Teen Substance Abuse Can be Dangerous Over the Holidays

Teen Substance Abuse

For most teens, the holiday season is a major cause for celebration – mostly due to getting a much-needed break from school. And while for many, it is all innocent fun, for some teenagers, there are more dangerous plans on the agenda, including substance abuse.

As a parent, here’s what you should watch for this winter break.

Make Sure Your Teen Stays Safe this Holiday Season

Driving Safely

New Years Eve is a prime time for teen substance abuse and subsequent dangerous behavior such as drunk or impaired driving. Whether your teen drinks alcohol or tries an illicit drug, if they get behind the wheel on New Years Eve, they further endanger their life and the lives of others. Make sure that you are fully aware of your teen’s New Year plans and that you verify that a trusted parent will be present. Also have a conversation about making the right decision about driving and substance abuse.

Social Media Signals

Social media can be an easy way for you to see what your teen is up to over their break, even if they aren’t the most forthcoming in person. Tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram pictures can show if they’re hanging out with who they say they’re hanging out with, and if any suspicious activity is going on. While it’s not alright to create fake profiles using false information to glean what your teen’s doing, if your teenager has a public profile or has befriended your social media accounts, then it’s not harmful to check in on their whereabouts over the break.

New Faces?

If your teen starts bringing around a lot of unfamiliar faces over winter break, you may not have anything to worry about. It may just be that they’ve branched out to find some new friends. However, it is important to note that one sign of teen drug use is abandoning old friend groups in favor of new ones. So, if your teen seems to be hanging out with a whole new crowd you don’t know much about and they rarely mention their old buds, it may be worth your time to see what you can learn about these new friends and their influence on your teen.

Lay Down Ground Rules

One of the simplest ways to help your teen stay safe over break? Make sure you lay down some rules in terms of their curfew, when they have to call you, where they can go, and, of course, consequences of substance abuse. The more transparent you are about expectations, the fewer excuses your teen will have and the more likely they’ll follow the rules.

Worried your teen is using drugs or alcohol? Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City can conduct testing to determine the presence of substances such as alcohol, marijuana, synthetic drugs, prescription medications, and more. To learn about our extensive services and teen drug testing specifically, call (816) 875-0464 today.

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