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How do you know if your teen is using or abusing alcohol or drugs?

Susan P. Epstein, LCSW, Parent Coach

 


Teen life coaching is a great fit for teens involved in any way with drugs or alcohol.  Alcohol and drug use or abuse comes up in almost all my coaching calls with parents and teens.  Parents are wondering if their teen is using and if so are unsure how to proceed in dealing with this.  Teens are often concerned about their or a friend’s use and are also at a loss.
 

Parents talk with family and friends and get more and more frustrated and upset.  Teens are afraid to tell their parents what is going on for fear of punishment and disappointment.

We as parents have to take the lead on protecting our children from drug and alcohol use/abuse. We all know someone or someone’s teen who has gotten into trouble as a result of using.
 

The Warning Signs of Teen Alcohol and Drug Use/Abuse
 

• Missing work or schoolFree Coaching Consultation
• Not saying where he or she is going
• Lying about where he or she has been
• Stopping activities the teen used to enjoy and not filling the time with other fun activities
• Borrowing money from parents or friends; can’t explain loss of money or valuable
• Sniffling, running nose, dilated pupils or red eyes
• Losing appetite
• Associating with a new group of friends, often with those who use drugs
• Hiding things that would show alcohol or drug use- liquor bottles, rolling papers, pipes
 

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
 

Teen Life Coach’s Tips on What You Can Do
 

Parental Monitoring - Supervise your teen or know where your teen is and what they are doing
 

Make a Plan - Decide what you will say before you talk to your teen if you suspect drug or alcohol use.  (Avoid negativity- express your concerns, caring, and love).
 

State the Facts - Say what changes you have noted from the above warning signs.
 

Be Open - Listen to your teen’s response.
 

Set and Enforce Rules - With care and concern, let your teen know that you will not put up with drug or alcohol use.  Use a positive frame like, “ I know you can’t stand it when I make rules, but I am your mom/dad and it is my job to keep you safe”.  Hold your teen accountable for his/her actions with clear consequences for not obeying the rules.
 

Obstacles - Many teens will become very angry and get up and leave the room.  Keep calm and take a break and go back for round #2.
 

Keep Talking - Any chance you get, bring up your love and concern and what you notice. Be clear and reasonable. Don’t give up, no matter how uncomfortable you are.

 

Design a Contract - about rules and consequences for drinking and driving.

If you feel that you need an extra push, nudge, support, email me for a free Teen Life Coaching session.  In one 45-minute call we will develop a plan to help you design a plan to discuss alcohol and drug use/abuse with your teen.

Contact Susan for a free coaching session on teen life coaching.

 

Susan P, Epstein, LCSW, parent coach and family coach, works with parents and families looking for satisfaction, balance and growth.  Susan is an expert in the areas of family dynamics, parenting and child development and her unique blend of therapy and coaching combine to make her a powerful catalyst for change.

She practiced psychotherapy for 23 years before becoming a coach, writer and speaker.  Susan graduated from University of California at Berkeley School of Social Welfare.  She is a licensed clinical social worker in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Susan also completed training with the Coaches Training Institute, an internationally accredited coach training organization.  Learn more about Susan.

 

Articles and Specialties of Susan Epstein, Teen Life Coach:

 

Life Coach

Family Coach: Six Tips to Less Stress at Home

Grief Coach: Advice on Helping Children Grieve the Loss of a Family Member: Step I

The Making of a Teen Life Coach

Teen Life Coach Riffs on the College Homesick Blues

Teen Life Coaching Workshop

Teen Life Coaching:  Drugs and Alcohol

Parent Coaching Testimonial

Teen Life Coaching FAQs

Family Coach: Six Tips for Enjoying Your Kids While Working From Home

Adolescent Coaching: Through the Generation Gap

Parent Coach

Parent Coaching

Parenting Coaching in the Fast Lane (workshop)

Parent Coaching Workshops

Parenting Coach:  Attention Parents!  No More Yelling!

Parenting Coach:  Attention Parents!  No More Yelling! (part 2)

Family Coach

Couples Coaching:  Rediscover the Joy

 

 

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Learn more about teen life coaching at Feroce:  ask for a free consultation!




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