Useful Stuff for Adults
As adults it is our role to understand the developmental stage
young people are in- they will experiment, they will push
boundaries, they often do think they know best…and it is our role
to help them get through this stage and participate in these and
other important aspects of identity formation and self-discovery
whilst doing our best to protect them from possible long-term
harms. With this in mind, the topic of substance will elicit a lot
of different views and beliefs about where this fits into a young
person's journey of development.
Think of it this way:
- Every young person will decide whether or not
to use substances and most will revisit this decision many
- Many young people will try substances.
- Some young people will use substances
regularly, with some short-term harms.
- A Few young people will use substances
regularly, and potentially develop long terms patterns and
If you are concerned that your young person may be using
these are some possible signs to look out for:
- Having bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils; using eye drops to try
to mask these signs.
- Skipping class; declining grades; suddenly getting into trouble
- Missing money, valuables, or prescriptions.
- Acting uncharacteristically isolated, withdrawn, angry, or
- Dropping one group of friends for another; being secretive
about the new peer group.
- Loss of interest in old hobbies; lying about new interests and
- Demanding more privacy; locking doors; avoiding eye contact;
Unfortunately this can describe most adolescent's right? This
can make it tricky so be careful not to jump to conclusions…
If you are worried about your young person's substance
use here are some tips:
- Lay down rules and consequences: Your teen
should understand that using drugs comes can come with specific
consequences. But don't make hollow threats or set rules that you
cannot enforce. If you have a partner make sure they agree with the
rules and are prepared to enforce them.
- Talk with your teen about their activities:
Talk with your teen about where they are going, who they are going
to be with and what they are doing to stay safe.
- Encourage other interests and social
activities: Expose your teen to healthy hobbies and
activities, such as team sports or interest clubs.
- Talk to your child about underlying issues:
Drug use can be the result of other problems. Is there underlying
issues and while they may not want support for their substance use
(because they think it helps them), they might be willing to get
support for their mood, grief or other issue/s.
- Get Help: Teens often push against their
parents boundaries but if they hear the same information from a
different adult, they may be more inclined to listen. Try a sports
coach, family doctor, or youth AOD worker. You can refer or contact
SORTED by visiting our Contact SORTED page.
When thinking about how you talk with your young person and what
type of message you will want to give them it is important to be
non-judgemental, try to keep lines of communication open and
emphasise staying safe for them and their mates.
Check out our Frequently Asked Questions
page for some useful questions parents have for SORTED
or see our useful explanation about the Cycle of Change and how this relates
to your young person.
For any other questions contact us and
we will be happy to help.
March 23, 2017