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Adopting A Healthy Attitude To Teen Drug & Alcohol Use

It’s a tale as old as time: teenager comes home stoned; parent yells at teenager and punishes them; teenager strikes back by getting stoned more and more. As a parent, you know better than anyone else that teenagers are reactive. The more you tell them not to do something, the more they want to do it. In 2018, a more progressive approach can prevent this kind of escalation from occurring: tell your teen it’s normal to experiment with drugs and alcohol and that they need to make their own decisions, you might even share a tale from your own youth. Being open and honest goes a long way, and not having to be sneaky or ashamed will allow your teen to navigate these complicated choices without a shadow looming over them.

Teen drug

This honest approach may provide your teen with a healthier attitude to casual drug use and drinking at parties, but no matter how honest and open your relationship is, things can still go wrong. Teens who are new to drinking, susceptible to peer pressure and motivated to show off in front of their friends may do something stupid and hurt themselves or others to such an extent that you may end up looking to hire a criminal lawyer to defend them.

If you think only out-of-control problem teens get arrested, think again. Here are several plausible scenarios where an average, run-of-the-mill teen might get arrested:

Drinking & Not Driving – Drunk driving, of course, is a serious issue, but sometimes the police unfairly justify arresting teens who are just sleeping it off in their car by claiming that they had an intent to drive drunk. Warn your teen of this possibility.

Personal Use Vs. Dealing – In some states and provinces, teenagers carrying negligible quantities of drugs may be charged with intent to sell – often racial profiling can play into this, unfortunately. Also, another person may pressure your teen into “hanging on” to some drugs for them, which could land them in big trouble.

Memory Loss & Vandalism – If your teen is unaccustomed to drinking and consumes too much liquor, it could release a hidden trove of unconscious aggression. People do crazy things when they’re blackout drunk, and your teen may not even remember what happened in the morning – if their actions lead to criminal charges, one stupid mistake could jeopardize their future.

Consulting with an experienced, compassionate defence lawyer who is familiar with Crown Prosecution protocol is the best way to keep your teen’s life from going off the rails. If your teen is in legal trouble, book a consultation today.

Now that we’ve run down the frightening outcomes of alcohol and drug use, let’s look at healthy approaches for avoiding problematic behaviour:

A Continental Approach – Some might say that the Europeans have it figured out; many families on the continent allow their teens to have beer or wine with dinner from a young age if they choose. This more casual approach to drinking is more conducive to having a couple cocktails or glasses of wine with food or after a long day of work. Stigmatizing alcohol as if it were the forbidden fruit is a recipe for disaster.

Continental Approach

A Non-Judgmental Attitude – If you can be present and calm when your teen is telling you about difficult situations related to parties, romance, drugs and alcohol, they will confide in you increasingly. If you get upset and cry or yell, they will likely clam up and run to their bedroom. Contemporary wisdom recommends treating your teen as a fellow human being, rather than a child to be babysat; just listen carefully to them, and respond thoughtfully. These behaviors can happen to any teen, biological or not. But if you have a foster child, and are experiencing some of these behaviors, there are behavioral health services for children in foster care and their families. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Hopefully, this post didn’t scare you too much, really, it’s all about cultivating a healthy atmosphere at home and doing your personal best no matter how difficult the situation.