Is My Teenager Using Drugs?

Signs Your Adolescent Child May Be Using Drugs

Is your teen behaving suspiciously, as if they are hiding something? Do they spend a lot of time behind closed doors? Have you witnessed uncharacteristic behavior or strange mood changes? These symptoms are within the realm of normal behavior for a teenager, but if substance use is underlying them, it could be time to seek support for your child.

Teenagers aren’t known for being up-front with their parents, but there is a difference between a desire for privacy and a desire to conceal drug use. This difference is often detectable, though it’s not always blatantly apparent. Substance use can be indicative of other underlying struggles and is something that should not be ignored. It is important to address these signs with directness and compassion, so that your teen can get access to professionals that can help them process the behavior and develop positive coping skills.

Is Your Child Seeking to Establish Independence or Hiding a Dangerous Habit?

If you are concerned that your child is using drugs or alcohol, pay attention to the signs that may indicate an issue. Remember that while you can explore these signs on your own, it is always a good idea to ask your teen directly about their habits and behaviors, and to express your concerns in a supportive way. This may open the door to further dialogue about substance use and its impacts.

  • Smell of smoke or alcohol: This may seem obvious, but you likely won’t notice it unless you interact with your child before they head to their room. In order to make sure you pick up on the scent, make sure to have a face-to-face interaction with your teen when they walk through the door.
  • Avoiding eye contact: Your child may be able to avert their eyes, but signs of drug use will likely show up on their face. Kids who have used marijuana will have red, droopy eyes and small pupils. Kids who have been drinking will have dilated pupils, trouble holding eye contact, and blushed cheeks.
  • More than secretiveness: It is not uncommon for teenagers to be dismissive of their parents in an effort to have their own private life. However, as a parent, you have the right and the responsibility to act when your child’s secretiveness occurs in conjunction with other negative behaviors. Your child may be using drugs if they are evasive about where they are going, what they are doing, and who they are spending time with, and they are also experiencing new problems with their health, appearance, mood regulation, school performance, and work performance.

Don’t be afraid to act and do what is best for your child. If they are struggling with drug use, they need you more than ever. Substance use can evolve in to a disorder, and can have a variety of impacts on a teen’s health and well-being. Addressing it is a step toward a healthier and safer life for your child.

Drug Rehab for Adolescents & Teens in Northern California

Parents are often at a loss for what to do when they find out their child is using drugs, but our team at Therapeutic Solutions is here to help. We are here to assist you as you encourage your child to make healthy decisions, and we are glad to support both parents and children throughout the recovery process. We offer a number of great options for families, including group therapyfamily therapy, and more. Connect with our team to learn about our Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (A-IOP) and find out we can serve your family during this time.

Call (530) 899-3150 today or schedule a program assessment.


How to Talk with Your Child About Cutting and Self-Harm

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that teenagers and young adults who engage in self-harm are 25% more likely than their peers to die by suicide within the following year.

If your child is self-harming, it does not mean you have failed as a parent—but it does mean your child needs help. Self-harm is often a coping mechanism used to relieve intense emotions, and a sign that your child may need help learning to process their feelings in a healthy way. As a parent, it is imperative that you step in and help your child get the care they need right away.

Our team at Therapeutic Solutions is prepared to serve you and your child during this time. Call (530) 899-3150 to get the help you need and learn about our teen programs.

Signs of Self-Harming Behaviors

When you suspect your child is hurting themselves, it helps to know what to look for. Self-harm can take a number of different forms, including (but not limited to):

  • Cutting
  • Pulling out their hair
  • Burning
  • Overdosing on drugs or over-the-counter medications
  • Excessive piercing
  • Punching or pinching themselves
  • Carving words or signs into their skin
  • Excessive picking at scabs, scars, etc.

How to Talk to Children Who Are Currently Self-Harming

Remember the following when bringing up the subject of self-harm with your child:

  • Self-harm is a symptom: Teenagers and children who engage in self-destructive behaviors such as cutting often struggle with anxiety disorderdepression, or both. When bringing up your child’s self-harming behaviors, it is important to remember that they typically signify a deeper problem.
  • Don’t stay silent: Self-harm is a sign that your child is emotionally hurting, struggling to process strong emotions, and/or experiencing outside pressure to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Even if your child is resistant to talking about the root problem or admitting that they are self-harming, the worst thing you can do is silently allow it to continue.
  • Get professional help: For most parents, the issue of self-harm is beyond their depth. Don’t be discouraged if you are unable to understand why your child is hurting themselves or if they shut you out. In many cases, addressing self-harm and its underlying problems requires the intervention of experienced mental health professionals.

