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Talking to your teenager about drug abuse is one of the hardest conversations you might ever have to deal with as a parent. There will be times when panic will be the first thing to come to mind, but it's important not let emotion get the best of you during these struggles. We, at Sanctum wellness and healing, know that sometimes during times like these parents may feel as if they're at their wit's end. But being one of the best de-addiction centers in India with years of experience in addiction treatment, we want to remind you that your teenager can benefit from your response.

Because teenagers are at a rough stage of their lives, often being faced with transitions or difficult decisions, it’s not uncommon for many to fall into addictions. It’s important not to freak out if you find from your observations that your teenage child is developing an addiction because they will only become more defensive and guarded if they feel threatened. Seeking professional help like the professional treatment staff at a top rehabilitation centre in India will make the situation easier to handle.

Adolescence is a phase of life encompassing puberty (newborn to adulthood) and so much more! Puberty is the phase that precedes adulthood, but it’s also the time when our physical characteristics and maturity levels become more pronounced. More so than physical transitions, the best rehab centres in India are cognizant of how behavior and even psychology change as well during this period.

During the teenage years, it is imperative to make your own decisions so that you know what works for you. However, because most teenagers are still in the early development stages of their body, mind, and identity - this makes them vulnerable to making bad decision and getting into reckless behaviors such as doing drugs or drinking alcohol.

From our personal experience being at one of the best rehabilitation centres in India, we have noticed that the reasons for why most teens start using are usually one of several commonalities. Teens may turn to drugs due to curiosity, the desire for a relaxing or fun escape, or social acceptance among friends. They might also be looking for a way out from school or home pressure.

Teenagers are developing, growing and changing like crazy this time in their lives! This is because the conscious part of the brain is still being built at this point in time. Adults tend to think that teenagers don't make value judgments but that's because they haven't built their adult brains yet. Working with teens requires patience, understanding and a willingness to try new things by remaining flexible, allowing them to explore and keep their options open.

Although this is perhaps not as important as in mental health, it could be a good opportunity to mention that substance abuse during the teenage years can have serious consequences. Typically, most researchers and scientists agree that risky and impulsive actions of teenagers during these years are caused by a number of physical and psychological changes that their bodies are going through.

Dopamine secreted secondarily to substance use, the neurotransmitter most responsible for feelings of pleasure, has a powerful impact. The early adolescent brain, with its increased number of nerve cells, has higher levels of dopamine circulating in the prefrontal cortex, but dopamine levels in the reward center of the brain (nucleus accumbens) are changing throughout adolescence. These changes in the dopamine levels in the reward center suggest that the adolescent requires more excitement and stimulation to achieve the same level of pleasure as an adult. So the teenager will attempt riskier behaviors to achieve elation. [1] [2]

The frontal lobe, the judgment center or CEO of the brain, allows the individual to contemplate and plan actions, to evaluate consequences of behaviors, to assess risk, and to think strategically. It is also the “inhibition center” of the brain, discouraging the individual from acting impulsively. The frontal lobe ultimately develops connections to many other areas of the brain, so that experiences and emotions are processed through the judgment center. The frontal lobe does not fully mature until approximately 23 – 25 years of age. The immaturity of the adolescent’s judgment center explains much of the inability of adolescents to properly interpret experiences in the environment and thus make appropriate and healthy decisions. [3]

So while they’re developing, it’s very important to guide them so they don't fall into harmful behaviors like abusing drugs or alcohol. This argument is usually one of the main reasons why parents must keep an eye on what their children are up to.

Because of the immaturity of the adolescent brain, and its unique susceptibilities and vulnerabilities to addiction, it is not surprising that alcohol can have a greater adverse impact on adolescents than on adults. Researchers following adolescents prospectively have noted that binge drinking or excessive drinking is associated with decreased performance on visuospatial and memory abilities as well as attention difficulties in adolescents and adults. [4] This has been correlated with brain imaging studies showing reduced grey matter volume. [5]

If you want to reach a teenager with a drug or alcohol problem, the most important thing is to treat the individual like you'd like to be treated in expectation of what they may be going through. It can be especially helpful to show them respect and compassion no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation or lifestyle.

Going through this is not easy as a parent and if you’re ready to talk to your child with some perspective of understanding, it can be helpful to go through family counseling together at the best rehab centres in India so that upon speaking about your concerns there isn’t a lot at stake for either of you and all options can be considered calmly. Are you up to the task? Is it possible to bring calm into the space between you and your child so that all decisions are made wisely?

It is important that you recognize the need to not be afraid to talk openly. You’ll have to acknowledge problems and consider talking about them; doing this can make your loved one feel supported, thus enabling them to deal with their drug habit without feeling left out.

The secret of getting teen addictions to rehab is to learn how to communicate openly and without stinginess. Be honest with your teenager, then seek professional help from a top rehabilitation center in India like Sanctum wellness and healing.

Professional consultants at a luxury rehab centre in India can help you find a way to get your message across. They will help educate your son or daughter about the consequences of their drug use. While during the process you'll need to show your child that he/she has priority and support from you both. It’s important to educate them on how having boundaries can help not only him/her but also you two as a team in moving forward through recovery together. The message is, “I love you dearly and I want what’s best for you” is an important one because it sets an example for showing openness, trust, and faith in helping him/her which is what they both need right now.

Communication that is not recommended towards your teenager are as follows-

Don't be afraid. Open your eyes to the problem in a constructive manner and seek treatment for your teen. When it comes to addiction, these problems are usually caused by multiple factors: genetic, psychological, social, and environmental.

Severely addicted teenagers feel a lot of shame. It's easier to isolate themselves so as to avoid the pain and suffering they may have caused their loved ones. Instead, reach out to professionals at the top rehabilitation centres in India who can provide you with relevant help so that your teenager can realize their mistakes and get the right support and guidance through this difficult but important time. Don’t resent your teenager for becoming or staying an addict. Remember that no one ever sets out on their journey through life with this intention in mind; oftentimes it is simply a matter of being swept up in something uncontrollable as well as dangerous such as illegal drugs, alcohol, or nicotine for example... Show understanding of your teenager’s fragile state instead!


AUTHOR- Dr. Danish Hussain (MBBS, MD Psychiatry, MIPS)

Dr. Danish received his M.D. Psychiatry and M.B.B.S. degrees from Rajiv Gandhi University of Medical Sciences (Bangalore, Karnataka). He has worked at the Manipal Multispecialty Hospitals Bangalore, following which has continued to undergo regular training from prestigious institutes from all over the world. Dr. Danish serves as Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at AFSMS & RC and is a member of the Indian Psychiatric Society. Dr. Danish uses a holistic approach with his patients and brings his expertise to practice to treat varied behavioral health problems from Addiction disorders to Depression, Anxiety, Personality disorders, and OCD. Dr. Danish’s goal is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

REVIEWED BY- Gauri Kapoor (Addiction Recovery Counselor)

Gauri Kapoor embarked on her journey into sobriety 7 years ago, which led her to her current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in Delhi, India. She works closely with facilities that provide residential addiction treatment such as 12-Step programs and other nonprofits to help individuals deal with their addiction. Gauri embraces a holistic, client-centered approach to her work. She brings a natural warmth and genuineness into her sessions and is known for her ability to establish therapeutic relationships based on trust, safety, and mutual respect.

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