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I Think My Teen is Using Drugs. What Should I Do?

Overdose deaths due to opioids have increased 500% in young adults over the last 20 years. Even more alarming, 2 in 10 high school seniors has taken a prescription drug for a non-medical purpose, and Tampa Bay’s opioid overdose rate is 50.5% higher than the national average. 

Parents are often the first to notice changes in their children, but identifying them is only the first step if your child is using opioids or other drugs. It can be challenging to approach the conversation, but if there are any concerns that your child has started using opioids, seeking opioid abuse treatment is an immediate action step you will want to take. 

Our team at Phoenix House Florida, specializing in opioid abuse treatment in Tampa, has put together the following list to help you have a conversation with your teen.

Step 1: Approach them with Interest, Not Accusation

Approach the conversation with interest and curiosity, rather than accusation and anger. If you have concerns regarding substance use, it may be your first reaction to be angry. However, approaching your child with support and genuine interest in their health and well-being will allow for more productive conversation and actionable next steps. 

Step 2: Seek First to Understand, Then To Be Understood

If your child is using drugs, creating a safe space for the truth to be shared will help you determine the best course of action. First, understanding why they have begun using drugs rather than lecturing will create more open and honest conversation. 

Step 3: Focus on the Opportunity

Your child is not in this alone, and neither are you when it comes to getting them the needed help.

While it can feel upsetting to learn the facts about your child’s substance use, you should focus on the opportunity to make a change. Talk openly with your child, and do not hesitate to seek professional help. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, speak with our Tampa drug addiction recovery team. To schedule a consultation with Phoenix House Florida, please request an appointment today.


Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Phoenix House Florida website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by Phoenix House Florida or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

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At Phoenix House Florida, we have a passion for healing. If you or your loved one are in need of subtance use treatment, we are here to help. Give us a call or submit our appointment request form today.

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The Derek Jeter Center

The Derek Jeter Center Adolescent program in Brandon, FL provides comprehensive outpatient services that help families deal with teen substance use and related mental health conditions.

At Our House

For some patients, stepping away from the buzz of everyday life is the only way to make a full recovery. Inpatient treatments help patients refocus their recovery efforts to achieve positive, long-lasting outcomes.

At Your House

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. Outpatient treatment must follow a continuum of care that starts with a thorough needs assessment and ends with recovery monitoring.