Behavioral Health for Teenagers & Families in Northern California

You may be devastated, angry, or bewildered to learn that your child is engaging in self-harm, but you are not alone. Our team at Therapeutic Solutions is equipped to compassionately and effectively address a range of mental and behavioral health challenges in teenagers and young adults. We provide flexible treatment options designed to meet your family’s specific needs, including family therapy and more.

Allow us to walk alongside you and support you as you seek to do what’s best for your child. We serve Chico, Butte County, and families throughout Northern California.

Call (530) 899-3150 today to learn more about how we care for struggling teens, or click to schedule your free program assessment.


Parenting a Child Through a Mental Health Crisis

Given the deeply personal nature of our relationships, many parents are at a loss for what to do when their child displays signs of mental illness or experiences a mental health crisis. No matter their professional background, the number of children they have raised, or their experiences caring for others with mental illness, it is challenging for most parents to figure out how to best approach caring for their child’s mental health.

How to Care for Children During a Mental Health Crisis

Mental health crises in children can take different forms, ranging from violent outbursts to slow and progressive decline. Sometimes mental illness in children creates meltdowns that are traumatizing for the whole family, creating a need for immediate intervention. In other cases, mental health problems that were once manageable develop to the point that a child can no longer live at home or stay safe.

The best solution for your family and your child depends on the nature of the mental health issue at hand and the sort of crisis you are experiencing. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, here are a few pointers for navigating your child’s mental health concern:

  • Don’t keep it to yourself or internalize your struggle. Reach out to those you trust or to a professional.
  • Create as much stability, consistency, and positive structure as possible for your child and the rest of your family.
  • Do everything you can to remain present with your child and assure them of your love and support.
  • Take time to talk to your family about the struggle at hand, creating a safe environment and giving family members permission to verbalize their questions, worries, etc.
  • Don’t let stigma or shame keep you from pursuing treatment and acting in your family’s best interest.

Although watching the people we care about struggle is scary, overwhelming, and sometimes chaotic, understand that it is not yours or your child’s fault. Mental health concerns impact a wide range of individuals, and often require therapeutic or medical intervention to treat.


Mental and Behavioral Health Treatment for Parents & Children in Northern California

At Therapeutic Solutions, we understand that mental health challenges affect the whole family. Family therapy is one of the ways we help you and your loved ones cope with the difficulties of living with mental illness, and we also offer a number of solutions for families in crisis, including:

Even if your child has not responded to other treatments or is experiencing particularly intense symptoms, our team of doctors, clinicians, and other care providers can help. You don’t have to be silent about your struggle and you don’t have to suffer alone. We are prepared to serve you and your loved ones during this difficult time and help you find solutions that work.

Call (530) 899-3150 today or contact us online to talk to one of our compassionate, knowledgeable team members in Chico.


3 Ways Family Therapy Improves Behavioral Health Treatment

Mental health challenges neither occur in a vacuum nor heal in a vacuum. People experiencing behavioral health challenges may not realize how powerfully their mental health struggle is affecting their close friends and family. Furthermore, a person suffering from mental health concerns also may not know just how key their affected family members can be to recovery.

In addition to individualized treatment for the affected person, family therapy may be used to help address a variety of behavioral health challenges, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Coping with a serious illness
  • Anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—and more.

Connected and understanding relationships are essential to mental health. Discussing the impacts of a mental health concern or crises with our families and spouses or partners can be essential for mental well-being, and its benefits can be seen long after treatment is completed.

Benefits of Family Counseling on Behavioral Health Treatment & Recovery

There are 3 major ways family therapy can make behavioral health treatment more effective:

  • Family therapy involves professional counseling with a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), who has the skills to facilitate positive and healthy discussion of difficult topics.
  • Family therapy can improve communication and problem-solving between spouses and family members, in addition to teaching healthy coping skills and building a sense of connectedness between family members.
  • Family therapy is goal-driven and takes a strategic approach to strengthening families.

In addition to providing a collective and practical approach for individuals and their loved ones, family therapy sends a powerful message to the struggling individual. Behavioral health problems like addiction and depression are often very isolating and disheartening for those affected. However, when families are willing to walk alongside a loved one with a behavioral health challenge, it demonstrates teamwork and support, which is essential to long-term recovery and rehabilitation.

Family Therapy and Mental Health Care in Northern California

When a person is participating in our clinical programs, we offer couples and family sessions to facilitate healing and understanding amongst those impacted by a mental health concern. Our team at Therapeutic Solutions has the tools, programs, and individualized care options you need to make a full, long-term recovery. The licensed clinicians, doctors, and caregivers on our staff are trained to provide you with the compassionate, individualized care you need. Whether you are dealing with anxiety, substance abuse, a personality disorder, or any other mental health struggle, we are here to help.

Let us be the support you need. Call (530) 899-3150 to get in touch with a member of our compassionate mental health care team.