’t matter if you found out because they came clean, or because someone else told you

—you feel like you’ve failed them.

If this is the first time your teen has shown any sign of trouble, it can be especially hard to process what’s happened. 

You’re likely feeling guilty and angry with yourself as a parent, wondering how this could have happened under your watch.

But here’s the thing: nobody wants their kids to use drugs! There’s no one on earth who would want their child to get addicted or hurt themselves because of drug usage. 

Drug use isn’t an intentional act by most teens who end up struggling with addiction issues; rather, it’s often a reaction (and sometimes an unconscious reaction) to stressors or other problems in their lives at the time when they start experimenting with substances for recreational purposes

—or even just once or twice for fun or curiosity’s sake

—and then over time those same issues escalate into more serious problems as addiction begins taking hold in earnest due to repeated use without proper care from trusted adults around them

 

Not having "the talk"

You’re not alone. A third of parents admit they never had “the talk” with their kids about drugs or alcohol. 

That’s why it’s important to make sure your teen knows that experimenting with drugs is dangerous and can have lasting effects on their health, schoolwork, and safety.

Talking to your teen about substance use will help them make smart decisions, but if you haven’t talked about it yet—don’t panic! 

It doesn’t mean that you’ve failed as a parent; instead, it means you’re preparing yourself for when the time comes by making sure that both of you are comfortable talking openly with each other.

 

If your teen is using drugs, there are better ways to handle it than the ones everyone seems to take

The first thing to remember is that you should never make it about yourself. That may seem obvious, but it’s a common mistake for parents to take things personally when their children do something wrong. 

When you find out your teen is using drugs, one of the most common reactions is to think about how this reflects on you as a parent. 

If this happens, remember that your child chose to use drugs and not because of anything or anyone else.

There are also several ways in which some parents overreact when they find out their teens are using drugs: they feel powerless; they lash out at their kids; 

they tell everyone in town how upset they are by what happened; and/or they try too hard not to give any outward signs of shock or disappointment (which can only lead them into more trouble.)

Instead, keep in mind that there’s no need for any kind of drama here; being calm will help get through this difficult situation better than anything else could! 

Also, remember that if someone shows up at your door saying “I’m sorry” then don’t let them leave before hearing everything from start to finish! 

It’ll make all the difference later down the road when dealing with other potential problems such as bad grades or depression among others…

We’re not saying that you can’t make mistakes when it comes to handling your teen’s drug use. 

Of course, you can—we all make them!

But hopefully, we’ve shown you how some of the more common mistakes parents make when they find out their teen is using drugs can be avoided by taking these steps instead.

 

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