Young adults will all make mistakes as they find their footing on the path to adulthood, and part of a parent’s job is to let them make mistakes while offering advice and providing guidance. But when young adults make the mistake of using drugs and alcohol, just sitting back and offering advice isn’t necessarily the best approach.
The Sooner, the Better
If you suspect your older teen is using a substance, speaking to them about it may save their life or limit the number of problems they will face in these early years of adulthood.
Consider the risks. There is a high level of drug and alcohol use by young adults. The National Institute on Drug Abuse offers some insight through a study completed in 2018 on college-aged students.
- About 5.9 percent of college students use marijuana daily compared to about 11.1 percent of those not in college.
- About 11.1 percent of college students misuse Adderall compared to 8.1 percent of those not in college.
- An estimated 28 percent of college students binge drink, while about 25 percent of young people not in college binge drink.
Considering these facts, every parent would do well to talk to their child about the risks and consequences of using these drugs, especially as young adults.
How Do You Know They Have a Problem?
Drug and alcohol addiction warning signs provide insight into what’s happening. Look for the signs of addiction, even if you don’t see your son or daughter often.
- Academic problems they didn’t always have
- Needing money for ever-increasing expenses
- Isolating from friends and family and/or having a new group of friends
- Being irritable with significant mood swings
- Struggling to maintain responsibilities at home, school, or work
Also look for signs of withdrawal. Withdrawal occurs when a person with an addiction stops using the drugs. It can cause body aches and pains, nausea, headaches, and irritability. It can also cause high anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, and instances of aggression, depending on the type of drugs used.
How to Have the Talk About Drug Use
Still suspect your young adult may be using drugs or alcohol? Now is the time to do something about it. Here are some strategies to keep in mind.
Be Frank, Open, and Honest
Ask them what’s going on. Avoid accusing them or making it an argument. Just talk to them. While many students use substances and never develop addiction, you can still make sure they understand the symptoms of addiction. If they recognize some of these symptoms in themselves, now is the right time to seek help. Provide them with the support they need to enter recovery.
Limit Their Access
To buy alcohol and drugs, a young adults need access to money. If you are giving them money whenever they ask for it, stop doing so. That doesn’t mean cutting your child off completely, but it may mean limiting how much you give them. Pay close attention to what they are using those funds to purchase. Help them establish a budget, and ask for receipts to account for how they spend the money you give them.
Consider an Intervention
In some situations, an intervention is necessary. Consider this step if your child is struggling with health complications, academic performance, or reckless behavior as a result of their drug use. They may not recognize they have a problem.
An intervention means:
- Working with a professional to plan a course of action to get your loved one help.
- Confronting your loved one with your concerns and observations.
- Requiring or requesting of them to get help for what’s happening.
- Putting in place strict rules and boundaries if they decide not to get help.
- Providing emotional support if they decide to get help.
We Are Here to Help
As a parent, you can’t typically force your young adult child into treatment. However, if you suspect they need it, don’t wait until something happens to cause a negative outcome. Instead, reach out to an intervention specialist at DK Solutions Group. We can answer your questions and help you create a plan for getting your child the treatment they need.