Adolescents & Teens
Are you worried that your Mom or Dad, or a caregiver, drinks too much or uses drugs? You are right to be concerned about their safety and health, about what will happen to you, about them embarrassing you or criticizing you unfairly, about breaking promises, about driving under the influence, and about lots of other things that create confusion, unpredictability, chaos and fear. While you can’t stop your parent/caregiver from drinking or using drugs, you can take steps to make things better for yourself.
#YOU ARE NOT ALONE
One in four youth under the age of 18 lives in a family where a person abuses alcohol or suffers from alcoholism. Countless others are affected by a family member or caregiver’s use of drugs. Many teens are in your situation and it’s important to recognize and deal with it. You are not alone!
#ADDICTION IS A DISEASE
Addiction to alcohol or drugs Is a disease. When one member of a family has this disease, all family members are affected.
#IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT
If you have a parent or caregiver who abuse alcohol or drugs, “It’s not your fault!” and you are not alone. You didn’t cause it, and you can’t make it go away. You need and deserve help for yourself!
You may feel like you need to use drugs or alcohol to overcome insecurities, let your guard down, or feel socially confident. In addition to more obvious risks, this can lead you to feel like substance use is necessary to open up and connect with others. This is can to addiction very quickly and isn’t worth it. You are smarter and stronger than any substance.
#YOU CAN BECOME ADDICTED
Young people with alcohol or drug-addicted parents or caregivers are four times more likely to become addicted if they choose to drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. You can’t get addicted if you don’t drink or use drugs.
#TIPS TO TALK TO YOUR PARENTS/CAREGIVER
- Check in frequently with them to let them know how you’re doing;
- Choose informal times to talk, such as in the car, during dinner, or watching TV;
- Be clear about your feelings and concerns regarding opioids and other drug use;
- Spend time together doing social and extracurricular activities;
- Let them know you need them and want their help; and
- Continue talking as you get older.
#TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Talk with a trusted and caring adult like a teacher, school counselor or nurse, doctor, pastor, a friend’s parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or neighbor who will listen and help you deal with problems at home. You deserve help, ask for it!
#JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP
Support groups are great places to meet other young people who are struggling with the same problems that you face at home. Talk to your school counselor or social worker to find a local support group. It’s important to find caring adults who can help you. Talking with them really helps.
Get involved in activities at school, place of worship, or in the community where you can hang out with other young people, use your strengths, and special talents. While you’re having fun, you can learn new skills.
#ENJOY A SAFE AND PRODUCTIVE LIFE
Even if the person with the disease doesn’t seek help, you can still receive the help you need to feel better and have a safe and productive life, free from substance abuse.
#REMEMBER THE SEVEN Cs
- I didn’t Cause it
- I can’t Cure it
- I cant’t Control it
- I can take better Care of myself
- by Communicating my feelings
- Making healthy Choices, Celebrating myself.
#WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK SOMEONE IS OVERDOSING
It may be hard to tell whether a person is high or experiencing an overdose. If you aren’t sure, treat it like an overdose – you could save a life.
- Call 911 Immediately.*
- Administer Naloxone, if available.**
- Try to keep the person awake and breathing.
- Lay the person on their side to prevent choking.
- Stay with the person until emergency assistance arrives.
*Most states have laws that may protect a person who is overdosing or the person who called for help from legal trouble.
** Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose and save lives. It is available in all 50 states and can be purchased from a local pharmacy without a prescription in most states.